Dual Monitor Setup with Fuduntu 2013.1

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Circumstances are different, but the problem is the same: setting up dual monitors with my desktop system. A little over a year ago, I had a similar post about setting up dual monitors with Fedora Core 14. Now not only the operating system is different, but also the motherboard, the graphics card, and the LCD monitors are all different.

Of course there has been progress since that time. Now the live Fuduntu DVD was able to recognize the graphics card and setup the dual monitors out of the box, but only in 1024×768 resolution. Not bad!

But I wanted higher resolution. Westinghouse 22″ model LCM-22w2 monitor’s native resolution is 1680×1050 and it is connected to the graphics card via a DVI cable. The Hewlett Packard 19″ model HP f1905 monitor’s native resolution is 1280×1024 and it is connected to the graphics card with a VGA cable.

HP computer’s on board graphics card is disabled. The PCIe graphics card that support dual monitors is NVIDIA G84 [GeForce 8600 GT] (rev a1). (DVI and VGA ports).

From what I have seen, the DVI cable works much better than the VGA cable. It was relatively easy to get the Westinghouse monitor into the native mode. But the problem was with the HP monitor (connected via a VGA cable).

The nouveau driver was able to get supported modes automatically from the Westinghouse monitor. The problem was that the nouvaue driver was not able to get the EDID information from the HP monitor and did not know supported modes by the monitor.

It is easy enough to define a Monitor Section in the xorg.conf file, but how do we figure out the ModeLines for the HP monitor? It took a long time to figure this out.

I used the cvt program to find out the modeline for the HP monitor native resolution.

$ cvt 1280 1024 60
# 1280x1024 59.89 Hz (CVT 1.31M4) hsync: 63.67 kHz; pclk: 109.00 MHz
Modeline "1280x1024_60.00" 109.00 1280 1368 1496 1712 1024 1027 1034 1063 -hsync +vsync

Then use the xrandr program to add this mode to the X11 monitor database and set the HP monitor to this new mode.

xrandr --addmode VGA-1 1280x1024_60.00
xrandr --output VGA-1 --mode 1280x1024_60.00

If this works out, it will be in effect only for the current session. On reboot it will be lost. To make it permanent, it needs to be included in the xorg.conf file.

Intermittent Problem

I have another problem that I have not been able to solve so far. After I boot the system, the login screen is always displayed properly. But at times after I click on the username and type in the password, the whole screen will be jumbled up as shown in the picture below.

Display Jumbled Up

It is supposed to look like this.

Normal View

When this happens, there is no way to login to the system or switch to the character mode with Ctrl-Alt-Fn key sequence and shutdown the system cleanly. I have enabled ssh on this system and started to login from another system to reboot it.

Update on April 2nd, 2013: I have solved this problem by replacing the NVIDIA card with ATI Technologies Inc RV370 5B60 [Radeon X300 (PCIE)]. Problem was probably with the novuea driver since the NVIDIA card worked fine before with other operating systems. However, I have a new problem now: the windows on the screen are not always painted properly. When this happens, I just move the screen around. So there is an easy workaround for the new problem.

When it works fine, the log file contains:

[ 36.679] resize called 2704 1050
[ 55.004] resize called 2960 1050

When the screen is messed up, the log file contains:

[ 145.086] resize called 2704 1050
[ 147.087] (EE) NOUVEAU(0): failed to set mode: Device or resource busy(EE) NO
UVEAU(0): failed to set mode: Device or resource busy

It looks like the second resize operation is failing.

Here is how the xorg.conf file looks like:

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Default Layout"
    Screen      0   "Screen0" 0 0
    Screen      1   "Screen1" RightOf "Screen0"
Section "Monitor"
    Identifier   "Monitor0"
    VendorName   "Hewlett Packard"
    ModelName    "HP f1905"
    DisplaySize  375 300
    HorizSync    30.0 - 83.0
    VertRefresh  50.0 - 76.0
    Modeline "1024x768" 85 1024 1056 1152 1360 768 784 787 823
    Modeline "1280x1024_60.00"  109.00  1280 1368 1496 1712  1024 1027 1034 1063
 -hsync +vsync
Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor1"
    VendorName     "Westinghouse"
    ModelName      "LCM-22w2"
    DisplaySize     470    295
    HorizSync       30.0 - 70.0
    VertRefresh     50.0 - 120.0
    Modeline "1680x1050"  146.25  1680 1784 1960 2240  1050 1053 1059 1089 -hsyn
c +vsync
    Modeline "1680x1050"  119.00  1680 1728 1760 1840  1050 1053 1059 1080 +hsyn
c -vsync
    Modeline "1680x1050"  146.25  1680 1784 1960 2240  1050 1053 1059 1089 -hsyn
c +vsync
Section "Device"
	Identifier  "Device0"
	Driver      "nouveau"
	VendorName  "nVidia Corporation"
	BoardName   "G84 [GeForce 8600 GT] (rev a1)"
        BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
	Option	    "Monitor-VGA-1" "Monitor0"
	Option	    "Monitor-DVI-I-1" "Monitor1"
Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes      "1280x1024"
Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen1"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor1"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
        Modes      "1680x1050" 
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