How To: Configure Dual Display with ATI Radeon (fglrx)

As promised in my last post (News: ATI Catalyst Display Drivers 9.9 Released), I am back with a post on configuring dual display with ATI Radeon HD Graphics Card and proprietary catalyst (fglrx) drivers from ATI.

Hardware Used

Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 3200 (256MB, onboard)
Monitor 0: ViewSonic VG1930WM 1440×900 (19″ LCD, Connected via DVI port)
Monitor 1: Samsung SyncMaster 793S 1280×1024 (17″ CRT, Connected via VGA port)

Types of Dual Display

  • Mirror: Both screens have same content, identical refresh rate and resolution.
  • Clone: Both screens have same content but refresh rates and resolutions can be different.
  • Horizontal: Both screens can have different content, refresh rates and resolution. Screen 1 is left or right of Screen2.
  • Vertical: Same as horizontal. The only difference is that Screen1 is above or below Screen2.

In this post, we are interested in Horizontal setup with xinerama on. This way we can have two desktops allowing full screen modes on both of them and allowing us to drag and drop windows from one screen to the other.

Install ATI Drivers

If you don’t have ATI drivers installed already, follow this How To: Install ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Drivers on Fedora 11 (works for any version of ATI Catalyst drivers).

Generate xorg.conf file

If you don’t see the xorg.conf file at /etc/X11/xorg.conf, then you need to generate it to proceed to next step. Use the following command as root to generate one

[root@fedora ~]$ Xorg -configure

This command will generate the default xorg.conf file at /root/xorg.conf.new. Copy it to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

[root@fedora ~]$ cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Backup xorg.conf file

Backup your original xorg.conf file so that you can restore it in case the configuration doesn’t work the way you expected.

[root@fedora ~]$ cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

Generate Configuration for Dual Display

Now we are ready to generate the configuration for dual display. Use the following command with appropriate arguments (in accordance with your hardware configuration)

# --screen-layout will place second screen on left of your first screen. Other possible values are right,above,below.
# --xinerama=on option enables you to have two different desktops and one of them being passive.
# You can drag and drop windows from one desktop to the other. Task bars appear only on one of the desktops.
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --initial=dual-head --screen-layout=left --xinerama=on
# --resolution=_screen_number_,widthxheight
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --resolution=0,1440x900 --resolution=1,1280x1024
# Set horizontal sync and vertical refresh rates for both monitors.
[root@fedora ~]$ aticonfig --hsync=0,30-60 --hsync=1,30-60 --vrefresh=0,30-60 --vrefresh=1,30-60

You can download my xorg.conf file via this link.

Reboot or Logout and Login Again

If you just setup your ATI drivers and configured the dual display, you need to reboot so that fglrx module can be loaded properly. If you rebooted after setting up the drivers, just logout and login again to checkout your dual display :) If everything works fine, say thanks to me and if not blame ATI 😛

Adjust DPI for Normal Font Size

I faced a problem with my font sizes being too big while using xinerama. It was easy to fix by adjusting DPI. Go to System -> Preferences -> Appearance. Go to Fonts tab. Click Details located near the bottom right corner. On that window, try descreasing the “Dots Per Inch” value. Mine worked fine with 85 DPI.

Below is an image of my dual display setup. Click to enlarge.

Dual Display Configuration ViewSonic Samsung Using ATI Radeon Catalyst (fglrx)

 

Info: Padma Version 0.4.13 Released

From Padma’s official website,

Padma is a system for transforming Indic text between various public and proprietary formats. This extension applies the technology to Mozilla based applications. Padma is available as an extension for Firefox, Thunderbird, Netscape, Mozilla suite and SeaMonkey platforms. Padma currently supports Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Devanagari, Gujarati, Kannada, Bengali, and Gurmukhi scripts

This particular version includes support for Marathi TrueType Font – Shree-Dev-0714, which I wrote last summer. I am happy that it is finally Padma core. A big credit goes to Radhika Thammishetty and Harshita Vani for guiding and helping me out in writing the mappings.

 

Review: Firefox 3 Beta 1

Firefox 3 Beta 1 is available now. I downloaded the package yesterday morning and started using it right away. While using, I figured out some of the good things and at the same time there are some bad things about this test release. Here is what I feel about Firefox 3 Beta 1.

BTW, you can get beta 1 for Firefox 3 here. I am not going to tell, how to install firefox :)

Positives:

1.Nice Default Font:

Well someone may argue that you can configure any font in any version of Firefox, so whats the good thing about this default font in Firefox 3 Beta1. Well, I’ll say that configuration is always available but nobody gives a damn to configure the font in browser. I am liking this default font in FF3 Beta1 and everything now seems interesting to read. I have Read more than 40 wiki pages since last two days.

2.New FTP Listing Style:

The FTP listings in Firefox 3 Beta 1 has got new stylesheet. Its not dirty any more. It feels good while browsing ftp now. See the screen-shot below.

FTP Listing In Firefox

3.Website Identity:

This is new feature, but I couldn’t find it useful. When you click on favicon in the location bar, a pop-up kinda thing comes up, which tells about the identity of the site you are visiting. Check out the snapshot below.

Website Identity in Firefox

4.Drag n Drop:

You can now hold any thing in Firefox 3 Beta 1 and drag it anywhere you want. Though I could not drop the images to gimp or anywhere else, it looks good. I think its in the development stage right now.

Drag and Drop in Firefox Drag and Drop in Firefox

5.Bookmarks:

Bookmarking a website or editing your bookmarks is far easier now. You can edit a bookmarked site while its loading or can bookmark the site by just clicking a button. A new star-shaped button has been added in the location bar before the go button. If a site is not bookmarked, clicking the button will just bookmark it without asking for anything. If you again click on the button, now you can edit or delete the site you just bookmarked.

Bookmark Editing in Firefox

6.Adding Search Engine:

In firefox 3 beta 1, you can add the site you are browsing in you search engine list just like google, imdb, wikipedia, yahoo or whatever. But this is not valid for every website. Every website in this world can’t be a search engine 😛 Checkout the snapshot or KDE.

Adding Search Engine in Firefox

7.Link sorting/searching in location bar:

Firefox 3 beta 1 implements a new searching/sorting mechanism for links in location bar. As you type some letters, those are now searched in the link as well as the title of the page and then the links are sorted and displayed as list. In drop down list, you can also see the sites on your bookmarks.

8.Places Folder:

A new bookmark folder named ‘Places’ has been added. It has 6 sub-folders which contains links to different site based on a particular criterion. Some of them are ‘Recently Starred Pages’, ‘Recently Visited Starred Pages’, ‘Most Visited Starred Pages’ etc. I was looking for something like this since a long time. Because every time I login into my PC and fire up my firefox, first of all, I visit 8-10 sites (students mail, slashdot, iiit blogroll, yahoo mail, gmail, forum, orkut etc.). Now, I can open all of them in just one click. I click on ‘Most Visited Starred Pages’ and done.

9.Low Memory:

Well, a review of Firefox 3 Beta 1 on zdnet, say that Firefox 3 beta 1 is consuming low memory than Firefox 2 and IE 7. That review is for Firefox in windows. But in Fedora 7, I didn’t experience any reduction in memory usage.

10.Faster:

I don’t know how to justify this, but Firefox 3 Beta 1 seems to load pages faster. What I could think was that, when you click go, it loads the page in the background for some-time and then suddenly flushes the page to the screen and it appears that the entire page has been loaded in one go. I may be wrong though.

11.Improved GUI:

The rendering of buttons, input fields, images in the pages have improved a lot and buttons and drop down menus look better now.

Negatives:

1.Extensions:

Life is a bit or I should say a byte difficult with Firefox extensions. Now, I am too much used to use these extensions that I can’t live without them. I’ll crash if I don’t have ‘Undo Closed Tab’ extension. I keep making stupid mistakes. All the extensions are not yet available for Firefox 3, so its a problem.

2.Multiple Tabs:

Firefox 3 Beta 1 immediately dies if I open more than 20 tabs. I opened my wiki saved session (39 tabs) and after sometime I was searching for Firefox. Where the hell firefox window has gone?

3.Crashes:

I don’t know what exactly is the problem, but I think Firefox 3 revolts against Yahoo Mail and GMail. Whenever I open Yahoo Mail or GMail, Firefox 3 Beta 1 crashes. Either there is some problem with the heavily loaded mail pages or it doesn’t want me to use GMail or Yahoo.

Well, there may be lot more positives and negatives. These are the things I noticed about Firefox 3 Beta 1 in last two days. As the positives list is ruling the negatives, I am using Firefox 3 Beta 1 full time these days.

PS : @Paresh I think FF3 is better than FF2 in many ways. But you may want to wait for all the extensions to be compatible with FF3.

 

How To: Install Eclipse in Fedora 7

I have decided to stick with Fedora 7 due to the bad experience with Fedora 8 last night and also the difficulties in moving the servers to new os that I am running on Fedora 7. As I wanted to work with Padma in my spare time, so need a good IDE that can handle project in a nice way and can help me to import the cvs from repos online. So, is there any choice I have. There is one and only one – The Eclipse. Some people call it – programming paradise. Some may disagree to that and some other may say that Vim is best to program. I also use Vim quite often and in fact 90% of the time I do so. But using Vim looks confusing when the size of the project is beyond certain extent.

Anyway, here I am going to discuss how to install Eclipse in Fedora 7 because its not there by default. There are two approaches. One is extremely simple and other is extremely difficult.

Approach 1

Use yum do install eclipse. Just issue ‘yum install eclipse-*’ and it’ll be done automatically. But this method takes a very long time as yum will sequentially download the packages and dependencies and its very slow.

Approach 2

If I have a good bandwidth, then I’ll download all the packages and resolve the dependencies myself. But resolving dependencies will be frustrating enough that anyone will switch back to slow yum. But due to certain reasons which I suspect to be memory leaks by Firefox and other apps, my system was damn slow and yum could not do anything even after 10 minutes. It was not even able to download the package list.

So, I decided to download all the packages and install them. I download all the eclipse packages and their dependencies manually and installed it successfully. Here is the list of packages and dependencies so that you need not do rpm -ivh a 100 times :) All these dependencies are available on rpmfind.net and packages can be fetched from any fedora mirror. These are tested on Fedora 7.

Packages

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eclipse-cdt-3.1.2-8.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-cdt-sdk-3.1.2-8.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-checkstyle-4.0.1-6.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-ecj-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-jdt-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-jdt-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-pde-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-pde-runtime-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-pde-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-platform-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-platform-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-rcp-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-rcp-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-sdk-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-subclipse-1.2.4-2.fc7.i386.rpm
eclipse-subclipse-book-1.2.4-2.fc7.i386.rpm

Dependencies

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ant-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-antlr-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-bcel-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-log4j-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-oro-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-regexp-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-apache-resolver-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-commons-logging-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-javadoc-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-javamail-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-jdepend-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-jsch-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-junit-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
antlr-2.7.7-1jpp.2.i386.rpm
antlr-javadoc-2.7.7-1jpp.2.i386.rpm
ant-nodeps-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-swing-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
ant-trax-1.6.5-4jpp.2.fc7.i386.rpm
avalon-logkit-1.2-4jpp.5.fc7.i386.rpm
checkstyle-4.1-4jpp.1.fc7.noarch.rpm
checkstyle-optional-4.1-4jpp.1.fc7.noarch.rpm
ganymed-ssh2-210-5.fc7.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-beanutils-javadoc-1.7.0-5jpp.1.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-cli-1.0-6jpp_10.fc6.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-dbcp-1.2.1-10jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-lang-2.1-6jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm
jakarta-commons-pool-1.3-9jpp.2.fc7.1.i386.rpm
java-1.5.0-gcj-javadoc-1.5.0.0-14.fc7.i386.rpm
jdepend-2.6-6jpp.1.i386.rpm
jdom-1.0-4jpp.1.i386.rpm
jsch-0.1.28-1jpp.6.i386.rpm
junit-3.8.2-3jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm
jzlib-1.0.7-4jpp.1.i386.rpm
libswt3-gtk2-3.2.2-15.fc7.i386.rpm
lucene-1.4.3-1jpp.18.i386.rpm
lucene-devel-1.4.3-1jpp.18.i386.rpm
subversion-1.4.4-1.fc7.i386.rpm
subversion-javahl-1.4.4-1.fc7.i386.rpm
svnkit-1.1.4-2.fc7.i386.rpm
velocity-1.4-6jpp.1.i386.rpm
werken.xpath-0.9.4-0.beta.8jpp.noarch.rpm
xml-commons-apis-javadoc-1.3.03-0jpp.1.fc7.i386.rpm

So, be sure to fetch the dependencies first. Hope that helps.