Ubuntu Linux 10.04, NVidia and three monitors


Bought a new nVidia 9800 so I could run three monitors with my Dell 531s (yeah I know, no powerhouse, but I have done development on FAR inferior machines -- it's just fine)

Gotcha #1 :
Dell BIOS doesn't want to use the onboard card while using an add-on
Solution #1 :
in BIOS, set the onboard as the first to init

Gotcha #2 :
nVidia drivers are a bit flaky... not when they're configured and running, just getting them running...
Solution #2 :
with a monitor attached to the onboard vga --
all as root (sudo)
'sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.bak'
'sudo nvidia-xconfig'
this will generate a generic xorg.conf which will allow you to get started
you should enable ctrl+alt+bkspc to stop/start your xserver (window manager essentially)
In Karmic the restart Xserver shortcut is disabled by default. Enable it thus:

1. System>Preferences>Keyboard>Layouts Tab>'Key Sequence To Kill the X server'

2. Check ctrl+alt+backspace

now you can use that shortcut to restart the x server (need that in a minute)

Gotcha #3 :
Okay more of a todo than a gotcha...
Basically, add in a monitor at a time then restart the xserver, backup each successive xorg.conf that this activity generates, to fall back on...

More tonight... Gotta make the donuts!