Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have noticed when on my laptop using an external screen+laptop screen, the terminal gets corrupted and responds really slowly; several bug reports and questions here are having the same symptoms. The "terminal" is a window with terminal or byobu.

In the laptop I have a dedicated NVidia (It is a T60 laptop), 128 MB of memory.

Because of one of the comments on one of the bug reports I was able to check the amount of ram free on the GFX card, with one browser and one terminal the pressure on the card was at 119 out of 128 MB. (Gnome3). Starting more apps ment less free RAM.

I can't grade or evaluate the validity of the bug reports so I'm not linking any of them. The search terms I used was "terminal sluggish corruption".

Is the graphics card available RAM the culprit here?

The desktop display spans 3360x1200.

I'm currently using Gnome3. I find that Unity displays the same erroneous behavior, while Unity2D does not.

share|improve this question

Based on the bug reports, it appears extremely unlikely that the video memory (graphics card RAM) has anything to do with this issue. On the other hand, the graphics card itself (particularly its driver) probably have everything to do with it.

The bug seems to especially manifest when an external monitor is being used with some models of mobile Nvidia cards. What is the resolution of your laptop screen and the external monitor? Which version of Ubuntu are you using? Do you have this problem if you try Unity 2D instead of Unity?

Also, please share the content or output of the following commands/files to better help us troubleshoot your problem (instructions in this answer): command(s): lspci -nn, dmesg

share|improve this answer
I'm using gnome3. lspci -nn: dmesg : – Captain Giraffe Aug 27 '12 at 8:30
Regular Unity exposes the sluggish/malformed behaviour. Unity2D does not. – Captain Giraffe Aug 27 '12 at 8:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.