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Old 12-04-11, 12:42 AM   #1
AndrewX192
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Default [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

I've been trying to get a triple monitor setup to work the way I want it to on Ubuntu 10.04. I currently have two Nvidia Geforce 210 1GB graphics cards, and 3 1920x1080 monitors (two connected via HDMI, one connected via DVI). I would like to have my monitors setup as follows:

1) Left Monitor - Separate X Screen (actually going to be using a full screen VM here).
2) Middle Monitor - TwinView (This is my primary monitor, the one I want my panels to be displayed on, and all applications to be launched on by default).
3) Right Monitor - TwinView (just to expand my desktop on the middle monitor).

I was originally going to try using four monitors, but given the trouble I've been happening I think it's probably best to stick with three.

Compiz (desktop compositing) is a requirement on the TwinView setup, because I don't want to be waiting for windows to redraw - I've noticed problems with compiz turned off in some of the JAVA applications I use.

Right now, the best I have been able to get to is 3 monitors configured as separate X screens. Unfortunately, Firefox and Chrome don't work as wished in this configuration (they must be setup as different profiles).

I just got these new monitors; so if my desired setup isn't going to work I'm going to return them - your advice is highly appreciated!
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Old 12-04-11, 08:55 AM   #2
JaXXoN
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Hi!

A twinview screen for the Linux desktop + a separate screen for
the VM should basically work. Can you please provide an nvidia
log? (Please check the "If you have a problem" sticky in this forum).

regards

Bernhard
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Old 12-04-11, 12:09 PM   #3
AndrewX192
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210m

I should have mentioned that TwinView + one "Separate X screen" works, but on the TwinView setup it turns into one very large desktop. This means that when I maximize a window, it spans both monitors in the TwinView setup. I would rather have the twinview setup act the same as it does when I only had two monitors.

Would you like my Nvidia log report after I have X setup with twinview? Right now I have all my monitors configured as separate X screens.
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Old 12-04-11, 07:12 PM   #4
JaXXoN
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Hi,

I see. It's basically possible to patch the X-server so that it reports
the desired screen geometries (check for "fakerama" in this forum).
However I didn't tried that out myself for quite some time.

If you are willing to spend some extra money, then you may consider
purchasing a Matrox TripleHead2Go video splitter: one LCD is connected
to the HDMI port of the video card and the two other LCDs are connected
to the DVI interface through a TH2G splitter (operating in dual head mode).
With such a solution, there's only one video card used and so you can run
the two outputs in twinview mode and apply the "XinerainfoOverride"
option so that each window will nicely expand to each LCD individually.
This way, compositing will also nicely work across all three LCDs.

There are success reports of similar setups here in this forum
(i.e. 3x 1920x1200 from "dilzz"). However, you need to carefully check
all details, i.e. is the DVI a dual-link DVI? From the product descriptions
I read for the 210 it look like this is the case. Then, two LCDs need to
be interfaced through DVI (attached to TH2G) and one needs to be
HDMI. (you are currently using it the other way round but maybe your
LCDs are flexible enough)

For further details, please check the following links:

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=106517
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=126134
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=133740

These are quite length reads, but they include everything you
need to know on this topic :-)

regards

Bernhard
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Old 12-05-11, 06:06 PM   #5
AndrewX192
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

JaXXoN,

Wouldn't the Nvidia Geforce 210's maximum resolution of 2560x1600 hinder me from being able to use the Matrox TripleHead2Go to have a resolution of 3840x1080 on DVI?

Is there any reason why TwinView acts differently in a two monitor setup vs a 3 monitor setup? Could I use the Xinerama patch to fix the problems with the monitors being counted as one big monitor without a TripleHead2Go box?

I'd rather not patch Xorg if I can avoid doing so - especially if there isn't a PPA for it, because I don't want derive too far from the distribution's packages (and I'm not going back to gentoo again).

Also, I know this is an Nvidia forum, but I may as well ask: would it be worthwhile to ditch Nvidia in favor of getting some AMD/ATI cards? I haven't exactly had great experiences with AMD/ATI cards. My last dealings a few years ago (with the infamous Radeon Xpress 200M series) were simply awful, and I ended up buying a new laptop due to X11 lockups. How long does AMD/ATI support Linux kernels for? Right now I'm in the phase of "don't upgrade unless I need to".

Sorry for all the questions I've managed to insert into this post, but I'd really like to figure out a solution for my problem.

Thanks!
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Old 12-06-11, 06:48 AM   #6
sandipt
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Seems its not bug . JaXXon is giving good advice to try.
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Old 12-06-11, 12:32 PM   #7
JaXXoN
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Wouldn't the Nvidia Geforce 210's maximum resolution of 2560x1600 hinder me from being able to use the Matrox TripleHead2Go to have a resolution of 3840x1080 on DVI?
Right, the resolution is actually off spec. However Matrox advertises their
TH2G boxes to work with nvidia cards up to even 5040x1050 (3x1680x1050).
For example, I'm successfully using two of those TH2Gs with a 560Ti
(2x 3x 1680x1050) at a total resolution of 5040x2100. However, there is
certainly no guarantee that this will work with any nvidia card that provides
a Dual-Link DVI output.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Is there any reason why TwinView acts differently in a two monitor setup vs a 3 monitor setup?
My guess is that the X-Server can't handle the "faked" twinview Xinerama
and multi GPU non-Xinerama setups simultaneously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Could I use the Xinerama patch to fix the problems with the monitors being counted as one big monitor without a TripleHead2Go box?
There are several "fakerama" patches available. The simplest one just patches
the libXinerama to report a user defined screens geometry independently from
from the real geometry. However, I'm not sure if this will also work when "true"
Xinerama is disabled by the X-Server, because libXinerama may not be used
if the X-Server doesn't report that Xinerama is enabled. So it would probably
be also necessary to patch Xlib to report that Xinerama is enabled (even if it's
disabled on purpose in xorg.conf).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
I'd rather not patch Xorg if I can avoid doing so - especially if there isn't a PPA for it, because I don't want derive too far from the distribution's packages (and I'm not going back to gentoo again).
I can very well understand that. I'm actually wondering why fakerama isn't
a standard feature in Xorg: for example if you have a huge screen, i.e. a
40" 3840x2400 display, then you may like to sub-divide it into 2x 2x 1920x1200..

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Also, I know this is an Nvidia forum, [...]
It's a long time ago since I played around with ATI cards and got similar
experiences. From recent reports you can read on the web, it seems that
the situation didn't dramatically changed: there are either the half-baked
poorly performing OSS drivers or the fast ageing closed source driver.
I'd be glad if somebody could correct me on that! :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Sorry for all the questions I've managed to insert into this post, but I'd really like to figure out a solution for my problem.
BTW.: Quadro cards are supposed to work pretty nice for multi-head setups,
too, because the nvidia driver takes care about that. I guess two FX380
cards are probably even cheaper than a TH2G (and then you could use even
four displays as you originally intended to).

regards

Bernhard
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Old 12-06-11, 11:05 PM   #8
JasonWard
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Andrew, I have an almost identical setup.

But have had all sorts of nightmares getting it to work.

However it is possible, as I have mine working now.

I don't use Twinview, but have experimented with it as per your description and it works fine.

But here's the rub, it won't with Gnome3 or anything that uses Gnome3 as its base (Unity and Unity 2D for instance), or at least I couldn't make it, and I couldn't find anyone who had it. I switched to XFCE and so far (48 hours and running) everything has been rock solid.

However, your using Ubuntu 10.04 so you could be OK as I think thats Gnome2.

You mention you want your 3 monitors all to "independent" when it comes to full screen?
Quote:
but on the TwinView setup it turns into one very large desktop. This means that when I maximize a window, it spans both monitors in the TwinView setup. I would rather have the twinview setup act the same as it does when I only had two monitors.
I just use separate X for each and it works great.
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Old 12-07-11, 12:59 AM   #9
AndrewX192
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonWard View Post
I don't use Twinview, but have experimented with it as per your description and it works fine.
How does it handle maximizing of windows? Do the windows span two monitors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonWard View Post
But here's the rub, it won't with Gnome3 or anything that uses Gnome3 as its base (Unity and Unity 2D for instance), or at least I couldn't make it, and I couldn't find anyone who had it. I switched to XFCE and so far (48 hours and running) everything has been rock solid.
I despise Gnome 3 and KDE4, so this is currently not an issue. I could probably move back to XFCE though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonWard View Post
However, your using Ubuntu 10.04 so you could be OK as I think thats Gnome2.
At least until 2013, but I suppose that will be long enough for Gnome 3 to get fixed, or for Ubuntu to ditch Gnome 3 / Unity for Gnome 2 (hah!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonWard View Post
You mention you want your 3 monitors all to "independent" when it comes to full screen? I just use separate X for each and it works great.
I've been doing that for the last two days, and I started running into a Xorg crash problem today, when unlocking my machine. Xorg peaked at about 16% of my total RAM (4GB / 24GB), before I killed it over SSH.

Currently I have Xinerama going to join all of my monitors together. Though it's kind of irritating to have some windows turn grey while they repaint (Zend Studio Professional, NetBeans..)

It would be great if Nvidia could implement desktop compositing when Xinerama is enabled. I'm pretty sure the part of the issue residing in Xorg was fixed in newer versions of Xorg.

Edit: I just discovered that my desktop icons have magically moved to my left monitor instead of being on my middle monitor where my panels are. I suppose this isn't that big of an issue, since I don't really use desktop icons except for accessing network shares, though it would be nice to fix (low priority).

Edit2: I discovered that I can't modify my color corrections per-screen anymore after moving to Xinerama! Is there a better place to do my color corrections outside of the Nvidia settings application?

Last edited by AndrewX192; 12-07-11 at 02:18 AM. Reason: Found out that I can't modify my color corrections anymore
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Old 12-07-11, 08:03 AM   #10
JasonWard
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
How does it handle maximizing of windows? Do the windows span two monitors?
When I use Twinview, yes it, maximizing covers two monitors, not something I particularly like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
I despise Gnome 3 and KDE4, so this is currently not an issue. I could probably move back to XFCE though.
I've not tried KDE in years, but what surprises me (since Gnome, Unity et al are developed by developers who tend to have multi-monitor setups) is how badly these new desktops support multi-monitor setups.

I use 2 x 32" TV's and 1 x 42" TV and the unity icons are almost as big as my fist on the large screen, when I look at it, I feel as though I'm using a toy town computer.

BTW, as for why TV's and not monitors? Price, it seems odd to me that TV's bundle far more functions than monitors and yet are significantly cheaper. The only loss is that monitors tend to be 16:10 aspect ratio where as TV's are 16:9, but in truth, it is increasingly rare that this is an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
At least until 2013, but I suppose that will be long enough for Gnome 3 to get fixed, or for Ubuntu to ditch Gnome 3 / Unity for Gnome 2 (hah!).
Having read in some detail about Ubuntu desktop stategy and somewhat about Gnome's it actually all makes perfect sense to me, and these new desktops are I believe indeed the way of the future HOWEVER they did, and do need to take care of power users, developers etc and certainly from Gnome 3.4 onwards I can see this being done, but their PR stank and they should have delivered what the power users and developers needed from day one, not 6 months, a year or perhaps longer later. On the other hand, perhaps this represents a huge shift for Linux, anyway from geek boys and into the mainstream (but via Andriod et al, not the traditional desktop).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
I've been doing that for the last two days, and I started running into a Xorg crash problem today, when unlocking my machine. Xorg peaked at about 16% of my total RAM (4GB / 24GB), before I killed it over SSH.
I used to have very similar problems with Gnome2, I cannot yet say if I have the same issue with XFCE, but I have never encountered the issue with Gnome3, but then I never got multi-monitor working properly with Gnome3 so the value of my experience is probably limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Currently I have Xinerama going to join all of my monitors together. Though it's kind of irritating to have some windows turn grey while they repaint (Zend Studio Professional, NetBeans..)
This is not an issue I have encountered, but I don't use either of those applications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
Edit: I just discovered that my desktop icons have magically moved to my left monitor instead of being on my middle monitor where my panels are. I suppose this isn't that big of an issue, since I don't really use desktop icons except for accessing network shares, though it would be nice to fix (low priority).
Yes, I had that too with Gnome2, although I have now elected to move my panels to my left most monitor for different reasons.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:32 PM   #11
AndrewX192
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

A new issue developed after having Xorg w/ Xinerama for almost a day. When I got home from work today, it took about 4-5 seconds before my screensaver figured out I was moving my mouse. Now Xorg is taking about 400MB of ram, and about 10% of my CPU to idle. When I move a window around, it skyrockets up to 100% CPU and sometimes goes unresponsive. Even basic tasks like scrolling and maximizing windows sometimes have response times over a second.

I found a few other forum posts of this issue with no helpful information:
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=159449
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1637449

It doesn't seem like Xinerama is going to work either, any final suggestions before I jump ship for ATI/AMD or return the monitors?
Attached Files
File Type: gz nvidia-bug-report.log.gz (68.3 KB, 37 views)
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Old 12-08-11, 04:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: [ubuntu 10.04] Nvidia Triple Monitor with 2X Geforce 210

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewX192 View Post
any final suggestions before I jump ship for ATI/AMD...?
Only to say I'm not convinced it's an NVidia problem, and if it isn't (i.e. the problem lay in X or Gnome) you may well have achieved nothing but more expense.
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