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I'd like to move from windows with my current workstation. The only thing holding me back is that I have 3 monitors connected to the system and I really take advantage of the real estate when working.

I just installed Ubuntu 10.10 on the system and one of the monitors is up and running just fine. This monitor is connected to the built-in Intel adapter. I also have two old nVidia GeForce4 MX 4000 (nv19pl) cards in my two PCI slots with two monitors connected to them respectively. I installed the legacy (and proprietary) nVidia drivers (the nvidia-96 package) that claims to support these old cards.

Now the question is how to get X configured to use all adapters (using two different drivers) so I can use all three monitors (and is this even possible)?

From what I've read, it looks like I'll have to write an xorg.conf file since the nVidia driver doesn't support the auto-magic configuration supported by other drivers. On this site:

it says that on 10.10 I just need to write an xorg.conf "containing only those sections and options that you need to override Xorg's autoconfigurated settings".

So, does this mean I can get away with only including the nVidia-specific configuration stuff and all else will get auto-configured? Or, will providing a config with a "Device" section overrule the auto-magic from detecting/using the Intel adapter?

I ran the included nvidia-xconfig to generate a basic, nVidia-specific xorg.conf but I'm hesitant to reboot with it in place, suspecting I'll have a screwed up display. Also, is there any way (any tool or command) to generate an xorg.conf from the current, auto-configured running state of an X session? If I have to write a full, complete config, I'd rather start with one that includes everything that's been auto-detected thus far (and merge it with my nVidia version).

Anyhow, any info and thoughts are greatly appreciated (as are answers).

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So after taking koanhead's recommendation and ensuring Ctrl+Alt+F1 works (and installing openssh-server) I merged the xorg.conf files created by running nvidia-xconfig and Xorg -configure respectively. It is here: (and it doesn't work, see my next commment). – chienpo Jan 14 '11 at 18:59
The result of restarting w/the above config is logged here: ( The intel card works but not completely (more on this later). However, it appears that it can't even load the nvidia driver: (line 129) "undefined symbol: miEmptyData". So, any ideas why the driver can't even load? (I know this is technically a separate question, but it is related to my overall, general question too). – chienpo Jan 14 '11 at 19:04
Well, after reading this post: ( and other linked resource, and looking at the nvidia "Release Highlights" on their driver download page here: ( it looks like the driver in the nvidia-97 package is already out of date and never even supported X.Org Server version 1.9.0. Soooo, before I can do anything it looks like I'll need to test out manually upgrading to the latest nvidia driver. I'll post my results... – chienpo Jan 14 '11 at 19:58
meta-advice: comments like the ones you've added are normally appended to the question with a heading like update. This helps keep the comments thread clear, and also I think bumps your question on the hotlist. – intuited Feb 13 '11 at 4:18

First, nvidia-xconfig will have saved a backup of your original xorg.conf file. You might check that this is so before proceeding, but even if it didn't keep a backup the old file is most likely the default anyway.

Next, if you restart X and the display is broken, make sure that you can get to another console and / or kill the X server. I recommend you test whether Ctrl+Alt+F2 works to switch to another console. It might also be a good idea to set up an ssh server on the machine if you haven't already, so that you can login even if the console is unresponsive (I've seen X misconfiguration cause X to ignore keyboard events).

Lastly, yes, there is a way to autogenerate a new xorg.conf file: delete the existing file and restart X. X will attempt to autodetect all settings and write an xorg.conf if it does not detect one. If it turns out that the xorg.conf generated by nvidia-xconfig does not support the Intel device and the old xorg.conf does not support the nVidia devices, you can try to diff the new file against the old one and patch the differences into the old file.

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Thank you for the response, the information was helpful. It's been so long since I've had to do any X configuration (late 90's early 2000's on FreeBSD machines) that I couldn't remember (or didn't even know) the key combo: Ctrl+Alt+F[X] to get my non-gui console. On another note, my newly install Ubuntu 10.10 system doesn't even have an actual xorg.conf file (sudo find / -name xorg.conf -ls) except an example one in /usr/share/doc/[somewhere]. It appears the system relies solely on auto-configuration by default. It also never generates an xorg.conf (except by manually running Xorg -configure) – chienpo Jan 14 '11 at 19:12

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