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External screen does not update in Fedora 20

asked 2014-02-03 06:21:10 -0500

makabj gravatar image

updated 2014-09-30 11:01:38 -0500

mether gravatar image

I have installed Fedora 20 on my quite new Dell Latitude laptop as dual boot with windows 7. I am usually working on my computer on an external screen which is connected to my computer using a docking station. But when using fedora I get problems with my external screen, problems that I suppose are somehow linked:

1. The external screen does not update. That means e.g. that when switching tab in firefox the window doesn't update and still the content of the old tab is shown. I can make the window update by clicking on the frame of the window thus reactivating it. Another example could be when typing commands in the terminal: what I am writing appears seconds after writing and when scrolling up and down in the terminal window is all a mess. Also, the mouse sometimes leaves a track behind itself. The window on the external screen can also be updated square by square by running the mouse over the window that I wnat to update. That leaves a track of upadated window behind the mouse. This is only an issue on the external screen.

2. I cannot make the external screen the primary screen instead of the build in build-in screen in the laptop. When attempting it simply keeps the build-in screen as the primary.When attempting to turn off the build in screen it wiil jsut give an error and log out.

3. If I attempt to start up with the computer closed, the external screen will just remain unrecogniced and black.

These problems does not display when using Windows.

EDIT: System information:

Dell latitude with i7 processor and 64-bit OS (fedora 20).

Graphics card: nvidia NVS 5200M and an integrated Intel HD graphics 4000 Desktop environment: gnome External monitor is a Dell U2412M.

Drivers: I am not sure how to obtain this information (still new to the world pof linux)

I would be very happy for suggestions for a solution!


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please provide some specifics about your system, i.e. make/model, graphics-card, desktop environment, drivers, errors, etc.

ILMostro gravatar imageILMostro ( 2014-02-04 06:30:11 -0500 )edit

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answered 2014-02-04 07:12:39 -0500

updated 2014-02-04 07:18:06 -0500

Please see this link at the rpmfusion/nvidia page to install the kmod-nvidia packages. If you can, you should change your BIOS options to use the Discrete GPU and disable "Optimus". The nouveau driver, which is the one you are currently using, I presume, is still in active development to handle switchable graphics (Optimus/nouveau-prime); that's why you're experiencing the perceived lag on the external monitor.

NOTE: you need to enable the rpmfusion repository before attempting to install the kmod-nvidia and/or the akmod-nvidia package(s). See the rpmfusion/configuration page on how to do this.

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thanks alot for your help, it is much appreciated!

I followed your instructions (I think) although I found nowhere to choose Discrete GPU in the BIOS. But now I ran into a new and (more serious?) problem: at booting the GUI login screen does not appear and instead only lines stating "starting this and that". The fedora logo loads as usual.

I have been looking at bit around e.g. here and it seems that I need to restore Plymouth (whatever that is?). Is there anyway I can do that from the text-only start up (pressing ctrl+alt+F2)?

Thanks again!

makabj gravatar imagemakabj ( 2014-02-04 14:53:43 -0500 )edit

yea you can, but I doubt that's your problem. Essentially, you can't get into the GUI (gdm/gnome); your stuck at the tty's, correct? the black screen(s). If that's correct, your nvidia drivers are not installed properly and/or you might have some other driver that's being loaded instead. Take a look at your /var/log/Xorg.0.log file for the pertinent debugging information.

ILMostro gravatar imageILMostro ( 2014-02-04 15:05:35 -0500 )edit

Great, thanks for the help! Got it to work now.

As you suggested i took a look in Xorg.0.log where it said: failed to load the nvidia kernel module. Googling brought me to this page. Cleaning up and reinstalling the kmod drivers as suggested the system now boots to the gui login and everything seems good. I can even change which screen should be the primary which was one of my other questions!

Thanks again!

makabj gravatar imagemakabj ( 2014-02-05 06:37:59 -0500 )edit

That's great news! Welcome to the world of Linux :D and don't forget to give back to the community once you become expert-level!

ILMostro gravatar imageILMostro ( 2014-02-05 09:07:55 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-02-03 06:21:10 -0500

Seen: 2,574 times

Last updated: Feb 04 '14