Linux Dual Monitor - Nvidia setup

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Getting Ubuntu 7.10 to 9.04 to use dual monitors is a pain. What makes it a pain is the "guidance" and "help" that's out there. Wow, what a bunch of garbage to sift through. So I have ran these steps on 3 PC's with NVidia GT8800 and EN8400 cards plud just recently the EVGA GeForce 9800GT. I've modified the below steps to show 2 ways to do it, the top way is the way I just did it on my new Quad-core Asus system and the bottom one was done earlier with the GT8800 and EN4800.

Most Recent (and best way):

Download the latest driver for Linux (, Nov 2009)

Change the permissions on the file to be executable

Get to command screen with Ctl-Alt-F1 and login normally

Turn off Gnome with sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop

Navigate to the folder the file is at and run it with sudo (sudo

Follow the instructions of the installer, which is just a couple of OK's.

Once done restart Gnome with sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

Always launch the Nvidia Settings manager from a command line with "sudo nvidia-settings". This will bring up the settings manager with sufficient rights to actually do something.

If the error "failed to parse existing xorg.conf" do this:

sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak

sudo nvidia-xconfig

sudo nvidia-settings

If when you do sudo nvidia-settings you get several errors then do this command to fix it:

sed -i 's/^'`hostname`'//g' .nvidia-settings-rc

Good site for info on this:

Older Way:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_backup

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Under the module section, replace “nv” with “glx”. Under the device heading, make sure that Driver says “nvidia”. Under the screen section, add the following line: Option “RenderAccel” “true”.

Now save your changes and close gedit.

Reload X server with Ctrl-Alt-F1, log back in and do:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

may have to do this next:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

Once back on the desktop in a terminal window do this:

sudo nvidia-settings

Then you can make the changes to the NVidia settings and save them without a problem and then hit apply and quit. You'll have to restart X server each time.

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