Notifications appear in non-visible area of multi-head desktop

Bug #367947 reported by rubberglove
This bug affects 17 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
notify-osd (Ubuntu)
Mirco Müller

Bug Description

Binary package hint: notify-osd

I use xrandr to configure a multi-head display -- a main LCD screen and a TV-out.
In order to keep within my video card's 2048x2048 virtual display size for 3D acceleration, I stack my screens vertically in the virtual display, with the smaller screen on top.

Also, I have a single gnome panel at the bottom of my LCD screen.

Without the top gnome panel (if I understand correctly), notify-osd defaults to placing the notifications at the top right of the display. However, for me, this is either a non-visible area, or a TV screen that is across the room from me (and most likely not even turned on).

Re-arranging the screens side-by-side 'fixes' things, but at the cost of 3d acceleration (the virtual display is now greater than my card's 2048x2048 limit).

If there is no top panel, any arrangement of screens with differing resolutions that leaves a 'dead area' at the top right will trigger this issue.

Revision history for this message
Daniel Hallgren (daniel-hallgren) wrote :

As requested in the thread of bug 331369, I post my comments here too:

I have a multi-monitor setup, with two monitors of different size - primary is 1920x1200 and second is 1280x1024. Both connected to a Nvidia card, using TwinView. They are aligned at the bottom edge, with panels at the bottom.

If I understand things correctly, putting the panels at the bottom puts notify-osd in some fallback mode where notifications are displayed top right. This would not be a major problem for me if the notifications were displayed within the visible area. But they are not! Instead they are displayed within the "dead" 1280x176 pixel area above my second screen. So I can't see them at all.

This has forced me to revert to the old notification system. For others who have this problem, this can be done easily using gnome-stracciatella-session:

Revision history for this message
David Barth (dbarth) wrote :

If i understand correctly, we should make sure that the area where we display the notifications is within the geometry of a monitor (in xrandr terms), even if it is on the (big virtual) "screen".

Revision history for this message
rubberglove (infinite-nwar) wrote :

@David Barth--
Definitely, I think that would fix it for me.

In cases where they top-right corner of the 'virtual screen' is in a non-visible area (outside the geometry of a monitor), that raises a new question -- which of the two 'top-right' corners to choose as the default location (1 and 2 in my lame ascii art diagrams below)

| |_____2
| | |

| |

If the notifications are going to default to a top right corner, I would vote for #2, the top right corner that is furthest right, but others might disagree. In any case, making sure they are visible somehow would be a great improvement.


Mirco Müller (macslow)
Changed in notify-osd (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Mirco Müller (macslow)
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
nZain (patrick-stalph) wrote :

After hours of searching & reading I finally found this bug report - and I can confirm this. Scenario: primary screen plugged in VGA port of my laptop, secondary is the LVDS (to the right). As the LVDS resolution is different from the primary monitor, I have a non-visible area either at the top or the bottom of my LVDS (right screen).

(1) I figured out, that the notify-osd is placed at the top-right corner of the virtual screen and there is no attempt to make this configurable (but thats another topic and this is not the place for my emotions on this).

(2) Furthermore, adding the gconf dir "/apps/notify-osd/" + entry "multihead_mode focus-follow" didn't work for me. The OSD is shown at the top-right of the virtual screen, regardless of my focus.

Thus, I'm forced to align top LVDS with top of VGA - which makes hitting the windows-list on the bottom gome-panel quite tricky (is there a way to prevent the mouse from diving into the non-visible area?).

However, fixing the position of the OSD to be inside the actually visible area would make things easier.
Thanks in advance :-)

Revision history for this message
radostyle (mr--jon) wrote :

My notifications are appearing in the top right corner of the right most monitor on my dual head display, but I would rather have it at the far right of the top panel where it used to be. Now it appears on my secondary monitor that I'm not looking at.

Changed in notify-osd (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Neal McBurnett (nealmcb) wrote :

This bug still exists in Precise. It seems like a common enough configuration to me: I have my laptop on my desk (1366x768), and put another monitor above that (1280x1024), so the top monitor is 86 pixels narrower than the laptop screen. Notifications appear on the upper screen, and the right side is clipped off.

How can invisible or incomplete notifications be a "low" bug fix importance?

A workaround for me is to align the bottom monitor so the right edges align. That doesn't seem to cause problems with access to the Unity launcher (configured to show only on the upper screen). But it doesn't seem like it would help some of the other use cases reported here. There are various reasons for choosing alignments.

Revision history for this message
Neal McBurnett (nealmcb) wrote :

xrandr -q output is useful for describing the exact configuration. Note in particular the resolution of each monitor, and the offset of each monitor within the overall virtual screen, are shown. E.g. the first one listed for me, LVDS1, is 1366x768, with an offset of 0 horizontal and 1024 vertical (down from the top), so it is configured below the second one listed.

$ xrandr -q
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1366 x 1792, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS1 connected 1366x768+0+1024 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 295mm x 166mm
   1366x768 60.0*+
   1360x768 59.8 60.0
   1024x768 60.0
   800x600 60.3 56.2
   640x480 59.9
VGA1 connected 1280x1024+86+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 338mm x 270mm
   1280x1024 60.0 + 75.0*
   1280x960 60.0
   1152x864 75.0
   1024x768 75.1 70.1 60.0
   832x624 74.6
   800x600 72.2 75.0 60.3 56.2
   640x480 72.8 75.0 66.7 60.0
   720x400 70.1
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

Revision history for this message
Samuel Mehrbrodt (sam92) wrote :

You might try

  gsettings set com.canonical.notify-osd multihead-mode "focus-follow"

After that the Notification will always appear on the screen which has the mouse on it.
I wonder why this is not the default.

Revision history for this message
Daniel Hahler (blueyed) wrote :

Thanks, Samuel!

For reference, the default is 'dont-follow-focus'.

no longer affects: notify-osd
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