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Connect two monitors to laptop with HDMI and VGA outputs?

asked 2018-04-11 15:08:47 -0500

alfC gravatar image

updated 2018-04-11 17:05:39 -0500

I have a laptop, which has two display outputs (HDMI and VGA) (+the built-in display)

I can connect a single external monitor to in the VGA output or the HDMI output and it works. Gnome Display detects the external monitor and I can set to extend the Desktop.

However when I try to connect two external monitors, one to VGA and one to HDMI. I am left with only two displays, out of the three at a time. Either two external and no built-in output (blank), or one external and one built-in (second monitor blank).

Is there a way to force the three displays to work when I connect the two monitors?

The laptop is a Dell Inspiron 17R,

Gnome About says: Graphics: Intel® Ivybridge Mobile Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-3612QM CPU @ 2.10GHz × 8

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Apparently it is not possible, only two displays at time (including built-in display) . Some similar forums talk about using a VGA or an HDMI splitter, no sure that will work.

alfC gravatar imagealfC ( 2018-04-11 20:30:49 -0500 )edit

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answered 2018-04-13 06:50:19 -0500

ozeszty gravatar image

So they said about my laptop model (also IvyBridge, but additionally with AMD Radeon 7670m), and windows indeed can't use more than two displays

But Linux doesn't care, just handles three FullHD displays anyway B-)

According to this FAQ IvyBridge and newer are capable of driving three outputs simultaneously. The problem is that in some laptops selected connectors are wired not as independent outputs, but as adapters from other outputs. In that case you can either use an output or an adapter connected to it, not both at the same time.

Probably dri-devel mailing list or bugzilla are places worth asking about how to check if your laptop should support three displays and how to get it working.

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Asked: 2018-04-11 15:08:47 -0500

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Last updated: Apr 13 '18