I have a triple monitor setup with two video cards on Ubuntu 10.04.

I have the monitors and graphics cards currently setup as follows:

Nvidia Geforce 210 #1

-> 1920x1080 Monitor (Twinview) [Center - Monitor #1]

-> 1920x1080 Monitor (Twinview) [Right - Monitor #2]

Nvidia Geforce 210 #2

-> 1920x1080 Monitor (Separate X Screen) [Left - Monitor #3]

This works fine, except when I open a program, it shows up in between monitor #1 and #2 - meaning I have to drag it to one screen before I can use the window. Gnome2's gnome-panel also does not work on the twinview setup; it spans between both monitors, but it does not redraw (ex: the clock never changes). In addition, when I maximize an application, it spans both monitors, which is not acceptable.

When I enable Xinerama for my setup, gnome-panel no longer spans two monitors, and applications maximize as expected, but compiz does not work, as X11 compositing is not available. The lack of desktop compositing causes problems with dragging windows between screens (redraws take forever).

Is there anything I can do to fix these issues without opting for different graphics cards?

2 Answers 2


If only have two monitors linked on twinview, but I use to have similar problems with the compiz defaults. Here's how I solved it, and I think it should work for you:

Install CompizConfig Settings Manager sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager and run it using ccsm.

In the list of options find Place Windows in the Window Management section.

enter image description here

Change the Placement Mode to Smart and the Multi Output Mode to Place across all outputs.

  • I have already enabled the window placement options you have described above, however it does not fix the issues with the twinview setup simply becoming one big "output". I really don't think X is even providing a distinction between the two monitors, because there is no snapping to monitor when I drag windows. When I disabled the third monitor that was configured as a "Separate X Screen", I was able to get the "snap to monitor" functionality back on the twinview setup.
    – AndrewX192
    Dec 3, 2011 at 19:39

Compiz does not support two separate graphics cards in one machine. Since Unity depends on Compiz, it will simply not work.

The solution I used was to go with KDE instead. It's a far more mature window manager, so you don't lose anything by switching to it. More info here: https://askubuntu.com/a/226192/111675

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