I've been looking into getting the video up and running on the dell studio 15 I bought using Linux. The aim is to have it boot up with the panel active, then press the FN+F8 key and change the screen setup so that the external LCD and CRT I have connected become active instead.
So first I tried to use the properitery ATI drivers, and got a bit stuck. So I though I'd sawp to use the radeonhd drivers. I had even less look with these initialy. I did try lots of different version, untill I started useing the cutting edge ones in the git tree. All had the same problem. I'd boot up and get a black screen! I think what is happening is it's not activing the correct screen.
Anyway after the free drives did not work, I swaped back to the ATI fglrx divers. I've not figured out how too boot up with the laptop in a extranl dual screen (and both with different resolutions) mode. I've also wrote a script in ruby that will spawn the screens over to the intrenal panel. However I've yet to find a way of booting and using the panel, then sawping to the external screens.
The modes I need for the extrnal screen don't get added when booting up and using the panel. This is a real pain. I'm also begin to suppect that the ATI graphics drivers are not paying a lot of attention to the xorg.conf file. For instance aticonfig --enable-monitor lvds, will cause the laptop to boot up in internal panel mode. However aticonfig --enable-monitor crt1,tmds2 will cause it too boot up in dual screen mode. The command was not run as root, so this did not effect the xorg.conf. However it does effect the way the X server starts up.
This is quite anoying, I supect I need todo more googling on the issue.