External projector breaks GUI - Xserver failure - bluescreen

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External projector breaks GUI - Xserver failure - bluescreen

Postby bulkley on Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:56 am

Hi Mint experts

A while ago I switched from Windows 7 to Linux Mint KDE and overall, I am very happy with this decision. Until yesterday: I will give a presentation next week and just wanted to check how external projectors work with Linux, but it all ended in a desaster.

This it what I want to do: Like using the "duplicate" setting in Win7 with Windows key + P, shrink the image on my 16:9 laptop screen to 4:3 and clone this to the projector.

This is what I did: I connected the projector via VGA and the big screen turned black. My laptop screen was left unchanged. I could move my mouse out of the right edge of my laptop screen, it then moved over the black projector image. Thus I tried to open the display setting windows, however one could see from the window animations that this window disappeared to the left of my laptop screen. As I didn't find any way to move this window to the visible range, I unplugged the projector. After flashing a couple of times, the image on my laptop was shifted to the right (there was a black stripe on the left), it no longer responded to the keyboard and I could only move the mouse pointer in vertical direction along the left edge of the image. Thus I rebooted it with "brute force".

For my next attempt I opened the display settings first so that I could see them, and then plugged the projector back in. I ticked the "unify outputs" box there and this gave me something similar to what I wanted, applications in fullscreen mode were misplaced to the right and only shown partially, though. When I disconnected the projector, I got a bluescreen which told me that the x-server had crashed.

Even with no projector connected, it still seems like my computer sometimes assumes there was another screen to the left of my actual laptop screen. E.g. the flip windows animation is now cropped on the left side and when I want to log out or shut down, that little dialog box with the 30-second counter also sits on the left edge of the screen and is only shown half.

In another forum I have found a solution with a shell script that is loaded into the ARandR application which gives me something acceptable for this one projector I used for testing - it clones the central 4:3 rectangle of my 16:9 laptop screen. However, after what I've gone through yesterday, I'm a bit nervous whether it will also work with a different projector that will be supplied at the conference I'm attending next week. Anyway, I thought I'd post this here because those massive problems are definitely not how the system is supposed to behave.

Below I have pasted the output of the inxi -Fxz command. Note that in the graphics section there seems to be one error.

Thanks a lot for your help from a total Linux newbie!

Code: Select all
System:    Host: unknown Kernel: 3.8.0-26-generic x86_64 (64 bit, gcc: 4.7.3)
           Desktop: KDE 4.10.5 (Qt 4.8.4) Distro: Linux Mint 15 Olivia
Machine:   System: Acer product: Aspire 5820TG version: V1.15
           Mobo: Acer model: ZR7B Bios: INSYDE version: V1.15 date: 06/04/2010
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i5 CPU M 540 (-HT-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 10108.2
           Clock Speeds: 1: 1199.00 MHz 2: 1199.00 MHz 3: 1199.00 MHz 4: 1199.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card-1: Intel Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Card-2: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Madison [Mobility Radeon HD 5650/5750 / 6550M] bus-ID: 01:00.0
           X.Org: 1.13.3 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) FAILED: intel Resolution: 1366x768@60.0hz, 1366x768@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ironlake Mobile GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 9.1.7 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1: Intel 5 Series/3400 Series Chipset High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Card-2: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI Redwood HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 5000 Series] driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 01:00.1
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture ver: k3.8.0-26-generic
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom BCM43225 802.11b/g/n driver: bcma-pci-bridge bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR8151 v1.0 Gigabit Ethernet driver: atl1c ver: 1.0.1.1-NAPI port: 2000 bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 640.1GB (3.5% used) 1: id: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD6400BEVT size: 640.1GB
Partition: ID: / size: 583G used: 22G (4%) fs: ext4 ID: /boot size: 228M used: 45M (21%) fs: ext2
           ID: swap-1 size: 3.95GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap
RAID:      No RAID devices detected - /proc/mdstat and md_mod kernel raid module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 40.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 68.5
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 197 Uptime: 57 min Memory: 881.4/3629.0MB Runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.7.3 Client: Shell inxi: 1.8.4
bulkley
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Re: External projector breaks GUI - Xserver failure - bluesc

Postby Pierre on Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:52 am

if you turn on & connect the projector,
& then turn on the PC - does the screen/projector - work then?.
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Re: External projector breaks GUI - Xserver failure - bluesc

Postby bulkley on Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks for your fast reply, Pierre! This produced the following behaviour:

On my laptop, I got a 4:3 image aligned to the left edge of the screen. On the projector, the image was shifted to the left and thus only the right part was displayed.

When normally the login screen would show up, the screens flashed a couple of times and a prompt entitled "unknown login: " showed up. Before I could enter anything I got the bluescreen again with the error message that the X server could not be set up.
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Re: External projector breaks GUI - Xserver failure - bluesc

Postby Pierre on Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:03 am

generally, a linux O/S will detect any 'new' H/W at the boot_time.
so,, if you can get "something working" on both screens,
then go to control panel - hardware - monitor preferences
& click on "detect monitors" & click then on "same image in all monitors"

- this will lower the PC screen size somewhat, - whilst it shows the same image in the projector screen.

on my setup - it is the projector screen that controls the image <size> on the PCs screen.

with your setup, try lowering the PCs resolution, & then reboot & connect the projector.
- My projector doesn't have the same range as that of the PC & needed a lower setting for them both to work together.
- took some time to figure out the best setting for them both ..

now, the projector can be attached after the PC is up & running ..
but, initially it couldn't be.
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Re: External projector breaks GUI - Xserver failure - bluesc

Postby bulkley on Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:12 am

Thanks for this, Pierre. It seems like my system is a bit different from yours, as I have System Settings instead of a control panel, and Display and Monitor instead of monitor preferences.

However I cannot find anything like detect monitors, there is just Identify Outputs which displays LVDS-1 and LVDS1 on my laptop screen without projector, and LVDS-1, LVDS1, VGA1 on both screens if the projector is connected. I presume my Unify outputs does the same as your "same image in all monitors".

With your instructions, I still keep getting the bluescreen after rebooting. Anyway, rebooting is not an option at my conference, as there is no time for lengthy setup procedures... I hope there is a way to make it work as simple and reliable as it worked with Windows - just plug it in and that's it.
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