I realise there are lots of other questions about this, but they are all about the basic setup. I have gotten most of the way there but I have a very specific question: I want to run full Unity on the external (HDMI) monitor, and I don't care if the laptop display is unusable.
I have a Dell XPS 15 with Nvidia GT 540M with Optimus. (DAMN OPTIMUS!!!!) I have Bumblebee installed. I am able to run the system on the laptop display, and I can use optirun to run programs like glxspheres in high-performance mode. When I plug in the external monitor, I see nothing, and
xrandr does not detect it ("
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)").
Here's what I've done so far (working from Bumblebee's multi-monitor setup guide). I followed the "extra screen" advice there, so I have edited
xorg.conf.nvidia as instructed. Now, if I run:
export DISPLAY=:8 LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/nvidia-current:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH optirun glxspheres
I see the glxspheres demo on the external monitor (without any window dressing). Woohoo!
Now the next step is to shut down Unity on the laptop display and test that glxspheres still works. So I hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 to go to the non-graphical terminal. Then:
sudo service lightdm stop export DISPLAY=:8 LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/nvidia-current:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH optirun glxspheres
Again, I see glxspheres on the external monitor.
Now the Bumblebee guide tells you to do "
optirun wmii& (or other like startlxde)" but I don't want to change to another window manager. How can I run Unity on the external monitor?
optirun unity and I got most of the way there. This starts up Unity on the external monitor. I can see the desktop, and the mouse works. I can run other programs inside Unity. There are just a couple of problems:
- Certain keyboard combinations don't get detected by Unity -- looks like anything involving Ctrl as well as the Fn key. (e.g.: Ctrl+Alt+T didn't work to get a terminal; Fn+F11 didn't work to change the volume.)
- Keyboard strokes appear in the terminal as well as Unity. I don't want that since there may be passwords being typed.
- If I switch to another screen (e.g., Ctrl+Alt+F8), the audio stops working, so this is not a viable solution to #2.
I feel like these three issues are related. I think the main problem is that I shouldn't be directly running Unity, but instead, running lightdm. I've tried
optirun lightdm but it doesn't work at all. Hoping someone knows. If not, hopefully at least this question will help people almost-run Unity on an external monitor.