Screen sharing support for KDE's virtual desktop

Currently, when triggering screen sharing, the choice is between sharing a window and Entire Screen (a single display in multi-monitor setup).

However, I observed that my peers who are working on Macs are able to screen share one of their virtual desktop. That is, they have one physical screen with multiple virtual desktop, where the “screen” being shared is just one of the virtual desktops. This is great, as we might need to show more than one window in online meetings (a virtual desktop), while not everything that can be seen in our physical screen (especially when working with only one physical display).

Knowing that virtual desktop exist in KDE, I of course tried it, both under x11 and wayland (KDE 5.111.0 / Plasma 5.27.8, openSUSE Tumbleweed 20231023). The “New Virtual Output” in KDE Portal on wayland only create a new virtual output that seems to pipe directly into the browser screen share, where I cannot see the screen at all. This is of course, not usable. (I actually wonder what exactly is the use case for this virtual output).

So my feature suggestion would be to allow each virtual desktop as a sharable device in Portal screen picker. Of course the naming of the screen should be clear to distinguish sharing an actual screen (ie “Laptop Screen”) versus a virtual desktop (“Virtual Desktop 2 on Laptop Screen”).


I’ve been doing lots of screen sharing this week and have asked myself the same thing. I was running sessions on a Miro board in the browser, shared to a virtual whiteboard with a MS Display Adapter via Gnome Network Displays the whole week, and I had a few awkward moments when I quickly needed to switch to another window to look something up and everybody in the room saw it.

The obvious solution would have been to put the browser on a separate virtual output. But it’s hard to do interactive work on because network screen sharing is laggy.

It would have been so much more convenient if I could have had the browser on a virtual desktop and share only that desktop.