ubuntu on the Sun Utra20 with dual displays

After getting my Ultra 20 up and running, I didn’t like the pre-installed version of Solaris, and Windows XP 64bit sucked (although it did run, it was just incredibly buggy….suprise!) my new plan was to install Ubuntu, which is my current linux distro of choice, and my dual head display working, and install a vmware instance of Windows XP for when I want to run something that is windows only, like Google Earth.

So, after spending a couple hours on it, this is exactly what you need to do to get a dual head display working in Ubuntu on a Sun Ultra 20.

This quick howto assumes a bunch of things.

A. That you already installed Ubuntu and are able to login successfully and connect to the internet.
B. That you know how to use the vi editor (or at least know how to edit, save and quit) if you don’t, replace anywhere that I mention vi with whatever editor your comfortable with.
C. that I didn’t type anything wrong

Lastly, before we get into the good stuff, this probably will work with any install of Ubuntu where you are using teh nVidia Quadro FX 330 or similar card. You can get the the drivers mention later on by going here:

These drivers should work on a good amount of nVidias product line, you can see if it works with your card by looking at the compatibility list here:

Now onto the the how-to

1. start up ubuntu.

2. when you get to the gdm login manager, hit control-alt-F1 to get to a terminal window and then login.

3. type:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm stop

4. put the Sun Ultra 20 supplement CD into the cdrom drive, and type :

sudo mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom

5. now type:

sudo vi /etc/ld.so.conf

before the /lib32 and /usr/lib32 lines, add the following:


then save the file and exit

6. type:

sudo /sbin/ldconfig

8. now you will need to install a bunch of ubuntu packages that are not included by default.
binutils 2.16.1-2ubuntu6

I installed them all one at a time because I didn’t know what I really needed at first, but you should be able to install them all at once by typing this at the prompt:

sudo apt-get linux-headers-2.6.12-9 \
linux-headers-2.6.12-9-amd64-generic \
linux-kernel-headers libc6-dev gcc-3.4-base \
linux-source-2.6.12 make binutils 2.16.1-2ubuntu6

9. Now you should be ready to actually install the drivers. cd into:

10. then type:

sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-1.0-7667-pkg2.run

there are a bunch of command line options you can give it, so that you don’t have to use the wizard, and you can essentially let it just autoinstall the entire thing, not asking you anything.
This should get you real close:
sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-1.0-7667-pkg2.run \
–accept-license \

11. Now, all that there is left to do is edit the xorg.conf config to use the new driver.
But first we need to backup the original config incase something explodes
so, type:

sudo cp /etc/X11R6/xorg.conf /etc/X11R6/xorg.conf.orig

12. now edit the config…. type:

sudo vi /etc/X11R6/xorg.conf
Look for the following 2 lines in the config, and either delete them, or comment them out. Both of them should be in the “Modules” section.
Load “GLcore”
Load “dri”

13. Now go to the “Device” section
and replace the line that says:
Driver “nv”
Driver “nvidia”

14. under the Driver “nvidia” line that you added a minute ago, add the following 2 lines:
Option “TwinView”
Option “MetaModes” “1280×1024,1280×1024”

The first one enables Nvidia’s “TwinView” mode. This tells the video card that you have 2 displays. Enabling this means that you don’t have to bother telling X anything really about the second display.

The next line tells X what graphics modes to use for both of the displays. In my case, I have 2 Dell LCD’s and they can only handle about 1280×1024. The first resolution is for the first display, the second is for the second display. They can be completely differant resolutions if you want.

Now save the file and exit.

15. All you have left to do now is restart gdm and hope nothing went wrong. type:
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm start

if anything goes really wrong, you should still be able to hit control-alt-F1 to get back to the console, where you can stop gdm again and try to see what went wrong.

If you run into any problems, or want to enable other features or whatever, Nvidia included a pretty useful readme file on the Sun supplemant cd

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