I bought a new ASUS Zenbook UX501VW with Intel card + Nvidia Geforce 960M. First what I did after installation was set grub option to nouveau.modeset=0 because fans were really loud. I guess that this turn off my nvidia card. Then plugged external monitor via HDMI. Everything worked perfect, could do whatever want in KDE display settings, both screens, only one etc. So I'm pretty sure that HDMI port is connected to the Intel card.

Then installed latest nvidia drivers (nvidia-367), nvidia-prime and nvidia-settings. Changed grub options (recommended for optimus) to:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash pcie_aspm=force drm.vblankoffdelay=1 i915.semaphores=1"

Here are my experiences with external monitor on nvidia-prime profiles:


  • nvidia-settings doesn't show anything about secondary display. Infact, settings on this profile are really poor
  • in KDE display settings I see my secondary monitor but when try select it for change "enabled" checkbox then it becomes unselected after 2 seconds. Even if I try do this really fast and accept, then I get message that it could not be enabled because resolution is too big or my driver doesn't allow more than one active display
  • in KDE display settings, don't see external monitor in "main display" popup list. A bit regression between what is "visually" presented


  • nvidia-seetings show only Screen 0 section. That kind of screen configuration is missing on Intel profile for me
  • KDE settings doesn't show anything about secondary display at all


  • secondary monitor is running on login screen but turn off after login in
  • everytime when external monitor show "no signal", interface on laptop display is frozen for a half second or less (including mouse cursor). Looks like monitor ping interrupt X server
  • when external monitor is connected then kworker/N (N=CPU core) has abnormal CPU usage (~5-10%)


Kubuntu 16.04 64bit, updated

Don't suggest me to try bumbelebee. Already did and doesn't work at all. I used it 4 years ago on my Dell XPS and worked perfect but seems that it is not developed anymore, especially for ASUS support. That brings me sad thoughts, after 4 years nothing changed in optimus support. This is not novelty technology :(


SOLVED. Problem was that HDMI monitor was disabled by hardware (function key). That is why I could not configure it from KDE display settings. This function key (Fn+F8) doesn't work after clean Kubuntu 16.04 installation. You must edit /etc/default/grub and add empty acpi_osi=. Something like: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash acpi_osi=". Then call sudo update-grub

Better also create file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-backlight.conf with content:

Section "Device"
    Identifier "card0"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "Backlight" "intel_backlight"
    BusID "PCI:0:2:0"

That will enable brightness control function keys too


After struggling for many many hours, I finally got to make my second (external) monitor to work with Ubuntu.

Here is my system details:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop
  • GeForce GTX 965M (laptop)

When I plugged my external monitor the image was pretty much like this: enter image description here

Apparently Ubuntu's 16.04 4.4 Kernel is known to have incompatibilities with some graphic cards. So the deal here is to upgrade to a newer Kernel.

How to fix:

  1. Remove nvidia from your system:

     sudo apt-get remove nvidia*
     sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
  2. Reboot:

     sudo reboot
  3. Upgrade your kernel:

     sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-16.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04
  4. Another reboot and your external monitor should work

Hope this helps!

  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! an edit and an upvote! :-) Next time, use 8 spaces when indenting... Have a look here – Fabby Feb 2 '18 at 20:24

Doesn't work for me. Both laptop screen and external monitor "flicker" slowly and erratically between black and not-quite-black. System is a fully patched Ubuntu Gnome 16.04.1. Problem persists with newer kernel and/or newer Nvidia driver. Could this be an Ubuntu Gnome bug?

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