I just installed Linux Mint 18 with Cinnamon on an Asus Zenbook UX303A (integrated Intel Skylake graphics chip) - everything is working fine except when I try to plug in an external monitor using HDMI. Most of the time, the GUI just freezes (no screen updates, the mouse pointer isn't moving). It works - sometimes, not reliably - if I turn the monitor on before booting my machine.

I found several similar posts, but they either don't exactly match this problem or don't have any answers.

Any ideas on this? Just recently switched from Windows, so sorry if I overlook something obious. Thanks! :-)

  • First of all, when this happens switch to a different virtual console (Ctrl+Alt+F1, three keys simultaneously, Ctrl+Alt+F7 to go back to the graphical session), and check the error messages in /var/log, especially dmesg, syslog and Xorg.0.log. There are time stamps, check the most recent ones. Pls report with these error messages. You may also try the command dpkg-reconfigure Xorg, it might even solve your problems. Also, you should state make and model of your external monitor, thanks. – MariusMatutiae Nov 9 '16 at 11:26
  • Sorry, I forgot: if you cannot reach any of the virtual consoles (Ctrl+Alt+Fn), it means you are on systemd without getty running on anyother virtual console, pls let me know, I will show you how to fix this. – MariusMatutiae Nov 9 '16 at 11:46
  • Thanks for the advice. I indeed can't reach any of the virtual consoles. Right now the problem seems to be solved (see comment on Boern's answer), but I'll get back to that if it occurs again. – justonemorething Nov 20 '16 at 10:51
  • Make sure you activate the virtual consoles, they are quite useful every time your graphical display does not work. – MariusMatutiae Nov 20 '16 at 12:52

In my case, plugging in the Displays and turning them on before booting solved the issue. Seems like the UI is just not hot plug capable.

Good luck everybody!

  • 2
    Same with me. I have to shut down, turn the monitor on, boot my machine (a simple restart doesn't cut it) - then it works reliably. Only if my laptop is identified as the primary display though, otherwise there's a good chance the UI freezes again. Annoying, but at least it works that way. – justonemorething Nov 20 '16 at 10:54
  • I have this issue too, but it's not consistent. I can have issues trying to connect a monitor, but it might as well work just as it should. The solution provided - being a workaround - still solves the issue in any situation. – Sander Jan 3 '18 at 16:00

I had the same issue with Linux Mint 18.3, I tried it with cinnamon, mate, and KDE, still, the issue persisted. I figured it was due to the compositor OpenGL, It seems that Linux mint works better with XRender more efficiently.


I have the same issue, there's a fairly quick workaround - hit Alt-F2 to bring up the cinnamon command box, enter 'r' and hit enter, this restarts cinnamon and unfreezes it whenever I plug my second screen in without closing all your open programs a-la ctrl-alt-backspace

  • 1
    But that does not work when Cinnamon is frozen. Since it is frozen, the cinnamon command box cannot open. – Noob Doob Mar 17 '18 at 15:30

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