Setting up dual monitors in Xubuntu 11.04 on Fujitsu P7120

I recently installed Xubunut 11.04 on an old notebook laptop, and wanted to run a dual monitor setup using an external monitor.

The laptop ships with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900, and I’m using this display controller:

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kenneho@laptop:~$ lspci |grep Display
00:02.1 Display controller: Intel Corporation Mobile 915GM/GMS/910GML Express Graphics Controller (rev 04)

My external monitor is running with a 1280×1024 resolution, and are placed on the left hand side of the laptop.

I tried configuring the dual monitor setup using xrandr as were suggested on many linux forums, but didn’t quite get it to work properly. But instead of using xrandr, I found that I can easily set this up using Xfconf which is already installed. By simply clicking “Menu” > “Settings” > “Settings Editor” to enter the xfconf graphical adjustment interface. In there I clicked “display” > “Default” and then my laptop display (in my case “LVSD1″). From there I clicked position, and entered “1280” into the X variable. In other words, I say to linux that the laptop screen should start at where the external monitor screen ends (vertically).

Then, after a restart of the X server (log out and log in), everthing worked just fine.

Update 2011-07-01: I currently have an issue with running different screen resolutions on the two monitors; when running with different screen resolutions applications such as Firefox are “dimmed” so to speak, where the application window becomes very dark/grey. I’m looking into how this can be resolved.

Update 2011-09-26: In the first posting in the comments section below, Pedro Rainho provided a solution that fixed the issue I had. If you have the same issue as I had, you may want to apply the fix he suggested. Thanks to Pedro for providing the fix.


  • http://www.pedrorainho.eu Pedro Rainho

    I was having the same problem with dimed windows. The solution I’ve found was go to
    Menu -> Settings -> Settings Manager click on Window manager tweaks -> Compositor

    Now disable “Enable display compositiong” and dimed problem is fixed :)

  • admin

    @Pedro Rainho:
    Excellent, it worked perfectly! Thanks for the tip.

    – Kenneth

  • Pawel

    Thanks for this one, works like a charm!

  • no1

    the contrast on this site is horrible. grey text on a white background on a grey background? very hard to read

  • admin

    @Pawel:
    I’m glad mr Rainho and I could help. :)

    – Kenneth

  • admin

    @no1:
    Thank you for your input. I like it quite a lot, actually, but will consider other color schemes next time I update the design.

    – Kenneth

  • Soda

    great, thanks for this hint!

  • matusi

    Thanks for the tip. I tried it but had to modify the value. My setup is 1366×768 monitor to the left of the laptop, laptop monitor of 1280×800.
    I used the x position value of 1380. This puts the main desktop, menus, login/out
    on the external monitor with the laptop as an extension to the right. I can move from left to right display and everything works ok with just the laptop by itself also. I tried the grandr but it did not seem to persist after you logout. This more native solution is better.

  • Duke

    Pedro you are the man !

  • seul

    Thanks Kenneth and also thanks Pedro!