Archive for October, 2006|Monthly archive page

Dual Monitor Setup – Ubuntu ATI

I wanted to get my dual monitor setup working at work. I have the latest veresion of Ubuntu (6.06 LTS – the Dapper Drake).

This is a really easy way to get it working. I have a Dell Optiplex GX620 with a ATI graphics card. The card can support a dual monitor setup.

It turns out that ati have supplied a program (aticonfig) that inspects your current xorg.conf file and then changes it to allow for dual monitor setup.

Here is what you do in a terminal window :

sudo aticonfig –initial=dual-head –screen-layout=left

You may want to change the left to be right, dependendant on where your main monitor is (monitor 0).

As I have two monitors that support diffrent resolutions, the setup was using 1024×768 on both screens and I could not drag windows accross screens (I could drag the mouse 🙂

To address the dragging window issue, I did this after I executed the first command :

sudo aticonfig –dtop=horizontal, reverse –overlay-on=1

If you look at the help page for aticonfig, you will see that dtop can take different parameters. Because my second screen was to the left of monitor 0, I had horizontal, reverse But if it was to the right I would have used horizontal only.

To address the screen resolution do this (please see note)

sudo aticonfig –resolution=0,1600×1200,1280×1024,1024×768

This now sets my monitor 0 to be able to support 1600×1200 resolution. My smaller monitor (monitor 1) will use 1024×768, which is what I want. You can simply change where it says 0 to be 1 This will now change monitor 1.

Now simply restart gdm to see the effects. Or if you can’t do that, just restart the machine.

Before you start changing the resolution, you need to know which is defined as monitor 0. As in my case monitor 0 supports a higher resolution then monitor 1. The easy way to find this out is to do the first two steps, start up and then the monitor with the menubar on top of it is monitor 0. If it is not the monitor you wanted, you can simply swap around the vga cables that go into the back of the video card
There is a way to do it by editing the xorg.conf, but this is supposed to be a simple way of doing it 🙂

I hope this helps someone!