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I think I covered my question in the title. Right now both monitors are mirrored (both 19" at 1440x900). I guess what I need to know is do I need the ATI proprietary driver or will the open source driver from Ubuntu (additional drivers) work?

I want to expand the desktop between the two monitors. Still finishing install and running updates now, I just wanted to gather all documentation and downloads prior to doing what is necessary.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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The short answer: no you don't, but both work. I've just tested it on my ATI HD 4000 series laptop (12.04 Precise), using the standard open source driver, and it worked fine.

Using the open source driver

  1. Load the display manager

Load display manager

  1. Configure displays (uncheck mirroring, and tell it where you want the launcher placed).

Display settings

  1. Click Apply to save your changes.

Using the proprietary driver

If you do install the proprietary driver (fglrx), you might get an error if you try to expand the Desktop using the normal displays config. You will then need to use AMD Catalyst Control Center (gksudo amdcccle - run from terminal or Alt + F2). I'm not sure if Pear Linux differs.

  1. Set the resolution options under Display Manager > Display Properties.
  2. Click on Multi-Display and choose how you want the desktop to expand from the drop-down list. Apply, and you should have the expanded desktops.
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You can disable mirroring in the Displays menu found in the System settings, when using the open source driver, which will then extend the displays to dual screen and beyond.

Writing from my phone, can't make a screenshot now. Only have used Nvidia and Intel on dualscreen setups, but should work for AMD/ATI with open source drivers and the default RandR based GUI tools in Ubuntu.

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