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I am running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS 64-bit on my HP Zbook which has a Nvidia Quadro graphics card. I am not able to detect multiple displays, whether I try to connect them through HDMI,VGA, or Thunderbolt 3 dock. It doesn't show up on display settings.

lspci | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Skylake 
Integrated Graphics (rev 06)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM107GLM [Quadro 
M1000M] (rev a2)

Now I obviously researched this problem as soon as I encountered it (my previous question that did not get any answers) and I have seen (and tried) multiple solutions such as those given at this forum answer and this forum answer. The problem is whenever I try to install nvidia drivers (which supposedly is the most common solution), such as those given on the first link, Ubuntu boots into a blank screen, or I keep looping through login screen after entering password (both of which apparently are known problems while messing with graphics drivers w.r.t. Ubuntu).

The only way I can log into Ubuntu again is by purging the nvidia drivers and reinstalling xserver (using the nouveau drivers as shown below). I have tried reinstalling nvidia drivers multiple times but goes into black screen every time.

enter image description here

Clearly I am either doing something wrong, like installing the incorrect version of nvidia drivers, or using the wrong non-proprietary drivers. If anyone has faced this problem before or has a solution to this, I welcome those suggestions.

Output of xrandr:

 xrandr
 xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
 Screen 0: minimum 1920 x 1080, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 1920 x 
 1080
 default connected primary 1920x1080+0+0 0mm x 0mm
 1920x1080     77.00* 

Please post any diagnostic command requests and I will post those outputs in the edited question.

Thanks in advance

  • Do you have Optimus turned on in the BIOS? Optimus lets the computer run some displays (built-in and VGA) with the built-in Intel graphics, and other displays with the Nvidia graphics card. I won't get more than two displays on my M4600 laptop if Optimus is turned off in BIOS. Once I kick it on, I can run 3 displays + built-in LCD, for a total of 4 displays. – SunnyDaze May 9 '18 at 22:45
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I did the following and hopefully it'll help others who stumble upon this problem:

The problem seems to have been a combination of the "hybrid graphics" in BIOS as suggested by @SunnyDaze in one of the comments (thanks for that). "Optimus" - as SunnyDaze suggested - is apparently the hybrid (Nvidia+On-board integrated graphics) approaches that switches between the two at run time automatically to get best battery and graphics performance link

I had to go into BIOS -> Advanced -> Built-in Device Options -> Graphics (options: hybrid, discrete, and auto). I selected discrete.

Thereafter I restarted but the displays were still not showing so I executed following commands

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa $ sudo apt update sudo apt install nvidia-396 (the latest one as given on Nvidia website).

After this I restarted and voila! All of my displays (2 monitors and laptop display) started working.

In summary, the nvidia-396 probably helped get the displays up and running, and disabling hybrid graphics probably avoided the blank screen after logon/logon loop problem mentioned in the question!

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    Please don't put [SOLVED] in the title of the question. Click on the gray check mark on the left margin of the answer to turn it green. This marks your answer as the "correct" answer. This will help others. – user68186 May 10 '18 at 15:23
  • Sorry thanks for suggesting. Done. – CHJ May 10 '18 at 15:25

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