Dual Head Nvidia in Ubuntu Linux 8.10

I recently blew away my desktop machine and installed the new Ubuntu Linux 8.10 Intepid Ibex released today. Since I have two monitors at home (2 x 21″ Samsung 213T LCD’s), I normally use a dual-head setup. Easily enough there is an application, nvidia-settings, that makes this stupid proof.

After doing the base install and firing up nvidia-settings, when saving the Xorg conf, the app crashed, Seg fault, wonderful. I ran it through strace which didn’t seem too helpful, complaining about a bunch of files not found. I thought if I ‘touched’ the files, nvidia-settings would be happy. No love.

Running to Google I came across this bug in Ubuntu’s Launchpad bug tracker. I scanned the posts in there and found one that helped.

rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf* 

and re-run nvidia-settings. When you go to save the Xorg conf, just give it the true path of the file you want to write, /etc/X11/xorg.conf. It seems that nvidia-settings does not like an incomplete xorg.conf, possibly unhappy about a missing ServerLayout section.

Quit the program, reboot, voila. Now dual head Ubuntu persists across reboots. I must imagine this bug is going to hit a lot of people, hope this helps!