Dual-Head: Sharing laptop’s desktop with external LCD.


I bought a second-hand 17″ HP LCD from a college friend. I got it to use with my headless Dell desktop box, but since it runs Slackware and I work with it remotely, I have the LCD now attached to the laptop as an extended display. Luckily, the ATI Radeon card on the laptop supports dual-heads. I have extended my 15.4″ display over to the external LCD, and, well, suffice it to say, it rocks. A couple of close-ups of my study are attached below. For Windows XP users who are frustrated with Windows not supporting taskbar(s) on extended displays, please take a look at Oscar’s Multi-Monitor taskbar. It is nothing like the native taskbar Windows has to offer, but it is the best I could find.

Additionally, I need to get Slackware to recognise the second display and move half of the desktop over. I have been playing with Xinerama and different configuration settings for Xorg, but to no success (to be frank, I have not yet had the time to do it at leisure). Xorg does enable dual-head support, but it tries to extend the display within the primary LCD, and in so doing messes everything up.

Laptop and 17″ LCDLaptop and 17″ LCD

2 thoughts on “Dual-Head: Sharing laptop’s desktop with external LCD.

  1. Xinerama was a breeze with OpenSUSE. Yast->Enable 2nd monitor->Restart X server. Done. I’ve got an nvidia card, though. ATI might be more trouble than that.

  2. That indeed is a breeze. On Slackware, I hand-edited xorg.conf to include duplicate Screen, Monitor, etc sections, restarted X, and sure enough, the Display manager detected the second display, but it didn’t actually power up the extended LCD, instead changing the resolution of the primary LCD and messing everything up. I need to look at it better.

    Also, I should definitely try running binary drivers from ATI–I haven’t had the need to do that yet, and the native ati driver shipped with Slackware worked OK.

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