My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Imperfect Upgrade To Ubuntu Dapper From Breezy

If, after the upgrade to Dapper, your system boots up in Dapper and comes to a blinking underline cursor and then hard locks, where CTRL+ALT+F1 won't even get you a terminal window, welcome to the club. However, perhaps I have the fix for you. It's likely how the video drivers are set up in your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file. On my system, I had Xinerama mode working with two kinds of video cards -- an Nvidia, and an ATI. Evidently from the bug reports, Xinerama is broke in Ubuntu Dapper, but, in some cases there's a fix. The fix is to take out one of the cards and leave the one that has dual-head support. Since Nvidia and Linux never get along, I yanked that bad boy. Luckily, my ATI card had the capability for dual head with an adapter I had. I put that on. Then, I rebooted and hit Esc to see the boot menu. Once there, I chose Rescue mode and logged into command line. I typed 'dpkg-reconfigure -a xserver-xorg' to automatically recreate a new xorg.conf file. Now, HERE'S THE MAGIC: edit your xorg.conf and look for your "Device" section and hunt for the "ati" card if you have one. Then, add this option in there:
Option "CRT2Position" "RightOf"
...and that's case-sensitive.
Then, reboot and when you login to the gdm and get a desktop, open the Screen Resolution control panel and choose an ultra-wide resolution that's wider than one screen. And there you go. It acts 100% like Xinerama mode.