xrandr is your(my) friend!


I have had considerable difficulty connecting laptops (particularly ATI-based) to projectors at various conferences (the most annoying ones are where the projector is connected through an intermediate switch that multiplexes inputs) in order to get twinviews on dual-displays. Cant tell you about how many hours I and some of my colleagues have spent configuring, tuning, hand-coding xorg.conf files(an extremely tedious task). This is all on Solaris/OpenSolaris, though in some cases, Linux and even Windows didnt do any better!
Over the past few months, we now have xrandr in OpenSolaris which detects and sets displays to specifications. The typically 1024x768 is still the best resolution I can get in most places, but thats not the utility's shortcoming; its just the nature of the equipment.
You can typically just type the command:
    xrandr
to get a listing of connected devices and their possible resolutions. Then you can set the connection to the projector typically with a command like this:
    xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1024x768
to get dual-display.
Yay, finally a solution that seems to work most of the time (there are still the odd times when I've found it doesnt get it right). The next trip to Sun TechDays in Hyderabad, India, would be a good test of this capability. I will be talking about Sun Studio compilers and tools again, this year. We have some new and cool features to talk about, so if you're in the area, drop in!
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I have worked with Sun and Oracle for 25 years now; in compilers and tools organization for most of these years followed by a couple of years in Cloud Computing. I am now in ISV Engineering, where our primary task is to improve synergy between Oracle Sun Systems and our rich ISV ecosystem

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