here is my current Hardware Setup :

  • Lenovo Laptop connected with 2 external monitors.
  • Laptop uses Nvidia Optimus technology, switching with prime-select nvidia|intel , is working fine, with only the laptops own display in use.
  • Benq 24 inch monitor connected via hdmi, preferred solution is 1080p.
  • Mendion (i think 19 inch) monitor conncected via vga, prefferre solution is 1440*900.
  • Laptops display is not in usage, because the Nvidia Gt 540m is only supporting control of 2 monitors.

So where is my problem?

1. Here is what my output is when intel is rendering my desktop :

Both, the Benq and Medion monitor are activated correctly on start up.

The first thing, im not happy about, occurs when the login screen is showing.

The resolution of the smaller Medion monitor is correct.

Unfortunately the Benq's screen is not completey in usage.There is unused space. I think only

the same 1400*900 pixels of the Medion resolution is copied on the bigger Benq screen.

So i would like both Monitors to have it's fullscreen preferred resoultion even on login.

After i logged in correctly, both correct resolution are applied to the monitors.

Nitrogen - Issue is solved - looked at my Comment below! So now i would like to use Nitrogen, a tool which makes it possible to have different wallpapers for earch screen. Take a look at this question!

I installed and applied different wallpapers to both screens. On Apply, nothing happens. I also made the startup command nitrogen --restore.

The funny thing is, both wallpapers are correctly shown on shutdown for a very short period of time.

So maybe the self approach of xorg , detecting the devices with correct resoultions is not enough. The xorg.conf is also empty.

Thats it with the intell issue.

2. Here is what my output is when nvidia is rendering my desktop :

Right now, when im just switch the gpu with sudo prime-select nvidia && sudo shutdown -r now ,

the well know dialog " Ubuntu is running in low resoultion..." is appearing.

Though i can render a single screen for example my laptop screen correctly without an other external monitor turned on. When running nvidia-settings after pluggin in the hdmi and vga for both external monitors, i remember that nvidia is not detecting and showing both monitors. But i can check that later @home.

So what i would love to have is :

A correct configuration for both the intel gpu and nvidia gpu rendering my desktop.

When the Intel Gpu is turned on :

it should correctly detect and use both external Monitors, even on Login. Nitrogen should work. Maybe its not working because the xorg.configuration is not a saved configuration in the xorg.conf.

When my nvidia gpu i turned on. It should only use the bigger Benq monitor.

There shouldnt be any issue when switching between both configurations!

I would like to have a saved configuration for both these situations.

The laptop is working like a desktop pc, so it will stay on my desk, being connected with the Medion and Benq Monitor via Hdmi and Vga.

So how can we solve this. I'm not afraid to write a own xorg.conf and nvidia config file with the help of you guys!

Furthermore taking my latop on the couch shouldnt destroy a future xorg.conf file when no external monitor is connected.

Here are the cases again:

Case 1:

Laptop is starting with both external Monitors connected and intel gpu rendering: -> use both external monitors and render correctly

Case 2:

Laptop is starting with both external Monitors connected and nvidia gpu rendering: -> use laptops screen only and render correctly.

Case 3:

Laptop is starting without any external Monitor connected and intel gpu rendering : -> use laptop screen only and render correctly :-D

Case 4:

Laptop is starting without any external Monitor connected and nvidia cpu rendering :

-> use laptop screen only and render correctly :-D

Goal is to achieve this nealy without any addional configuration between switching cases.It should all be saved in configuration files maybe...

Thanks a lot!!! Rly looking forward for you help!

  • to solve the Nitrogen issue i just typed the command : gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false . So i knew had to disable the filemanager handling the desktop, but i couldnt find any option for it with unity. Even when i installed it gnome-tweak-tool i couldnt finde the option. Nevertheless it works fine now :) But dont forget my other issues :-D
    – Richard
    Oct 7, 2014 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


after replacing my smaller Medion Monitor 1440*900 with another 1080p Monitor,

the problem displaying the login screen on both Monitors was solved automatically.

**As resume: So this post doesnt answer how to correctly show login screen on dual monitor set up with different screen resolutions! The bigger screen only shows the lower resolution from the dual monitor setup.

There is no problem having a dual monitor setp up with same display resoultions for me!

-> For different wallpaper on each screen , use nitrogen for example. Look at my post above!**

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