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I have an Asus U30JC laptop with a VGA and HDMI ports. I can connect my external screen (1920x1200) to either of those ports but I wonder if I would be able to use two screens at the same time, one plugged to the VGA and the other to the HDMI socket.

Any ideas? Where should I find out?

Doing xrandr, I get:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1366 x 768, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS1 connected 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 293mm x 164mm
   1366x768       60.0*+
   1360x768       59.8     60.0  
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
VGA1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

When connected to the VGA external screen, I get:

xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 3286 x 1200, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS1 connected 1366x768+1920+432 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 293mm x 164mm
   1366x768       60.0*+
   1360x768       59.8     60.0  
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
VGA1 connected 1920x1200+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 518mm x 324mm
   1920x1200      60.0*+
   1600x1200      60.0  
   1280x1024      60.0  
   1280x960       60.0  
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        60.0  
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
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Add a HDMI display and see if you can enable all the displays with nvidia-settings. –  Seppo Erviälä Jun 25 '11 at 11:34

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

What's the graphic chip on your pc? You could try plugging both screens in. Then run Monitors from the menu by pressing Super and typing Monitors. If they are both detected, you can configure them for dual screen use.

enter image description here

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It's a hybrid graphics system, one is an intel integrated and the other is an nvidia discrete: 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 18) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GT218 [GeForce 310M] (rev a2) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller]) –  213441265152351 May 18 '11 at 18:37
    
And did you try my suggestion? –  con-f-use May 18 '11 at 18:54
1  
I would suggest trying con-f-use's suggestion too. While the laptop has multiple outputs, it won't necessarily have enough clock generators to drive them all at the same time (for example, one video card I had could only drive one of its DVI and HDMI outputs at a time). If you've got two monitors, it will be quickest to just try it out. –  James Henstridge May 19 '11 at 1:47
    
Where can I find out about the clock generators then? What should I google for? –  213441265152351 May 20 '11 at 6:09
    
I haven't found hard evidence, but I think it's probably true that only either HDMI or VGA can be connected and give output at a given time. –  213441265152351 Jan 6 '12 at 19:36

Open terminal and run

xrandr

You will get something like this

LVDS1 connected 1024x768+360+1050 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 246mm x 185mm
   1024x768       50.0 +   60.0*    40.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        60.0     59.9  
VGA1 connected 1680x1050+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 434mm x 270mm
   1680x1050      59.9*+   60.0  
   1280x1024      75.0     60.0  
   1440x900       75.0     59.9  
...

Xrandr lists your video outputs including your laptops built-in screen. If there are three video outputs you should be able to connect two external monitors to your computer. If there are just two you most likely won't be able to connect more than one external monitor at a time.

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I get LVDS1 connected, VGA1 disconnected, HDMI1 disconnected and DP1 disconnected. –  213441265152351 Jun 23 '11 at 5:57
1  
Then I suggest you try to plug in 2 external displays and see if you can enable them with nvidia-settings. –  Seppo Erviälä Jun 23 '11 at 6:41
1  
You could also test what xrandr says when you have just one external display plugged in. It is quite weird that it lists DisplayPort output even though your computer doesn't have one. –  Seppo Erviälä Jun 23 '11 at 6:43

What James Henstridge explains as a comment is probably what is going on here, although I didn't find any details on the hardware specifics for this laptop mode.

I would suggest trying con-f-use's suggestion too. While the laptop has multiple outputs, it won't necessarily have enough clock generators to drive them all at the same time (for example, one video card I had could only drive one of its DVI and HDMI outputs at a time). If you've got two monitors, it will be quickest to just try it out. – James Henstridge May 19 '11 at 1:47

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The above solution of using Displays in System Settings to setup a dual monitor configuration works perfectly in Ubuntu 13.10. I'm using an Acer Aspire One netbook (it's old from 2009) with an integrated Intel GMA 3150 (also old) and an analog CRT (even older) external Samsung monitor. And I have only one video device listed which is Intel's GMA.

Now here's the trade-off:

If your external monitor has a different resolution you'll have to decide which monitor will be used for resolution purposes. In my case the CRT is only 800x600 whereas my netbook is 1200x600 but this works for what i want which is to see videos on the CRT. (My netbook is only 1200x600 so a little tiny!)

After using the CRT I just have to open Displays again from System Settings and revert to the original configuration of only 1 monitor instead of 2 mirrored.

I know many people will want to use a dual non-mirrored configuration but there is people like me that just want to use another monitor so that answer is very good for that purpose!

Many thanks con-f-use for that simple answer!

I've changed from Windows 7 Starter to Ubuntu 13.10 and i'm loving it! (I won't go back now!)

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It is difficult to tell what you are suggesting as an answer. –  Kevin Bowen Jul 5 '13 at 22:55
    
I don't think you are trying to answer the question... –  edwin Jul 6 '13 at 0:23

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