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I think this would be considered both a hardware and software issue.
Does Linux support a dual or multi-monitor set up like Windows has? I do alot of work where I am running a program and like to refer to the digital manual as I am working and really liked that particular aspect of Windows (about the only thing I liked about it!). Any info would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
The last hurdle for me switching to Linux was multiple monitor support. I have three and I just couldn't go back to one.
Here are the major points from my experience. There may be better ways, but I'm a newbie myself, so bear with me.
0) Redhat doesn't have a good tool for configuring multiple monitors like other distros, as a previous reply mentioned. BTW, previous poster, can you give me any help regarding running that tool on RH? Is it possible?
2) Run "X -config". Copy the file that creates to /etc/X11/SF86Config. Go to run level 3. Open it in vi. You should have 2 monitor sections, 2 device (video card) sections, and 2 screen sections. You shouldn't have to mess with device sections.
3) Edit the monitor sections so that they reflect the correct HorizSync and VertRefresh ranges. If you don't know, look on the back of the monitor, get the model number, and google for the specs.
4) Edit the screen sections so that all the screens have the same color depth (required) and same resolution (preferred, IMO). Also make sure that these values are within the capabilities of your equipment.
5) Warning: wrong values in your XF86Config file could destroy your hardware or even start a fire. Proceed at your own risk.
6) Save the file and run "startx -- +xinerama". Your monitors should all come up. You may need to edit your screen sections again so that the right monitor is not on the left and vice versa.
1) The xinerama how-to is alright, but the later X's, those after 4.0, which is was written around, auto-configure themselves quite nicely... except when you go to three... I had to resort to some funky goop with my 3 head, but with a dual, its just as easy as the step 2 you mentioned, except:
2) X -configure and the file created is XF86Config.new, and it should replace /etc/X11/XF86Config, also might want to run the test it suggests too before overwriting your 1-head working file.
5) Can't really happen anymore, XFree 3.3.x could do that still, X 4 will choke if the values are out of range, but if the monitor is pre-99'ish, then it might be too stupid to let X know.
6) X -configure will add the xinerama line to the server section of the XF86Config file, so a simple "startx" will do.
Well it looks like I have the unfortunate Red Hat Linux that shep mentioned for this particular issue. If there is any information on the set up for this particular distro I would appreciate it. (It's version 9)
Last edited by healfdeane; 09-06-2003 at 08:19 PM.
I went to the website and read it countless times and tried every combination listed but am not really sure what I am doing. Do you type "X -config" at the root# in Terminal? I guess what I am asking for is for someone to tell me how to do this as though I had never worked with Linux before, but know how to read and am fairly intuitive. And please explain thinkgs like "run level 3" and "open it in vi". Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with these terms and when I try to look them up in the documentation it either isn't there or doesn't tell me how to do anything with it. I know this is probably taxing and bothersome but none of the commands seem to do anything and I can't seem to find the right information to figure it out myself. Someone please help!
Open a Konsole, terminal, aterm, Xterm, Eterm, whatever gets you a command line:
su - (this will switch you up to root)
init 3 (this will drop you out of GUI X-windows mode and to a tty [that'll make sense when you get there])
Log in as root.
From the prompt:
Then it'll hiccup, the monitor will blink a few times (hopefully both of them), and then drop you back at the prompt.
X -xf86config /root/XF86Config.new
This should launch a blank X-windows accross both screens, its just a test pattern with a checkered background and an X cursor, if it displays right (or at all close to right), good... to get out of the test:
Then copy the test file over the real file:
cp /root/XF86Config.new /etc/X11/XF86Config
Now, logout from root and login as joe user, and then start X with:
Most likely the resolutions are going to be way off, one will be overscreen or somesuch... post back with the entire contents of /etc/X11/XF86Config and we'll show you what you need to edit.
OK i am getting ready to do all that you said but I wanted to verify 2 things first, is it "cp /root/XF86Config.net" (what is written in post) or ".new" (what was written from previous command. And second, after I log out from root and log in as Joe user do I open a Terminal and type "startx" or do I do that from somewhere else?
Probably have to cut and paste it by parts, open a Konsole or whatever:
Then highlight over the whole beast, and paste it in here with clicking both mouse buttons at the same time, if you don't already have a third button, that should paste. Unlike ctrl+c, under X windows anything highlighted is whats in the buffer.
Well I had to quit for the night last night, so I shut down Linux and when I got home today and turned it on, it goes through the OK/Failed checklist and both of my monitors come on and display the video card info, but then it goes to a black screen and stays that way. I let it sit several minutes and tried all the key combinations I could think of and nothing happens. I just installed Linux so I don't have any data saved if I do have to reinstall it. If I do have to reinstall is there some way I can set up the dual monitor while it is installing, or do I have to wait untill the install is finished?
Also in regards to my last post, I don't even know how to open the file to see the contents in order to highlight them and paste them. I am not connecting to the internet on my Linux system (mainly because my ISP does not support Linux) and I am having to research which is the best ISP for Linux, so I don't exactly know how to paste it, I think I will just have write it down and then type it in.
Last edited by healfdeane; 09-10-2003 at 09:29 PM.
Okay, more problems always seem to come from fun solutions...
First, when it goes to a black screen:
should get you right to a command line. As to why it displayed fine yesterday and not today... I'm a bit perplexed. Maybe the display manager is the issue... that would have been end-runned yesterday... hmm. If you can get to a command line:
login as joe user
That should get you back to X with el wonko display settings. Now, let's just hand edit /etc/X11/XF86Config. First, copy that file and stick it somewhere:
cp /etc/X11/XF86Config /home/username
That's a good place for now.
If the above doesn't get you back to X, this might:
Reboot the machine, at the login prompt:
(login as root)
Now, when you edit it, I recommend the command line editor pico, its pretty self-explanitory and the key movements are what you would expect from anything really basic, like notepad...
Open a Konsole, Xterm, yadya...
(enter root password)
What you will want to change:
Under the "Monitor" section, put in the specific Vert Refresh and Horiz Sync ranges for your monitors, like it was mentioned earlier in this thread, they're either on the back of the monitors, or easily found on the manufactuer's site.
Under the "Screen" sections at the bottom, You will want to create a line called "DefaultDepth" and probably give it a value of "16", that's the safe side, look at mine above for ideas. Then Under "Modes" for a setting of 16, 1024x768 for both of them is probably a good bet.
Now, as for the net connection. Just because your ISP doesn't support Linux doesn't mean Linux doesn't support your ISP. What's your connection type? Are we talking DSL, Cable, Dial-up, carrier pigeon? If its broadband, USB-modem? Ethernet-modem, dhcp or pppoe? If its a dial-up... ugh... erhm, who's the ISP?
Okay, that's enough for now, post back with how far you get... oh, and no, re-installing won't help, as far as I know there is still no distro that will setup a dual-head on install.
Regarding distros that automatically set up a dual head -- as I recall, I tried the latest version of Mandrake and it brought up all 3 of my monitors. I also recall that I still had to tweak my XF86Config file a bit for resolution, color depth, etc. I would hazard a guess that it might do the same thing for 2 heads. So, healfdeane, you might think about trying Mandrake, or at least doing some searching on Mandrake's multiple monitor capabilities.
BTW, in reading your posts, healfdeane, I see that you are having some issues with some of the more basic tasks. Don't get frustrated. We were all there at one time. I started off a bit ahead of the curve in Linux (for a newbie) because I've worked in the computer field for a few years on the Windows side. One of the things that has helped me greatly and continues to help me, is that I've bought several books on Linux. Specifically, I suggest you get those big, fat, 3-4 inch thick books. Matter of fact, mine are all fairly old and I got them in the bargin bins at bookstores and computer stores, for prices between $5 and $15 (instead of $50). While a lot of things have changed in Linux over the years, you'll find some things haven't changed or haven't changed much. These older books have sections on vi, bash, fetchmail, sed, etc. Personally, I find that, while you can find all the same information on the internet, the informtation in these books is organized and presented in a manner more conducive to learning things you don't know. You can stumble across a lot on the web, but the book takes you buy the hand and says, "Look. Here's the important stuff you should know."