Does CentOS Support Dual Graphics Cards With 2 Monitors Each?

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I have a user who wants to have 4 monitors attached to his CentOS 6.4 system. I know that you can’t use both on-board video and a PCI video card at the same time, but what about two PCI
video cards? The system seems to recognize them as shown by the lspci -v output below, but I can’t get Xorg to use the second card. Has anyone done this? If so, what is the trick to get it to work?

Alfred

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family DRAM Controller (rev 09)
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information

00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200/2nd Generation Core Processor Family PCI Express Root Port (rev 09) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary, secondary, subordinate, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00004000-00004fff Memory behind bridge: ed000000-ee0fffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000e0000000-00000000e9ffffff Capabilities: [88] Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Capabilities: [80] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [90] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
Capabilities: [a0] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [140] Root Complex Link
Kernel driver in use: pcieport

00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 11
Memory at eebb0000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [8c] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+

00:19.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (rev 04)
Subsystem: Dell Device 047e Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 32
Memory at eeb00000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size8K]
Memory at eeb80000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=4K]
I/O ports at 5040 [size2]
Capabilities: [c8] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [d0] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [e0] PCI Advanced Features Kernel driver in use: e1000e Kernel modules: e1000e

00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
Memory at eeb70000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [58] Debug port: BAR=1 offseta0
Capabilities: [98] PCI Advanced Features Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd

00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 31
Memory at eeb60000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [sizeK]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [60] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [70] Express Root Complex Integrated Endpoint, MSI 00
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [130] Root Complex Link
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev b4) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary, secondary, subordinate, sec-latency=0
Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2

00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev b4) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary, secondary, subordinate, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00003000-00003fff Memory behind bridge: ee100000-eeafffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000ea100000-00000000eaafffff Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2

00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 5 (rev b4) (prog-if 00 [Normal decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary, secondary, subordinate, sec-latency=0
I/O behind bridge: 00002000-00002fff Memory behind bridge: eb000000-ec0fffff Prefetchable memory behind bridge: 00000000d0000000-00000000d9ffffff Capabilities: [40] Express Root Port (Slot+), MSI 00
Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
Capabilities: [90] Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Capabilities: [a0] Power Management version 2

00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04) (prog-if 20 [EHCI])
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
Memory at eeb50000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=1K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
Capabilities: [58] Debug port: BAR=1 offseta0
Capabilities: [98] PCI Advanced Features Kernel driver in use: ehci_hcd

00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev a4) (prog-if 01 [Subtractive decode])
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0
Bus: primary, secondary, subordinate, sec-latency=0
Capabilities: [50] Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad

00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Q65 Express Chipset Family LPC Controller (rev 04)
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 0
Capabilities: [e0] Vendor Specific Information
Kernel modules: iTCO_wdt

00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller (rev 04) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0])
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: bus master, 66MHz, medium devsel, latency 0, IRQ 30
I/O ports at 5090 [size=8]
I/O ports at 5080 [size=4]
I/O ports at 5070 [size=8]
I/O ports at 5060 [size=4]
I/O ports at 5020 [size2]
Memory at eeb40000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=2K]
Capabilities: [80] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit-
Capabilities: [70] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [a8] SATA HBA
Capabilities: [b0] PCI Advanced Features Kernel driver in use: ahci Kernel modules: ahci

00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
Subsystem: Dell Device 04ad Flags: medium devsel, IRQ 18
Memory at eeb30000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size%6]
I/O ports at 5000 [size2]
Kernel modules: i2c-i801

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 104a (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. Device 809f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
Memory at ed000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [sizeM]
Memory at e0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size8M]
Memory at e8000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size2M]
I/O ports at 4000 [size8]
Expansion ROM at ee000000 [disabled] [sizeQ2K]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [68] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [78] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
Capabilities: [b4] Vendor Specific Information
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [128] Power Budgeting
Capabilities: [600] Vendor Specific Information
Kernel driver in use: nouveau Kernel modules: nouveau, nvidiafb

01:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GF119 HDMI Audio Controller (rev a1)
Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. Device 809f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
Memory at ee080000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [sizeK]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [68] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [78] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

04:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 104a (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. Device 809f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
Memory at eb000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [sizeM]
Memory at d0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size8M]
Memory at d8000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size2M]
I/O ports at 2000 [size8]
Expansion ROM at ec000000 [disabled] [sizeQ2K]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [68] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [78] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
Capabilities: [b4] Vendor Specific Information
Capabilities: [100] Virtual Channel
Capabilities: [128] Power Budgeting
Capabilities: [600] Vendor Specific Information
Kernel driver in use: nouveau Kernel modules: nouveau, nvidiafb

04:00.1 Audio device: NVIDIA Corporation GF119 HDMI Audio Controller (rev a1)
Subsystem: Micro-Star International Co., Ltd. Device 809f Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 17
Memory at ec080000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [sizeK]
Capabilities: [60] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [68] MSI: Enable- Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [78] Express Endpoint, MSI 00
Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

13 thoughts on - Does CentOS Support Dual Graphics Cards With 2 Monitors Each?

  • actually with newer systems, the hardware does allow you to use builtin and pci-express video concurrently. I had 3 monitors briefly on my home (MS Windows 8) system, 2 were on a Nvidia GT640, the 3rd was hot plugged into the onboard (Intel i5-3570k HD4000) and it just came up as another screen without any intervention or even rebooting. When I
    first got the GT640, I had one monitor plugged into each until I got another suitable DVI cable.

  • What does xrandr report?

    (I’ve used Matrox M9140 and the matrox prop driver. That combo provides quad monitors with one graphics card.)

  • I can use dual monitors on a single PCI card (or the motherboard) with the nouveau drivers on most of the desktops I manage, so the proprietary driver is not required for this. However, I will instal it to see if it recognizes the second PCI card.

    Alfred

  • Everything I’ve googled lead me to believe this wasn’t possible. I did stumble across an interesting setting in the BIOS yesterday (which I
    cannot find today) that implied something along these lines, but it stated that it should only be used for Windows 7 and would have no effect on other operation systems.

    When I plug in a monitor to the on-board VGA output and the PIC video card, the BIOS won’t let the system boot. I will try the hot-plug trick to see if it works for me.

    Alfred

  • Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 8192 x 8192
    DVI-I-1 connected 1920×1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 518mm x 3200mm
    1920×1080 59.9*+
    1600×1200 60.0
    1680×1050 60.0
    1280×1024 75.0 60.0
    1440×900 59.9
    1280×960 60.0
    1280×800 59.8
    1152×864 75.0
    1024×768 75.1 70.1 60.0
    832×624 74.6
    800×600 72.2 75.0 60.3 56.2
    640×480 72.8 75.0 66.7 60.0
    720×400 70.1
    HDMI-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
    VGA-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

    That looks promising; I will have to check it out. Did you use this on Linux, and specifically CentOS?

    Alfred

  • linux, or rather, X, may not be able to cope, but the fact that windows
    *can* cope with it implies the hardware is certainly capable.

    I *know* with the early (and really lousy performance) intel onboard stuff, you flat couldn’t use the onboard if an external card was plugged into the AGP slot. I suspect this only works on the newest intel stuff, where the video controller is built into the CPU chip, that would be the ‘sandy bridge’ and ‘ivy bridge’ architecture Core i3/i5/i7
    chips. I might also add, the HD4000 in some of the better Ivy Bridge chips performs quite well, its about half as fast as the low-to-midrange Nvidia GT640 as measured by framerate during various 3D drawing benchmarks. Certainly not going to satisfy a gamer, but for my purposes (Google Earth, Stellarium, etc), its fine. I got the GT640
    because I needed dual DVI and my motherboard only had DVI+VGA

  • However, it can and does work with many 2002-era Intel chipsets if you use a *PCI* video card. I’m getting three monitor output with a Dell Dimension 4500S here; one on the motherboard VGA and two on an nVidia GeForce 6200-series PCI card. No, it’s not very fast, but for a
    2002-era P4 2.0GHz it’s plenty fast enough for what the system is doing.

  • Yes, I have no problems with this either and have most of my users running with two monitors and the nouveau driver. But I’m trying to set up one user with 4 monitors now.

    This morning I’ve had partial success after installing the kmod-nvidia RPM, playing with nvidia-settings, and manually editing the xorg.conf file. It’s working as 2 (or 3?) separate X screens so that you can’t drag windows around all monitors, but it’s a start.

    Alfred

  • I previously suggested the Matrox M9140 with the matrox proprietary driver
    (m9x), but the current one does not support the Xorg server 1.13 which is the current server for CentOS 6.4. Until they update the driver package, it can’t be installed on a CentOS 6.4 system.

    In the next few weeks I’m going to test some other graphic cards that have four monitor connections on one card:
    ATI FirePro 2460 Multiview
    NVidia Quadro NVS 420
    NVidia Quadro NVS 510
    I hope that they will work with the open source driver (radeon or nouveau).

  • I’ve got a triple-head set-up running where 1 monitor is off the internal Intel HD-4000 GPU and 2x monitors are off a GT550-Ti using the nVidia drivers. I could not get xrandr support to work
    (and attributed that to Intel / nVidia not co-operating). I found that using the nVidia xserver setting GUI and hand-editing the xorg.conf file to be the best solution. I have similar (but slightly) different set-ups working under Fedora-17 and CentOS-6. All 3x screens are in on large canvass (so screens can be drag from any monitor to any where on the canvass, e.g., xinerama) across 2x X-servers — so full screen either occupies the 1x Dell 24″ or the 2x E-Bay 27″ “specials”. The key I found is locking things in with the BusID w/PCI designation settings.

    HTH

    -rak-

    Here is the xorg.conf — in case that helps:

    # nvidia-settings: X configuration file generated by nvidia-settings
    # nvidia-settings: version 304.37 (mockbuild@) Tue Aug 14 06:30:17 CEST 2012

    Section “ServerLayout”
    Identifier “Layout0”
    Screen 0 “Screen0” 0 0
    Screen 1 “Screen1” RightOf “Screen0”
    InputDevice “Keyboard0” “CoreKeyboard”
    InputDevice “Mouse0” “CorePointer”
    Option “Xinerama” “1”
    EndSection

    Section “Files”
    EndSection

    Section “InputDevice”

    # generated from default
    Identifier “Mouse0”
    Driver “mouse”
    Option “Protocol” “auto”
    Option “Device” “/dev/input/mice”
    Option “Emulate3Buttons” “no”
    Option “ZAxisMapping” “4 5”
    EndSection

    Section “InputDevice”

    # generated from data in “/etc/sysconfig/keyboard”
    Identifier “Keyboard0”
    Driver “keyboard”
    Option “XkbLayout” “us”
    Option “XkbModel” “pc105”
    EndSection

    Section “Monitor”

    # HorizSync source: edid, VertRefresh source: edid
    Identifier “Monitor0”
    VendorName “Unknown”
    ModelName “FRT DIGITAL”
    HorizSync 30.0 – 91.0
    VertRefresh 56.0 – 61.0
    Option “DPMS”
    EndSection

    Section “Monitor”
    Identifier “Monitor1”
    VendorName “Dell”
    ModelName “Dell 2405FPW”
    HorizSync 30.0 – 81.0
    VertRefresh 56.0 – 76.0
    Option “DPMS”
    EndSection

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Device0”
    Driver “nvidia”
    VendorName “NVIDIA Corporation”
    BoardName “GeForce GTX 550 Ti”
    BusID “PCI:1:0:0”
    EndSection

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Device1”
    Driver “intel”
    VendorName “intel”
    BoardName “intel”
    BusID “PCI:0:2:0”
    Option “monitor-HDMI2” “Monitor1”
    EndSection

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Screen1”
    Device “Device0”
    Monitor “Monitor0”
    DefaultDepth 24
    Option “Stereo” “0”
    Option “nvidiaXineramaInfoOrder” “DFP-0”
    Option “metamodes” “DFP-0: 2560×1440 +0+0, DFP-2:
    2560×1440 +2560+0; DFP-0: nvidia-auto-select +0+0, DFP-2:
    nvidia-auto-select +2560+0”
    # Option “metamodes” “DFP-0: 2560×1440 +0+0; DFP-0:
    nvidia-auto-select +0+0”
    SubSection “Display”
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection EndSection

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Screen0”
    Device “Device1”
    Monitor “Monitor1”
    DefaultDepth 24
    Option “metamodes” “HDMI1: 1920×1200 +0+0”
    SubSection “Display”
    Depth 24
    EndSubSection EndSection

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