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
EndSubSection
EndSection

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.

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2 responses

3 08 2008
Hispbors

Very nice!!

7 11 2008
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