If you’ve followed my “Linux on my laptop” page you probably know of this problem. The ATI Catalyst Control Center won’t allow me to set my second monitor as my main display and let it extend onto the laptop screen which is positioned left of my 26″ monitor. After wiping my drive and making Ubuntu 10.10 : MAVERICK! my main operating system and getting the “good luck” from the Ubuntu IRC channel I started my quest to solve the problem. Turns out you can do it! The poster on the ubuntu forums had a nifty little script that after modifying solved my problem! The solution involves using xrandr to turn off the displays and then re-enable them with the proper settings.
xrandr –output LVDS –off;xrandr –output DFP1 –off;xrandr –output DFP1 –auto –primary;xrandr –output LVDS –auto –left-of DFP1;
The two first commands there turns off LVDS (Laptop Display) and my 26″ monitor (DFP1). The last two sets DFP1 as the primary screen, and will auto extend the LVDS left of DFP1. This works like a charm except there’s one little bug I’m experiencing. I’ve got a 1 pixel wide line that runs right at the left edge of my 26″ monitor pushing the desktop 1 pixel to the right. It’s a little annoying at first but I hardly notice it now, although it still appears when running full screen video so I guess that can be a little annoying but it’s something I will work on getting rid of 🙂 There’s also one thing worth mentioning: I have to run the script every time I boot Ubuntu if I’m in a dual-monitor setup. For me that’s no problem, as either I’m at school with only my laptop display or I’m home running the system without rebooting until I have to shutdown for school.
At least it’s a step in the right direction! Hopefully one day it can be as simple to do as the new Screen preferences in Windows 7 🙂