I bought a new dell laptop ( inspiron 15 3000 series ) with 2 gb nvidia geforce 117m. It shipped with ubuntu 14.04. That was very choppy and slow. I installed nvidia 346.47 ( from the nvidia website). This caused my lightdm to stop working. Next time i tried the same thing and my screen froze. I did a hard reboot and that caused boot drive not get recognized.

Then I installed 14.10. This time followed this reply. I still have the same issues. My text looks like this. image.

The output of uname -a:

Linux prakhar-Inspiron-3543 3.16.0-23-generic #31-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 21 17:56:17 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

EDIT 1 (Narrowed Down the problem after further inquiry)

This happens when I attach my laptop to a external screen using a HDMI port.

EDIT 2 (Narrowed down further)

Everything works fine when single screen is active (either one of them)... not able to get them to work together. The result is same as the image.

  • Ubuntu ships with its own Nvidia drivers. Use those. And X drivers should not affect lightdm. Mar 21, 2015 at 10:16
  • I tried installing from Ubuntu store , ppa, nvidia official.... All of them caused the graphics to be rendered like that in the photo above... @Faheem Mitha
    – phoenix
    Mar 21, 2015 at 14:32
  • Can you post a link to your xorg log, please? Mar 21, 2015 at 14:38
  • Also, the xorg.conf, while you are about it. Mar 21, 2015 at 15:35
  • pastebin.com/ZhbqX4fc for xorg log... @Farheem
    – phoenix
    Mar 23, 2015 at 10:49

2 Answers 2


Finally I got it working for both screens. I didnt read the xorg log carefully enough. Noveau was being loaded along with nvidia and intel drivers. And it might be that the priority for noveau was higher. I did a complete uninstall of noveau and didnt install any driver apart form nvidia-340. That makes ubuntu graphics stable.

sudo apt-get purge xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

I found this package name from the answer provided for this question. Thanks a lot to user224082 for the answer.

  • 1
    Removing nouveau should not be necessary. If you really don't have an xorg file, you could add one just specifying you want to use the nvidia driver. Mar 31, 2015 at 17:39
  • i couldnt locate the xorg.conf then. I took a second look just now... it is there... i cant explain this behavior ... any reason you could think this might happen...
    – phoenix
    Mar 31, 2015 at 18:01
  • Could you post the xorg.conf into your question? Just curious. Can you think of anything you might have done to generate the xorg.conf? Mar 31, 2015 at 18:02
  • nothing apart from updates performed on my system after that purge....
    – phoenix
    Mar 31, 2015 at 18:04
  • xorg.conf pastebin.com/psFQWW8g
    – phoenix
    Mar 31, 2015 at 18:05

Hi unfortunately in linux you can only use one driver at a time, as its loaded from the kernel (when using kms) and loaded using modules compiled for the running kernel. I see you trying to load both Intel and NVIDIA(nouveau) drivers at the same time. which will not work.

For the two displays to work at the same time you have to use either vesa or fbdev drivers as they can use both cards at the same time. but the perfromance will be sloppy as use have noticed.

  • I have installed drivers for both... But have been switching gpus to see which one performs... In my case none do...
    – phoenix
    Mar 26, 2015 at 10:18
  • I'm using dell lattitude E6530 which uses the same(INTEL) drivers for both ports. maybe there is something that must be done in bios (or uefi). maybe try testing the section for graphic because from the Xorg.log in paste bin it shows that your are loading two different drivers. which is weired for a laptop.
    – mphoraff
    Mar 26, 2015 at 10:22
  • can you run lspci -k, and provide the results.
    – mphoraff
    Mar 26, 2015 at 10:28
  • lspci -k pastebin.com/z4LmT6hc ... which binary drivers are you talking about
    – phoenix
    Mar 26, 2015 at 11:05

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