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Old 12-03-2006, 04:52 PM   #1
treth
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Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
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Question nVidia Multiple Device Config?


Ok. I'm trying to do something I'm not sure is possible.

I have an EVGA eGeForce 6200 Limited Edition AGP card. I have Beryl and the Composite extension running through the nVidia driver interface (not AIGLX). As I've been working at different configurations of TwinView and Xinerama, I've seen that configuring the device requires two device sections--one for screen one and one for screen zero. If you examine the device sections, the monitor sections, and the screen sections, and even ultimately the server layout sections, the only indication the X Server has at boot that we're talking about one single card is the BusID parameter--and even that doesn't necessarily have to be the same and thus isn't an indicator to the X Server that we have only one card.

Subsequently, my question is this. In every config I've seen, there are two device sections, two monitor sections, two screen sections, and one server layout. Is it possible to create two device, monitor, screen, AND server layout sections, and subsequently, start the X Server twice, once for each layout, and have two instances of the X server attached to the card, each with its own output?

The reason I ask this is that I have a home theater setup with the aforementioned AGP card running Gentoo Linux. I have a TV Tuner card and I want to setup MythTV so that it persistently and automatically starts on one monitor at boot, whereas my normal screen gets a GDM login and I can use it and log in and out of it without affecting the second screen. If anybody knows another way to do that, I would love to hear from you, and if anybody requires more details about my specific setup, or my current Xorg.conf file, I'll be happy to provide them.

Thanks for reading!

~Treth
 
Old 12-03-2006, 08:37 PM   #2
Simon Bridge
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Location: Waiheke NZ
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Quote:
Subsequently, my question is this. In every config I've seen, there are two device sections, two monitor sections, two screen sections, and one server layout. Is it possible to create two device, monitor, screen, AND server layout sections, and subsequently, start the X Server twice, once for each layout, and have two instances of the X server attached to the card, each with its own output?
Yes. This is the standard xorg dual-head configuration. It does not use xinerama or twinview.

You get two screens - to run an application on either display you must remember to pass the parameter -display DISPLAY (where DISPLAY is :0.1 or :0.0).

A sample xorg.conf section for nvidia geforce 6600gt is below:
Code:
Section "Device"
    Identifier "nVidia 6600 A"
    VendorName "nVidia"
    Driver "nvidia"
    BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
    Screen 0
EndSection
Section "Device"
    Identifier "nVidia 6600 B"
    VendorName "nVidia"
    Driver "nvidia"
    BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
    Screen 1
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Dell A"
    HorizSync 75
    VertRefresh 60
EndSection
Section "Monitor"
    Identifier "Dell B"
    HorizSync 75
    VertRefresh 60
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Left Monitor (Dell A)"
    Device "nVidia 6600 A"
    Monitor "Dell A"
    DefaultDepth 24
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth 24
        Modes "1600x1200"
    EndSubsection
EndSection


Section "Screen"
    Identifier "Right Monitor (Dell B)"
    Device "nVidia 6600 B"
    Monitor "Dell B"
    DefaultDepth 24
    Subsection "Display"
        Depth 24
        Modes "1600x1200"
    EndSubsection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier "Simple Layout"
    Screen "Left Monitor (Dell A)"
    Screen "Right Monitor (Dell B)" RightOf "Left Monitor (Dell A)"
    InputDevice "Logitech MX300" "CorePointer"
    InputDevice "Logitech Access" "CoreKeyboard"
EndSection
... you'll ned to modify this for your hardware. Have fun.
 
Old 12-08-2006, 03:11 AM   #3
treth
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Exclamation Kinda . . .

I don't think this is quite what I meant. What I want is to have :0.0 on one output and :1.0 on another. The distinguishing factor as I understand it is that, with the setup you reccommended, a single window manager must manage the entire display and the X Server must exist within one login.

This is a problem because the setup I'm attempting is to have GDM with Beryl (a compositing window manager) managing one desktop and allowing me to log in and log out while a PVR application such as MythTV or Freevo runs on the other. With the setup you've mentioned, Beryl must manage both desktops inside my current login and it is currently incapable of doing that, not to mention that I cannot log out and leave the system running. If I set up the system with TwinView, then I have the login problem still, and the desktop rotates across the other monitor when I switch on my current desktop.

UPDATE: I have a PCI ATI card right now that I can use to make this happen. If you have any suggestions that will work for starting X twice, generating a :0.0 display and a :1.0 display on the same machine, those would be appreciated as well.

And even though you didn't quite answer my question, I'm very grateful for your help.

~Treth
 
Old 12-08-2006, 04:28 AM   #4
Simon Bridge
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Location: Waiheke NZ
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Quote:
What I want is to have :0.0 on one output and :1.0 on another.
That's what I gave you.
Quote:
The distinguishing factor as I understand it is that, with the setup you reccommended, a single window manager must manage the entire display and the X Server must exist within one login.
In the example - the monitors do not merge to form one desktop. X defines a seperate screen for each monitor. There are two x sessions running. I gather you have to login twice... but I havn't actually tried this method.

If I understand you correctly, you want it to look like there are two computers being controlled by one keyboard/mouse set... so you could have seperate users logged into each screen, or one screen running continuously while a user can log in and out of the other one.

Since the setup is easy - why not try it out and see if the finer details match the broad strokes? I suspect your main headache will involve getting the right apps running in the right screen.

Of course - for the truly ambitious - you could have two completely different linuxes on each screen using virtualisation - each VM get assigned a different screen
 
Old 12-08-2006, 07:17 PM   #5
treth
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Registered: Mar 2003
Distribution: Gentoo
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Read Closely

Quote:
You get two screens - to run an application on either display you must remember to pass the parameter -display DISPLAY (where DISPLAY is :0.1 or :0.0).
Quote:
I don't think this is quite what I meant. What I want is to have :0.0 on one output and :1.0 on another.
Not the same thing. If you have one screen on :0.0 and one screen on :0.1, then both screens are managed by one process, i.e., one X Server. This means that they must exist under the same login (though GDM may be able to manage separate logins--I will investigate), but the biggest problem is this: You cannot have a window manager on :0.0 and a separate one on :0.1. I would be able to perhaps tolerate leaving myself logged in and having my PVR software on screen :0.1, but I use the composite extension, and Beryl does not support multiple screens, i.e., if I use this method with KDE, I get two completely independant desktops, each with their own QT screen settings, et cetera, which is indeed cool. But when I use Beryl, the first monitor has Beryl on it, and the second is just black.

What I want to do is have a ServerLayout using Screen 0 and a ServerLayout using Screen 1, and then do something like this:

startx -- -layout MythTV
startx -- -layout Normal

And then have :0.0 on the fist output and :1.0 on the second.

Again, I now do have a separate card I can do this with.

Also, the part about virtualization might not be that bad. I'm interested in using Xen when it starts to support Pacifica (I have a Sempron, which means I can put a processor in the socket that supports AMD Pacifica), so paravirtualizing my current Gentoo installs and giving each one a card might not be a bad idea.

</treth>
 
  


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