17th March 2010

Setup multiple monitors on Kubuntu (Nvidia)

This entry applies specifically to Kubuntu 10.04; probably also to later releases and alternate Linux distributions

Assuming that the nvidia drivers are installed, it is needed to open the NVIDIA X Server Settings, located in the Applications / Settings menu.

On the left panel of the shown window, click on the X Server Display Configuration option, that should show all the attached screens. By now, only one should be enabled, so click on the disabled one and press the Configure... button: select now the TwinView option, press Ok, select the correct position (left / right) from the main window, and then apply the changes.

Both screens should be now enabled, and the mouse should move around as expected (specially moving left/right). However, these changes only last for the current session, will be lost as soon as the XServer is restarted. To make the changes persistent, press now the Save to X Configuration File button.

Somehow, the offered changes are not what they should be, it is better to handle the changes manually (it only implies adding two lines to the configuration file). Press the Show preview... button, and pay attention to the Section "Screen": it will contain two lines, looking like:

Option		"TwinView" "1"
Option		"metamodes" "DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select +1680+0, DFP-1: nvidia-auto-select +0+0"

The second line will depend on your exact settings. In this example, it means that the main window is located at position 1680:0, and the additional monitor is on its left (1680 being my resolution width).

Open then the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file and add these two lines into the Section "Screen". After this change, I would still like to have my configuration automatically updated, so I execute, as detailed on the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-org

My own configuration file, without the initial comments, looks like:

Section "Monitor"
	Identifier	"Configured Monitor"

Section "Screen"
	Identifier	"Default Screen"
	Monitor		"Configured Monitor"
	Device		"Configured Video Device"
	DefaultDepth	24
	Option		"TwinView" "1"
	Option		"metamodes" "DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select +1680+0, DFP-1: nvidia-auto-select +0+0"

Section "Module"
	Load	"glx"

Section "Device"
	Identifier	"Configured Video Device"
	Driver	"nvidia"
	Option	"NoLogo"	"True"