Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quad Monitors in Linux

Well, I couldn't get it to work in Unity yet. I do have a work around for my setup which works for Ubuntu GNOME classic and KDE. This is what I posted in the Ubuntu Forums so far.

Ubuntu 11.04 + Gnome Classic + 4 LCD Monitors -

July 7th, 2011:

Ugh, can't get 4 to work at all. I have NO problems with a dual setup. I want 1x4.

Running 8800GTS for ASUS 22" both DVI, Twinview works fine.

Other card is an 8400 GS, two Acer 19", one DVI, one VGA. I see everything fine in in nvidia x server settings, but the two Acer screens have a red tint to them when I enable them.

I've also had both Acer's working with the 8800. I wanted to add two more displays for multi-tasking so I got the ASUS screens and the 8400 (no particular reason except the ASUS's were cheap open box on newegg and the card was just something that seemed like it would work fine for what i wanted).

Running Ubuntu 11.04 Unity, I have also had the same issue in both KDE and XFCE desktops. Not sure if I've had dumb luck with duals and Ubuntu because I haven't had any issues, knock on wood.

Sorry, nothing to really add. Just wanted to log my setup and issue. Still a noob to Linux/Ubuntu (been using about a year), but I'm not looking back, I love it so far!!

Oh, and I am pretty sure I am not running any of the fancy Compiz stuff (3D, etc.). I don't want/need it.

Today/Yesterday: Sunday, August 14, 2011

Update: Still no working solution.

So I did get quad monitors to "work" but ran into the issues others have posted about (not sure if it was here or not). It was weird. I had live screens on all four monitors, but the far two "duals" on the right had the tool bar one the left of the two screens. So monitor 3 of 4 had the tool bar as if the screens had shifted from what I thought I had setup to be 1-4 starting from the far left. However, I had to click on the left two "duals" in blank space (I had a desktop background just no windows or the tool bar) which showed up on the right duals. So in order to restart or change the configurations back, I had to blindly click in monitor 1 of 4 to execute what I saw in monitor 3 of 4. Or it may have been the other way around. I forget, it has been probably a month since I did it. Sorry, should have posted when it was fresh, but I was so DAMN frustrated!! I want to say I enabled Xinerama to get the four monitors to "work" or at least display something on the screens with two TwinViews(???) since I have two monitors on one card each.

Anyways, still chugging along fine with dual monitors TwinView, except, I get black blocks every now and then on windows where I had to shrink or move the window to get everything to show again. I also noticed that Ubuntu Unity 11.04 allows the window snap feature of the half screen to work in the middle of the TwinView for both screens. I don't think that was working before, but maybe I missed it too. Thought that was pretty sweet. So if they are fixing stuff like that, then I think 11.10 and 12.04 are going to be so much better (well I am not sure if it was an Ubuntu update or nVidia or both since I did update my driver to 280.13, but I still think the next Ubuntu releases will be a big fix). Try to hang in there guys with Unity. I like it. At first I was ehh, but I got used to it. Of course everyone has their personal preferences for their needs, and I am definitely not going to "force" someone to use it or say that it is better than blah, blah, blah.

Anyways, hopefully next post will have a fix!

edit: Now that I think about, I remember I had the left two screens stretched as one screen at one point. Not sure if this was with the other two screens "working" or not. Maybe I'll try GNOME classic or KDE, but I relly like Unity now that I am used to it, .

edit2: ok, so a work around! GNOME classic and KDE allow quad monitors for my setup. However, I have "two" stretch "screens" for the left and right pair of monitors, but I can move windows to all four monitors. You have to have Xinerama enabled. Even if the pairs are treated like separate X screens then the monitors are still stretched. Also in the "separate" mode there is no bar across the right pair of screens nor can I move windows between pairs. This might be the best solution for now. At least I can use the real estate now. I can even use snap windows in KDE so I don't have to manually resize too much which I thought might be a problem with the stretched screens!! I am guessing XFCE might work in this way too. Sticking with KDE for now since a) I love blue, and b) I use Kile and Kopete anyways.

I'm new to KDE so I don't know all of its tricks. I am liking it so far.


edit3: Ok, so KDE was running slow. Not sure if it had to do with the screens or not. Quads do work in XFCE and Xubuntu. I am going with Xubuntu for now.

Next steps: 1) see if I can get separate screen for each monitor and be able to move windows amongst them all and 2) get this to work in Unity!!

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