Dual displays (screens)

Ivar Alm octo at acc.umu.se
Fri Oct 29 19:38:22 BST 2004

Hi all.
I'm new to this list and don't know what use to be discussed here, but
I'll give myself a try.

The background is that i have a nVidia GForce2 MX graphics card with tv
out. What I want is to use the crt for normal display and normal use.
I'd like to use the tv primarily for watching movies, but without
loosing my normal desktop on the crt. I'd still like to be able to use
my primary desktop as usual, although a movie might be playing on the

What I have tried so far is:
1. TwinView.
Not a good idea, since it only stretches my desktop. This means that
half my screen is on my monitor and the other half is on the tv on the
other side of the room. Not very usable.

2. Setting two devices and two screens in XF86Config-4.
Better. I set the crt device (and screen) as screen 0, and the tv as
screen 1. This gives me a desktop on my crt as I'm used to, and (what
seems to be) another kde session on the tv. This other session can be
accessed by setting the DISPLAY env. variable and start the applications
that I'd like to run on the tv.
The downside is that mouse and keyboard still is assigned screen 0, so I
sometimes looses control over applications on screen 1. Also, the
desktop on screen 1 is completely different. It has another desktop
background, another panel configuration, another Pager configuration and
so forth. One annouing effect is that if I run 'mplayer -zoom -fs' on
screen 1, the panel still show. On screen 0, that doesn't happen, the
movie fills the entire display.

So... Does anybody have any ideas on how to fix this so I can use two
different monitors as two separate screens, and still access them both?
Could someone give me (or point to) information about how kde handles
dual-head monitor systems?

I use Debian testing/unstable, XFree86, KDE 3.2.3 and a home
made kernel 2.6.8 compiled with nVidia X driver 1.0-6111.

Any ideas appreciated.

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