Ubuntu – Dock with dual external DVI monitors with Intel + Nvidia Optimus

intel graphicsmultiple-monitorsnvidianvidia-optimus

I have a Dell Latitude E6420 laptop plugged into a docking station, and the dock has 2 monitors (connected with DVI).

Also note that I've installed Ubuntu alongside (dual-boot) Windows 7.

I can't get the dual monitors to work both on Ubuntu (either 11.10 or 12.04) and Windows 7.

When I run lspci | grep VGA, I get:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation GF108 [Quadro NVS 4200M] (rev a1)

If I then reboot and uncheck Optimus setting in the BIOS during reboot, I'm able to get the dual monitors to work in Ubuntu 12.04 (but I need to configure them every boot in Nvidia Settings).

When I run lspci | grep VGA, I get:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF119 [Quadro NVS 4200M] (rev a1)

But then if I reboot into Windows (leaving the Optimus unchecked), Windows can't detect external monitors, and the resolution is unacceptably low.

I've seen on many forum posts that this particular graphics card setup causes lots of headaches. I haven't been able to resolve my problem yet.

How can I use my external display on my laptop with intel and nvidia video cards?

How to use external displays with Intel driver on a NVidia/Intel hybrid system

nVidia Optimus , Unity 3D and Dual Monitors

"Just use VGA instead of DVI" isn't an option because my dock has only 1 VGA port (and 2 DVI).

Switching the BIOS setting on every reboot and then reconfiguring the display settings every time is tedious, time-consuming, and impractical.

Do you know how to make this work smoothly?

Thanks for your help!

P.S. see also: https://superuser.com/questions/434358/dell-latitude-e6420-dual-boot-ubuntu-windows-7-optimus-graphics-problems

Best Answer

Try disabling Optimus in the BIOS and use/install the latest nVidia drivers. If those from the repository don't work, download them from nVidia.

http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux-display-amd64-295.53-driver.html

Please let me know how it goes; I'm about to purchase a E6520 with dock as well.