NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Screen resolution, 3D Acceleration, nVidia, ATI
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olligod
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NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by olligod »

in Helena KDE64, nvidia-settings do not work as advertised. An xorg.conf file that does work with the GeForce 8600 below.

On a GeForce 8600 GT, if TwinView is configured (that is: 2 monitors attached to both the analog and digital ports, each forming 50% of an enlarged desktop),
the program fails to implement the changes into /etc/X11/xorg.conf
saying it cannot parse the file. Then it crashes with a segfault.
On reboot, of course, that TwinView configuration will be "forgotten".


Plus, the System configuration in KDE fails to do its job:
If TwinView is not activated beforehand (through nvidia-settings, or in the xorg.conf),
it doesn't recognize the second screen at all.
Worse: If TwinView has been activated before (before writing to xorg.conf), and if you then try to change anything in the KDE display settings,
it immediately switches to "dual view" (or what's it called: syncronous view? Both monitors display the same),
and does so stubbornly until next reboot (or maybe restart of X). No changes possible.

KDE Display settings: Pretty useless here.

REMEDY:

[IMPORTANT EDIT]:
In following the steps below, you are changing the settings of your graphics setup!
A broken config would leave you with a commandline-only system and no graphical assistance tools whatsoever.
So be sure to keep the original versions of any files accessible. [/EDIT]

I have reused a /etc/X11/xorg.conf file from a Kubuntu 9.04.
Apart from the particular monitors that I use, this should work for many that use the same graphics card.
(Plus, which one is right or left I believe is set in TwinView Options).
I just saved the small, "crippled" xorg.conf that was in Mint-8 to someplace else (just to be sure) and replaced it with the code below.

Reboot into normally operating TwinView worked without a hitch.

Code: Select all

# 
Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Default Layout"
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
EndSection

Section "Module"
    Load           "glx"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
    Option         "Xinerama" "0"
EndSection


Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Unknown"
    ModelName      "NEC LCD2180UX"
    HorizSync       30.0 - 96.0
    VertRefresh     48.0 - 87.0
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Configured Video Device"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    Option         "NoLogo" "True"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 8600 GT"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Default Screen"
    Device         "Configured Video Device"
    Monitor        "Configured Monitor"
    DefaultDepth    24
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "TwinView" "1"
    Option         "metamodes" "CRT: nvidia-auto-select +0+0, DFP: nvidia-auto-select +1600+0"
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection

I hope this will help somebody.
Last edited by olligod on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:56 am, edited 3 times in total.

Husse
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by Husse »

It would take me a while to boot into Helena KDE on Nvidia (if it is installed at all - on the reserve computer) so....
Did you run nvidia-settings as root - kdesudo nvidia-settings
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Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it

olligod
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by olligod »

Husse wrote:It would take me a while to boot into Helena KDE on Nvidia (if it is installed at all - on the reserve computer) so....
Did you run nvidia-settings as root - kdesudo nvidia-settings

I ran sudo nvidia-settings three or four times. I did check my .bash_history about what I did a few days ago.
In any case, a segmentation fault is not an elegant way to quit ... :(
(... never mind, nvidia-settings is closed software belonging to NVidia'S driver, isn't it ? - so I should complain with NVidia company it seems)

If you want me to run some test, let me know. I have kept the original xorg.conf from Mint. A Very short file indeed...it seems that the X server has an alternative to look at
before it looks into xorg.conf. As far as I remember those files used to be much more "informative" (even until Ubuntu 9.04, and yes I even remember the XFree86.conf).

I can boot with that original Mint-8-KDE xorg.conf in place to test something (if there are any ideas) since the other version safely helps me to restore TwinView.

Husse
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by Husse »

Beginning with Helena/Karmic there is no xorg.conf by default
I'll see if I remember to boot the other desktop (needs a bit of work to do that - the keyboard probably don't work, so I have to dive into my store and find one)
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Don't fix it if it ain't broken, don't break it if you can't fix it

olligod
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by olligod »

If it is so (Ubuntu 9.10 made the change to the use of xorg.cong) , then that would mean the problem comes from Ubuntu, not Mint:
An incompatibility of the Graphics settings in Ubuntu with nvidia-settings.

As far as *I* am conferned, I will be able to help myself as described - including through most likely the next versions of Mint.

BUT:
As Mint is meant to be easy for anyone, one might have to look at this.
Even if Ubuntu imports a new regression, maybe Mint can find a remedy for the beginner-user ...

Once again, if I can be of any help with testing or trying out things, let me know. I am not afraid of temporarily breaking my X server,
as I believe that I will be able to get back to normal.

Husse
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by Husse »

Nope not Ubuntu - it's X itself - if I'm not mistaken xorg.conf will not even exist in the next version
Basically it's a good development, X is "self configured" but at times it hits back :?
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olligod
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by olligod »

Husse wrote:Nope not Ubuntu - it's X itself - if I'm not mistaken xorg.conf will not even exist in the next version
Basically it's a good development, X is "self configured" but at times it hits back :?
Good development? Not so sure.

Very scary - unless they (xorg) can catch-up (to the closed-source drivers) with their open-source drivers -
or get the closed-source driver makers in the boat with their change to X.

Remember, Mint (and Ubuntu) has the EASY-INSTALL OPTION for closed-source drivers included for a reason!
We need them for easy-configure and full graphics performance.
Right now, I (and I do not expect to be alone here) experience breakage.

How will the open source community ever be on par with the new graphics card and their video drivers
(i.e. have the drivers take advantage of new features / performance)?
If not (and that is my belief) ... then we need the closed source drivers.

My topic (TwinView) is no longer something exclusive - and I hope that such a configuration will be easy to set up in the future.

Will I be able to help myself if it is not straightforward? There are files like "Xsession", and "Xsession.d" with lots of entries etc.
Will I have to learn to play with them?

I hope not, as this would be a step backwards. We will see.

olligod
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by olligod »

Never mind my "philosophical questions" in the last post about the video/X system.

I am SOO happy with Mint-8-KDE64. It is on my 2 production machines (I have it manually configured right, with my 2 screens)
and I have no issue whatsoever to keep it there for a while, for a year or more.


Mint-8 is more than just a temporary system to play with my machine -
it is a companion for everyday non-linux related work and personal stuff. I am glad that it can be.
Mint-8 has the potential to stay for some time.

Playing with the next Mint release will be fun as ever. Mint quality is good overall - and any new system for the production machines
will have to offer significant added value (even though I do know that the next will be an LTS!)

At some time, there will be general easy solutions for more "advanced" video settings I'm sure (maybe nvidia updates its config tool...)


- so I guess right now it's "don't stress now" and be happy.

Husse
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Re: NVidia GeForce 8600 TwinView workaround for (KDE) Helena

Post by Husse »

Something that's both good and bad is that Linux is constantly in a kind of flux - always developing
Some things have hurt in the process, like pulse audio and X for some graphics cards
Glad it's finally solved for you
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