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LiKao
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Joined: 27 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Multiple Nvidia Cards Reply with quote

Hello,

I am currently trying to get the following setup to work:

First card: Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT with two monitors attached via DVI-D, which I am trying to use as main monitors.
Second card: GeForce GT 610 with a beamer attached via HDMI for watching movies.

Now I am currently trying to get Xorg to use all three outputs from both cards, and by now I think I have tried almost everything I can thing of. So maybe there still is something I have not thought of yet.

Here is what I tried so far:

  • Use the closed source nvidia driver.

    • With nvidia-settings I can either set the main monitors to be part of a single screen and the beamer to be part of another screen. In this case I get windows spanning both monitors on kde, but there is no way to move a window over to a beamer (the button in the KDE-windowbar context menu simply does nothing). It looks horrible and it does not work as expected.
    • I can set all monitors to have their separate screen. In this case the windows maximize nicely on the main monitor, but the button in the context menu still does nothing.
    • Previously I also used xmonad, but again there is no way to move windows between screen, and window placement does not work at all when I set two monitors to be part of the same screen.
    • I can also set the driver to merge all screens using Xinerama, but the the Xserver wont start at all. There are no errors in the log file, only the final message "(EE) Server terminated successfully (0). Closing log file."

  • Use the nouveau driver. I don't actually care which driver I use, as long as it works. However the nouveau driver always only loads the first card, no matter how I configure the second card in the xorg.conf. I can see both cards being detected during bootup, but the X-Server does not seem to care. Moving windows between first and second monitor works quite nicely but the beamer never gets any signal.


I have also tried various different steps of configuring manually in the xorg.conf and several other options such as BaseMosaic and the like.

If anybody has any idea on how to set this up, I would really appreciate the input.

I am not attaching any logs or any xorg.conf to this, because by now I tried so many different xorg.confs I am not sure which one to attach. If you have any idea what to try, I can upload specific configs and logs.
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BitJam
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Joined: 12 Aug 2003
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Location: Silver City, NM

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: Multiple Nvidia Cards Reply with quote

LiKao wrote:

  • Use the closed source nvidia driver.

    • With nvidia-settings I can either set the main monitors to be part of a single screen and the beamer to be part of another screen. In this case I get windows spanning both monitors on kde, but there is no way to move a window over to a beamer (the button in the KDE-windowbar context menu simply does nothing). It looks horrible and it does not work as expected.

I think this is as good as it will get. I don't know why you say it looks horrible. If you are using the beamer for movies and so on then why do you need to move windows between it and the other monitors? Just make a few scripts to launch your movie-watching programs on the beamer and you're good to go. ISTM the only thing you are missing is some needless eye-candy. I don't know what the " KDE-windowbar context menu" is.

I admit it would be *nice* to be able to move windows between all three monitors but with your current hardware, it ain't gonna happen. Well, you could use software xinerama (if it still exists) but there is universal agreement that it totally sucks.
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LiKao
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Multiple Nvidia Cards Reply with quote

BitJam wrote:

I think this is as good as it will get. I don't know why you say it looks horrible. If you are using the beamer for movies and so on then why do you need to move windows between it and the other monitors? Just make a few scripts to launch your movie-watching programs on the beamer and you're good to go. ISTM the only thing you are missing is some needless eye-candy. I don't know what the " KDE-windowbar context menu" is.


Ok, I guess should have been more specific about the "looks horrible" part. My two monitors neither have the same size nor the same orientation. So with this setup if I maximize a window, the window manager will try to maximize it on both monitors, which means some parts are always missing. I guess this might also part of the KDE stupidity with this setup. However this means maximized windows are completely unusable with this setup, since there is no way to maximize to a single monitor anymore.

So far also launching windows on a different screen did not work. I tried setting the DISPLAY variable when starting a program, but I either got a segfault or a message that the display is not available. However there are a lot of different formats for the DISPLAY variable with multiple screen online, so I guess I should play around with it some more. If I can run a working managed xmonad session on the two monitors and start applications on the beamer, that would absolutely be sufficient.

BitJam wrote:
I admit it would be *nice* to be able to move windows between all three monitors but with your current hardware, it ain't gonna happen.


Well I also guess the word "move" was misleading. I don't realy care about the eyecandy, e.g. dragging windows to another monitor. I usually use xmonad, so my windows just appear where I want them to be at the push of a button. With "move" I simply ment to have the window on the beamer (or the other monitor) which so far has not happened (they only open on the main monitor). I will play around some more at home tonight to see if a different DISPLAY will do the trick.

By KDE-Context menu I simply ment the menu that appears if you right click on the window bar in KDE. It has an option that says "show window on screen X", but clicking that option simply does nothing. I guess more KDE stupidity.
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krinn
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think only base mosaic can do what you wish ; moving a windows over any part of your 3 monitors using 2 cards.
But base mosaic have limitations ; specially per cards. Did you check your cards are ok with base mosaic?
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BitJam
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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 4:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Multiple Nvidia Cards Reply with quote

LiKao wrote:
So with this setup if I maximize a window, the window manager will try to maximize it on both monitors, which means some parts are always missing.

Do you have the xinerama USE flag turned on? That's what it is for. My system has two monitors of different sizes. When everything is compiled with the xinerama USE flag turned on, windows maximize to fill one monitor or the other and never spring into existence split between the monitors (except for apps that are not xinerama aware). I've never had to rotate the display on just one monitor but recent versions of the Nvidia driver allow you to do this with twinview now.

I left KDE (after 10 years) due to the terrible multi-monitor support of 4.x. I'd hope/imagine their multi-monitor support has improved greatly since then. It could not get worse. I was a KDE dev and I jumped ship because it just didn't work (to my satisfaction) with multiple monitors.

BTW: the word "xinerama" has two meanings. One meaning is the greatly deprecated server-side software-based creation of a single screen from multiple monitors. The second meaning is related to client programs being made aware that a single screen is made up of multiple monitors. This second meaning is what the xinerama USE flag is for.
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