I'm trying to enable dual monitors in Ubuntu. This is working fine, but every time I do it, desktop effects is disabled. I think I've found the reason why, though:
As with the GNOME XRandR configuration method, setting Virtual to too large a value may result in a loss of hardware acceleration, and thus an inability to use Compiz and its desktop effects.
When I use the GNOME monitor applet, or the Monitors configuration in the System menu, the default xrandr settings puts the second monitor to the right of the first, and, as I found with this bug, for most monitors this creates a virtual desktop larger than the maximum 2048 horizontal resolution needed for hardware acceleration on my netbook hardware.
So, it seems like if I can modify xrandr's default settings so that it places the new desktop above or below (north or south of) the main LVDS display, then hardware acceleration, and therefore compiz will continue to work. Can anyone tell me, what is the easiest way to achieve this?
I have confirmed that multihead support with desktop effects and hardware acceleration works when I move the external monitor display north of the main LVDS display. Right now this involves the following process: plugging in the external monitor, starting the Monitors configuration menu, desktop effects are disabled automatically (and all of the windows on my workspaces are moved to the first workspace), repositioning the external display so that it is north of LVDS display and clicking apply, and then navigating to the Appearance menu and telling it to reenable desktop effects. Is there a simpler way do this?
OK, so I thought that perhaps the GNOME Monitors configuration screen was trying to be clever, and might be disbling desktop effects. So, I just tried using the xrandr command-line client instead, as follows:
xrandr --output VGA1 --above LVDS1
When I do that, desktop effects are still disabled, and I need to manually reenable them. This, despite the fact that hardware acceleration works, and there is never a point where hardware acceleration stops working because the horizontal dimension of the virtual display is too large. So what program is trying to be clever, and is turning off desktop effects when it doesn't need to? And how do I make it stop?
If there were a way to re-enable desktop effects from the command line, which I could then put into a script along with the proper xrandr invocation, I would accept that as a workaround.
OK, here's my script to enable a second monitor with desktop effects. It might be evil, I'm not sure:
xrandr --output VGA1 --above LVDS1 sleep 3 compiz --replace &
The sleep statement might not be necessary.
If there's a better way to do this, please let me know.
This is a Dell Mini Inspiron 1012.
Here are my system specifications:
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller Subsystem: Dell Device 041a Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+ Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx- Latency: 0 Interrupt: pin A routed to IRQ 29 Region 0: Memory at f0b00000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K] Region 1: I/O ports at 18d0 [size=8] Region 2: Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M] Region 3: Memory at f0900000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1M] Capabilities: <access denied> Kernel driver in use: i915 Kernel modules: i915 00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation N10 Family Integrated Graphics Controller Subsystem: Dell Device 041a Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx- Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx- Latency: 0 Region 0: Memory at f0b80000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K] Capabilities: <access denied>
lsmod | grep i915
i915 287458 2 drm_kms_helper 29329 1 i915 drm 162409 3 i915,drm_kms_helper intel_agp 24375 2 i915 i2c_algo_bit 5028 1 i915 video 17375 1 i915