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Best DE for a dual monitor setup


I've been messing around with a dual monitor setup as late, without too much success. I managed to get a non-cloned output on Ubuntu (using gnome), but the gnome panels refused to spread/appear on my second screen and the resolutions refused to play nice (my laptop screen wouldn't change to a widescreen resolution). I resorted to desklets to gain functionality on that screen, but they were insanely buggy...

But then an idea popped in my head, what about KDE? Plasmoids have served me pretty well in the past, and maybe its panels will budge.. So I pop in a Mandriva disk, and everything seems to work, so I try to get the screens to not clone eachother, but no luck. Xrandr just doesn't want to play along, and the desktops stay clones no matter what. Now I don't know if it's just my stupidity or something that hasn't been implemented under KDE, but it pretty much killed my enthusiasm for Dual screen under linux..


  • mfillpot
    mfillpot Posts: 2,177
    I always had good luck running duel screens of different resolutions using the NVIDIA proprietary drivers. However when running Ubuntu I was unable to install the NVIDIA drivers.
  • TheAncientGoat
    Oh yes, I should have mentioned that I'm using an integrated Intel card :S That might be the source of my mandriva/kde problems, but everything else runs surprisingly well
  • Flu
    Flu Posts: 8
    We're using a dual monitor setup for most of our programmers at work. I bought them some cheap Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 cards and installed the proprietary Nvidia driver. After that I just used the nvidia-settings utility to set the dual monitor configuration up. They are typically using GNOME and haven't had any issues at all. I would suggest spending the $30.00 or $40.00 on an Nvidia card and going that route.

    Actually, now that I think about it I did end up having to install an older version of the Nvidia driver because the cards I used had such an old chipset. I think I put the version 173.14.18 driver on because of this...the latest driver didn't support them. Anyhow, just wanted to mention that. You shouldn't have any problem with any of the newer Nvidia cards, however.

    I've never done this in Ubuntu, but the following page may prove helpful if you go the Nvidia route: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/Nvidia
  • Khabi
    Khabi Posts: 6
    I agree with with buying a cheap nvidia card to do it. I've never had very good luck doing anything with the intel ones.

    I personally use a laptop with two screen attached via the onboard nvidia , running fluxbox, and it works great.
  • TheAncientGoat
    Unfortunately, I'm using a laptop. Also, with the gnome setup, were you able to get panels on the second screen?
  • woboyle
    woboyle Posts: 501
    I run KDE on CentOS/RHEL 5.3 with a dual monitor setup on an nVidia 8800GT card. It runs great. I run Ubuntu on my laptop, so I haven't tried a dual monitor setup on that, though it does have an nVidia video chip set in it. I might see if I can run a dual monitor setup on that with the LCD and an external display.

    All that said, it did take me awhile to get it working the way I wanted. I had to hand-craft the xorg.conf file, though new distributions, such as Ubuntu are not supposed to need or use the xorg.conf file for X configuration. Supposedly the new Xorg server is smart enough to figure out what to do... That assurance and about $3.50 USD will buy you a nice small double cappuccino these days.
  • TheAncientGoat
    Well, in my experience on Ubuntu, it is. It just took a single tick box to get the dual monitor setup working and everything, so no messing around with xorg.conf, but Gnome didn't throw panels to both the screens, so I found it a bit hard to use (that might be because I was running Netbook Remix though)
  • ScHmItCh
    ScHmItCh Posts: 10
    I would expect that netbook remix wouldn't have very good dual monitor support.

    Every time I have setup dual monitors or have seen a dual monitor setup the xorg.conf has to be modified at least some. It's not to hard to setup. A few google searches should find you some information.

    I don't think that I have every seen a multiheaded setup with gnome panels across multiple screens... You might be out of luck there.


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