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ASUS laptop and Xubuntu (11.10) running off the live CD will give me my dual monitors, but when I install Xubuntu I can't set up dual monitors. When I boot from the live CD both monitors come on even before it is fully booted. But in installed mode "desktop" and "grandr" says only one monitor. The "NVIDIA X Settings" show two monitors, (CRT-0- (ViewSonic VX1937), and DFP-0- (Apple Color LCD)), but the CRT-0- has no information in its window and the "Reset Hardware Defaults" button is grayed out.

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did you try to run the display monitor utility as sudo – LowvaPrg Dec 28 '11 at 18:29
What video card are you using? Is it with NVidia Optimus? – kobaltz Dec 28 '11 at 19:48

Looks like this is a known issue. This is what I found on the Ubuntu Forums. Hope it helps you.

Re: 11.10 dual monitor nvidia card problem

Hi folks! I guess I've found a solution for the multiple displays problem... only thanks to you guys.

1.) disable active drivers (if you have any after fresh install f.e.)

2.) install nvidia drivers current (not pre-release)

3.) reboot

4.) type cd /etc/X11/ and then cp xorg.conf xorg.conf.backup (it makes copy of your configuration file... {just in case})

5.) open up the terminal and enter: sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf

6.) after installation enter sudo nvidia-settings (it opens up the Nvidia X Server settings)

7.) goto X Server Display Configuration

8.) set your settings, BUT! don't hit apply... when you are finished hit Save to X Configuration File

9.) log off and log in again

and voala it should be done now! I had problems saving my X configuration file but I fixed it by the step number 4

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