Multi-screen with Ubuntu Unity

This tweet has to have been the most popular thing I have ever said. At time of posting it has gained 80 retweets, 25 favourites and many replies/questions.

Work recently bought me a new workstation, so the 1st thing I always do is to dual boot with Ubuntu.

Some might consider me an edge case user. Though as a developer, I like a rather particular set-up. That is, 3 wide screen monitors with the central one rotated 90 degrees for my IDE.

This is something that Windows gets right without having to dig about installing things. While Linux distros have always struggled (in my experience).

Because my tweet gained quite a few questions, I thought it best to reply to them here for everybody to see.

@ankitvad asks what specs. I use for Ubuntu.
Titanium Rimless Glasses from Spex4Less.com
Couldn’t resist, sorry :)

Dell Alienware X51
CPU: i7
Memory: 8GB
Graphics card: nVidia GeForce GTX 660
Storage: 1TB HDD (Windows) 120GB SSD (Linux)
Mouse: Logictech M570 trackball
OSs: Window 7 SP1, Ubuntu 12.10 64bit
Monitors: 2 x 22″ Dell, 1 x 22″ LG

All 3 monitors are connected to the one graphics card. Two by DVI and one by HDMI.

As I said, this is a working system from a fresh install without updates being applied or any 3rd party packages installed. So the default graphics driver is doing quite well these days :)

The only downside to this is that the default graphics driver is dog slow and won’t let me play games on Steam ;) The next step will be to get the nVidia binary driver working.

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2 Responses to “Multi-screen with Ubuntu Unity”

  1. Daniel says:

    Hello!

    Did yo get ubuntu 12.10 work with HDMI to monitor/tv with Alienware x51? i cant get it to work. Any tips?

    • Iain says:

      I plugged an HDMI to DVI cable into the nVidia graphics card and it just worked.
      Haven’t tried using the machine with a device that only has HDMI input, sorry.

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