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Old 06-19-12, 04:54 PM   #1
Raven-D
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Default Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

Hello,

I've got a custom built machine running Linux (Fedora 13) and I'm attempting to run four separate displays. The machine has a Corsair 800W power supply and a Biostar A780L3g (AMD 780L) motherboard with two PCI slots and one PCI-E slot. The monitors I want to use are three LG E2250T desktop monitors and one Panasonic TC-L42E50 flat panel television.

I need them to each identify independently - not combine resolutions and identify as two screens. Additionally, I need the card to be capable of playing movies in high quality. I've been told by Galaxy and Nvidia tech support that I need a GTX 670 card, but neither can provide me a concrete answer as to whether or not it'll work under Linux. Can someone on the forum provide me the insight I need before I buy?

Thanks!

P.S. I've already tried the GTX 560 and firstly, it does not function well under Linux, and secondly it tries to combine screens and identify each two as one, but actually fails to do this as well because when it does, I get nothing but a gray screen.
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Old 06-19-12, 07:03 PM   #2
Gusar
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Default Re: Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

Cards earlier than Kepler (6xx) only support two displays. Kepler cards support four. So you can buy that 670, or any other 6xx card with four outputs.

You could also buy another 5xx card and use it with your 560, two displays from each card. Should work in theory. But using a single 6xx is simpler.
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Old 06-19-12, 10:09 PM   #3
Raven-D
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Default Re: Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusar View Post
Cards earlier than Kepler (6xx) only support two displays. Kepler cards support four. So you can buy that 670, or any other 6xx card with four outputs.

You could also buy another 5xx card and use it with your 560, two displays from each card. Should work in theory. But using a single 6xx is simpler.
Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I'll go ahead and buy the GTX 670, then.

Next question, maybe you can help me with this as well. I mentioned that I am running Fedora 13, but that is only because I am currently under the impression that these NVIDIA cards only work with the newest Linux kernels.

Right now, my machine is running Mint 11, but when I fire it up with the GTX 560 card installed, it cannot boot and gives me an error code that says: 'unexpected exit with status 0x0009'.

Someone told me I need to update the kernel, so I made an iso of Fedora 13, booted from the disc, and sure enough Fedora with the up to date kernel was able to boot with the card installed. I'll update to a newer kernel if I have to, but if at all possible I'd like to stick with Mint 11 because it has Gnome 2 and I've got quite a lot of time and effort invested into its GUI.

Is there a way to make the older kernel compatible with the GTX cards? I tried blacklisting Nouveau and compiling NVIDIA's proprietary drivers from the source, but in the end this did nothing to change the way Mint 11 interacted with the GTX 560 (and I'd no doubt have the same problem with a GTX 670). If the answer is simply no, I'll upgrade to a newer kernel and install MATE to avoid the terible Gnome 3 environment, but if at all possible I'd like to avoid the hours it'll take me to get everything working the way I want it to again.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:08 AM   #4
Gusar
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Default Re: Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

The kernel is a pretty much self-contained package, it should be possible to compile a newer kernel on Mint 11 and leave everything else as is.
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Old 06-20-12, 12:58 PM   #5
Raven-D
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Default Re: Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gusar View Post
The kernel is a pretty much self-contained package, it should be possible to compile a newer kernel on Mint 11 and leave everything else as is.
If this is doable via

sudo apt-get update

then it hasn't worked as far as I can see. Is there a specific terminal command I can use to update the kernel?
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Old 06-20-12, 01:18 PM   #6
Gusar
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Default Re: Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

By "compile" I really meant that. As in, compile the kernel yourself. That requires a bit more steps than just "a specific terminal command".
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Old 06-20-12, 05:02 PM   #7
AaronP
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Default Re: Running 4 independent 1080p displays under Linux?

You shouldn't need to compile a new kernel.

It sounds like you want a separate X screen on each display device. You can configure that with "sudo nvidia-xconfig -a --separate-x-screens" though IIRC that only creates two X screens per GPU. For the GeForce 670, you can manually configure four separate X screens on the one GPU. See the README for details on how to set that up.
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