How to configure dual head & G550

Robert Froese froese at
Fri Sep 5 07:50:23 PDT 2003

I was successful configuring dual-head after much, much googling and some 
excellent advice from a very small number of list members.  The lack of 
documentation both on the XFree86 web site and the FreeBSD site was quite 
discouraging.  While I find the handbook, for example, quite useful for 
general concepts, there are few detailed technical references both published 
and informal for FreeBSD.  

What I did conclude:

First and foremost, the mgapdesk port does NOT work under 5.1-R.  It crashes X 
every time.  You don't need it though.  To get dual-head to work on 5.1-R:

1) add the matrox linux hal driver - I think; I made a couple of simultaneous 
changes so I'm not sure it was necessary
2) make appropriate changes to the XF86Config file

There's nothing else.  In my searches I came across references to "xinerama" 
but after literally an hour trying to find ports/packages for FreeBSD I gave 
up and guessed that it was enabled somewhere in FreeBSD by default.  
Surprise!  Good guess; it was.  With xinerama you get a single KDE desktop 
stretched across the two screens.


On Friday 05 September 2003 03:58 am, Andre Albsmeier wrote:
> On Wed, 27-Aug-2003 at 17:31:30 -0400, Robert Froese wrote:
> > Hello all,
> >
> > I'm interested in converting my single head Matrox G400 system to a dual
> > head G550 system.  I've aquired the hardware assuming it will work, but
> > after a half-hour now looking for instructions I haven't found any.  Can
> > anyone point me to some resources that suggest where to begin?  I'd
> > greatly appreciate it.
> I can send you my config in private mail. I am running a G550
> connected via DVI to a 46cm LCD. The second head is currently
> configured for a 640x480 output.
> The card is great apart from the fact, that TV-Out doesn't work
> under X11 (only Wincrap) and the Matrox losers don't do anything
> about it. The G400-DH runs fine w.r.t. TV-out (got it at home)
> but the G450 and G550 won't. That's why I'll never by a Matrox
> again...
> 	-Andre

Robert Froese, RPF
Assistant Professor, Forest Biometrics
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Michigan Technological University, Houghton MI.

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