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Is this even possible? I've got 3 monitors (#1, #2, and #3) and 2 video cards (A and B). #1 and #2 are connected to video card A, and #3 is connected to B. I want to rotate monitors #2 and #3, and keep #1 between them (so it will look a bit like an H). I'd like to be able to move windows between them freely and I'd like compositing. Is there any way I can do this using xrandr? That seems like what everyone is telling me to use, but I can't get it to work right. What should I do to get this to work?

EDIT: Supposedly xrandr 1.4 can do this. I'm going to look into it more.

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I have done this a few years ago, though I was not using compositing (and I have no reason to think it makes any difference). The performance was not good enough to have a decent gaming experience (which is why I'm using a single card with three monitors now) though if you're not looking for twitchy-fast gaming it should be fine. First make sure you have the current nvidia drivers. Sorry I don't still have the xrandr command I used though:

It should be something of this form:

xrandr --output DISPLAY_NAME_1 \
          --mode 1920x1080 \
          --left-of DISPLAY_NAME_2 \
          --rotate left \
       --output DISPLAY_NAME_2 \
          --rotate normal \
          --left-of DISPLAY_NAME_3 \
       --output DISPLAY_NAME_3 \
          --mode 1920x1080 \
          --rotate left

It will take some fiddling and likely be frustrating though rest assured it is possible.

  • The problem I'm getting is that I can't get all of them on the same screen. From Wikipedia: "RandR 1.2 only permits one virtual screen per display device. It is not possible to assign each monitor on a device to a different screen (sometimes called "Zaphod" mode), or to combine monitors from multiple devices into a single screen." So even if I get the rotation correct, I still won't be able to move between them as far as I can tell. – mrobinson7627 Dec 5 '13 at 19:44
  • I fiddled with the command a bit and I got it to work decently well. I've got two problems though. First, the monitor on the other video card is not part of the same screen as the other two, so my window manager is not running over there, and I can't move windows to it. Secondly, my other monitor is only kind-of rotated. It's still in landscape, but it's squished like it's trying to be portrait. It's tough to explain, but basically the rotation didn't take. – mrobinson7627 Dec 5 '13 at 19:56

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