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Ubuntu Desktop => Hardware,Installation & Upgrade => Topic started by: mikemorannj on January 04, 2010, 12:01:32 AM

Title: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: mikemorannj on January 04, 2010, 12:01:32 AM
I am new to Ubuntu and probably not as savvy as many here. I have two external monitors hooked up to my laptop through a Sewell USB to DVI adapter (http://sewelldirect.com/USB-to-DVI-External-Video-Card-High-Resolution.asp) which works fine in Windows but show up as blank green screens when I boot into Ubuntu.

I can't figure out whether my problem is that I don't know how to configure the hardware adapters or multiple monitors (or both). I've done some Google searching but haven't understood any of the answers. All help appreciated--if you think your idea might be too basic for me, you'd be wrong. :-)
Title: Re: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: Bruce H on January 04, 2010, 01:51:38 AM
What kind of video card do you have?
Title: Re: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: mikemorannj on January 04, 2010, 02:43:00 AM
The extra monitors are using the Sewell adapters I posted earlier. Because it is a laptop, it runs my regular screen with the built-in card and that works just fine with Ubuntu. It's the external monitors attached to the Sewel adapters that I need help with.
Title: Re: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: Bruce H on January 04, 2010, 04:09:26 AM
I did a little more searching and found someone who has made it work.

http://mulchman.org/blog/?tag=sewell-usb-external-video-card (http://mulchman.org/blog/?tag=sewell-usb-external-video-card)

Unfortunately, it looks quite involved as you'll have to compile and install the driver manually. Before beginning, I strongly recommend making backups of your important data; there is a strong possibility you'll hose your system. Especially make a backup of your current /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

In a worst case scenario, you won't have a working display at all. In this case, you can restore the old xorg.conf by hitting Ctrl-Alt-F3 after the system boots up. (Even if you don't have a working display). That will drop you into a terminal screen where you can copy the old xorg.conf back.

sudo cp /where/ever/you/put/xorg.conf /etc/X11

Then reboot and your system should be back to normal.



Title: Re: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: mikemorrannj on January 04, 2010, 11:48:04 AM
Thanks so much for your help, Bruce. I hadn't found that post in Google, so I appreciate your searching for me. As you surmised, that looks a bit intimidating to a newbie like me. Is anyone aware of any kind of service that I could use to work on this for me? An Ubuntu version of the Geek squad who could do it for me or walk me through it? I don't know how much I'd be willing to pay, but I think I need some kind of hand holding for something like this. Thanks to anyone who can help.
Title: Re: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: mikemorrannj on January 04, 2010, 12:51:31 PM
Also, the post said that I need Xinerama to drag windows between screens, the way I do on Windows today, so this seems even more complex than I thought. If anyone has any pointers on how to get someone to help me set this up, I'd be very appreciative. I used Ubuntu all the time on my laptop on the road, but this screen problem has stopped me from using it in my home office.
Title: Re: Multi-monitor setup
Post by: Bruce H on January 04, 2010, 05:37:34 PM
Hmm. If you are not comfortable with compiling and installing your own software, then probably you should find someone locally who can. You might try Craig's list, or perhaps post to a more widely read ubuntu-specific forum such as this one:

http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=11 (http://ubuntuforums.org/forumdisplay.php?f=11)

If you are feeling brave though, I'd suggest just digging in and solving it yourself. It's a great way to learn about your system. There's not much I can do  without being there in person. But, if you'd like me to try walking you through it over phone or skype or something, send me an email at bheerssen(at)gmail.com