Ubuntu Dual Monitor Setup

Since it took me several hours to get the Dell D620 Laptop working with both the laptop screen and a 17 inch flat panel working through the docking station at the same time, I am posting the relevant sections of my /etc/X11/xorg.conf file in case somebody else might need it. This was used on Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) with the flat panel monitor to the right of the laptop. This uses the Xinerama method and works for normal display, however, advanced 3D graphics like the Bertyl Window Manager no longer works and I would like to get it working with a better resolution on the flat panel.

Section “Device”
Identifier “0 Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller”
Driver “i810”
BusID “PCI:0:2:0”
Screen 0
Option “MonitorLayout” “CRT,LFP”
Option “DevicePresence” “yes”
EndSection

Section “Device”
Identifier “1 Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller”
Driver “i810”
BusID “PCI:0:2:0”
Screen 1
Option “MonitorLayout” “CRT,LFP”
Option “DevicePresence” “yes”
EndSection

Section “Monitor”
Identifier “Laptop Monitor”
Option “DPMS”
HorizSync 28-72
# HorizSync 31-80
VertRefresh 43-60
# VertRefresh 56-75
EndSection

Section “Monitor”
Identifier “External Monitor”
ModelName “Dell 173FPb”
Option “DPMS”
HorizSync 31-80
VertRefresh 56-75
Modeline “800×600” 40.00 800 840 968 1056 600 601 605 628 +hsync +vsync
Modeline “640×480” 31.50 640 656 720 840 480 481 484 500 -hsync -vsync
Modeline “640×480” 25.20 640 656 752 800 480 490 492 525 -hsync -vsync
Modeline “720×400” 28.32 720 738 846 900 400 412 414 449 -hsync +vsync
Modeline “1280×1024” 135.00 1280 1296 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync
Modeline “1024×768” 78.80 1024 1040 1136 1312 768 769 772 800 +hsync +vsync
Modeline “1024×768” 65.00 1024 1048 1184 1344 768 771 777 806 -hsync -vsync
Modeline “800×600” 49.50 800 816 896 1056 600 601 604 625 +hsync +vsync
Modeline “1152×864” 104.00 1152 1224 1344 1536 864 867 871 905 -hsync +vsync
Modeline “1280×1024” 109.00 1280 1368 1496 1712 1024 1027 1034 1063 -hsync +vsync
Modeline “1280×1024” 108.00 1280 1328 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync
EndSection

Section “Screen”
Identifier “Laptop Screen”
Device “0 Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller”
Monitor “Laptop Monitor”
DefaultDepth 16
SubSection “Display”
Depth 1
Modes “1440×900”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 4
Modes “1440×900”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 8
Modes “1440×900”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 15
Modes “1440×900”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 16
Modes “1440×900”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 24
Modes “1440×900”
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section “Screen”
Identifier “External Screen”
Device “1 Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller”
Monitor “External Monitor”
DefaultDepth 16
SubSection “Display”
Depth 1
Modes “1280×1024” “1152×864” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 4
Modes “1280×1024” “1152×864” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 8
Modes “1280×1024” “1152×864” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 15
Modes “1280×1024” “1152×864” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 16
Modes “1280×1024” “1152×864” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
SubSection “Display”
Depth 24
Modes “1280×1024” “1152×864” “1024×768”
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier “Dual-Monitor Layout”
Screen 0 “Laptop Screen” 0 0
Screen 1 “External Screen” RightOf “Laptop Screen”
InputDevice “Generic Keyboard”
InputDevice “Configured Mouse”
InputDevice “stylus” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “cursor” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “eraser” “SendCoreEvents”
InputDevice “Synaptics Touchpad”
Option “Xinerama” “true”
EndSection

Section “DRI”
Mode 0666
EndSection

So here’s what my setup looks like:

dual_monitor_linux.jpg

Linux on a Dell D620 Laptop

So with my new job, I got a new Dell D620 laptop. I thought about what OS would be best to install on the laptop and decided I’d start with Fedora Core 6 (FC6) thinking that is should be pretty up to date and should be able to handle this newer hardware. Boy, was I wrong. I first resorted to installing the OS through the text installer (since the graphical installer crashed – when will Fedora stop using the old Anaconda installer?), which I thought is no big deal, after a `yum update` I’ll get all the latest stuff I need for this to work. Unfortunately, after the 300+ MB of updates already available for FC6, I still couldn’t start X. So off to Google I went, and found several different people already going through it:

http://klamstwo.org/evad/archives/3
http://www.oiepoie.nl/linux_on_d620/
http://earth.geology.yale.edu/~gml27/d620.html
http://mikelococo.com/2007/01/fc6-on-d620/

Again, I thought, ok, no problem, these guys have already done the hard work. So I followed the instructions and got my display working half the time (the other half of the time, the system would crash when starting X or randomly while working on the OS. After installing a bunch of other stuff (wireless rpms, etc), I could no longer get X to start reliably.

At this point, I decided to try the other distro I had been considering, Ubuntu. I have always wanted to try Ubuntu and since they just came out with 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) and Dell has announced that they will be shipping their first Linux laptops on Ubuntu, I thought that a lot of work that they are doing on that should make it easier to install. I found this be quite an understatement. I put in the Ubuntu 7.04 Desktop Edition CD and booted up the laptop. Boy, was I surprised when it actually booted perfectly fine into the Ubuntu OS right off of the CD with no problems whatsoever! I went ahead and installed the OS onto the hard drive and rebooted to that installation. Again, no problems whatsoever. I went ahead and installed the 14 updates currently available and called it a day. I’ll be testing it out some more tomorrow, but Ubuntu looks like the best choice — I see now why Dell chose it as well, it is much more solid.

Solaris

I have recently switched to a new job where I am working on Sun Solaris servers. Having worked on Linux servers for the last few years, it’s taken me a few days to remember some of the old commands that you need to use to work on a SVR4 server. For example, I had forgotten about pkginfo instead of rpm. It has also helped me appreciate Linux and the extra features that are added by real users with great ideas. For example, I’ve begun to appreciate how simple but effective the locate/updatedb commands are.