XQuartz on OS X 10.9 and later: limited support for multi-monitor setups

Bug #1244397 reported by Kuni H Iwasa on 2013-10-24
198
This bug affects 32 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Inkscape
Undecided
Unassigned
inkscape (Arch Linux)
New
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Version 0.48 has a problem of using two monitors running on os x 10.9 mavericks. In the main monitor, the window behaves normally but in the secondary window it does not allow to change the location. It got stuck in the upper left corner. When it was dragged from the main monitor to the secondary one, it disappears. The program is still usable, but not normal. Gimp, which also uses x11, does not have this problem.

Tags: osx Edit Tag help
su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Kuni H Iwasa wrote:
> Gimp, which also uses x11, does not have this problem.

Note that current official GIMP packages do no longer use X11 - they are all built with the Quartz backend of GTK2. Do you have any other GTK+ applications installed which use the X11-backend of GTK+?

Possibly related: a XQuartz issue with multi-monitor setup on Mavericks just discussed on the X11-user mailing list
<quote>
On 2013-10-24 10:40 +0200, Jeremy Huddleston Sequoia wrote:
>> Um... I installed Mavericks on a two-monitor system today, and
>> after finding (in what's becoming an Apple tradition) the
>> unlikely location of the controls for freeing the displays to act
>> as they have since OS 6 or so (that is, one large, contiguous
>> piece of pixel real estate), was able to run an animation that
>> spans the two displays, as the system has since 10.6.
>>
>> The controls I used were in the System Preference pane for
>> Mission Control. I unchecked all boxes, but the relevant one is
>> "Displays have separate spaces." Doing so also allows application
>> windows to span displays, instead of fading out on one.
>>
>> (…)
>
> Yes, disabling that checkbox returns you to a "legacy mode" of sorts.
> XQuartz will behave nicer with multiple monitors in that mode, but
> you will loose out on all the useful updates to multi-monitor
> support.
>
> This incompatibility with multi-monitor support is a known issue, and
> the fix requires changes to both XQuartz (specifically libXplugin)
> and OS frameworks. Unfortunately, this means that I won't be able
> to address the bug with an XQuartz update, and you'll have to wait
> for the OS-side of the solution in a future OS update.
>
> Hopefully the "disable Displays have separate spaces" workaround will
> be a satisfactory stop-gap until the issue is fixed in a future
> update.
</quote>
<http://lists.apple.com/archives/x11-users/2013/Oct/msg00003.html>
(the reply doesn't seem to be available in the ML archives yet)

su_v (suv-lp) on 2013-10-24
tags: added: osx
Kuni H Iwasa (kuni-iwasa) wrote :

I had Gimp 2.6, which initially appeared normal. On the second try, it showed the same symptoms as Inkscape. So did ocloc, xterm, etc. Then I installed Gimp 2.8 and found that it does not have the problem. So, the source of the problem appears to be the compatibility of XQuartz with os x 10.9.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

Thank you for further investigating and reporting back (much appreciated).

Since this appears to be an upstream issue in XQuartz which is likely to affect other Inkscape users too, I will set the bug status to 'Triaged' for now - the bug then can be closed as 'Invalid' for the project Inkscape once a newer release of XQuartz is available which is compatible with Maverick's multi-monitor support.

Changed in inkscape:
status: New → Triaged
summary: - os x mavericks multiple display units
+ OS X Mavericks/XQuartz: limited support for multi-monitor setups

Same recommendation wrt to XQuartz & Mavericks mentioned on the xquartz-dev mailing list:
<quote>
  1) Re-install after updating.
  2) Turn off "Displays have separate spaces" in Mission Control if you need to use X11 across multiple displays
</quote>
<https://lists.macosforge.org/pipermail/xquartz-dev/2013-October/003733.html>

Zorbas (5-alex-5) wrote :

had the same problem with a different X11/quartz application.
@suv reinstalling and disabling separate spaces helped. now everything is working fine.
thanks!

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

From the comments of upstream ticket for XQuartz:
<quote>
Another workaround I just discovered is that you can leave "Displays have separate spaces" turned ON and, when you want to drag an X11 window to a 2nd display, just zoom out on Mission Control to show all the separate Spaces and THEN grab the desired X11 window and drag it into the Space reserved for the 2nd display. It's just one additional move beyond the way it worked in Mountain Lion, where you could just drag between windows. Might be a good workaround till Apple fixes the bug.
</quote>
<https://xquartz.macosforge.org/trac/ticket/796#comment:9>

Robert Costa (zabbarob) wrote :

that hack didn't work for me, but I figured out another way to move windows into the visible area.

background: i have a MacBook Pro, with my external monitor to the left of my laptop; i open inkscape on my laptop monitor by typing the app's name into spotlight on the laptop's monitor. once i select file > document properties they open on the left "hidden" part of X11's "window". so i can't see or select and therefore can't move the document properties window.

solution:
* open Inkscape
* select >File >Document Properties
* ⇒ New Window opens in invisible area
* create a new desktop in Mission Control
* move Inkscape to that desktop
* close the newly created desktop
* ⇒ app windows from that desktop are moved to another desktop
* ⇒ invisible windows get repositioned and are shown

if it doesn’t work with creating a desktop on one monitor, try it with creating a desktop on another monitor. it depends on where invisible windows are located:

* invisible windows to the left of the visual area become visible doing this trick on the left monitor
* invisible windows to the right of the visual area become visible doing this trick on the right monitor

I have a related problem, pity that zabbarob's workaround does not work in my case:

Dual monitor setup (secondary screen above the MacBook Pro screen), MacBook Pro late 2008, Mavericks, Inkscape binary 0.48.2, XQartz 2.7.5.Mission control setting "Separate Screens for Spaces" enabled.

Inkscape does lanch, but I only see the bottom right corner of the Inkscape window, and there seems to be no way of getting the title bar into the visible screen area of any screen. Moving it into other space does not change the window location.
Zooming the window (via menu) sometimes (depending on monitor positions) results in the window being completely below the lower monitor, or sometimes getting the size of the larger monitor.
It seems that X11 mixes up the size / positions of the two monitors, or sometimes adds them together in some way-

I can open the Inkscape menus via keyboard commands, and they sometimes appear in a corner of the screen, so I managed to try Inkscapes own "full screen" option, but also this one did not help.

If its true this is a bug from Apple, I really hope Apple will fix it soon - Mavericks has been out for quite a while now...

Lorenzo (godlo) wrote :

Same problem with OS X Yosemite 10.10 Beta 5

For inkscape in particular, I have a work-around...similar tricks should work for other X11 software like GIMP:

This problem has driven me up the wall ever since I changed jobs to a company that uses Mac's (Generally, I'm a Linux guy).

The desperation-measure work-around is to hand-edit the default window opening places.

Exit from Inkscape and open this file with a text editor:

    ~/.config/inkscape/preferences.xml

...look for:

  id="dialogs">

...and you'll see an XML record for each of the dialog windows with their positions set with something like:

  x="456"
  y="231"

...just replace those numbers with something like 100 and 100 - and the next time you open Inkscape, the dialog will default to opening at that location...then you can move it someplace else, cleanly exit inkscape again...and everything will be OK from then on.

If you don't change your inkscape preferences very often, you can write-protect that file:

  chmod a-w ~/.config/inkscape/preferences.xml

...and then inkscape will always start up with the windows in the exact same places, no matter where you left them the last time you ran the program.

Just don't forget to un-protect it before you change your preferences anytime in the future.

  -- Steve

su_v (suv-lp) on 2014-12-17
summary: - OS X Mavericks/XQuartz: limited support for multi-monitor setups
+ XQuartz on OS X 10.9 and later: limited support for multi-monitor setups
Andrew Saturn (saturn) wrote :

this is still a problem. when opening "recent documents" they open to their previous locations. the "fix" above is not useful as it only applies to inkscape preferences, not X11. when will this be fixed? it's 2015, normal people use multiple monitors.

XQuartz 2.7.7 (xorg-server 1.15.2)
Inkscape 0.48.5 r10040

Andrew Saturn (saturn) wrote :

of all the cheap hacks, I found this free app to be useful at regaining control of a "lost" x11/inkscape window: https://github.com/fikovnik/ShiftIt/releases

Chris (melodient) wrote :

I just stumbled across another way to regain control of the missing windows. Right-click on the X11 dock icon and select options->"Desktop on Display N" where N is the index of one of your displays. Clicking on the correct one of these will eventually bring all the windows for inkscape into the same display and the missing one will appear again.

Moving windows around can still make them disappear again depending on where the focus is but this does at least allow you to get hold of the missing one without resorting to unplugging the second monitor...

Pawel Furmaniak (pawel-5) wrote :

I have the same issue on El Capitan, XQuartz 2.7.8 (xorg-server 1.16.4)

Maks Kram (ta4i) wrote :

Having same issue. mac os x El Capitan 10.11.6 (15G1004), inkscape 0.91. Each time I need to change Preferences I need to turn off second display. Extremely

I no longer have the problem with XQuartz 2.7.11 on macOS Sierra 10.12.2

On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 11:24 AM, Maks Kram <email address hidden>
wrote:

> Having same issue. mac os x El Capitan 10.11.6 (15G1004), inkscape 0.91.
> Each time I need to change Preferences I need to turn off second
> display. Extremely
>
> ** Attachment added: "Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 18.17.52.png"
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/1244397/+
> attachment/4792031/+files/Screen%20Shot%202016-12-15%20at%2018.17.52.png
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1244397
>
> Title:
> XQuartz on OS X 10.9 and later: limited support for multi-monitor
> setups
>
> Status in Inkscape:
> Triaged
> Status in inkscape package in Arch Linux:
> New
>
> Bug description:
> Version 0.48 has a problem of using two monitors running on os x 10.9
> mavericks. In the main monitor, the window behaves normally but in the
> secondary window it does not allow to change the location. It got
> stuck in the upper left corner. When it was dragged from the main
> monitor to the secondary one, it disappears. The program is still
> usable, but not normal. Gimp, which also uses x11, does not have this
> problem.
>
> To manage notifications about this bug go to:
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/1244397/+subscriptions
>

Jeff (jeff3dx) wrote :

Not fixed for macOS 10.12.2 and X11 2.7.11. Inkscape is unusable on a Mac.

Workaround by deleting the Inkscape preferences file:
~/.config/Inkscape/preferences.xml

Don't worry Inkscape will create a new one next time it's launched and the application is now usable.

All work arounds above did not work with

- XQuartz 2.7.11
- Inkscape 0.91
- MacOS Sierra 10.12.4 Beta

What works for me is:

1. Open XQuarz application
2. In the XQuartz Application menu, select "Customize..."
3. "Add Item"
4. Name: Inkscape, Command: Inkscape
5. Close Application menu window
6. Open Inkscape via the Application menu

Johnny Wu (jwu1128) wrote :

I figured out a workaround...kind of

I drag the Inkscape window to the Root screen (the screen that is not part of the Mission Control) and the dialog box showed up just fine. Then I can drag the window to any other MC screen and the dialogue works fine after that.

I am running Sierra w/ 0.91.

Jim Klo (jimklo) wrote :

Johnny Wu's workaround does not work if you have more than 2 displays.

I'm trying this on a MBP with 2 external displays, one on display port, the other on HDMI.

If I open Inkscape via a new window, it opens on the root screen. As soon as I try to open an existing SVG, that window opens off screen, and I can't seem to move it anywhere, even with Mission Control. It just keeps moving back off-screen.

I'm running 10.12.4 (Sierra) using 0.91.

Jim Klo (jimklo) wrote :

Update, the true workaround that seems to work right now is using version 0.92.1 via Homebrew since it doesn't appear to rely upon X11 (XQuartz).

Mark Crutch (markc-qsiuk) wrote :

I've written a script that uses wmctrl to move windows/dialogs to the top left of the XQuartz screen. It's not a solution, but does make this issue much easier to manage. Full details here: http://www.peppertop.com/blog/?p=1554

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