Fullscreen games and Nvidia TwinView

Today, I decided to play a game on my suse box for the first time since I have my “new” game rig. I didn’t play any games under linux lately since Microsoft gave us a free windows 7 RC. 😉 I decided to play some Urban Terror but a few hurdles needed to be taken first.

First one: some time ago I managed to screw up my glx acceleration, yielding a “Unable to create SDL screen: Could not create GL context” error. So I installed the latest nvidia binary driver which detected the screw up and fixed it for me.

Second: I have 2 monitors connected: one CRT on the left and one LCD on the right. The LCD is the primary (which confuses some apps). Anyway, when starting an SDL game like Urt, it only sees one monitor (the “beauty” of nvidia twinview 😉 ) and projects its graphics somewhere half-way the primary screen with all the rest left black. I.e. unusable. As I understand it’s an Nvidia problem as they do not obey the rules of the game (meaning xrandr and consorts) for which they had their reasons too (at least back in the day).
Anyway, to solve it, let’s have a look at my original xorg config, or rather the relevant metamode line:

Option "metamodes" "CRT: 1280x1024_85 +0+0, DFP: 1680x1050_60 +1280+0"

We can see there is one mode defined with my crt on the right and my LCD on the right (+1280). The solution is to simply add a second mode in which we disable the CRT and to switch to that mode using the mode cycle shortcut ctrl+alt+”+” before starting a game. When you’re down switch back to your first mode.

Option "metamodes" "CRT: 1280x1024_85 +0+0, DFP: 1680x1050_60 +1280+0;NULL,DFP:1680x1050_60"

You can add as many modes as you want for your different gaming setups. 😉 It’s not ideal, but it does the trick and it even maintains my full desktop resolution (so apps don’t get confused or icons get misplaced) which you can access by “scrolling” on the side.

Third problem: no matter how I tweaked the framerate cap, vertical sync or other graphics settings, I didn’t achieve the smooth framerate I’m used to from Windows or previous linux installs. Somehow the framerate was really high but not entirely smooth. I tried playing online and had a horrible aim. If I didn’t know it ran flawlessly on my old suse box with ATI radeon 9800 pro, I would have stopped looking. Then I realised: let’s try disable desktop compositing. Problem solved! Smooth framerate, 0wnage ensued.

btw: nowadays, Urt’s master server is down. I created an autoexec.cfg in ~/.q3a/q3ut4/ with the line:

cl_master master.urbanterror.info

Last problem solved. 🙂

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