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I have a Dell XPS L401x and just installed 12.04. I have a mini-display and an HDMI output, and I could hook up two Dell UltraSharp monitors to each port on Windows 7, and get a triple monitor setup.

Doing a bit of research, it seems like the mini-display is wired to the integrated graphics card whereas HDMI is hooked up to Nvidia graphics card. I've also installed Bumblebee as it seemed like that was the proper way of installing Nvidia drivers on Ubuntu.

At the moment none of my monitors is being recognized by Ubuntu. Is it even possible to have a triple monitor (laptop display + 2 external) setup? Has anyone successfully done this?

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I'm having a similar problem and afaik there is no solution at the moment. The new X-server 1.13 and Linux kernel 3.5 (both will come with Ubuntu 12.10) have better support for hybrid graphics and Nvidia is working on their drivers. My hope is that I can use the HDMI/DVI ports on my notebook/dock if Nvidia gets the drivers done. – André Stannek Sep 16 '12 at 16:19
Thanks! I spent so much time trying to figure out whether if my setup was incorrect or it was just not possible. I'm wondering how windows 7 is able to extend to all 3 monitors. – fo_x86 Sep 16 '12 at 20:09
It's simply a question of drivers. The Nvidia drivers for Windows support hybrid graphics and obviously the usage of HDMI and DisplayPort at the same time. The support of hybrid graphics has never been implemented in the Nvidia Linux drivers at all. Bumblebee is only a workaround that starts a new X-server that uses the Nvidia driver for a single application. But the driver is still the same without hybrid support. – André Stannek Sep 17 '12 at 13:37
Ah I that clears things up. I've been puzzled about this hybrid graphics deal all weekend. Tried reading articles and blogs, but I couldn't tie everything up to my specific use case. Thanks for the clarification! – fo_x86 Sep 17 '12 at 14:18

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