[clug-talk] Re: Xorg.conf: multi-server vs. multi-screen

Curtis Sloan curtis.sloan at shaw.ca
Tue Dec 14 11:19:58 PST 2004

On Tue December 14 2004 11:21, Mark Lane wrote:
> On December 14, 2004 11:07 am, Curtis Sloan <curtis.sloan at shaw.ca> wrote:
> > On Mon December 13 2004 18:32, you wrote:
> > > I have an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX440 SE (manufactured by PNY).  It has
> > > TV-Out, which is treated as a separate display.
> > >
> > > What I want to do is have two separate desktop environments, one on CRT
> > > and one on TV.  In order to accommodate this, I believe I need to
> > > dedicate an X server to each display.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.
> Is this just so that you can use your computer for work and playing DVDs at
> the same time? If so it's never going to work well. You would be much
> better off buying a $20 Apex DVD player from XS Cargo.

True enough.  I guess I'll just have to put it on my Christmas list.  ;-)

> DVD Video Play back 
> will require little or no interruption otherwise you will have problems.

I'm familiar with DVD playback requirements, so I'm not hoping to compile 
software or play games while the DVD is playing but I am still holding out 
for reading web pages, e-mail, etc.  It's my belief that the hardware MPEG 
acceleration from the video card will mean sufficiently off-loaded processing 
that the CPU only has to worry about the display.  Also, I wasn't going to 
run KDE or GNOME.  ;-)

I will admit I have yet to test it and it could work terribly.  But it can't 
be any worse than streaming it via VLC, which did not buffer well no matter 
what settings or version I tried.


> The idea would be if you want to control the other X terminal, you switch
> to it's virtual console.

Actually, that's the problem -- only the X server that is currently switched 
to runs a display (i.e. the "background" X server no longer outputs video).  
I need both to output video constantly, regardless of which is "in focus".  
Basically, I think that this is a limitation of both the TV-Out and NVIDIA 
driver on this card.  They were not designed for this particular application 
and the correct solution is to either use a hack w/ additional hardware or a 
multi-head card.

The good news is, I have a second video card.  I just thought it didn't work 
on my system, so it sat on a shelf for about 6 months.  Recently, however, I 
rearranged some PCI slots to change IRQ priorities.  On a whim, I tried 
adding the second video card back today and suddenly it works.  :-P  I guess 
there must've been a conflict the first time I tried it.

So now I have my additional hardware and I can hack.  :-)  Anyone have any 
experience w dual video cards (AGP and PCI)?  Feedback welcome.

Well, I'm off to Google for some multi-card, multi-display config hacks.  ;-)

Curtis S.

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