ubuntu multiple videocards

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by dividend, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Can Ubuntu be setup to work with videocards of different vendors at the same time for multiple monitor setup? (For example, ATI and Nvidia.) One is PCI and the other is PCIe.

    I've been able to get one or the other working but not both at the same time. Also with the Nvidia card I don't have the option to rotate the monitor/desktop layout as I can with the ATI card.

    Any advice on how to get these working?
  2. Odds against it.

    Best is for all video cards to be the same so they run off of same driver. Any other attempt is hit-and-miss.
  3. Pekelo


    Ask this question on a Linux message board. Nobody knows here what Ubuntu is.

    Just my 2 cents.... And probably there are only 2 brokers that work with Linux...
  4. In principle, you can use any number of different video cards and a mix of drivers on any Linux distribution and get one desktop through Xinerama.

    In practice, things may not be so simple when dealing with closed source, proprietary video drivers such as NVidia. And you do want to use NVidia because they are still the best video drivers for Linux. (Because NVidia makes money from their high end professional *nix workstation cards and therefore puts resources into the drivers).

    If you use NVidia, for two monitors the proprietary TwinView setup works very well for a two head card, and behaves just like Xinerama as far as the desktop managers are concerned.

    For more than two monitors you must use Xinerama. NVidia has three different Linux drivers - two for legacy cards. You cannot mix these drivers so you cannot, for example use a NVS280 PCI card with a NVS285 or NVS295 PCI-E cards on the same box.

    For four screens your best bet is a motherboard with two PCI-E slots and a pair of NVS 285, 290 or 295 cards. Or a single PCI-E slot with an NVS 420 or 450 quad head card. These configurations are guaranteed to work. NVS 290 or 295 cards are cheap on eBay.
  5. Thanks for the feedback. What I will probably end up doing next time is use the same chips instead of different ones to prevent conflict. I had to quit trying to get this working after I installed the 3rd video card (ATI) and the computer would just completely freeze up.
  6. t482


    Disable the onboard one and use 2 nvidia's.

    Ubuntu works much nicer with nvidia drivers :)

    I also use it - along with vmware for the odd windows app.