Dual Monitor on Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) – nc2400 with Intel 945GM

xorg logoOne of the good things about being in a big consulting company is that you get these "once every one/two years" laptop upgrades. So my lucky upgrade day was yesterday, and my friend Dell D400 was upgraded to HP nc2400. So I decided to change my course a little, and use Ubuntu on a company laptop (instead of XP). I talked to the company people, they did not mind, which was great! The only problem is, when you get a new Windows XP laptop (upgrade), there are certain people that set it up for you, and you just pick it up and go to the client. Well, in my case I had to get up to speed very quickly myself. And of course one of majors problems with Ubuntu Feisty (as with most Linux distros) it does not have any tooling to deal with dual (laptop/LCD) monitors. So it was a fun time experimenting with "xorg.config". It took me quite some time, but I DID GET IT WORKING! And just want to share with everybody what I came with, since none of the Ubuntu forums, and none of what Google (with their new Web 2.0) told me did NOT work.

So here we go… Checking what graphic (video) my new nc2400 has:

user@host:~$ lspci
...
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 945GM/GMS/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 03)<br />
...

Ok, so I’ve got "Intel 945GM" – cool. Notice that there are two VGA/Display controllers, one is on 0:2:0, and another one is on 0:2:1 (those numbers are BusIDs by the way). Nevertheless, I used only one BusID, which is the first one 0:2:0 to get it working.

I also have 1280×800 laptop screen resolution, which means I need to get 915resolution

apt-get install 915resolution

Now, my External Monitor has 1280×1024 @ 60 Hz by specs. Let’s see it is supported by 915resolution:

user@host:~$ sudo 915resolution -l
Password:
Intel 800/900 Series VBIOS Hack : version 0.5.2
 
Chipset: 945GM
BIOS: TYPE 1
Mode Table Offset: $C0000 + $269
Mode Table Entries: 36
 
Mode 30 : 640x480, 8 bits/pixel
Mode 32 : 800x600, 8 bits/pixel
Mode 34 : 1024x768, 8 bits/pixel
Mode 38 : 1280x800, 24 bits/pixel
Mode 3c : 1920x1440, 8 bits/pixel
Mode 41 : 640x480, 16 bits/pixel
Mode 43 : 800x600, 16 bits/pixel
Mode 45 : 1024x768, 16 bits/pixel
Mode 49 : 1280x800, 16 bits/pixel
Mode 4d : 1920x1440, 16 bits/pixel
Mode 50 : 640x480, 32 bits/pixel
Mode 52 : 800x600, 32 bits/pixel
Mode 54 : 1024x768, 32 bits/pixel
Mode 58 : 1280x800, 32 bits/pixel
Mode 5c : 1920x1440, 32 bits/pixel

Seems like I do not have 1280×1024 as one of the supported modes. Hmmm. Ok, then I need to explicitly ask for it by modifying this file, to look like this:

user@host:~$ cat /etc/default/915resolution
#
# 915resolution default
#
# find free modes by  /usr/sbin/915resolution -l
# and set it to MODE or set to 'MODE=auto'
#
# With 'auto' detection, the panel-size will be fetched from the VBE
# BIOS if possible and the highest-numbered mode in each bit-depth
# will be overwritten with the detected panel-size.
MODE=3a
#
# and set resolutions for the mode.
# e.g. use XRESO=1024 and YRESO=768
 
XRESO=1280
YRESO=1024
 
# We can also set the pixel mode.
# e.g. use BIT=32
# Please note that this is optional,
# you can also leave this value blank.
BIT=24

Ok. No I still need to patch laptop LCD to 1280×800, therefore im going to write  a one liner script that is going to do that on startup (how-to). Here is that one line:

# Set the laptop monitor resolution
# Add it to 915Resolution supported modes
915resolution 38 1280 800 24

Did, resolution, did the patching, is it now time for an "xorg.conf"? Ok, then, here it is (working too) :)

# /etc/X11/xorg.conf (xorg X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf(5) manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
#   sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
 
Section "Files"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/misc"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/cyrillic"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi/:unscaled"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi/:unscaled"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/Type1"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/100dpi"
        FontPath        "/usr/share/fonts/X11/75dpi"
        # path to defoma fonts
        FontPath        "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
EndSection
 
Section "Module"
        Load    "i2c"
        Load    "bitmap"
        Load    "ddc"
        Load    "dri"
        Load    "extmod"
        Load    "freetype"
        Load    "glx"
        Load    "int10"
        Load    "vbe"
EndSection
 
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
        Driver          "kbd"
        Option          "CoreKeyboard"
        Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
        Option          "XkbModel"      "pc105"
        Option          "XkbLayout"     "us"
EndSection
 
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"              "ImPS/2"
        Option          "ZAxisMapping"          "4 5"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"
EndSection
 
Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Synaptics Touchpad"
        Driver          "synaptics"
        Option          "SendCoreEvents"        "true"
        Option          "Device"                "/dev/psaux"
        Option          "Protocol"              "auto-dev"
        Option          "HorizScrollDelta"      "0"
EndSection
 
Section "InputDevice"
        Driver          "wacom"
        Identifier      "stylus"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
        Option          "Type"          "stylus"
        Option          "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"         # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection
 
Section "InputDevice"
        Driver          "wacom"
        Identifier      "eraser"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
        Option          "Type"          "eraser"
        Option          "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"         # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection
 
Section "InputDevice"
        Driver          "wacom"
        Identifier      "cursor"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
        Option          "Type"          "cursor"
        Option          "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"         # Tablet PC ONLY
EndSection
 
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "0 Intel 945GM"
        Driver          "i810"
        BusID           "PCI:0:2:0"
        Screen      0
        Option          "MonitorLayout" "CRT,LFP"
        Option          "DRI" "false"
    # I don't think these next lines are actually required.
    #Option          "BackingStore" "true"
    #Option          "DevicePresence" "on"
    #Option          "DisplayInfo" "FALSE"
    #Option          "DRI" "true"
    #Option                       "CacheLines" "1024"
EndSection
 
Section "Device"
        Identifier      "1 Intel 945GM"
        Driver          "i810"
        BusID           "PCI:0:2:0"
        Screen      1
        Option          "MonitorLayout" "CRT,LFP"
        Option          "DRI" "true"
    # I don't think these next lines are actually required.
    #Option          "BackingStore" "true"
    #Option          "DevicePresence" "on"
    #Option          "DisplayInfo" "FALSE"
    #Option          "DRI" "true"
    #Option                       "CacheLines" "1024"
EndSection
 
Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "0 nc2400 Monitor"
        Option          "DPMS"
        Option          "DPMS"
#       HorizSync       28-75
#       VertRefresh     43-100
EndSection
 
Section "Monitor"
        Identifier         "1 nc2400 Monitor"
    HorizSync      30 - 83
    VertRefresh    56 - 76
    Option         "DPMS"
        Modeline       "1280x1024@60" 108.0 1280 1328 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync
EndSection
 
Section "Screen"
        Identifier          "0 Screen"
        Device              "0 Intel 945GM"
        Monitor             "0 nc2400 Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth           24
                Modes           "1280x800"
        EndSubSection
EndSection
 
Section "Screen"
        Identifier          "1 Screen"
        Device              "1 Intel 945GM"
        Monitor             "1 nc2400 Monitor"
        DefaultDepth    24
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth           24
                Modes           "1280x1024@60"
        EndSubSection
EndSection
 
Section "ServerLayout"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
    Screen      0 "0 Screen"
    Screen      1 "1 Screen" RightOf "0 Screen"
        Option          "Xinerama" "on"
        Option          "Clone" "off"
        InputDevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        InputDevice     "Configured Mouse"
        InputDevice     "stylus"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "cursor"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "eraser"        "SendCoreEvents"
        InputDevice     "Synaptics Touchpad"
EndSection
 
Section "DRI"
        Mode    0666
EndSection

You may notice "Modeline "1280×1024@60" 108.0 1280 1328 1440 1688 1024 1025 1028 1066 +hsync +vsync", well I just got it from the same place you would get it, yea..that’s right, I got it from Google.

Remember, no matter what a general opinion is (linux follows "install without restart" philosophy), you have to restart. And not just /etc/init.d/gdm restart, but a FULL system restart,

Ok, so now you should see two beautiful screens – one is your laptop, and the other one is your external monitor which is now a separate screen. Congrats!

If you have any questions – shoot, I killed so much time figuring out all these details, why should you?