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On windows I have a dual monitor setup. I have one monitor connected directly to the motherboard, running off of Intel HD 4000 graphics. I have another monitor connected directly to my Radeon HD 7850. I can simply install both drivers and they will not conflict with each other.

I was wondering if this would be possible to setup under Ubuntu. I have seen questions about "Hybrid graphics" but they all pertain to only using one display adapter at a time, and swapping between them.

I want to use both display adapters at the same time, one for each monitor.

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2 Answers 2

Both of your graphics chips here are "discrete" even though the Intel one is part of the CPU. What "hybrid graphics" refers to is on laptops with newer Intel SoC chips that include video, but also have an AMD or Nvidia chipset for performance graphics, and where the active one is controlled by the BIOS. Only one is used at a time in hybrid laptops.

You may need to install the proprietary AMD fglrx drivers to use the Radeon card optimally, but you shouldn't have any problem using both cards simultaneously in Ubuntu, just as you generally wouldn't have any issue using multiple Radeon or Nvidia cards in the same machine. If you don't already have Ubuntu installed, and simply want to test, you can boot from the Live CD image, and try to configure the setup in there, without actually installing Ubuntu onto your system.

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Unfortunately it is not working for me. When I enable the second monitor both displays go black, and the primary display has text about stopping and starting devices [OK]. I cannot ^C out of the prompt, and anything I type just appends to the screen buffer. –  user1820024 Jan 12 '13 at 15:43
    
Then you have encountered a bug. Please report it. help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs –  dobey Jan 12 '13 at 15:49

Unfortunately, this generally doesn't work right now in Ubuntu.

X isn't configured to load two different vendors' driver packages (in this case, xserver-xorg-video-intel and fglrx or xserverg-xorg-video-ati) simultaneously. There are many posts on this forum asking about this, and it's not likely that Ubuntu will be able to implement this feature the way it is on Windows. I posted a bug report on Launchpad and was told that it may make it into the next version of nouveau, the open-source nVidia driver, but nVidia is the one vendor whose proprietary drivers are almost always preferable, so that doesn't necessarily help very much (and it doesn't help AMD+Intel users at all).

On top of this, most new mid-to-high-end video cards manufactured from 2012 onwards support 4+ displays, so that may decrease the priority of this feature going forward.

You may be able to hack something together that uses two separate instances of X (such that you wouldn't be able to drag applications between the Intel and AMD displays) but it'd require not using XRANDR (meaning you'd lose the Display configuration program in newer versions of Ubuntu, along with several other more user-friendly implementations like hotplugging displays), so I can't really recommend it unless you have years of Xorg.conf editing under your belt. If you're willing to drop a little bit of cash, you'd probably have better luck buying a second cheap AMD card that can be plugged into a spare PCI slot (e.g. http://www.club-3d.com/index.php/products/reader.en/product/radeon-hd-5450-pci-noiseless-edition.html) and using that instead of the Intel graphics, as it will likely work concurrently with the other one.

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and I believe your 7850 supports up to six displays (though you'd have to buy one of these things to use your DisplayPort output for 3x720p screens: microcenter.com/product/341019/…), so you shouldn't need the HD4000 at all. –  serilain Feb 21 '13 at 22:12

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