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Old 12-04-08, 06:11 AM   #1
wvengen
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Arrow call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Hi,

I'd like to introduce a new tool I've been working at during the past weeks: disper. It is a tool to configure displays from the command-line. Although it implements only a small subset of the functionality of nvidia-settings, it is just enough to make attaching a beamer and get going right away quite easy. Disper tries to be sensible about choosing resolutions when cloning or extending displays, but you can override it. Please look at the program's --help option for details.

As the project has just entered an alpha-state (take note, it might do things you don't expect), please test and report any bugs you find in this thread or via email. I hope this tool will make your life easier, especially for those who don't have a working Fn-F7 (or similar) on their laptop.

Homepage: http://willem.engen.nl/projects/disper/
Ubuntu packages: http://launchpad.net/~wvengen/+archive
Development code: http://code.launchpad.net/disper/trunk

Last edited by wvengen; 01-12-09 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 12-04-08, 09:09 AM   #2
NvFuchs
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Great work, just tested it on:

Lenovo R61 Notebook with a nvs140 quadro GPU, Gentoo Linux.

Tested with an additional TFT (Dell 17"), displer -c, disper -e, disper -l and disper -s are working as expected. I might think of binding it to FN+F7

hth, k/r

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Old 12-16-08, 12:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Just started preliminary testing on a MacBookPro 4,1 (Penryn) with a GeForce 8600M GT and everything is looking good so far. I've been wandering down the nvidia-settings command line path, and this utility looks like just the solution I was looking for. Great work!

No time for serious testing, but I'll be using this to connect and disconnect my MBP from external monitors at work and home, so I'll post back here when I have results.
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Old 12-16-08, 05:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

I've installed the PPA and done a "disper --list" to verify it works, but does this mean that before I suspend my laptop to head to a client's, that instead of having to invoke the nvidia-settings GUI to disconnect my external monitor, I can simply use a disper command-line to do that now?

I assume its "disper --single" to revert to the laptop only and "disper --extend" to reconnect the external display (in Xinerama mode)?

Sweet!
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Old 12-16-08, 06:33 PM   #5
wvengen
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Thanks for your messages. And kcrudup: you've got it. As to using --single, you can also disconnect the external monitor and use --extend instead; extending the desktop over just the primary monitor is equal to --single. The --single option only behaves differently from --clone and --extend if more than one monitor is attached.
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Old 12-20-08, 10:03 AM   #6
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

OK, I was a bit worried the first time I actually used "disper"; it brought down "compiz" and the 2nd time afterwards it blew up Xorg altogether- but after restarting, it does everything exactly like it's supposed to- and I've been using it for days without a single problem after that.

Good work!
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Old 12-22-08, 01:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

You know what would be really nice? "disper --toggle", where it toggles back and forth between "disper --single" and "disper --extend"; this way I could make up a button for "--toggle" and make it a one-push display change.
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Old 12-23-08, 06:36 AM   #8
wvengen
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Hmm a crash, that's no good. Maybe I should test a bit with compiz. You didn't play with nv-control-dpy beforehand? That can cause crashes in some situations.

What do you miss in the --extend/--clone option? If you have an external display connected, you'd want to use it, right? I don't really see a use-case for toggle (not even --single, but for testing purposes).

But, ok, cycling displays appears to be the standard; I'd just as well add it anyway. I'll consider it time permitting.
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Old 12-23-08, 09:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Quote:
Originally Posted by wvengen View Post
What do you miss in the --extend/--clone option? If you have an external display connected, you'd want to use it, right? I don't really see a use-case for toggle (not even --single, but for testing purposes).
I have a laptop. When I leave for the day, I use "disper --single" to disconnect my external monitor, and when I get back home I use "disper --extend" to reconnect it. A toggle button means I can make an icon in one of my panels that just toggles between the two modes, making it a one-button operation.
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Old 12-27-08, 06:29 AM   #10
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Arrow Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Super, very good already!

I noted a small bug
disper -r "max" -c
returns
invalid literal for int() with base 10: 'ma'

And
disper -r "1920x1200","2560x1600" -c
gives similar error
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Old 12-27-08, 12:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

As an extension on my previous message. I think there are two scenarios for cloning:
- projector use: this typically requires setting both displays to the highest common resolution.
- plugging a laptop to a high-res desktop screen.
In that case one usually will want to use the external display at highest possible resolution.
This is for instance what Nvidia-settings does. It puts both displays in highest res. mode. Ideally, the one with lower resolution should pan.

2) The download instruction for non-Ubuntu on http://willem.engen.nl/projects/disper/ are unclear/broken.
It should link to an archive of disper.
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Old 01-08-09, 07:57 AM   #12
wvengen
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Default Re: call for testers: disper -- on-the-fly display switching

Cosine, thanks for your message. "max" is currently only supported for extend, but it does make sense for clone and single too. And clone only supports one resolution for all displays; indeed I could make the error message a bit clearer Hmm panning might be a nice option though.

Link is fixed, thanks.

Regarding a toggle/cycle feature: I see it would be useful, still thinking about how to implement it.
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