Dual Monitor Setup in Ubuntu 7.10, ATI Radeon

The company just bought our department brand hooked up PC’s that include ATI Radeon dual output graphics cards with massive monitors.  This is probably the only time I’d willingly admit that Windows came out ahead, as I spent a good 2 days trying to get my dual monitors to work with Ubuntu.  I finally got it figured out and I’m embarrassed to say that the answer was in front of my the whole time — a fucking GUI!  Anywho, those of you who are having trouble with this as well, here’s what I did to make it work:

My setup:

  • Dell Vostro 200, Dual Core Intel CPUs, 2 Gb RAM
  • ATI Radeon HD 2400 dual output graphics card (both monitors plugged into card)
  • Two Dell 17” monitors

So first, shimmy over to http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html and select your distro and card model, and download the file to your desktop.

In Terminal, chmod +x ati-driver-installer-<version>.run

Select Linux x86 installation, automatic

After the installation is complete, run:

sudo aticonfig –initial


After reboot, run fglrxinfo and you should get something like this describing your card:

OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon HD 2400 PRO
OpenGL version string: 2.1.7537 Release

At this point you probably see that both monitors are enabled, but are mirroring each other.  If you don’t, you might need to manually active the second:

sudo aticonfig –query-monitor

Use the output of that command and run:

sudo ati-config –enable-monitor=<result1>,<result2>

Replace result1 and result2 with the output of the first command.  Possible results are: none, crt1, crt2, lvds, tv, fmds1, tmds2

If the enable works, make it permanent:

sudo aticonfig –force-monitor=<result1>,<result2>

When both your monitors are up (whether they look how you want or not), in your GNOME gui, go to Applications > ATI Catalyst Control Center. This is where you configure how you want your dual monitors to act.

In Display Manager, set the dropdown to two monitors and change the Display Mode to “Big Desktop” — this will enable both monitors as one long desktop that you can drag your mouse and windows between.  You can also go ahead and set your resolution.

And there you go — easy dual monitor setup for Ubuntu 7.10!

UPDATE: Major issues with graphics after I upgraded to 8.10 – I found these instructions which worked:


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4 thoughts on “Dual Monitor Setup in Ubuntu 7.10, ATI Radeon

  1. WHy are they ordering with crappy ATI. Should have gotten nVidia cards as their Linux Support is by far better than ATI’s have ever been.

  2. fuckina, I still give up when trying to configure my Radeon card in my laptop to work with an external monitor or TV out. ATI drivers are definitely much better and easier to configure on Windows than Linux.. :(

  3. or you can do it in one command:

    aticonfig –initial=dualhead –screen-layout=right –desktop-setup=horizontal

    Now if you can somehow manage to get DRI working with that configuration, that would certainly be something ;)

  4. Once you get the X conf file setup the way you want, make a backup of it. I’ve had both driver and system (kubuntu and plain debian) undo my changes.

    As BinaryPhalanx mentioned, getting DRI to work can be problematic. Even with everything set properly, DRI just never seemed to work. I long ago reverted to a single monitor on my home system (my linux system) so cannot recall specific errors other than “doesn’t work”

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