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I have a laptop which has a Intel 852GME chipset. I had an older laptop, I can't remember which chipset that has, but simply by doing a fresh install of Ubuntu 10.04, I was able to connect another monitor to the laptop via the vga port, and I would end up with a desktop spanning 2 screens, the laptop screen and the second screen, giving me a large desktop.

This other laptop which has the Intel 852GME chipset, that doesn't happen. I can't even manually select another screen from the monitors dialog box.

Why is this and how do I enable the second monitor? At the moment, I am getting a mirror image of the laptop screen on the second screen.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Your best bet would be to use xrandr for customizing your multimonitor setup. First just type this at the command line


Look at the output how your laptop screen and the external screen is named. My laptop screen was named LVDS and external was named CRT1. Could be different for you.

First you can change the resolution of each monitor with:

xrandr --output CRT1 --mode 1920x1080

Then you can set the primary display (the one that will have the gnome panel) with:

xrandr --output CRT1 --primary

If xrandr complains about the desktop not being large enough, put a Virtual info in your xorg.xconf file, such as:

Section "Screen"
Identifier "amdcccle-Screen[1]-0"
Device     "amdcccle-Device[1]-0"
DefaultDepth     24
SubSection "Display"
    Viewport   0 0
    Virtual   3360 1920
    Depth     24

Only the SubSection "Display" with the Virtual line should be added, the rest is specific for my setup. Restart your computer for the new xorg.conf to take effect. Then run the xrandr commands again. Good luck!

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