I have two GPUs: one Intel i915 integrated, and one NVIDIA 560 Ti. This is NOT a hybrid setup, nor a laptop. In Windows 7, each card is connected to a different monitor, with the NVIDIA doing any "heavy lifting". For the life of me I cannot get Ubuntu to recognize the i915, but when logging off or rebooting, the shutdown actually appears on the i915. lshw lists both. I'm running the "current" NVIDIA drivers (not the experimental), but Displays calls its monitor a "Laptop".

Is this even possible under Ubuntu? The only things that even looked like potential solutions were for laptop hybrid setups and used Bumblebee, but that doesn't seem to apply here.


Unfortunately the correct answer doesn't solve your problem.

Currently X.org is not able to split graphics to two different video cards. A long time ago there used to be a way to do this using Xinerama, however only the proprietary drivers still support Xinerama. IOW, you can't do this if one of the GPUs is Intel Graphics.

Now, you can get this to work if you use two NVIDIA cards using -nvidia and Xinerama (or perhaps TwinView). And maybe two AMD cards using -fglrx.

However, my recommendation would be to buy a new NVIDIA card that has two outputs on it, and connect your two monitors to that. Then you can run either -nvidia or -nouveau and it should give good performance and be stable.

Of course, it would be nice if the configuration you're attempting worked. There are some efforts upstream to rearchitect X to allow it, but this is still in the development stages and may be a year or two. But if you are looking for something to spend some time on as a hobby and aren't afraid of breaking your system, you could experiment with the upstream codebases and supply them with feedback.


You have two options to set the displays:

  1. From the Nvidia settings
  2. From the system

1. Open NVIDIA X Server Settings, then this allows you to configure both monitors.

execute Nvidia

Here you can configure the screens step by step.

2. Go to System --> Preferences --> Display then you will see something like this:

system configuration

NOTE: If you see only one monitor then click on Detect Monitor which should detect all the monitors connected to the system.

Any problems that you have can be solved changing the resolution of the monitor to be compatible.

  • Display Prefs only displays one monitor. Detect does nothing. It sees the one connected to the NVidia just fine, but completely ignores the other. – Brother Erryn Jun 25 '12 at 14:12
  • Run NVIDIA X settings and go to X Server Configuration, click on Detect Displays. Then you should see both displays. If it not work try unplugging and plugging again the monitor. – Lucio Jun 28 '12 at 16:56
  • It does not detect the second monitor. Is it expected to detect the second monitor plugged into the second (i915) GPU as I described? – Brother Erryn Jun 29 '12 at 3:39
  • 1
    No, the OP is asking how to set up two cards not two monitors. The above advice is correct but not answering the right question. – Bryce Jun 29 '12 at 20:45
  • @Bryce You're right. I'll leave the answer, because it could be useful for someone else.. – Lucio Feb 6 '13 at 0:38

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