This is what I did to get Xinerama working. I've got one laptop with a wide screen display and an external monitor with normal 4:3 aspect ratio.

Furthermore, I'm using the free, open source video drivers (for my nVIDIA card), so I cannot use their nice GUI for setting it up. On the other hand, this approach will work for all kinds of video cards, so read on!

Using xrandr to set make use of the two screen

This sets up the external screen to the right of my laptop screen, positioning on the pixel by giving the resolution of the laptop screen.

$ xrandr  --output VGA1 --right-of LVDS --pos 1440x900 --auto

When I disconnect the external screen, I do the following to get all the windows on the external screen onto the laptop screen:

$ xrandr  --output VGA1 --off

Of course, I've added these lines to my.xinitrc to set this up automatically when I start my computer :-)

Using xrandr to set make use of two screens with different orientation

This is the command I use to set up my external screen to the right of my laptop screen. My external screen I've set to display in portrait orientation whereas the laptop screen has the default landscape orientation.

$ xrandr --output VGA-1 --right-of LVDS-1 --auto --rotate left

Changes to the X configuration

Update 2010-07-27 11:31: I no longer need to make these changes to```xorg.conf``` to get xinerama working (using the```nouveau``` rather than the ```nv``` driver, both of which are open source and free).

Versions of related software:

You need to enter the full view area to your/etc/X11/xorg.conf, adding up the resolutions of the two screens, as reported by thexrandr -q command.

Section "Screen"
Identifier     "Screen0"
Device         "Device0"
Monitor        "Monitor0"
DefaultDepth    24
SubSection     "Display"
Depth       24
    #  1440+1600  900+1200
Virtual     3040 2100

Licensed under CC BY Creative Commons License ~ ✉ torstein.k.johansen @ gmail ~ 🐘 ~ 🐦 @torsteinkrause