Akom's Tech Ruminations

Various tech outbursts - code and solutions to practical problems

Ubuntu 13.10, Dell M4700 and Enlightenment E17 on dual monitors

Posted by Admin • Wednesday, November 20. 2013
I've been waiting a long time for E17 to become stable... and it has. But installation is not without quirks on this Dell Precision laptop. Everything works fine with a single display, but dual, or dual external monitors is not so simple.

  1. There is a choice of 3 video drivers (see Update Manager->Hardware Drivers). The open source driver is great for an environment like XFCE or LXDE, but E17 simply cannot run on that driver. I've given up trying to guess why.
  2. Using the proprietary driver ( fglrx-updates and fglrx-amdcccle-updates ), E17 now works, but you cannot use xrandr to enable the second monitor (you get the "required virtual size does not fit available size"). This driver is old school and requires a static configuration in xorg.conf ... Of course there is no xorg.conf anymore, thus you add your pieces to a xorg.conf.d directory. What you need to do is configure a virtual size according to the above error message (or calculate it as the sum-total of the resolutions of your monitors). For example:
    Section "Screen" Identifier "default Screen Section" SubSection "Display" Virtual 3840 1200 EndSubSection EndSection
  3. Now when you log in, you might even see both monitors work. If not, you can fix it with xrandr, or you can add it to your config as well, something like this:
    Section "Monitor" Identifier "VGA-0" Modeline "1280x1024_60.00" 109.00 1280 1368 1496 1712 1024 1027 1034 1063 -hsync +vsync Option "RightOf" "DVI-0" EndSection
Much gratitude to this poster for the info