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I have spent a lot of time trying to get dual monitors to work on Ubuntu 11.10 on my Dell Latitude D630 (nVidia NVS 135m video card).

  1. For starters, the System Displays settings app always only showed one unknown monitor, even though I had the external Acer monitor connected.

  2. So I downloaded and installed the nVidia drivers. According to what I read I would need to only use the nVidia driver app (nVidia X Server Settings), so that's what I've done. (System Displays settings continued to only show a single monitor anyway).

  3. nVidia settings app only showed on monitor until I changed the BIOS setting to use the onboard video for external monitor (not the dock video, which it was set to, even though I don't have a docking station).

  4. The nVidia setting app now recognized both monitors. So, I setup the X Server display config as Separate X screen for both monitors. My laptop screen shows up as AUO 1440x900 and my external monitor as Acer E211H 1920x1080.

  5. Everything seemed like it would work, but the external monitor was just a complete white screen. The external monitor was non-functional, even though sometimes it would show the background image - still nothing would show up over there.

  6. So, I checked the Enable Xinerama box.

  7. Now, after logging out and back in, the wallpaper extends to both screens but I get no taskbar at the bottom or top, no system menus, and I have to press the power button to restart or log off.

  8. After experimenting with all the shells, the only one that shows the menus and taskbars when I log in is Gnome Classic.

  9. This is pretty much the same symptoms as found here: How do I fix 11.10 GUI?.

  10. So, I resign myself to the older shell.

  11. Everything works fine until ... I unplug the external monitor ... this is a laptop after all.

  12. Anyway, after doing some work on the road, I plug back in and I still see both screens and it's functional except, ...

  13. Now, the laptop screen (with the taskbar and menu bar) has 4 black bars at the top that windows cannot cover. The top bar is the menu bar (with Applications, Places, the date and time and the system menu on the right). But the next 3 bars (the same height as the top menu bar) are empty and are just reducing the max size of windows on that screen.

See screenshot here: Dual monitor error

My questions

  1. How do I get rid of those extra 3 black bars? They're taking valuable screen space.
  2. (less critical) How do I successfully use both screens in the Ubuntu or Ubuntu 2D shell?
share|improve this question

closed as too localized by Marco Ceppi Dec 31 '12 at 19:49

This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Did it work well with default open source drivers ? – mac Apr 6 '12 at 4:45
No, the default drivers never showed the external monitor. – wes Apr 7 '12 at 12:41
Have you had any success with this? – belacqua Nov 1 '12 at 15:35
This question appears to be abandoned and unanswered, could you perhaps add more detail to your question? If this question no longer applies then you can either delete it or answer it yourself if you've solved the problem. Thanks! – RolandiXor Dec 30 '12 at 3:51