Mutliple Monitors with an Nvidia Card on Ubuntu

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Mutliple Monitors with an Nvidia Card on Ubuntu

Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:35 pm

[This is a repost from the Ubuntu forums]

I've been trying to get 2 monitors set up on my new Ubuntu install(through Wubi if it matters). I've been trying to get it running through the screen and graphics thing, but every time I log out after it tells me to I get an error about low graphics mode, and then when I log back in my settings are reset(and the available resolutions altered). I have been told to use sudo nvidia-settings however that just gives me an error saying that nvidia x isn't running, to run sudo nvidia-xconfig and then restart x server, I have tried this(assuming cntrl-alt-backspace restarts x), however it just gives me the same error. I have installed the restricted driver and the system should be fully up to date.

My hardware:
Nvidia 7900GS
1st monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 1680*1050
2nd monitor: Dell M782p

Thanks in advance!
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:10 pm

Sounds like you've got two issues here: 1) making it use the nvidia binary driver and 2) configuring dual-head. For the first question, go ahead and look at /etc/X11/xorg.conf in an editor. You should see a section like this:
Code: Select all
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video0"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:1:0:0"
        Screen          0
EndSection
Some of the details are probably different, but don't worry about that. The "Driver" entry will tell you what X video driver you are using. "nvidia" is the binary nvidia driver, "nv" is the open source nvidia driver, and "vesa" is the generic VESA interface driver.

So obviously the first step is to make sure you're using the "nvidia" driver and, if not, change it to use the nvidia driver. Once you are using the nvidia driver, nvidia-settings should work for you. As far as configuring dual-head, the nvidia driver's README will tell you how to edit your xorg.conf to do it manually. I'm not sure about the Ubuntu configuration tools and dual-head, but it sounds like they're not working for you. Maybe try them again after you're sure you are using the binary driver and then set up dual-head manually if they still don't work.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 3:44 pm

Well, it says nvidia there so I think that is set ok, I also want to be sure 3d acceleration is working since hopefully I'll be able to get wine working.

EDIT: here is the whole xorg.conf: http://dpaste.com/28308/
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:00 pm

king_kilr wrote:EDIT: here is the whole xorg.conf: http://dpaste.com/28308/

Looking at your X config, you're trying to do dual screen rather than TwinView. I'd look at TwinView, which is an nvidia driver specific feature, first. That makes a single coherent screen across multiple displays. With multiple screens (the way you have it set up), they are pretty much segregated, so you can't move apps between screens or span them (although there are some reasons for preferring that config). Also, on your second screen config, why do you prefer 640x480@60 Hz as your first resolution choice? Also, why do you have all of those modelines explicitly specified for your digital display? It should be getting that info from EDID with just the resolution specified in the Screen section.

To see if 3D acceleration is working, run nvidia-settings and check the OpenGL/GLX information tab. If GLX information shows "Direct Rending: Yes," then 3D should be working.

After that you probably just want to look at setting up TwinView. My TwinView setup looked something like this:
Code: Select all
    Identifier     "Generic Video Card"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    ...
    Option      "TwinView" "true"
    Option      "TwinViewOrientation" "LeftOf"
    Option      "SecondMonitorHorizSync" "31-81"
    Option      "SecondMonitorVertRefresh" "55-85"
    Option      "MetaModes" "2560x1600,1600x1200 @1600x1600; 1280x800,1600x1200 @ 1600x1600"
    Screen 0
    BusID       "PCI:03:00:00"
...

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "screen0"
    Device         "Generic Video Card"
    Monitor        "Generic Monitor"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Modes      "2560x1600" "1280x800"
    EndSubSection

That was when I had a UXGA secondary monitor sitting to the left of my main display.
bitvector
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:05 pm

That sounds like what I want, I don't even know that my second monitor has a resolution, right now it's mirroring my first screen(which refuses to do any res other then 1280*1024).

EDIT: http://dpaste.com/28311/ this is the latest xorg.conf the monitors are still displaying the same content, and for some reason the Ubuntu utility insists that I have 2 Samsung monitors, despite the fact that the xorg.conf seems to show the correct monitors. Any ideas?
Damn the torpedoes , full speed ahead.

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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 4:41 pm

I don't know what the Ubuntu utility is doing but basically any change I make gets reverted as soon as I restart x-server(it never even gets implemented as far as I can tell). What I'd really like to know is why the nvidia-settings utility isn't working!
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:46 pm

Well I just reran the configurer thing, and it seems to be working now, thanks for the help.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 5:48 pm

king_kilr wrote:EDIT: http://dpaste.com/28311/ this is the latest xorg.conf the monitors are still displaying the same content, and for some reason the Ubuntu utility insists that I have 2 Samsung monitors, despite the fact that the xorg.conf seems to show the correct monitors. Any ideas?

Looking at that config, you had put the TwinView MetaMode config stuff on Screen #1's config, but only Screen 0 would be active.

Good to know you got it working, though.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:56 pm

Bitvector: is there a way to have it when you maximize a window it maximizes only on the screen it is currently on? That would be very useful for a web browser or a video which you clearly can't look at across 2 screens, but I would like maximized?
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 7:05 pm

king_kilr wrote:Bitvector: is there a way to have it when you maximize a window it maximizes only on the screen it is currently on? That would be very useful for a web browser or a video which you clearly can't look at across 2 screens, but I would like maximized?

Are you using Compiz?
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:20 pm

I don't think so, that is to say I haven't done anything, if it is installed and set up by default I am, else I'm not.(Gutsy Gibbon)
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:49 pm

king_kilr wrote:I don't think so, that is to say I haven't done anything, if it is installed and set up by default I am, else I'm not.(Gutsy Gibbon)

Yes, it is enabled by default in 7.10 AFAIK. A bad choice, IMO, given that it's relatively immature and resource intensive. There was a known issue with Compiz and TwinView. Compiz ignores the Xinerama monitor size information and just pretends it is one big monitor for maximize and fullscreen type operations. Obviously not the right behavior. I believe it is an unresolved issue in the official Compiz branch.

In X, try running "metacity --replace" (in a terminal, as your user). That should replace compiz with metacity as your WM. Check and see if that changes the maximize behavior.
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:08 pm

bitvector wrote:
king_kilr wrote:I don't think so, that is to say I haven't done anything, if it is installed and set up by default I am, else I'm not.(Gutsy Gibbon)

Yes, it is enabled by default in 7.10 AFAIK. A bad choice, IMO, given that it's relatively immature and resource intensive. There was a known issue with Compiz and TwinView. Compiz ignores the Xinerama monitor size information and just pretends it is one big monitor for maximize and fullscreen type operations. Obviously not the right behavior. I believe it is an unresolved issue in the official Compiz branch.

In X, try running "metacity --replace" (in a terminal, as your user). That should replace compiz with metacity as your WM. Check and see if that changes the maximize behavior.
I ran it and it didn't change anything :(
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:14 pm

king_kilr wrote:I ran it and it didn't change anything :(

Did the window decorations change? Did Metacity start at all? Even still, it's possible it wouldn't work properly after replacing another WM for whatever reason.

What is the output of:
xdpyinfo -ext XINERAMA | grep head
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:25 pm

Code: Select all
alex@alex-desktop:~$ xdpyinfo -ext XINERAMA | grep head
  head #0: 2960x1050 @ 0,0


Which deffinately indicates that it is viewing the 2 as one, want me to run that after the metacity?
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:03 pm

king_kilr wrote:Which deffinately indicates that it is viewing the 2 as one, want me to run that after the metacity?

No, that part is independent of your WM, so something with TwinView is not set right with your Xorg config.
bitvector
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:11 pm

bitvector wrote:
king_kilr wrote:Which deffinately indicates that it is viewing the 2 as one, want me to run that after the metacity?

No, that part is independent of your WM, so something with TwinView is not set right with your Xorg config.
I haven't manually set anything in the xorg.conf it was all done through nvidia-settings. Want me to repaste it?
Damn the torpedoes , full speed ahead.

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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:15 pm

Hrm, does this bug report sound like your situation?
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/139313

One suggested fix to try is:

Run:
mkdir ~/.config/xserver-xgl/
touch ~/.config/xserver-xgl/disable

(then restart X, of course).
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Postposted on Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:24 pm

The first part does, as I said nvidia-settings does work now. If I just log out will that fix it, or will I have to go through it again on each boot.
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Postposted on Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:10 am

And after a restart it seems to have fixed itself, I have no idea what happened but it works now :-? :D
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