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Old 04-25-2012, 04:46 PM   #1
Registered: Apr 2010
Distribution: Slackware
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Multiple video adapters, xorg servers, monitors with one keyboard & mouse?

My use case is, I want to use one video card (GeForce 560 Ti) for 3D gaming, and another for ordinary desktop applications. My current solution is a Twinview across both screens which (a) causes high load on the video card even when idle and (b) uses up resources during 3D gaming.

My idea is to use a second video adapter and a second xorg server for one screen. To the point that if one xorg server crashes, the other continues to run. The question is, can it be done? How to switch mouse and keyboard between the two xorg servers?

I would sacrifice my 4-core i7 for a 2-core i3 which comes with a GPU (i915 driver). I've used the i3 before the last upgrade, and given it is 32 nm vs. 45 nm it runs much cooler when idle.

I've googled high and low and found configuratons for the following scenarios:

1. multiseat: multiple sets of keyboard & mouse & screens connected to one computer running multiple xorg servers. Not sure about video adapters.

2a. Single xorg server with Twinview/Xinerama on one video adapter: a large desktop spanning multiple screens (NB: Twinview is a proprietary solution by the nvidia driver).

2b. Single xorg server with Xinerama on multiple video adapters: a large desktop spanning multiple screens.

3a. Single xorg server with multiple X screens on one video adapter: multiple desktops with the mouse pointer moving between them.

3b. Single xorg server with multiple X screens on multiple video adapters: multiple desktops with the mouse pointer moving between them.

4. Multiple xorg servers on multiple virtual screens (CTRL-ALT-F7/8/9/...): the active one gets the mouse & keyboard events

None of these do what I want, and I still don't know how to switch mouse & keyboard. Can anyone share some experience?
Old 04-25-2012, 09:01 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
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Not that I've tried it, but you could conceivably get away with 1)
if you use synergy if you assign the second XServer to a virtual
network with it's own hostname ...

Just thinking out loud.
Old 04-26-2012, 12:40 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2010
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 408

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Thanks, looking into synergy right now. From the coding I can read that the client injects events into an X server specified by a given display name, so chances are it might even work!

I'm having problems with the poorly documented build system right now, but maybe I just haven't looked hard enough yet.

I also noticed a superb tutorial in the table of "similar threads" below which hadn't come up in my previous search. This will be the base for further investigations.

Next I need to work out if the two video drivers will play together at all...


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