Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

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Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:11 pm

I read all over the Ubuntu forums on the "not-so-pleasant" task of having a dual monitor setup, and the "not-so-pleasant" look of it either.

Here's the situation. I have VirtualBox setup and it runs Windows beautifully. I am doing all of my web coding in there and I would really like to have it on a separate monitor. The only thing is that the setup is not getting any good reviews from the users who have it setup.

So I am looking to the geeks I trust most and ask if any of you have a dual monitor setup? If so, did you find it easy to setup and is it working the way you have intended it to?

I have a 19" LCD monitor as my main screen. I also have a 19" widescreen monitor I would like to setup as a secondary monitor (via RGB), hooked up to a GeForce 6200, soon to be a 7600GS or a Radeon HD3650.

Thanks.
Last edited by lex-ington on Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:15 pm

I've been running dual monitors in some form on and off for many years (modulo deskspace) with XFree86/XOrg. I've used it on the nvidia binary driver, the nv driver (free nvidia), the free ati radeon driver (radeon) and the matrox (free) driver. Yes it's working, and no it wasn't particularly hard to set up. Really the only issue is that you have to do things slightly differently depending on which video driver you are using. If you are using nvidia, just run nvidia-settings and you can configure dual screens using either TwinView or dual X11 screens. For the AMD (ATI) binary drivers, you should just be able to run amdcccle. Both are GUI video driver configuration utilities.

What video drivers are you using?
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Re: Dual Monitor setup

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:00 pm

I am using the non-free nvidia drivers.

Will compiz be able to do it easily?

I also have a utility called "NVIDIA X Server Settings", but I am a bit afraid to use it. The last time I messed with video drivers in Ubuntu, I had to re-install the OS.

Thanks for the help.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup

Postposted on Sun Aug 17, 2008 11:00 pm

lex-ington wrote:I am using the non-free nvidia drivers.

Will compiz be able to do it easily?

I also have a utility called "NVIDIA X Server Settings", but I am a bit afraid to use it. The last time I messed with video drivers in Ubuntu, I had to re-install the OS.

Thanks for the help.

I've used it with ati. I didn't have any problems with the results, although i can't say i've used it with compiz. I'm not sure how compiz would react to dual monitors with some of it's functions(curiosity begins). Too bad my ram sticks crapped out on me last night or i'd give it a shot :lol: .
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Re: Dual Monitor setup

Postposted on Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:08 pm

lex-ington wrote:I am using the non-free nvidia drivers.

Will compiz be able to do it easily?

No idea... never used compiz on a dual monitor system. Give it a try.

Just run nvidia-settings (under sudo/su) to set up dual monitors.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2008 4:11 pm

lex-ington wrote: If so, did you find it easy to setup and is it working the way you have intended it to?


viewtopic.php?f=7&t=59628

Nope, my dual monitor setup still doesn't work. I hacked at it for about an hour and a half in the terminal with my father, the M.S.-level computer engineer, and now the OS recognizes it as a 2560*800 display instead of a 1600*1200 CRT hooked up to a 1280*800 LCD, but that's as far as we could get. Then again, I'm on an old laptop IGP instead of a new desktop one.

Good Luck.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:07 pm

Well I am having absolutely no luck using the Nvidia X Server Settings tool. The secondary display will get detected, then when I restart the machine it becomes the primary display, and that's using the TwinView and the separate screen options. I keep getting error messages saying:

1. Failed to set MetaMode (17) 'CRT-0: 1440x900 @1440x900 +1280+0, DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select @1280x1024 +0+0' (Mode 2720x1024, id: 67) on X screen 0

Would you like to remove this MetaMode?

2. Unable to remove old X config backup file '/etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup'. I have no idea what that's all about. I am guessing that if I remove this file myself, things would go smoother? I have the checkbox for "Merge with existing file" ticked, but if I uncheck it still don't matter.

I would really like to get this to work, as it would help tremendously with my homework that's due friday night.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:32 pm

the .backup at the end of the file extension means the file itself doesn't do anything (sorry if this is really basic, I have no idea how much you know). I guess the X Server Settings tool is sorta like nVidia control panel or Catalyst here on Windows? If you untick the box for "Merge with existing file" it'll stop trying to save the backup over the "recent" copy. I have no idea how that relates to your problem.


I have no idea about nVidia and metamode and all those goodies though... it's seeing the two displays as one desktop (1280+1440)x1024, which is the step I've gotten to on my laptop/CRT combo.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:34 pm

lex-ington wrote:2. Unable to remove old X config backup file '/etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup'. I have no idea what that's all about.

That sounds like a permissions problem... are you running this under sudo? Does /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup exist?

The MetaMode stuff is TwinView-related. For reference, my separate screen xorg.conf is very simplistic -- the relevant portions are as follows:
Code: Select all
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video0"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:3:0:0"
        Screen          0
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video1"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:3:0:0"
        Screen          1
EndSection
...
Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "screen0"
        Device          "video0"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "2560x1600" "1280x800"
        EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "screen1"
        Device          "video1"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "1680x1050" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
        EndSubSection
EndSection
...
Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"
        Screen          0 "screen0" leftOf "screen1"
        Screen          1 "screen1"
EndSection
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:37 pm

bitvector wrote:
lex-ington wrote:2. Unable to remove old X config backup file '/etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup'. I have no idea what that's all about.

That sounds like a permissions problem... are you running this under sudo? Does /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup exist?

The MetaMode stuff is TwinView-related. For reference, my separate screen xorg.conf is very simplistic -- the relevant portions are as follows:
Code: Select all
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video0"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:3:0:0"
        Screen          0
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video1"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:3:0:0"
        Screen          1
EndSection
...
Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "screen0"
        Device          "video0"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "2560x1600" "1280x800"
        EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "screen1"
        Device          "video1"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "1680x1050" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
        EndSubSection
EndSection
...
Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"
        Screen          0 "screen0" leftOf "screen1"
        Screen          1 "screen1"
EndSection


I am logging in as the administrator to make the changes, then logging back out. The xorg backup is there.

Does anyone think this something to do with the vid card itself? It is a GeForce 6200LE. The mobo is the 6100/400 chipset.

I am actually looking at switching the board and vid-card to a 680G/HD3450 setup - or maybe a 780G/HD3650 setup.

And for some reason, everytime I think I got somewhere with the dual monitor setup - the secondary monitor is noticed as the primary monitor, even though I clearly have my main monitor setup as the primary monitor.

Here is the relevant sections of my xorg.conf:

Code: Select all
Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Default Layout"
    Screen      0  "Default Screen" 0 0
    InputDevice    "Generic Keyboard" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice    "Configured Mouse" "CorePointer"
EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load           "glx"
    Load           "v4l"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Configured Monitor"
    VendorName     "Samsung"
    ModelName      "Samsung SyncMaster 940T/940B/940Fn(Digital)"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 81.0
    VertRefresh     56.0 - 75.0
    Gamma           1
    ModeLine       "640x480@60" 25.2 640 656 752 800 480 490 492 525 -hsync -vsync
    ModeLine       "640x480@72" 31.5 640 664 704 832 480 489 491 520 -hsync -vsync
    ModeLine       "640x480@75" 31.5 640 656 720 840 480 481 484 500 -hsync -vsync
    ModeLine       "800x600@56" 36.0 800 824 896 1024 600 601 603 625 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "800x600@72" 50.0 800 856 976 1040 600 637 643 666 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "800x600@75" 49.5 800 816 896 1056 600 601 604 625 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "800x600@60" 40.0 800 840 968 1056 600 601 605 628 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "832x624@75" 57.3 832 864 928 1152 624 625 628 667 -hsync -vsync
    ModeLine       "1024x768@75" 78.8 1024 1040 1136 1312 768 769 772 800 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1024x768@70" 75.0 1024 1048 1184 1328 768 771 777 806 -hsync -vsync
    ModeLine       "1024x768@60" 65.0 1024 1048 1184 1344 768 771 777 806 -hsync -vsync
    ModeLine       "1152x864@75" 108.0 1152 1216 1344 1600 864 865 868 900 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1280x1024@75" 135.0 1280 1296 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1280x960@60" 102.1 1280 1360 1496 1712 960 961 964 994 -hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1280x1024@60" 108.0 1280 1328 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1280x960@75" 129.9 1280 1368 1504 1728 960 961 964 1002 -hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1400x1050@60" 122.6 1400 1488 1640 1880 1050 1051 1054 1087 -hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1600x1200@65" 175.5 1600 1664 1856 2160 1200 1201 1204 1250 +hsync +vsync
    ModeLine       "1600x1200@60" 162.0 1600 1664 1856 2160 1200 1201 1204 1250 +hsync +vsync
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
 #
    Identifier     "monitor1"
    Gamma           1
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Configured Video Device"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    BoardName      "vesa"
    BusID          "PCI:3:0:0"
    Screen          0
EndSection

Section "Device"
 #
    Identifier     "device1"
    Driver         "nv"
    BoardName      "vesa"
    BusID          "PCI:3:0:0"
    Screen          1
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Default Screen"
    Device         "Configured Video Device"
    Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Virtual     1600 1200
        Depth       24
        Modes      "1280x1024@75" "1280x960@60" "1152x864@75" "1280x1024@60" "1024x768@60" "1280x960@75" "1024x768@70" "1400x1050@60" "1024x768@75" "1600x1200@65" "832x624@75" "1600x1200@60" "800x600@60" "800x600@75" "800x600@72" "800x600@56" "640x480@75" "640x480@72" "640x480@60"
    EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
 #
    Identifier     "screen1"
    Device         "device1"
    Monitor        "monitor1"
    DefaultDepth    24
EndSection


I am seeing 9 different xorg.conf files, and 1 backup file - is that o.k.?
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:50 pm

lexing-ton wrote:Here is the relevant sections of my xorg.conf:
Well, right off the bat... you're trying to use the binary "nvidia" video driver for your primary screen and the open source "nv" video driver for the other screen (Screen 1). I'd strongly suggest using "nvidia" for both. Also, your ServerLayout doesn't specify where to put Screen 1 in relation to Screen 0.

For example, mine is:
Code: Select all
        Screen          0 "screen0" leftOf "screen1"
        Screen          1 "screen1"
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:27 am

bitvector wrote:
lexing-ton wrote:Here is the relevant sections of my xorg.conf:
Well, right off the bat... you're trying to use the binary "nvidia" video driver for your primary screen and the open source "nv" video driver for the other screen (Screen 1). I'd strongly suggest using "nvidia" for both. Also, your ServerLayout doesn't specify where to put Screen 1 in relation to Screen 0.

For example, mine is:
Code: Select all
        Screen          0 "screen0" leftOf "screen1"
        Screen          1 "screen1"


Honestly, I'm not doing this on purpose. I thought the nVidia X server would take care of all of this. I know the binary drivers are installed, but didn't realize there was a second driver in there as well.

Would it be a safe task to delete all of the other xorg.conf files (including the backup one), and try this again? I don't know exactly which driver the X server is tied to, but the options for everything I want to do is in that GUI.

Maybe I can try altering the xorg.conf file mysel to include the monitor, but it will be generic. :-? :evil:
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:09 pm

lex-ington wrote:Honestly, I'm not doing this on purpose. I thought the nVidia X server would take care of all of this. I know the binary drivers are installed, but didn't realize there was a second driver in there as well.
Well, the "nv" driver comes with Xorg. There is no "nVidia X server," the nvidia binary driver is just one of many video drivers Xorg could possibly use. Just because the binary driver was installed doesn't mean it was actually using it. The only way it would be likely to get into your config is if you were actually using it instead of the nvidia binary driver when you ran the nvidia settings.

lex-ington wrote:Would it be a safe task to delete all of the other xorg.conf files (including the backup one), and try this again?
Yes.

Here's my full config for reference (dual screen, not twinview):
Code: Select all
Section "Files"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
        Driver          "kbd"
        Option          "CoreKeyboard"
        Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
        Option          "XkbModel"      "pc104"
        Option          "XkbLayout"     "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"              "ImPS/2"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video0"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:3:0:0"
        Screen          0
EndSection

Section "Device"
        Identifier      "video1"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:3:0:0"
        Screen          1
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Generic Monitor"
        Option          "DPMS"
        HorizSync       28-84
        VertRefresh     43-60
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "screen0"
        Device          "video0"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "2560x1600" "1280x800"
        EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "screen1"
        Device          "video1"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Modes           "1680x1050" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
        EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"
        Screen          0 "screen0" leftOf "screen1"
        Screen          1 "screen1"
EndSection
In theory you could just use that after modifying the resolution and screen orientation, and grabbing the keyboard / mouse setup from your config.
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Re: Dual Monitor setup - Ubuntu

Postposted on Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:03 am

I will attempt the changes when I get home today. This should be interesting. I'm still trying to get used to the terminal, so even if I backed up the xorg file, i may still lose it.

I just upped my RAM from 2GB to 4GB to keep VirtualBox running on a second screen at all times (I'm loving the VM) - this would seal the deal for me. Windows would truly become my secondary machine.
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