I found that the xrandr features did not work with my NVidia driver in my old laptop.  I had to use the nvidia-settings tool, which worked with shortcomings.  But, my new laptop has an Intel video card.  The xrandr works with it.

Here are the commands that are working for me:

switching to dual monitors

xrandr --output VGA --auto --output LVDS --auto --right-of VGA

What did not work:

  • Leaves a black section on three quarters of the bottom of my laptop LCD panel.
  • only puts the applications menu and application switcher on the external Monitor -- I would rather it be on the LCD panel
  • Only displays the monitor at 1024x768 @60hz.  I need it higher than 60hz for the flicker.

switching back to a single monitor

xrandr  --output VGA --off

What did not work:

  • did not move my windows back to the center, may have been because it thought they were on the left screen.

Changes to xorg.conf

I had to add the virtual setting in the Screen section.  Also, I had to add the mode to make the monitor use a 85hz instead of 60hz.

What did not work:

  • I have to start XWindows with the external monitor unplugged.  Otherwise, the laptop uses the 1024x768 setting from the monitor for the laptop screen, which is normally 1440x900.



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