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Projectors (aka Beamers) and Linux

External Projectors

There are several different methods to activate support for an external monitor (or beamer, or overhead display): as a BIOS option or during runtime with a keystroke e.g. <Fn>+<F4> (for my HP OmniBook 800 it's <Fn>+<Print>).

Note: You should turn on the projector first and wait until it's fully initialized before you turn the laptop on. If you have to toggle the signal at the VGA port (remember the keystroke above!) give the projector some seconds to catch the new signal. In other words don't toggle to fast.

For NeoMagic chipsets you have to edit /etc/XF86Config by configuring intern_disp and extern_disp. see /usr/X11/lib/X11/doc/README.neo (SuSE) or /usr/doc/xserver-common/README.neo.gz (Debian) for details:

3.  Technical Notes
o  Enable both internal "intern_disp" and external "extern_disp"
 options to get simultaneous panel/CRT support.

If you can't get this to work with XFree86, try a demo version of the commercial X servers mentioned above.

If you have lost the specs of your monitor you may try: Monitorworld.


i810switch is an utility for switching the LCD and external VGA displays on and off under Linux. It was originally written by Antonino Daplas, and is now maintained by Ken Mano (mano at agate.plala.or.jp).

Survey of Beamers / Projectors

Manufacturer Model Annotations
3M MP8620, MP8640, MP8730 SVGA/XGA, S-Video
COMPAQ MP 1600 600 ANSI Lumen, 1024x768, weight < 2kg
Epson 7100 1024x768
Hitachi CP-X960 XGA, S-video, USB, 1024x768
LG Electronics LP-XG2 XGA projector, compatible with the usual TV formats
Liesegang ddv 1111 ultra XGA, 1024x768, 1700 ANSI Lumen, works fine
SONY VPL-PX1 XGA, 1024x768, 1000 ANSI Lumen
Toshiba TY-G3  
Toshiba Mediastar TLP 510/511 VGA-, SVHS- Video IN and OUT, NTSC, PAL and SECAM IN, 600 ANSI Lumen, 1280x1024
Toshiba Mediastar TLP 410/411 VGA-, SVHS- Video IN and OUT, NTSC, PAL and SECAM IN, 500 ANSI Lumen, 1024x768


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© Werner Heuser 1997-2013 · http://tuxmobil.org/beamer_unix.html · last change Mon Jun 8 2009