Ross Burton blogged about his first experiences with XRandr 1.2. In case you are not familiar with the topic: XRandR 1.2 is supposed to be the bright future of X: it will bring on-the-fly hardware changes to X without the need of a X-restart. Like in Ross’ example, you will be able to attach a new monitor or a projector to your laptop – without restarting or reconfiguring X.
Ross now showed the first output examples of XRandR:
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 240, current 1024 x 768, maximum 1680 x 1050
VGA disconnected 0mm x 0mm
LVDS connected 1024x768+0+0 246mm x 185mm
1024x768 50.0 + 60.0* 40.0
640x480 60.0 59.9
TV disconnected 0mm x 0mm
And if you now want to change the setup, all you have to do is
xrandr --output LVDS --off --output VGA --mode 1680x1050
I like the fact that we have this support now in X (at least in the development version) and that it is already usable, for some people at least. Because for me this is one of the two main reasons why I do not wipe out the hard disk of the laptops of my friends: they would be lost when they have to get connected to an external device which does happen once in a while (the other reason is sucking software installation, btw.).
Unfortunately, Ross didn’t test Xinerama with XRandR 1.2, but as I understand Xinerama should be now problem at all because it is somehow covered by XRandR.
Finally, managing external devices could become as easy on Linux (and others) as it is on Windows and Mac OS, and probably even better when it becomes all nicely integrated. Very nice!