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I just bought a new laptop. I like to connect it to an external monitor, and configure the displays such that the laptop screen is off, and the external monitor is set to max resolution.

When I do make this change in the displays/monitors configuration, both displays go dark. After the "keep settings?" timeout expires, only the mouse cursor is visible.

The laptop is a http://zareason.com/shop/Strata-Pro-13.html. It has Intel GMA 4500MHD integrated video.

I'm using Ubuntu 11.04 (natty). This problem repros in Unity and GNOME Shell. Repros with both VGA and HDMI outputs. Does not repro in Ubuntu 10.04.2, so it makes me suspect some kernel problem in Ubuntu 11.04.

Update (Mon Jun 20 02:19:33 UTC 2011):

  • Kernel is 2.6.38-8-generic-pae (32-bit). Problem also repros on non-PAE 32-bit kernel.
  • lsmod shows the "i915" driver is loaded and "video" is using it, so I'm guessing the video driver in use is "i915".
  • I filed a bug in launchpad, too: https://bugs.launchpad.net/unity/+bug/799609
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It's probably not the kernel per se, but more likely the video driver. Which driver (and version) are you using in 11.04 and 10.04.2? –  Flimzy Jun 19 '11 at 6:37
    
Does any of the display comes back online after the timeout ? –  Capt.Nemo Jun 19 '11 at 7:35
    
Flimzy: i915, based on lsmod output. The kernel version is 2.6.38-8-generic-pae (32-bit). Also repros with non-PAE kernel. –  Adam Monsen Jun 20 '11 at 2:23
    
Capt.Nemo: just the cursor. But I can use CTRL-ALT-F1 to switch to a virtual terminal and pkill X, and then X restarts, I see the login screen and can log back into X. –  Adam Monsen Jun 20 '11 at 2:24
    
Flimzy: Not sure what kernel was being used with 10.04.2... whatever comes in the distro download right now. –  Adam Monsen Jun 20 '11 at 2:29
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1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

Upgrading my Linux kernel to 2.6.39 fixed the problem.

I describe an easy way to do this in Wireless on an Atheros AR9285 is slow and disconnects (another issue I had with the kernel that came with Natty).

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