I'd like to use my Linux Mint (Debian based) laptop as a second monitor for my MS-Windows 8.1 PC. I know how to extend the Windows display over to another screen. When connecting the VGA cable from the MS-Windows PC to the laptop, the laptop screen keeps flickering the Linux OS screen. I can also use the HDMI port if I need to. Does anyone know how to fix this so the laptop screen is an extended screen of the MS-Windows 8.1 PC?

Windows PC specs:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555
RAM: 4gb of DDR3
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4550

Linux Laptop Specs:
CPU: Intel Core i3-2350M
RAM: 4gb of DDR3
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Screen: 1366x768 (16:9 Aspect Ratio)
Video I/O: VGA and HDMI
Laptop: Samsing np300e4c-a02us

  • 1
    why do you believe that the laptop has a VGA input connector?
    – jsotola
    Mar 17, 2020 at 19:45
  • 1
    Why do you think it is possible to use a laptop's monitor as a second monitor for another laptop?
    – cipricus
    Mar 17, 2020 at 19:52
  • 1
    Laptop VGA usually (most commonly) it's only out.
    – cipricus
    Mar 17, 2020 at 19:55
  • 1
    @cipricus it used to be possible to use a PowerBook 145b as a keyboard/trackball for a Mac SE/30 because of how ADB worked. If graphics subsystems used the same kind of architecture (they don't) it would be a reasonable thing to try
    – Fox
    Mar 17, 2020 at 19:56
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because It is a hardware question about MS-Windows. Mar 17, 2020 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Unless explicitly designed to do so, display connections on a laptop are only meant to send signals to a monitor, not accept incoming signals from another computer.

In short, you very likely cannot do what you try to do just using a cable.

You may want to purchase a Linux compatible HDMI recorder that allows you to have the Linux box just render what it receives from the recorder, and then use that as a second HDMI monitor.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .