: Run Usb X seat and a text shell on a dual screen P4. under linux.

I am running a ud-160 docking station under XP on an old Dell P4. (2 Gig ram, 2.66Ghz single core, yes that old) It drives a 1600x900 screen the on-board intel graphics just won’t handle. I have 1280x1024 screen driven by the on-board graphics. Now, I’d like to run linux on this old beast, using both screens.

I know I cannot run an X session on both screens. I’d like to run X on the docking station seat, while just running a text shell on the built-in graphics. I believe Fedora 17 Gnome fallback mode could provide good X performance for general tasks. (Web browsing/ Libre Office). Can I use both Screens, if doesn’t run X? I know others must be running old iron like this. Any tips or pointers would be very welcome. I am new to linux. I want to learn both GUI and command-line linux .

Hi Jeffrey - Thanks for posting! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend trying to make the switch to Linux on this hardware.

How (and whether) things can be configured this way on Linux is very distro dependent, and dependent on specific versions of Linux components.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to give “generic” setup advice that would work in a high percentage of cases.

For example, I’d recommend running Fedora 18 Beta, which has great support for plug and play use of PCI and USB graphics controllers together — but because of Gnome 3’s composited desktop and some other details of how its implemented, it results in terrible performance vs. XP on the same hardware. I doubt you’d be happy on a P4.

And the text / graphics idea you have is a smart path – but I’ve had trouble getting Linux’s text console to work side-by-side with a graphics X session like this. I’m not sure it’s impossible, but it’s hard enough to configure that I haven’t been able to do it (I was motivated to, since this would be a great way to develop and debug the USB graphics drivers alongside a stable text console – but never could get it running).

Sorry for all the bad news. But I don’t want to recommend anything I know is troublesome or that I haven’t been able to get working myself.


Thanks Bernie,
Now I know this box is best used as an XP based remote desktop client, or text Shell based server using the internal display system. I had hoped to move from XP to linux on this hardware. I could even use Virtualbox to run a server under XP. XP would run the displays, while linux talked to the world. Wayland may save the day. Your Fedora info and tuning tips are very welcome.