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Old 05-17-2008, 11:44 AM   #1
mtb
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2 video cards


I have just obtained a PCI video card, and i would like to know what can i do with 2 video cards.

It is an S3 Vision 968, and i have inserted it into a PCI slot, whilst the old one (but somewhat better) is an Ati Rage Pro.

When i turned on the pc, i have found out that the console and even the bios screen is only shown on the pci card, and even X outputs on the S3 card ( i'm using xubuntu 8.04 and i have been unable to configure the resolution, tried with dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg and dexconf but i have only obtained "FATAL: Error inserting battery (/lib/modules/2.6.24-16-386/kernel/drivers/acpi/battery.ko): No such device", now i have got tears in my eyes, the monitor outputs 800x600 @ 60 Hz ), being the AGP one unused.

I would like to know if it possibile to output the same signal on both cards ( both in X and in text mode ), if it is possibile to use 2 monitors in order to have a larger desktop ( eg. 2 1024x768 screens ), or even to use it in order to connect 2 different users with 2 different desktops ( of course with 2 mouses and 2 keyboards ). Unfortunatly i haven't found an answer to my questions, even links to tutorials or so are very welcome.

Here i attach data of the cards and xorg.conf.

Thank you in advance.

Code:
00:12.0 VGA compatible controller: S3 Inc. 86c968 [Vision 968 VRAM] rev 0 (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
	Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster- SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping+ SERR- FastB2B-
	Status: Cap- 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B- ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
	Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 9
	Region 0: Memory at 20000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64M]
	Expansion ROM at e8000000 [disabled] [size=64K]

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc 3D Rage Pro AGP 1X/2X (rev 5c) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
	Subsystem: ATI Technologies Inc Rage Pro Turbo AGP 2X
	Control: I/O- Mem- BusMaster- SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping+ SERR- FastB2B-
	Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=medium >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR-
	Region 0: Memory at ee000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [disabled] [size=16M]
	Region 1: I/O ports at d000 [disabled] [size=256]
	Region 2: Memory at ed000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [disabled] [size=4K]
	Expansion ROM at ec000000 [disabled] [size=128K]
	Capabilities: [50] AGP version 1.0
		Status: RQ=256 Iso- ArqSz=0 Cal=0 SBA+ ITACoh- GART64- HTrans- 64bit- FW- AGP3- Rate=x1,x2
		Command: RQ=1 ArqSz=0 Cal=0 SBA- AGP- GART64- 64bit- FW- Rate=<none>
/etc/X11/xorg.conf
Code:
# xorg.conf (X.Org X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
#   sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier	"Generic Keyboard"
	Driver		"kbd"
	Option		"XkbRules"	"xorg"
	Option		"XkbModel"	"pc105"
	Option		"XkbLayout"	"it"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
	Identifier	"Configured Mouse"
	Driver		"mouse"
	Option		"CorePointer"
EndSection

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"Configured Video Device"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier	"Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Default Screen"
	Monitor		"Configured Monitor"
	Device		"Configured Video Device"
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
	Identifier	"Default Layout"
	Screen		"Default Screen"
EndSection
 
Old 05-18-2008, 08:13 AM   #2
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtb View Post
When i turned on the pc, i have found out that the console and even the bios screen is only shown on the pci card,
Most BIOS's have a two way choice for enabling video cards. The two choices typically are:
1) Enable just the PCI card and make it primary.
2) Enable both cards and make the AGP primary.

Linux might or might not be able to enable a video card that the BIOS didn't enable (with various display cards, I've seen that go both ways). But you should first try to find the BIOS setting that decides which card is primary and see how Linux responds to changing that.

The BIOS output and Linux console output should be available just on the card that the BIOS chose as primary. Once you're in X, you can use either or both cards as long as something can enable the second card.

Quote:
and even X outputs on the S3 card
Most Linux installers will default to setting up just the display card that the BIOS made primary.

Quote:
i'm using xubuntu 8.04 and i have been unable to configure the resolution,
I usually give up on the automated methods of configuring resolution and edit modelines directly into xorg.conf

Quote:
tried with dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg and dexconf but i have only obtained "FATAL: Error inserting battery (/lib/modules/2.6.24-16-386/kernel/drivers/acpi/battery.ko): No such device",
I've had that process crash more often than work, but never with any error like that.

Quote:
I would like to know if it possibile to output the same signal on both cards ( both in X and in text mode ),
In X, I think so, but I'm not certain how. I think one way is to set it up like a larger desktop but with overlapping positions.
For text mode, I think you can't.

Quote:
if it is possibile to use 2 monitors in order to have a larger desktop
Yes. You use something called Xinerama.

Quote:
or even to use it in order to connect 2 different users with 2 different desktops ( of course with 2 mouses and 2 keyboards ).
Yes. There are some very good threads describing that process. One complication mentioned is that on reboot it is hard for multiple USB devices to retain their identity, so the association of which mouse and keyboard goes with which display may be hard to keep stable across reboot.

The simplest use of two display cards is to have two independent X desktops for one user with one keyboard and one mouse. The mouse cursor can move between screens as if it were an extended desktop, but applications can't move from the desktop on which they were launched. You may want to set it up that way first to get the resolution and other hardware issues worked out before trying something more complicated, such as Xinerama or multi user.

Quote:
Here i attach data of the cards and xorg.conf.
I'm not used to seeing an xorg.conf, like that, with nothing specific in it.

I have used various Debian derivative distributions on various computers with two display cards. A typical path was:

Do an ordinary install or configuration of X with one card selected as primary in the BIOS, getting a decent xorg.conf for using just that card. Do over with the other card selected as primary to get that xorg.conf, then manually merge the two files (with proper understanding of what the parts of xorg.conf mean) to get one that does both.

I don't know enough about Ubuntu to tell you how to get those initial meaningful xorg.conf versions. That never was a problem for me in ordinary Debian or Knoppix or Mepis.

If I were doing it myself, experimenting in person, I'm sure I could write an xorg.conf file from scratch if I needed to, getting the information from lspci and from the log file X generates on startup. But I'm not sure I could tell you enough to do that if I wasn't doing the experiments in person.

Last edited by johnsfine; 05-18-2008 at 08:16 AM.
 
Old 05-19-2008, 12:12 PM   #3
mtb
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Thank you for your reply, but unfortunatly i'm stuck with the BIOS part: it's a rom pci/isa bios (cb641xbx) made by award, cpu is a pII 400 MHz ( so it's quite old ).

I don't find an option to activate the agp or the pci card.

For now i have removed the pci card and i'm using the ati agp.
 
Old 05-19-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
dxqcanada
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You must use two SLI compatible graphics cards to achieve a single output.

I think that only PCI-Express cards support this ...

Check this doc
 
Old 05-19-2008, 12:43 PM   #5
dxqcanada
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Ahh, sorry ... you want two video cards each with it's own monitor ...

I found this old post that may help.
 
  


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