Dell Latitute D620 Laptop and NVIDIA Drivers for Ubuntu

After a recent update to Ubuntu 12.04, my Dell Latitude D620 Laptop quit mirroring the display across the laptop screen and the television connected to the dock’s S-Video port. I had previously chosen not to upgrade to Ubuntu 12.10 because of this issue, and 12.04 had worked correctly until today. It seems that the driver installed quit supporting some of the options I needed:

root@ishta:~# nvidia-xconfig --twinview
nvidia-xconfig: unrecognized option: "--twinview"

Invalid commandline, please run `nvidia-xconfig --help` for usage information.

It appears that installing an older version of the NVIDIA drivers:

aptitude install nvidia-173

and removing the current version of the drivers:

aptitude purge nvidia-current

solves the problem. Hopefully this will work for future versions of Ubuntu as well.

How Nvidia Took the Fun Out of Dual Screen Xorg Configuration

Dual screen configuration used to be quite the hassle on Linux. However, Nvidia has made it incredibly easy with their nvidia-xconfig command. The “–no-logo” argument eliminates the Nvidia logo when X starts, and “–twinview” enables the second display.

nvidia-xconfig --no-logo --twinview

Now I can configure my systems for dual displays during an Ubuntu installation without the need for reinstalling an old hacked together xorg.conf file.