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I'm running x64 Ubuntu 10.04, desktop edition. I've got 2 big graphics cards that handle 2 HDMI ports each. I've got 6 cores on processor as well.

I want to be able to show a different movie on each monitor wired up to each HDMI port, preferably FAST! So maybe use a processor for each card or something.

  1. How do I tell a media player (VLC, XMBC) to play on a specific screen (how to I "point" it to the right one)?
  2. Where do I start on delegating tasks to cores? I've never done multicore/threaded optimization before.

I'm looking for suggestions of software, packages, or code to start off with. If you know of tutorials online somewhere, that's really really great. Thanks!

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migrated from Jun 21 '11 at 19:18

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

I think this would be better asked on superuser. – Flimzy Jun 21 '11 at 19:03
ok, should I repost there? – lollercoaster Jun 21 '11 at 19:14
You can, although this question will likely be migrated there soon. – Flimzy Jun 21 '11 at 19:15

You can run separate X instances on each card or even each monitor. Xinerama needs to be off for that. If you run separate X instances, I think that they'll then be confined to the GPU they're on.

As for task delegation, that's getting pretty low level. You may need to read around docs for the kernel. "nice" possibly could help point you in the right direction. It'd be cool if 'nice' allowed you to dictate where things run, but that doesn't seem very likely.

You may be able to hack it by running things out of OpenVZ containers that are assigned to certain execution threads. I've never really tried though. As a user, you shouldn't ever need to really manage your resources that way. But yes, when I got my 8 core machine, I too wanted to toy with that a bit.

Have fun!

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sorry, what are X instances? – lollercoaster Jun 21 '11 at 19:18
err, that's kind of a deep rabbit hole if you're asking about it. Your graphical UI lives on top of a program called "X".. When a copy of X runs, it reads a config file and makes use of whatever hardware it's told to use (monitors, graphic cards, keyboards.. etc). You may be able to quickly set up separate "display views" through some "Displays" system preference/configuration tool.. Or a config tool specific to your video cards. Are you on ATI cards? – Doc Jun 21 '11 at 19:32
Yes, mine is this guy: – lollercoaster Jun 21 '11 at 22:05
So provided you have the proprietart AMD/ATI driver installed, then you can configure it through the ATI Control Panel - somewhere in your Administration menu (on Ubuntu, which I see tagged). – Doc Jun 21 '11 at 22:12

You can use the taskset command in linux to launch a program on a specific core. You can also use it on already running programs to tie them to a specific core.

XBMC has built in support to tie it to a specific screen. You can configure this by opening XBMC->Settings->Video Output->Display Mode and then set that to the screen you want.

I don't know how you would tie a specific program to a specific graphics core but is that really necessary?

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