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I know that the new 5xxx series cards from ATI are capable of powering up to 6 monitors, but I was curious if anyone had any such luck setting this up under linux. I actually only have three monitors that I am interested in using, but three is the point where the previous generation video cards started to get a little buggy as a result of needing multiple video cards. Is the linux support for this capability any good at this point, or is the Eyefinity support really only for windows at this time.

UPDATE 4/7/11: Since this page is the top hit on Google for linux eyefinity, I'd like to update it with more up-to-date information. I recently purchased a 5870 card, and using the drivers from ATI I was able to get eyefinity working much easier than I had expected. The driver even allowed me to rotate one of my monitors, something I had wanted to do for a long time. This has proved to be a much cleaner solution for my scenario than dual videos cards and xinerama.

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4 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Catalyst 10.7 adds support for Eyefinity on Linux: http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=ODQ0OA

This will allow you to have 3 monitors on one AMD/ATI graphics card with 3D acceleration.

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AFAIK the Linux support is still not forthcoming, Phoronix said it would post an article when the feature becomes available.

I posted with some eyefinity developers on the wide screen gaming forum and I must say that Linux did not seem to be within their viewscope let alone "on the list." Not surprising but irritating given that AMD has claimed Linux support even pre-launch. I would love a 1 card solution to drive my triple head (4960x1600) setup but I doubt it will ever be supported by ATI.

As of now I am using 2 x 9500 GT Nvidia cards (Note: DX10 supports 8000x8000 while DX9 cards only support 4000x4000). And I use a custom xorg.conf and fake xinerama to tie them together. Of note this solution only works on Ubuntu 8.04 as the newer versions use a HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer.) Temp fixes are in the works but only by a few individuals.

There is an older thread on Ubuntu forums (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=884161) about this. It is long but allowed me to setup my workstation. As you will soon discover there are a number of layers to the challenges to getting a multi-monitor setup in Linux and a real solution is going to require cooperation of several teams of developers and engineers.

To me the challenge made it that much more rewarding, but be prepared to get frustrated!

If you get stuck let me know I might be able to help. :)

An update as of 9/2011. I am running a MSI Radeon HD6990 with 3 30" monitors on the one video card and all is working smooth (after a bit of work configuring) with Slackware64 13.37.

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Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. I have my three monitors up and running on a nvidia 9800 GT and a nvidia quadro nvs 295 (for pcie x1). I indeed did go through the frustration, but eventually got it working. Like you though, the thought of a single card solution sounded particularly nice, so I wanted to see if it was possible yet. Thanks. –  Bryan Ward Jan 16 '10 at 16:19
    
This answer is now out of date. Catalyst 10.7 adds support for Eyefinity on Linux. See my answer for more details. –  Intrications Nov 13 '10 at 14:30
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I believe the official line from ATI is they do indeed intend to officially support Eyefinity on the Linux platform.

To quote from www.amd.com - "Linux support scheduled to be enabled via a future ATI Catalyst™ driver release."

I myself can't wait for this support to be forthcoming as I find the current situation with multiple cards and composited desktops is far from optimal. There has been some fleeting comments on the xorg dev mailing list suggesting some work on re-factoring Xinerama to be compatible with the compositing extensions but I'm not sure how long this may take them, or if indeed it will be seen through to its conclusion.

Even though eventually the ATI cards look like they will provide a way to side step those issues for those that can afford to upgrade their cards, it's still important for Xorg to support compositing with a multi card setup as this is the most common way of providing three or more head desktops and hopefully it wont take the xorg devs too long to make it possible.

I wonder if there's enough community desire for Xinerama compatible compositing in xorg to actually come together and pay a collective bounty in order to get this work done? I for one would be willing to send some money their way to make this happen.

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It has actually been done on Linux already, AMD just aren't releasing the driver yet. Check out this YouTube video to see it in all it's glory :-) youtube.com/watch?v=N6Vf8R_gOec –  JRT Jun 22 '10 at 12:13
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I have the 10.9 release on Ubuntu 9.04 with HD5800 Series, still getting #fail for screen 3, just blacks out/disabled on reboot. Sigh. With all the Eyefinity fanfare I had expected it to just work, will be scanning links posted above

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they're at 10.11 now apparently, have you retried? Also, are you using the binary driver or Ubuntu package? With nVidia proprietary drivers, it's sometimes better to install through their package; not sure if this is the case with AMD. –  gatoatigrado Nov 23 '10 at 8:15
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protected by studiohack Apr 27 '11 at 1:36

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