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Ok here are a couple display related questions, all somewhat related, wrapped into one thread because i thought that would be best. First, the cards: nVidia Geforce 4 ti 4400 ...
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  1. #1
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    Nvidia drivers and dualhead/multi vid card system


    Ok here are a couple display related questions, all somewhat related, wrapped into one thread because i thought that would be best.

    First, the cards:
    nVidia Geforce 4 ti 4400
    nVidia Geforce 4 MX 440
    nVidia Geforce 4 MX 440

    Yes, thats right, 3 dualhead video cards in one system. I run six monitors and I'm proud of it (see below).



    I manage to set up Xinerama which is working pretty well. When mandrake 9.1 installed, it activated my three monitors and made one of the MX 440 the default. Thats where the login prompt shows up, thats where the Panel Menu/task bar thing (whats it's real name?) is located.


    My first question is how do I switch my primary screen to the Geforce4 ti 4400?

    Second: where do I find some man pages for vi? I need to be able to edit my XF86Config in a terminal, without X.

    Third: How do i edit resolution, refresh rate, etc for each monitor? Currently it seems X configureation apps are set up assuming you only have one and just give me the resolution changer set at 1280x1024. Well for what screen? I haven't changed it so I don't know what would happen if I did, but in Windows i just clicked on the screen i wanted to mess with and then it gave me all the options for that screen. And where to i change referesh rates? This 60Hz is killing my eyes

    Fourth: All three of my cards are dualhead and the default drivers that came with Mandrake only do the job for one head. I downloaded some drivers from nVidia and managed to install them (or at least they said it was successful) but the other three screens aren't showing up. I'm not really sure how to add them or whatever, or even make sure the new drivers are being used. What do I do now?

    I hope this wasn't one bite too big to chew.

    Thanks so much for the help.
    Moebius[/img]

  2. #2
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    First, let me say: OMFG, that is cool! I've been wanting to do that, too, for a long time, but I just don't have enough monitors or video cards (or free PCI slots, for that part) to do it. Also, I'd rather wait until Linux 2.6 and hope that the bruby patch becomes a standard part of the kernel.

    Anyhow, let's get started.

    1: What kind of "primary" card do you mean? If you mean for text mode, then it has to be set through the BIOS, because in its current version, Linux "inherits" the standard card from the BIOS. Just set your BIOS to use AGP as its boot video card interface.

    2: Run vimtutor. I'd suggest learning emacs instead, though.

    3: If you edit your XF86Config manually, you'll be able to edit any of your six Monitor sections, any of your three Device sections, or any of your six Screen sections. Changing refresh rates back and forth aren't necessarily very easy, though. X puts you in much greater contact with your actual hardware than Windows does, for good or for bad. It usually gets things the right way automatically, but not always. It was long since I dealt with this, though, so I can't remember exactly how it works right now. I'll have to get back on this one.

    4: To see if the drivers are being used, check if the nVidia logo is displayed when the X server starts. If it doesn't, then it's still using the old drivers. Check the PDF on nVidia's driver site for information on both how to upgrade and how to configure several monitors.

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    thanks for the help once agian Dolda2000. In windows, I used to have a primary screen where the task bar showed up, where games ran, where applications started be default, etc. Then I could move stuff onto my expanded work space. The ti4400 is currently set up as default in bios. Its where I see everything happen in BIOS when booting up, etc. It isn't until X starts that the panel menu and the login box, etc. are on the lower right moniter, running on the MX 440. I'm not sure if the terminal runs in the correct screen or not.

    Where can I get a tutorial for emacs? Sorry, its just that I'm having a real hard time the way this Help/Documentation interface is working with Mandrake/KDE Its all groups strangly and I can't find things I'm looking for. The search function doesn't seem to be working either.

    I've been looking in my XF86Config, but I can't find where it specifies resolution, etc for the monitors/screens/devices. All the screens sections are identicle where it lists all the different modes and color depths, etc. It doesn't specify anywhere which one to use. Its almost like its listing what the capable modes are. But that doesn't make sense either, because one of them is a crappy old 17" that I don't even think supports 1280x1024. And the 1600x1200 resolution modes aren't listed for any of the screens. The 21" Monitors can handle that just fine. The other odd thing is only the first monitor section lists the:

    Code:
        Identifier "monitor1"
        VendorName "Plug'n Play"
        ModelName "Dell D1626HT"
        HorizSync 30-107
        VertRefresh 50-160
    The other sections only have identifier and then the normal modes stuff. Strange. Is there another file that actually specifies more settings?

    I haven't seen an nVidia logo anywhere. I'll consult their help files agian for any hints before I burden you even more.

    Thanks a lot.

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  5. #4
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    Ah, that kind of primary screen. I don't have a multiheaded system, but I'd guess that the primary screen would be the "first" (not by listing order, but by numbering order) one in your ServerLayout section. I have no idea how that works with Xinerama, though.

    To learn emacs, start it, and type Ctrl+H, followed by a T. That will bring you a tutorial on how to use it.

    Let me explain the XF86Config a bit:
    First, there are Monitor and Device sections. Each of these describe your physical devices, ie. monitors and video cards, respectively. Then there are screen sections, which combine a video card and a monitor (ie. one Device section and one Monitor section) into a logical "screen". Then finally, there is the ServerLayout section that describes how to arrange the screens to form the display, and which input devices (as specified by InputDevice sections) to use for the display.
    In the Monitor sections, you can specify which refresh rates the monitor can handle, and which dotclock it has. If you don't specify them, X will probe them through the DDC (name?) protocol. In some rather rare cases, the monitor or video card will return the wrong values from that probing, though, so it's still a good thing to be able to give them manually to override the DDC values.
    The Device sections mainly specify which driver to use and what slot the card is plugged in to. Then the X server will probe the card for the amount of video memory it has, and whar frequencies it can handle.
    The values from those will be combined by the X server to see what resolutions are possible. Those are then compared to the built-in tables of standard VESA modes. What you specify in the Screen sections is which of the possible VESA modes you want to be able to use for that screen.

    The reason you don't get an nVidia logo is probably because you haven't set the Device sections to actually use the newly installed "nvidia" driver. The shipped one is called "nv".

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    primary screen

    the primary screen thing is pretty random I have tried varying my (puny two monitors) set up using the bus id and screen number indicators yet it always overrides me.

    Anyway you can set your screen number in the login GDM thingy config file it just asks for a screen number to display on. So pick the number for the screen you want (the best way to tell which screen has what number is to get into KDE and goto config your display settings and click Identify).

    As for where your task bar lives in Gnome right click on the bar and choose properties and then adjust the screen number that will move it onto a different screen. I use a few different taskbars on different screens. one for system monitor, one for drawers etc.

    I don't know how this works in KDE though.

    Also i would download a copy of PICO and set that up. Its a simple idiot proof text editor but is command line based think Windows Notepad. CTRL and X for exit CTRL + S for save that kind of thing. Good for windows users who just want a text editor.

    Nice setup and good luck

    Question. Have you had problems with your monitors turning themselves off. I've got a Radeon dual headed card and there are bugs!!
    No trees were harmed during the creation of this message. Its made from a blend of elephant tusk and dolphin meat.

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    thanks for the tips kpzani. I'll check out pico when I get a chance. No, I haven't had any problems with monitors shutting themselves off. I had a radeon card before i upgraded to the Geforce 4, and all i know is that ATI drivers suck, so maybe thats the problem

    But thanks to your advice, I was able to get the task bar on the correct screen. Thats good enough for now, but I'll have to mess around with it more if I try to play some games.

    Thanks.

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