I have a laptop that only has a Mini DisplayPort (no VGA or HDMI out and no docking station) for output. I'd like to get an external monitor for it, but I've never used DisplayPort before. I'm just going to use the external monitor for basic office work, no gaming or videos. When I'm using the monitor I'll probably use just the monitor and turn off the laptop display. The monitor will stay in one room but the laptop gets moved between that room and another room a couple times a day.

How well do DisplayPort monitors work with Linux? Will things work the way I expect (the monitor will turn on when I plug it in and off when I unplug it, etc.)?

It seems like most monitors don't support DisplayPort; if I get a monitor that doesn't support DisplayPort, and use a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter, what kinds of features (if any) will I lose?

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

I'm running KDE on Debian Stable 64-bit. I'm okay installing non-free drivers but prefer not to.

1 Answer 1


Linux supports DisplayPort just as well as any other digital display output. As long as you have your graphics drivers properly installed, it should behave just as it would with DVI-D. No special procedures should be required, unless the monitor you buy just happens to be screwy. Buying a screwy monitor can usually be avoided by taking into account user reviews when looking for a monitor.

Regarding the adapter suggestion, VGA can only support up to 1080p resolutions. Therefore, you won't be able to use a monitor larger than that with a DisplayPort-to-VGA adapter. Besides that, a DisplayPort to VGA adapter will by necessity be an active digital-to-analog converter, meaning it's likely to be expensive, and if you don't get a good one you may experience visual artifacts or signal distortion.

As such, I'd advise against using a converter, because of the price disadvantage (and the increase in system complexity, leaving more points of failure).

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