ION, Xinerama, Xwindows and Multiple Monitors on 1201N

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The EEE 1201N has both a VGA as well as HDMI out. In X on Ubuntu Karmic I wanted to start with just using the VGA to connect to an extra panel I have. It’s older and doesn’t have HDMI. There were just two issues with this however.

1. The Nvidia Control Panel in Karmic couldn’t parse the xorg.conf file that was built by the Karmic installation process (and was working fine as best I could tell).

To resolve this, I had to run (as root) the nvidia-xconfig app which wrote out a more complete and parseable conf file for me. I had to logout and back in to restart xwindows (and now I see the Nvidia splash-screen)

Next, since I was running the Nvidia Control Panel as my user it wasn’t able to write out the new xorg.conf file that it wanted to write (which had my 2nd monitor enabled and postitioned where I wanted it). Simply writing this file to /tmp and then moving it over via the shell worked. I had to logout and back in. But now my 2nd monitor worked! And I enabled Xinerama on this monitor.

Xinerama is an nice extention to have, it makes the extra monitors act like you’d expect them to coming from XP or a Macintosh- that is, you can freely drag and drop apps across monitors, and the multiple desktops spann the multiple monitors.

About Xinerama & Twinview

From Nvidia.com:

The NVIDIA Linux Driver supports GLX when Xinerama is enabled on similar GPUs. The Xinerama extension takes multiple physical X screens (possibly spanning multiple GPUs), and binds them into one logical X screen. This allows windows to be dragged between GPUs and to span across multiple GPUs. The NVIDIA driver supports hardware accelerated OpenGL rendering across all NVIDIA GPUs when Xinerama is enabled.

There is more info about Xinerama and Twinview at Phoronix.

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