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Is there any way to use 3 or more monitors with i3 and XRandR?

asked 2012-06-24 13:36:09 +0000

gk gravatar image

I want to use 3 or even 6 monitors with i3 as one desktop (one X11 instance). What are the possibilities?

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answered 2012-06-25 15:06:51 +0000

Tucos gravatar image

updated 2012-07-02 07:53:02 +0000

For starters, X11 cannot use (physical) displays connected to multiple cards as one (X11) screen (regardless of driver used, see e.g. nouveau's wiki). This means you'd have to use either xinerama (and thus lose dynamic modifications to the screen layout and losing some or all 3D acceleration), or multiple instances of i3 (being unable to move windows between [X11, and thus -to some extent- phyiscal] screens).

XRandR has none of these issues, thus you'd want to connect all displays to one card. nVidia only has twinview, which is able to use only a mere 2 displays connected to one card. AMD/ATI has this fancy stuff called eyefinity which (depending on the exact card, see setup) supports connecting a whopping 6 displays to one card.

You'll have to do some research as to which driver to use with which card and look into output plugs (and input plugs on the monitors plus optional conversion).

UPDATE: Apparently nVidia has an option called BaseMosaic, which circumvents the need for xinerama with multiple cards. See (all the way at the bottom): xconfigoptions.html

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answered 2012-06-24 21:30:25 +0000

I have not had the good luck to try this, but this should be no real problem as long as your graphics card makes the resolution for a X11 that big. I've got a dual monitor set up with one monitor using 1280x1024px and the other using 1920x1200 px resolution. That makes an X from 3200x1200 the maximum width my NVidia 8800 is able to handle. xrandr should not be a problem, it can handle multiple outputs with different resolutions and place them appropriately.

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answered 2012-06-25 05:50:14 +0000

joepd gravatar image

xrandr accepts the following options:

[code]--left-of, --right-of, --above, --below, --same-as OUTPUT [/code]

With some experimenting you should get it done (provided that your graphical card can handle the combined resolution).

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Asked: 2012-06-24 13:36:09 +0000

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Last updated: Jul 02 '12