I have a dual monitor setup. Lately it's been giving me grief; booting with the wrong monitor as primary sometimes, "out of range" problems on the primary display, etc.

Now for the latest problem (the one I'm really trying to resolve). Today I noticed that when I Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get a raw terminal, the terminal is in mirrored display mode. I see it both on my primary display and on my secondary display. Preferable would be to only see it on the primary display, of course.

Within the "System Settings | Displays" I've actually got the secondary display disabled.

Any idea how to fix this?

Ubuntu 12.04LTS.

Driver details:

$ lspci | grep -i vga
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
  • 1
    Could you post the output of this command: lspci | grep -i vga Sep 28, 2012 at 20:35
  • @Srinivas Gowda: See my edit, above.
    – DavidO
    Sep 28, 2012 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


I'm pretty sure you can't. The Ctrl-Alt-F1 virtual terminal is separate from X, and only one can be controlling the graphics card at a time. Think about it this way: if you had X on one monitor and the VT on another, how would you switch focus between the two? They don't interact (that's kind of the point).

  • So the raw terminal will always be mirrored on two displays (if present) and will be constrained in resolution to the size of the smallest display it's ever seen (even if that display is no longer present)? Current behavior: The terminal is being mirrored (if two monitors present), and is smaller in dimensions than the primary display (if only one monitor present).
    – DavidO
    Sep 29, 2012 at 0:01
  • Yes, I believe so. The mode of the virtual terminals is set at boot and AFAIK can't be changed afterwards [citation needed]. Generally, the kernel guesses a mode supported by all attached monitors. Also, I don't think it has a concept of primary and secondary monitors.
    – nfirvine
    Sep 29, 2012 at 0:20

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