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I'm running Arch Linux on a laptop. I usually log in to the TTY console and only startx when I need to. I have an HDMI output and would like to use an external monitor. It works fine with xrandr but that depends on X and doesn't work in TTY.

A somewhat related question, which is very old and unresolved, adds to my suspicion that I'm out of luck here. Any solutions?

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    You could try disconnecting the internal display. Removing the LVDS cable worked for me (even forcing the BIOS to use the external display). YMMV. – muru Aug 17 '18 at 1:49
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    Try to make your graphic card's kernel driver create a framebuffer device (/dev/fbX), then configure one or several vt's to use that framebuffer (there are already questions about this here). Details depend on your graphics card and driver (which you told us nothing about). Documentation on how to configure framebuffer devices can be easily googled. – dirkt Aug 17 '18 at 6:19
  • Disconnecting the cable seems impractical (I will still need the laptop screen when I’m not home). I’ll double-check the BIOS but I don’t think I saw any relevant options there. So I will look into the framebuffer thing. The only thing I saw on the Arch wiki that mentions that is about ‘uvesafb’, and its way over my head. – Brian Z Aug 17 '18 at 17:37
  • @dirkt I'm noticing that /dev/fb0/ already exists on my system. Do I need to create another? According to lspci I have integrated Intel graphics, i915 kernel module... let me know if more detail would help. – Brian Z Aug 18 '18 at 18:25

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