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For a couple of years now I haven't been able to get my LG Flatron W2261VP to work as an external monitor for my ThinkPad T460s running Kubuntu (currently 18.04.3 with Kernel 4.15.0). It's connected through HDMI since the T460S doesn't have a VGA slot.

In the beginning, I plugged in the HDMI cable and the monitor was recognized in the system settings, but I couldn't turn it on. Every once in a while I tried again and sometimes the monitor didn't even appear in the system settings. Currently it does. But as soon as I plug in the cable, the system partly freezes/slows down and it's impossible to work, because the laptop monitor turns black every couple of seconds. The external monitor remains black and sometimes displays a messages about HDMI power saving mode.

I have been able to connect other external monitors through HDMI though. I also checked the cable with another machine. For a short time, when Kernel 4.10 was installed, the problem disappeared (see Can't get external monitor to work through HDMI (Thinkpad T460s, Kubuntu)).

I have also tried using the monitor with Live USB (both Ubuntu 18.04 and Kubuntu 18.04), but the problem is the same.

Any ideas for a solution? I attach some command results.

$ uname -rm
4.15.0-34-generic x86_64

$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS
Release:        18.04
Codename:       bionic

$ lspci -nnk | grep -i VGA -A2
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] [8086:1916] (rev 07)
Subsystem: Lenovo Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] [17aa:2233]
Kernel driver in use: i915

$ sudo lshw -c video
  *-display                 
       Beschreibung: VGA compatible controller
       Produkt: Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520]
       Hersteller: Intel Corporation
       Physische ID: 2
       Bus-Informationen: pci@0000:00:02.0
       Version: 07
       Breite: 64 bits
       Takt: 33MHz
       Fähigkeiten: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       Konfiguration: driver=i915 latency=0
       Ressourcen: irq:124 memory:f0000000-f0ffffff memory:e0000000-efffffff ioport:e000(Größe=64) memory:c0000-dffff

$ xrandr 
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 8192 x 8192
eDP-1 connected primary 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 310mm x 170mm
   2560x1440     60.00 +  48.00    59.95  
   1920x1440     60.00  
   1856x1392     60.01  
   1792x1344     60.01  
   2048x1152     59.90    59.91  
   1920x1200     59.88    59.95  
   1920x1080     59.97*   59.96    59.93  
   1600x1200     60.00  
   1680x1050     59.95    59.88  
   1600x1024     60.17  
   1400x1050     59.98  
   1600x900      59.99    59.94    59.95    59.82  
   1280x1024     60.02  
   1440x900      59.89  
   1400x900      59.96    59.88  
   1280x960      60.00  
   1440x810      60.00    59.97  
   1368x768      59.88    59.85  
   1360x768      59.80    59.96  
   1280x800      59.99    59.97    59.81    59.91  
   1152x864      60.00  
   1280x720      60.00    59.99    59.86    59.74  
   1024x768      60.04    60.00  
   960x720       60.00  
   928x696       60.05  
   896x672       60.01  
   1024x576      59.95    59.96    59.90    59.82  
   960x600       59.93    60.00  
   960x540       59.96    59.99    59.63    59.82  
   800x600       60.00    60.32    56.25  
   840x525       60.01    59.88  
   864x486       59.92    59.57  
   800x512       60.17  
   700x525       59.98  
   800x450       59.95    59.82  
   640x512       60.02  
   720x450       59.89  
   700x450       59.96    59.88  
   640x480       60.00    59.94  
   720x405       59.51    58.99  
   684x384       59.88    59.85  
   680x384       59.80    59.96  
   640x400       59.88    59.98  
   576x432       60.06  
   640x360       59.86    59.83    59.84    59.32  
   512x384       60.00  
   512x288       60.00    59.92  
   480x270       59.63    59.82  
   400x300       60.32    56.34  
   432x243       59.92    59.57  
   320x240       60.05  
   360x202       59.51    59.13  
   320x180       59.84    59.32  
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-2 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
   1920x1080     59.93 +  60.00    60.00    50.00    59.94  
   1920x1080i    60.00    50.00    59.94  
   1680x1050     59.88  
   1280x1024     60.02  
   1280x960      60.00  
   1280x720      60.00    50.00    59.94  
   1024x768      60.00  
   800x600       60.32  
   720x576       50.00  
   720x480       60.00    59.94  
   640x480       60.00    59.94

This is the syslog from the moment I plug in the cable: https://paste.ubuntu.com/p/qtJJ8tzQ4K/

I have tried deleting ./local/share/kscreen as suggested here: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=353637 But that didn't help.

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  • Are you sure its not a bad HDMI port on the monitor? Have you checked for recent bios updates for the Thinkpad? – Gordster Sep 25 '19 at 6:04
  • Thanks for the hints. I haven't been able to try the monitor with another computer, but I will (as soon as I have another computer with HDMI close). I haven't updated BIOS (has never occurred to me) and just tried, but it seems to be more difficult than expected (fwupdate tells me that "Firmware updates are not supported on this machine.") – yan Sep 29 '19 at 19:44
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According to your logs, you have the monitor connected to HDMI-2 and it's detected.

HDMI-2 connected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

Also from the syslog:

Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Connected outputs: QVector()
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Geometry: QRect(1920,0 0x0)
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: RRSetCrtcConfig (enable output)
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Output: 70 ( "HDMI-2" )
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011New CRTC: 64
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Pos: QPoint(1920,0)
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Mode: KScreen::Mode(Id: "457" , Size: QSize(1920, 1080) @ 60 ) Preferred: "84"
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Rotation: 1
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Result: 0
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: XRandROutput 70 update
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011m_connected: 0
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011m_crtc QObject(0x0)
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011CRTC: 64
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011MODE: 457
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Connection: 0
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011Primary: false
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: Connected output 70 to CRTC 64
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: RRSetOutputPrimary
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: #011New primary: 0
Sep 22 15:12:11 t460s org.kde.KScreen[1255]: kscreen.xrandr: XRandR::setConfig done!

From what I can see in xrandr output:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 8192 x 8192

You have the resolution for screen 0 to 1920x1080 and there is no other Screen configured. Try to enable the HDMI-2 display with xrandr:

xrandr --output HDMI-2 --auto

If that doesn't work, try to specify resolution and refresh rate:

xrandr --output HDMI-1 --mode 1920x1080 --rate 60

And check the KDE display settings to see if both monitors are showing up.

PS. Another option to discard problems (HDMI cable, monitor, etc.) would be to use a newer release of Ubuntu (19.04 for ex.) or Fedora 30 with a LiveUSB image. Lots of Red Hat employees use Thinkpads with Fedora, so that one should work quite seamlessly.

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  • Thanks four your answer. Setting the resolution using xrandr doesn't change anything unfortunately. I will try Ubuntu 19.04 and Fedora 30 but I haven't had a chance so far. – yan Sep 26 '19 at 20:06
  • I haven't been able to create a Live USB with any of those versions yet. Still trying.. – yan Sep 29 '19 at 19:45
  • Hi yan, whats the problem with creating the liveusb? Do you need assistance or is just a matter of time availability to try? Regards – Leo Oct 10 '19 at 0:26
  • Hi Leo, thanks for getting back on this. I was able to create a live USB with Ubuntu 18.04 with Kubuntu's Startup Disk Creator. But when I tried with 19.04 and Fedora, it simply didn't "see" the images so I couldn't select them. It was weird. Further than that, it has been a lack of time. I might be able to try some more tomorrow. – yan Oct 10 '19 at 19:29
  • I managed to create a Live USB with Fedora 30 now. The result: The monitor is not recognized at all. I tried with the "normal" settings and with xrandr. – yan Oct 11 '19 at 10:14

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