Linux Format - - CONTENTS -

Miss­ing Linux fea­tures, miss­ing fea­tures in Lin­uxFor­mat, miss­ing our Dell XPS 13 and more miss­ing!

Way back in the 1990s I de­vel­oped TheDig­i­talDJDance Man­ager, which ran on a PC with Win­dows XP Pro. While it was writ­ten us­ing Vis­ual Ba­sic 6 I would like to clean it up and re­write it to run on Linux. The un­for­tu­nate thing is that this pro­gram en­ables one to use seven si­mul­ta­ne­ous dis­plays, which isn’t eas­ily done with any of the Linux dis­tros I’ve seen.

While the cur­rent re­lease of DJ isn’t pretty, it does get around the ir­ri­ta­tions which the use of Tabs pose when us­ing an iPad! One dis­play with tabs is not con­ducive to pro­grams like this, or for busi­nesses such as stock­tak­ing, bank­ing, pur­chas­ing and par­tic­u­larly like mul­ti­dis­play video gam­ing.

When is Linux going to make it eas­ier to add multiple dis­plays to its oth­er­wise pow­er­ful sys­tem? I’ve reg­u­larly had to use Win­dows when set­ting up multi-dis­play sys­tems for use by all of my busi­ness clients – they’re ad­dicted to hav­ing more that two dis­plays.

Another valu­able prod­uct that seems to be Win­dows and Ap­ple unique is called a Worm­hole! This en­ables one to eas­ily con­nect two dif­fer­ent sys­tems to­gether via the USB port and have them work as a sin­gle com­puter from just one of their key­boards and track­ball. Elec­tro Group, via email Neil says: The clas­sic Achilles’ heel of Linux is where the hard­ware and soft­ware worlds meet. Both the things you men­tion here re­ally aren’t fea­tures, but prod­ucts of­fered through hard­ware ven­dors.

The Worm­hole is the eas­i­est to ad­dress, I’ve never come across this, but it looks sim­i­lar to the USB Direct Ca­ble Con­nec­tion that Win­dows used to of­fer to mi­grate in­stalls, made ob­so­lete by a net­worked op­tion. Re­ally, you’re ask­ing the com­pany to sup­port Linux with its pro­pri­etary ca­ble so­lu­tion. Much of what you’re af­ter would be achieved us­ing a re­mote desk­top so­lu­tion such as TightVNC, which en­ables live screen/mouse/key­board cap­ture plus drag-and-drop shar­ing.

As for multiple mon­i­tors, from what I can tell X11 has sup­ported multiple GPUs with xrandr since v1.4 was re­leased in early 2013, but this needs to go hand-in-hand with driver sup­port, too. It’s not some­thing we’ve tried but all the in­for­ma­tion does seem to im­ply Linux can power up to at least 10 dis­plays (in all like­li­hood more), even across dif­fer­ent GPU man­u­fac­tur­ers, as long as you have the hard­ware to do so. Per­haps us­ing pro­pri­etary drivers would make things eas­ier?

Every­one loves more than one dis­play, but six? Ma­trox says yes!

Dell de­serves all of the ac­claim it’s built with its Linux-pow­ered PCs.

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