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Quad monitor configuration using xinerama
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Uli Sing
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:58 pm    Post subject: Quad monitor configuration using xinerama Reply with quote

There was a time when the gods of the endless linux universe decided to banish a working, well-engineered system giving us an unfinished and deficient replacement instead. They called it randr and had no ear for the complaints of billions of long-standig content xinerama users.

Okay, maybe I overshoot the mark but the fact is: randr is in some ways less comfortable and still lacks in multi-card support.

The goal: Operate four monitors using two dual head ATI graphic cards
The clue: xf86-video-ati-6.9 is AFAIK the last working driver version
The hardware: 2x ATI FireMV 2200 PCIe 16x, an appropriate mainbord and of course four monitors

What we cannot use:
/etc/portage/package.mask
Code:
>=media-libs/freeglut-2.6.0
>=media-libs/mesa-7.7
>=x11-base/xorg-server-1.7
>=x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati-6.10
>=x11-libs/libxcb-1.5
>=x11-libs/libXext-1.1
>=x11-libs/libXi-1.3
>=x11-libs/libXinerama-1.1
>=x11-libs/libXtst-1.1
>=x11-libs/libXxf86vm-1.1
>=x11-proto/fixesproto-4.1
>=x11-proto/inputproto-1.6
>=x11-proto/recordproto-1.14
>=x11-proto/xextproto-7.1
>=x11-proto/xf86vidmodeproto-2.3
>=x11-proto/xineramaproto-1.2


What we necessarily need:
/etc/X11/xorg.conf
Code:

Section "ServerLayout"
   Identifier     "X.org Configured"
   Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
   Screen      1  "Screen1" LeftOf "Screen0"
   Screen      2  "Screen2" RightOf "Screen0"
   Screen      3  "Screen3" RightOf "Screen2"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
   Option "Xinerama" "on"
EndSection

Section "Files"
   ModulePath   "/usr/lib64/xorg/modules"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/misc/"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/TTF/"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/OTF"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/Type1/"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/100dpi/"
   FontPath     "/usr/share/fonts/75dpi/"
EndSection

Section "Module"
   Load  "dbe"
   Load  "xtrap"
   Load  "glx"
   Load  "record"
   Load  "extmod"
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card0"
   Driver      "radeon"
   BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
   Screen 0
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card1"
   Driver      "radeon"
   BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
   Screen 1
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card2"
   Driver      "radeon"
   BusID       "PCI:32:0:0"
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card3"
   Driver      "radeon"
   BusID       "PCI:32:0:0"
   Screen 3
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen0"
   Device     "Card0"
   SubSection "Display"
      Viewport   0 0
      Depth     24
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen1"
   Device     "Card1"
   SubSection "Display"
      Viewport   0 0
      Depth     24
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen2"
   Device     "Card2"
   SubSection "Display"
      Viewport   0 0
      Depth     24
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen3"
   Device     "Card3"
   SubSection "Display"
      Viewport   0 0
      Depth     24
   EndSubSection
EndSection
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kingfame_147
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ATI Eyefinity cards are cheap and you can easly setup 4 monitors with them using randr :)
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Uli Sing
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randr is giving a bicycle frame to your kid telling wheels and saddle coming next year. :P
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kingfame_147 wrote:
ATI Eyefinity cards are cheap and you can easly setup 4 monitors with them using randr :)

Interesting. Please tell me more. I've been using Nvidia's Twinview for years.
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norg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use ATI Eyefinity with three LCDs HP ZR24W on a PowerColor Radeon HD 5770 Eyefinity 5 Edition. It's working really good. There are just some issues with applications in fullscreen, some are working, some are cloning the screen on every LCD and the Triple-Head setup is broken. But this may be a issue with this applications. Configuration is quite simple and i'm working with awesome WindowManager. I used i3 before but the support wasn't perfect. I also have the problem, that sometimes the cursor gets broken but that's no big deal. And the tearing and no vsync on videos is nothing new :)
All in all i'm quite happy with it and i prefer this setup instead of xinerama and two graphic cards, although NVIDIA Twinview Support for more then two LCDs would be nice.

I'm using x11-drivers/ati-drivers 10.12 and x11-base/xorg-server 1.9.4 right now.
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, tearing/lack-of-vsync is a show stopper. I was hoping ATI was doing a better job at addressing this issue than Nvidia.
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norg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well in games i have no tearing, so vsync is working it's just with videos and should be fixed with 11.2 AFAIR. I also had tearing/vsync issues with nvidia.
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kingfame_147
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see any kind of tearing or problems with videos.
But I don't use the closed source drivers. The opensource radeon driver is working great and therefore I don't see why I should closed source software.

For what reason do you need vsync at video playback?! I don't know if that is working with the radeon driver, but why should I care about that? Vsync is on by default at the radeon driver, but I can't seen any difference when turning it off.
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norg
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I needed Eyefinity support, so the closed source driver was the only chance. Besides, it has better 3D support. Vsync and Tearing offen occurs with Multi-Head setups.
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kingfame_147
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eyefinity does work perfect with the opensource driver (radeon).

I'm using the opensource driver with 3 displays and a 5750. I can watch videos without any tearing effects and I don't need 3D accel. Radeon has 2D accel for the evergreens since some months, works like it should.
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norg
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You only have one card and use 3 displays? how did you manage this?
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kingfame_147
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing special to manage.
Just insert the card, plug in the displays and configure them with xrandr (or an config file in xorf.conf.d).


There are some limitations, but those lim. also exist with the catalyst driver: You can only use 2x DVI. So if you want 3 displays one of them have to use DP, or an active DVI->DP adapter.
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norg
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what's your xorg.conf or xrandr setting like?
Is it builtin support or do you use xinerama with the driver?
And what windowmanager do you use?
With my card i have 5x mini displayport and i have 3 adapters minidp -> dp for my hp zr24w. So i'm not sure if i can port this to my setup.
Ah and what GPU do you use?

I never heard anything about eyefinity/multi-head support with the opensource driver, but this would be great although i miss good 3D Support and the video acceleration. But trying the os drivers would be worth a try if you can help me and tell me details of your setup.
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kingfame_147
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your setup should work. MiniDP -> DP should be no problem.

1) There is nothing special in my xrandr setup, just the orientation of my displays.

Code:
Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Radeon HD 5700 Series"
    Driver      "radeon"
    VendorName  "ATI Technologies Inc Juniper"
    Option      "Randr12"               "true"
    Option      "monitor-DVI-0"         "3065"
    Option      "monitor-DVI-1"         "2035-R"
    Option      "monitor-DisplayPort-0" "2035-L"
    Option      "ColorTiling"           "on"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "3065"
    Option      "PreferredMode"         "2560x1600"
    Option      "primary"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "2035-R"
    Option      "PreferredMode"         "1600x1200"
    Option      "RightOf"               "3065"
    Option      "Rotate"                "right"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier  "2035-L"
    Option      "PreferredMode"         "1600x1200"
    Option      "LeftOf"                "3065"
    Option      "Rotate"                "right"
EndSection


2) Afaik xinerama is kind of deprecated. Don't know what exactly is doing the mutlihead stuff, but it works out of the box, no need to think about that :)

3) I'm using xmonad, and it does work :)

4) I'm using an evergreen, 5750.


If you need any other details just let me know.
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norg
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well that sounds nice, i should give it a try as the primary use for my workstation is work and not 3D stuff.
But i'm wondering that i never saw any information about multi-head, only dual-head with the OS driver.
Thanks so far.

Just for my interest, what xorg and driver version are you using?
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kingfame_147
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well there are not many ppl using the OS driver with more then two displays. I've asked at the mailing list before I tried it, and one of the main developer said that there should be no problem and it should work, and it does.


I'm using xorg-server-1.10.0 and the git version of xf86-video-ati. The OS driver is under heavy development, so I would use the git version if I were you.
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thumper
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know the requirements or a way to get quad monitors with xrandr and NO xinerama?

I have 2 video cards (ATI Radeon RV730XT and RV710) and 4 monitors working in xinerama and I'm disappointed by it's limitations.

Most Flash only works on ONE screen, the others just display white.
Xsane crashes in xinerama so I've lost the ability to scan documents.
Cannot use KDE's desktop effects, etc.

I would consider purchasing a new video card like the VisionTek 900345 Radeon HD 5570, but would like to confirm that it would work in the desired configuration with xrandr, I have 2 1600x1050 monitors underneath 1 1600x1050 and 1 1280x1024.

If anyone knows that it will work, please drop a note here. :)

Thanks, George
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do *not* have personal experience with this but my understanding is that once you get all your monitors connected to a single Radeon video card then you should be fine. I've been using Nvidia Twinview for about a decade but I plan to switch to ATI/AMD if/when I start using more than 2 monitors.
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Gusar
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BitJam wrote:
but I plan to switch to ATI/AMD if/when I start using more than 2 monitors.

Umm, why? Nvidia Kepler cards support 4 displays with TwinView.

@thumper: Radeon HD5xxx and later cards support 4-6 displays. Or, as I said above, Nvidia Kepler (6xx). Intel Ivy Bridge supports 3 displays.
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thumper
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BitJam wrote:
once you get all your monitors connected to a single Radeon video card then you should be fine.


That is what I have come to understand until xrandr supports multiple cards in version 1.4 or 1.5.

However in my research I have found that some "QUAD" cards actually appear as two separate cards to the machine.

What I have discovered is a card that supports "Eyefinity" http://www.amd.com/us/products/technologies/amd-eyefinity-technology/Pages/eyefinity.aspx is where the secret sauce can be found.

Just cant find a reasonable card that expressly states at least 3360x2100 in Eyfinity mode, so I thought I would ask if anyone has already done it, and with what.

George
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LoTeK
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I've tried to follow your tutorial, but sadly xf86-video-ati-6.9 isn't available anymore.

I've had a HD6450 card with eyefinity and 3 monitors connected to it, configured with xrandr. But now I have a forth monitor and a HD7750 card. I have a pretty hard time to get all monitors working. Currently I have 2 monitors connected to each card, but only 2 monitors work. I've tried the closed source drivers from ATI with less success than with the opensource drivers.

Is there any hope for my setup?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now have a HD7750 as well, it has one HDMI, one DVI and a Displayport.

I am currently using 2 monitors connected via the HDMI and the DVI connectors.

As I now understand it you can connect up to 4 monitors via DisplayPort and the monitors are "Daisy Chained" so the monitor supporting DisplayPort has an IN and OUT DisplayPort connector.

I'm currently in the process of trying to confirm that and I plan to order myself 2 monitors that support DisplayPort and those with the better 2 of my 4 monitors I hope to accomplish the same thing you are after.

I'll post here any thing else I learn on the subject.

I'm using the opensource drivers and currently it does not seem possible to connect multiple monitors across multiple GPU's (video cards) using Xrandr, but the daisy chaining on displayport is supposed to work using one card.

http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature/#index7h2
http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-articles/Pages/DrivingMultipleDisplaysFromaSingleDisplayPort.aspx
http://www.displayport.org/embedded-systems/driving-multiple-displays-from-a-single-displayport-output/
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=quad_monitor_linux&num=1

George
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