Recently I've bought my dream's notebook, a Dell XPS 15 but since then this dream became a kind of endless nightmare.

I'm almost getting crazy to make my graphic card driver work properly, but it seems to be just impossible. Yes, I have a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 540m (Optimus) in it! It simply doesn't work. Every time I generate the xorg.conf Ubuntu hangs on while starting up, which forces me to remove this file to be able to start the notebook with the standard graphic settings.

Another problem is that the Dell XPS 15 does NOT have a VGA output, but a HDMI. So, to be able to use a second monitor I have to configure it by the NVIDIA X Server Settings, which just works if the driver is properly initialized with the xorg.conf.

I've also tried to make it work with the Bumblebee, but unfortunately it didn't help me much with the HDMI output.

Do you guys have any idea to solve this deadlock? Is there any way for me to use my second monitor?


I have the same problem (XPS 15 L501). My shortcut (because it is not a solution!) was to use the mini display port output. With it, you can use the second monitor (projector, etc.). I tried also Bumblebee and Ironhide, but the problem is still there.

|improve this answer|||||
  • 1
    I am so obsessed with this issue that I totally forgot about the Mini Display Port :-D I'll order a cable right now to see if it works. Did you have to do anything extra to make it work, or simply went to System > Preference > Monitors and the second monitor was already there? – Jones Sep 13 '11 at 21:09
  • 3
    Cable just arrived, With the mini display output it works like a charm ;-) Thanks for the hint, Andres! – Jones Sep 16 '11 at 13:56


I've filed a bug reagarding this issue.

|improve this answer|||||
  • It seems I'm not alone on this sinking ship :-D If you manage to fix it, just let me know. Thanks!! – Jones Sep 13 '11 at 9:36

If you're trying to save an xorg.conf with the nvidia tool you'll have to completely switch off the integrated graphics within your BIOS - I was able to do it on my Thinkpad T410 - but apparently you can't do it on all Optimus graphics implementations.

|improve this answer|||||

Just to add some information for those who are also looking for a solution for this Nvidia HDMI output issue.

I sent a message to the Bumblebee Team twitter account and they answered me this:

@jimjonesbr Indeed, a lot of laptop have HDMI output linked to the nVidia card. Bumblebee can't help for now, but will, we're looking at it.

So, don't waste your time trying to make it work with Bumblebee now, just stay tunned for their updates related to this :-)

|improve this answer|||||

I also have a Dell XPS 15 L502 and have Ubuntu 11.10 installed. I faced similar issues related to NVIDIA graphics. Whenever I used enable the proprietary driver, Ubuntu start up would hang. As a result, I was unable to use the advanced graphics features, and my Gnome shell environment used to fallback to Gnome classic two panel.

However, things have started working since I have installed Bumblebee. Jones, maybe you can try out Bumblebee. I also have x-swat ppa added.

|improve this answer|||||

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.