Thursday, April 26, 2012

More fun with DisplayLink and Fedora

More is better, right?

My previous work was all just an experiment towards achieving a triple head rig.  As I mentioned earlier, my work rig is some dell workstation with Q9450 cpu & Quadro NVS 290, 4gb ram and fedora 15 (32bit).   The NVS290 does have dual ports for 2 monitors.

GNOME 3 had been working well for this rig with 2 monitors.    I do think G3 needs some maturing in the way it handles multi-monitor desktops before it really starts to shine.     Going into this experiment I knew GNOME3 and derivatives were pretty much off the table.

Basically all the fun is in the x.org conf file below.     I simply yummed up the drivers, plugged stuff in and used this xorg file and I am happily using 3 monitors under Fedora 15 using XFCE.


Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier "DefaultServerLayout" 
 Screen 0 "CenterScreen" 0 0
 Screen 1 "LeftScreen" LeftOf "CenterScreen"
 Screen 2 "RightScreen" RightOf "CenterScreen"
 Option "Xinerama" "off"
 Option "Clone" "off"
EndSection


Section "Module"
 Load "extmod"
 Load "record"
 Load "fbdevhw"
 Load "displaylink"
 Load "nouveau"
EndSection

Section "Extensions"
    Option "Composite" "Disable"
EndSection

 
Section "Monitor"
 Identifier "Asus23"
 VendorName "Asus"
 Option "DPMS"
 Option "Primary" "True"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
 Identifier "Asus19"
 VendorName "Asus"
 Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
 Identifier "Dell22"
 VendorName "Dell"
 Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
 Identifier "MainGPU"
 Option "FlatPanel" "True"
 Option "DualHead" "True"
 Option "MergedFB" "True"
 Driver "nouveau"
 BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
 #Option "DP-2" "LaptopMonitor"
EndSection

Section "Device"
 Identifier "DisplayLinkDevice"
 driver "displaylink"
 Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"
EndSection


Section "Screen"
 Identifier "LeftScreen"
 Device "DisplayLinkDevice"
 Monitor "Asus19"
 SubSection "Display"
  Depth 24
 EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
 Identifier "CenterScreen"
 Device "MainGPU"
 Monitor "Asus23"
 SubSection "Display"
  Depth 24
 EndSubSection
EndSection


Section "Screen"
 Identifier "RightScreen"
 Device "MainGPU"
 Monitor "Dell22"
 SubSection "Display"
  Depth 24
 EndSubSection
EndSection

A note or two:

  • As you see,  I have the center monitor and the right monitor merged and can freely drag windows  between the 2 heads.    I can not drag stuff to/from the left hand window.     This can be good or bad, depending on usage patterns.     I hope to spend some time working on this to see if I can all 3 heads to work as one large desktop, instead of 1 small one and 1 big one.
  • XFCE is OK will all the heads.  However, I do think there is some room for tuning and tinkering.    

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