Selecting from multiple X configurations (layouts) automatically at GDM startup or at boot

I’m trying to use different configurations on my laptop :

  • standard linux kernel with proprietary nvidia driver
  • and Xen to allow developping/testing in a hosted dom-U Debian distro, in which case I switch back to the libre nv driver

When using the proprietary nvidia driver, I may use two kind of configurations :

  • having several screens in “clone” mode, i.e. replicated view on screen and beamer, for instance (classical use of Fn+F8 clone display)
  • or having both screens assembled into one to use twinview with dualhead, which provides (through Xinerama) and being able to switch windows from one to the other

This means I configured several layouts in the same xorg.conf file, which will describe each a different Xorg configuration.

Update 2008/02/10 : reorganized that post to be able to manage kernel-passed LAYOUT variable
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TwinView on NVidia video card : 2 displays for my laptop

I configured the nvidia (proprietary, shame, shame) driver on my Dell Latitude D820 laptop so that my video card can display on 2 physical screens at the same time (ideal for beamer overhead display in conferences, or with a spare LCD display on the desk, etc.).

I had only tested the clone mode until now, which is usually used to display the same thing on the flat pannel of the laptop and the VGA output (on a beamer, for instance).

I got a bit further and tested the twinview settings, so that I can have the best resolution on either screen : 1680×1050 on internal display or the laptop (DFP, Digital Flat Panel), and 1280×1024 on the external LCD display (recognized as a CRT by the card). Both screens can then be “assembled” to form one large screen of 2960×1050 known by Xinerama ! And guess what, the window manager manages that in a user-friendly way (more or less) : windows can be transfered from one screen to the other, and magnification only sets them to cover the full of the current screen only.
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Picoforge succesfully installed on etch virtual machine in xen

It’s no surprise, but PicoForge can be installed on a Debian etch system running inside a xen domU.

This will allow me to hack on picoforge on my laptop, without breaking the system.

Picoforge requires lots of stuff installed and with particular versions of many packages, and may be kinda intrusive, using things like libpam-ldap, chroot accounts, etc.

I’m glad this works… now, let’s get back to real work 😉

Suspend working at last on my Dell Latitude D505 with Debian etch

I’m glad to have suspend (with hibernate + swsusp, i.e. nothing patched) working on my Dell Latitude D505 equipped with Debian etch.

There are still some issues due to buggy BIOS, but more or less, it’s usable. More details on the page dedicated to such system setup.

Cool 😉