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#1 2013-04-29 17:30:06

From: Zurich, CH
Registered: 2013-03-23
Posts: 4

Unable to start X with proprietary nvidia driver

I'm ultimately trying to be able to hotplug a second display into my laptop, especially to be able to use beamers (over VGA/HDMI) and TVs (over HDMI).

I have been able to successfully install the nouveau-driver which gave me hardware acceleration, but it did not recognize the second display (judging by xrandr, or even the kernel log for that matter, which simply did not print anything). Some similar forum posts all over the net suggested that installing the proprietary nvidia driver in some cases fixed the problem, so that is what I am trying now.

I have to note I had this screen running on Gentoo before, "hotpluggable" by using xrandr, with the free drivers even, without any xorg.conf.

After installing the proprietary drivers, I get the following messages in the kernel log during boot-up:

129282 Apr 29 19:10:22 miko kernel: [   11.947558] nvidia: module license 'NVIDIA' taints kernel.
129283 Apr 29 19:10:22 miko kernel: [   11.947562] Disabling lock debugging due to kernel taint
129288 Apr 29 19:10:22 miko kernel: [   11.956851] nvidia 0000:01:00.0: enabling device (0006 -> 0007)
129289 Apr 29 19:10:22 miko kernel: [   11.956862] vgaarb: device changed decodes: PCI:0000:01:00.0,olddecodes=io+mem,decodes=none:owns=none
129290 Apr 29 19:10:22 miko kernel: [   11.956949] NVRM: loading NVIDIA UNIX x86_64 Kernel Module  313.30  Wed Mar 27 16:56:45 PDT 2013
129291 Apr 29 19:10:22 miko kernel: [   11.961822] microcode: CPU0 sig=0x306a9, pf=0x10, revision=0x15

According to some quick google, the "Nvidia taints kernel" message is no problem. I don't know what else to do about it, so I have to believe it.

So, let's see...

1st attempt: Install nvidia-drivers, run X without xorg.conf

This successfully starts X, I can log in and see my desktop as usual. But no second screen is detected:

jonas@miko:~> xrandr
xrandr: Failed to get size of gamma for output default
Screen 0: minimum 1600 x 900, current 1600 x 900, maximum 1600 x 900
default connected 1600x900+0+0 0mm x 0mm
   1600x900        0.0*

However, before starting X, while in the tty, the second screen perfectly mirrors my laptop's screen. As soon as I start X, the second screen shows only black, but is still powered and apparently does receive some sort of input (the power LED is blue and not yellow as it should be if there was no input).

2nd attempt: nvidia-xconfig

root@miko:~# nvidia-xconfig
WARNING: Unable to locate/open X configuration file.
New X configuration file written to '/etc/X11/xorg.conf'

Running nvidia-xconfig yields this /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

With this config, X won't start. Voilà the /var/log/Xorg.0.log:
Especially note how there are no errors whatsoever, and no warnings concerning the video, before it complains about

[   323.243] (EE) No devices detected.

All the kernel log reveals is about LXDM: (I start X by running systemctl start lxdm)

129399 Apr 29 19:15:33 miko systemd[1]: Started LXDE Display Manager.
129400 Apr 29 19:15:38 miko systemd[1]: lxdm.service: main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
129401 Apr 29 19:15:38 miko systemd[1]: MESSAGE=Unit lxdm.service entered failed state.

According to the NVIDIA driver download site (, the drivers I should get are version 310.44, as can be found here: … river.html

However, as far as I can tell, this version is no longer in the AUR.

Do you guys and gals have any idea what else I can try? Any pointers? I will be glad to debug whatever you wish!

Thank you in advance

EDIT: This is btw my graphics cards configuration if it helps:

root@miko:/var/log# lspci|grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 0fd3 (rev a1)

Maybe it has a problem with two graphics cards at the same time? Some more google suggests that I have to disable the Intel card in the BIOS. However, my BIOS only has an option for "Discrete Graphics Adapter" which turns off the NVIDIA card when Disabled, instead of the Intel one...

Last edited by novarg (2013-04-29 17:47:13)


#2 2013-04-29 19:01:49

Registered: 2011-03-17
Posts: 798

Re: Unable to start X with proprietary nvidia driver

Yeah I think your issue may be because of the 2 graphics drivers. Have you read this?


#3 2013-04-29 19:50:32

Registered: 2012-02-03
Posts: 102

Re: Unable to start X with proprietary nvidia driver

The current nvidia beta driver, 319.12 supposedly has Optimus support, so that might help.  It is available in aur as "nvidia-beta".   I don't have Optimus on my laptop thankfully, but you might give it a try.

Also, check the official nvidia forums at:

The nvidia devs read and post on that forum, and can be very helpful at times.

Last edited by johni (2013-04-29 19:50:58)


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