One of the new features to land with Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 5 is the displayconfig-gtk. This new GTK control panel is similar to NVIDIA's nvidia-settings panel and ATI's Catalyst Control Center, which allow for GUI-based modifying of your xorg.conf to control such options as the display resolution, setting up multiple display heads in either an extended mode or mirroring, and changing your graphics driver. In this article, we are taking a brief tour of this early displayconfig-gtk application.
Last week we reported that Ubuntu 7.10 will not include Xserver 1.4, and since then Canonical's Bryce Harrington had clarified exactly what will be included with the Ubuntu 7.10 desktop CD. Ubuntu 7.10 will ship with Xserver 1.3 and many X.Org 7.3 components, but since Xserver 1.4 is being released after the Gutsy Gibbon feature freeze, it will not be included by default. While Xserver 1.4 has been postponed, this will not affect displayconfig-gtk or bullet-proof-x. Bryce will also be working on backporting some of the fixes into Ubuntu 7.10.
When launching displayconfig-gtk it is called "Screen and Graphics Preferences". The user interface contains two tabs -- screen and graphics card -- as well as the ability to alter settings for specific locations. The specific settings for each screen include the resolution, frequency, and orientation. You are also able to test any changes before applying them.
The displayconfig-gtk program supports multiple monitors and for each screen you can either have it set to "Plug 'n' Play", where it would read the EDID data to gather the screen information, or to manually specify a monitor model. The monitor model list includes products from a variety of manufacturers as well as a number of generic listings.