Dual Screen for Dell Latitude on Hardy Heron

4 07 2008

Few days back i refound in the office this Dell Latitude laptop (with a german keyboard layout) that
we simply were not using in a while. It was running XP and not too well either.

So wanting to make some use of it for some mobile task i decided to wipe it an place 8.04 on it.

The installation went fine. Actually even a US Robotics Wireless PCI card was working right out of the box. Following the true Ubuntu spirit.

The only thing i was unable to do from the GUIs was configuring the 2nd screen.
Then let’s attempt another approach .

lspci | grep -i vga
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon Mobility M6 LY

Even after installing the restricted ATI drivers i had so far no luck, so manually will be the way.

xrandr is a command line tool that helps define and configure parameters for the displayed output.

xrandr -q
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2048 x 768, maximum 2048 x 768
VGA-0 connected 1024x768+1024+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 304mm x 228mm
1024x768 60.0*+ 75.1 70.1 60.0* 59.9
832x624 74.6
800x600 72.2 75.0 60.3 56.2
640x480 75.0 72.8 69.6 66.6 60.0
720x400 70.1
DVI-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
LVDS connected 1024x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
1024x768 60.0*+ 60.0
800x600 60.3
640x480 59.9
S-video disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

From the output of the xrandr -q command it’s possible to tell that LVDS is my laptop screen and VGA-0 the externally connected one.

To find out the resolution required for the 2nd screen we can still use the same command line tool without having to calculate it manually.

xrandr --output VGA-0 --auto --right-of LVDS
xrandr. screen cannot be larger than 1024x1024 (desired size 2048x768)

Now let’s edit the “Screen” section in xorg.conf

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
Device "Configured Video Device"
Subsection "Display"
Modes "1024x768"
Virtual 2048 768

Once the file is edited, saved and closed, restart X ( Ctrl + alt + BackSpace ).
Afterwards to make the ‘magic’ happen:

xrandr --output VGA-0 --auto --right-of LVDS

Both screens will turn off for a moment that turn on again with the new settings.

That’s it 🙂

Note: so far i have not been able to get this running at boot. A solution is to insert it in the list of programs to run at session start System->Preferences->Sessions->Startup Programs.




2 responses

3 08 2008

Very nice!!

7 11 2008
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