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Old 10-02-2005, 10:22 PM   #1
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Need help configuring dual monitors [SuSE 9.3]

Yes, I am a newbie, but I learn quick and I thought this topic was a little beyond the newbie forum.

I have two BenQ-FP737s LCD monitors hooked up to a nVidia GeForce 5900XT (1-DVI, 1-VGA). At one point, I had SuSE 9.2 installed and the card/monitors configured to properly use both monitors for my desk space. Recently, I've deleted the SuSE 9.2 partition, formatted it, and installed SuSE 9.3. I would now like to configure 9.3 to extend my desktop across both monitors. Unfortunately, it has been a while since I configured these devices in 9.2, and, in the mean time, I haven't had much opportunity to tinker with or learn much about Linux -- so I have no idea what I did.

One new thing to throw in the mixture: last time (SuSE 9.2), before I started configuring my dual monitors, the display was cloned - the same picture was on each monitor. This time, my secondary monitor (connected to the VGA-out) has a terribly corrupted-looking display. Picture this: take the top-left quadrant of my main screen (DVI-out), overlay the top-right of my main screen, give it tie-dyed colors and Matrix-esque monitor interference, and that is what you see on my secondary monitor. Assuming that it was a fluke, and that properly configuring X to utilize the secondary monitor would fix the situation, I ignored it and attempted to figure out how to configure dual monitors.

The Googling that I've done:
>>dual monitors linux
>>linux twinview
>>linux twinview how-to

That last Google search produced this page: -- which I know I used last time to configure my dual monitors properly. [I know, I'm not using Gentoo, but it worked last time.] This time, however, it didn't work so well...or at all for that matter. I still get the same corrupted display on my secondary monitor.

I'm now wondering if the corrupted display is the result of a problem I didn't have before. I know it's not hardware, both displays work fine in WinXP.

Things I've considered:
>>Do I have corrupted drivers for my graphics card or my monitor? (I've tried updating/reinstalling the drivers for both.)
>>Do I need to enable VGA-out on my graphics card?
>>Do I need to add a 2nd monitor in YaST2 (or in xorg.conf)?
>>Is TwinView really the best way to extend my desktop or is there a better, more up-to-date method?
>>I would think there would be a easier way to set this up (thru YaST2 or SaX2), but when I try and set up multihead, it tells me is that my system doesn't provide more than one graphics mode.

Can somebody point me in the right direction?

Last edited by gogogadgetearl; 10-02-2005 at 10:25 PM.
Old 10-03-2005, 06:00 PM   #2
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No ideas?
Old 10-11-2005, 12:56 PM   #3
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If you have the nVidia drivers installed you can modify your xorg.conf or XFree86.conf placed in /etc/X11/.
You can read the README.txt file on (that's what it's there for ) and look at appendix G: Configuring Twinview.
Here are also my configurations, I thought it might be helpful.
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "NVIDIA Corporation NV40? [Unknown nVidia Card]"
        Driver          "nvidia"
        BusID           "PCI:1:0:0"
        Option          "TwinView"
        Option          "TwinViewOrientation" "RightOf"
        Option          "MetaModes"     "1600x1200 +0+0, 1280x1024 +1600+176; 1280x960, 1280x960; 1600x1200; 1280x960; 1024x768; 800x600; 720x350; 640x480"
        Option          "SecondMonitorHorizSync"        "30 - 96.0"
        Option          "SecondMonitorVertRefresh"      "50 - 120"
It should be rather obvious what each line does, but I had a lot of trouble with the MetaModes options (or getting it to work like I wanted it to work) so I'll add some lines about that.
When I first configured X to use TwinView I only had one option in MetaModes: 1280x1280. I then puzzled me why everything I ran in fullscreen was split between the screens, half on the right one and half on the left with a large black area around. But I found out why X behaved like that when I added the other resolutions that specify only one of the screens (1600x1200; 1280x960; 1024x768; 800x600; 720x350; 640x480), because to use a resolution (e.g. fullscreen 640x480) you have to configure X to be able to swich to it.

I hope this helps.
Old 10-11-2005, 01:18 PM   #4
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thanks scrooge. i installed the nvidia drivers and changed 'Driver' in xorg.conf from "nv" to "nvidia". then all the other TwinView settings i had previously made worked perfectly.


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