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Just got a fresh installation of Ubuntu 16.04 on my Alienware computer. Everything works except for my second screen. It works if I duplicate the screen that my laptop has, but when I try to have their own separate screens/desktops it fails quite hard [Look at the link below]

The screens have their own separate resolutions. My laptop screens have 1920x1080 and my second screen is 1680x1050. I did try to force them to have lower resolutions but that did not help.

I'm also running the proprietary Nvidia drivers, instead of the opensource ones

This is how it looks like

  • There's a dropdown to show the available resolutions based on your hardware and drivers. Will you list the available resolutions in the dropdown? – L. D. James Sep 2 '17 at 9:26
  • I can't take a screenshot of it. Is it fine with a xrandr output? – Prophet Sep 2 '17 at 9:57
  • I'm just noticing that you changed your comment from the previous response. The previous response was the best one. It showed identified the problem you are experiencing with your current driver. It doesn't support your hardware. The resolution to the issue is in the answer I provided. – L. D. James Sep 2 '17 at 13:00
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The screen in your image is aspect ratio disproportionate. You would have to set the correct aspect ratio for it to look correct. You mentioned the specs of your monitor to be 1920X1080. That is a 16:9 ratio.

The drivers that you have installed are not functioning correctly for your display hardware.

You will have to find drivers that support your hardware. If you can't find working proprietary drivers, you'd best start out with the drivers tested and provided by the community on your hardware. The community provides opensource drivers.

You can identify the best drivers provided by the community by running these commands from a terminal screen:

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt upgrade
$ sudo apt full-upgrade
$ sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

The first three commands update your repository list and upgrade your OS files and libraries. The last command checks for available drivers for your hardware.

You should see a list of available drivers. The list should look similar to:

== /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.0/0000:07:00.0 ==
model    : GK208 [GeForce GT 730]
vendor   : NVIDIA Corporation
modalias : pci:v000010DEd00001287sv0000196Esd00001119bc03sc00i00
driver   : nvidia-375 - distro non-free recommended
driver   : nvidia-340 - distro non-free
driver   : xserver-xorg-video-nouveau - distro free builtin

Look for the line that shows the recommended driver and install it. In the case of the above output the install command would be:

$ sudo apt install nvidia-375

There is a GUI version of the driver search. You can get to it by running Software & Updates. Type the words in the Ubuntu Dash Search Button. Bring up the app. Then click on Additional Drivers.

From there tick the recommended selection and click Apply Changes.

By the way, there is a good chance that after you update and upgrade your system to the latest drivers (the first three commands above), the correct 16:9 resolution may become available using the drivers you have already installed.

  • That did not work. The system updated a bunch of packages, but it didn't help. The command ubuntu-drivers devices ,recommends nvidia-375 but it tells me that it's currently installed when I'm trying to install it. Could it be the proprietary one? – Prophet Sep 2 '17 at 14:59
  • There's apparently a conflict with the drivers you have already installed. The apt command isn't installing or changing what you already have installed. Run these commands to fix your new issue: (1) sudo apt remove --purge nvidia-375 (2) sudo apt install nvidia-375. There are a couple of alternative commands you can use if these fail. If it works, consider upvoting and/or accepting the answer so that others with similar issues can a workable solution. If the issue is resolved, I can stop trying to figure out what's going wrong. – L. D. James Sep 2 '17 at 16:30
  • What are the other commands you spoke about? Removing the driver and than installing it again didn't help. You don't think it has anything to do with the Xorg config file? Because the feeling I'm getting is that Xorg just doesn't understand how it's supposed to extend the desktops using two different resolutions. – Prophet Sep 2 '17 at 18:32

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