Hello StackExchange!
This is my first post on ....well..any forum. So please be kind :)
I started using GNU/Linux as my daily driver at the end of summer 2021 so I have a lot to learn still.

I've been trying to sort things out for myself, but I don't know what terms to use to search on this issue. I suspect it has to do with the proprietary nVidia driver interaction with XFCE4...??
I don't want to post pages of random useless info, so if there is anything that would be helpful let me know and I will post it.

The Problem
This is an intermittent issue and I don't know what triggers it. Everything works fine until at some point th following:
1. The right-click pop-up menu's initiated on the right monitor show up on the left monitor in the upper left 640x480 area.
2. If I drag any panel to the left monitor it gets stuck in what looks to be a 640x480 area in the upper left corner of the left monitor.
3. Other weird behavior like when I move monitor cables to different DVI ports my right screen stops working and goes into sleep mode, BUT! IF I move the mouse to the right monitor, it will capture and display the mouse but nothing else. Once this happens I can't move the mouse back to the functioning screen, but the keyboard still works on the working screen so I can reboot to get control. Put the monitor cables back to "original" DVI ports and all is well.

Another issue that I think is related but is a constant is that the cursor ALWAYS falls off the right side of the right monitor, and when the mouse is moved to the left the cursor does not become visible until it is on the left monitor.

There seems to be an extra screen configured, But I don't know how to get it removed.
X Screen 0 is 3840x1080
X Screen 1 is 640x480
I assume this is part of the problem but I don't see any way to fix it.
enter image description here

xrandr says:

Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 3840 x 1080, maximum 16384 x 16384                                                                                                                                                   
DVI-I-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)                                                                                                                                                                
DVI-I-1 connected primary 1920x1080+1920+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 510mm x 287mm                                                                                                                            
   1920x1080     60.00*+                                                                                                                                                                                                       
   1280x1024     75.02    60.02                                                                                                                                                                                                
   1152x864      75.00                                                                                                                                                                                                         
   1024x768      75.03    60.00                                                                                                                                                                                                
   800x600       75.00    60.32                                                                                                                                                                                                
   640x480       75.00    59.94                                                                                                                                                                                                
DP-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)                                                                                                                                                                   
DVI-D-0 connected 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 510mm x 287mm                                                                                                                                       
   1920x1080     60.00*+                                                                                                                                                                                                       
   1280x1024     75.02    60.02                                                                                                                                                                                                
   1152x864      75.00                                                                                                                                                                                                         
   1024x768      75.03    60.00                                                                                                                                                                                                
   800x600       75.00    60.32                                                                                                                                                                                                
   640x480       75.00    59.94                                                                                                                                                                                                
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)                                                                                                                                                                   

uname output:

Linux alien 5.16.0-kali7-amd64 #1 SMP PREEMPT Debian 5.16.18-1kali1 (2022-04-01) x86_64 GNU/Linux

My work around is to open Display manager, change resolution to any other resolution and apply, then when prompted select the 'Restore previous config' to switch back to normal, and POOF! all fixed. Popups/panels go where they should. Logout/reboot also works of course.
I think the nvidia driver and another screen config system are fighting, but I
don't know how to troubleshoot it. I was hoping someone could help me with the
words I need in order to search this issue and learn to configure screens/monitors properly.

Thanks in advance for any input!

1 Answer 1


I've had the exact same problem but your solution didn't work for me. I'm not sure if you're also using a docking station but for me the only thing that worked was unplugging the power from it and plugging it back in. Miraculously it worked again and the weird 640x480 monitor turned into the correct one.

  • 2
    Welcome to the U&L. What I read from your answer is that your monitor was stuck to 640x480 - is this correct? If it isn't, please edit your question to clarify your exact problem. You can get hints on writing good answers from the Help center. If I understand your problem correctly, you were experiencing a completely different issue than the OP, and you should delete this answer. Feb 23, 2023 at 9:41
  • Hello Peregrino. No it was the same problem. First screen working fine but second screen showing up with a weird vanity name ("alien" in his case, "nvidia" in mine) that only displayed in 640x480.
    – stukev
    Feb 23, 2023 at 14:33
  • Thought so... "alien" isn't a name of the screen, it's the name of their system. According to the text and outputs both actual monitors were connected to GPU-0, and xranrd output shows that both actual existing monitors were displaying full 1920x1080 resolution. Somehow X created an extra non-existing monitor (X Screen 1) that was overlaid on the top left corner of the secondary monitor. The problem was that the "ghost" screen was capturing all popups, panels etc. preventing them from using the full physical area of the monitor. Feb 23, 2023 at 15:56

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