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Lenovo P50 second monitor issue in Ubuntu 16-04

2016-08-12, 16:28 PM

Hi there,


I have been having difficulty in getting a second monitor to work with Ubuntu, and was hoping someone with better skills than me has found a fix for it.


I'm running a Lenovo P50, Xeon E3-1505v5, 64Gb RAM, 4Gb Quadro M2000M as a dual boot Windows 10/Ubuntu 16.04 workstation. Windows detects the second monitor both using HDMI and with a displaylink-compatible USB dock.


In Ubuntu, plugging a second monitor directly into the HDMI port doesn't seem to get recognized. Using a monitor through a USB dock (with latest Ubuntu displaylink driver; 1.1.62) also doesn't get recognized, despite the fact that if I run

sytemctl status displaylink.service

it states the service is active.


I'm guessing this is an issue with the dual graphics set up on the machine, although there's enough Skylake processors out there now that I don't think this kind of set up is too unusual. According to the 'overview' window (under "system settings", "details") in Ubuntu, I'm using the Intel P530 graphics (integrated on the skylake processor) rather than the Nvidia, although running:

lspci | grep VGA

displays both cards:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 191d (rev 06)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM107GLM [Quadro M2000M] (rev ff)

I'm using the nouveau display driver from the X.Org X server in the 'Additional Drivers' section of the 'Software & Upadates' window. This section states my graphics card is the M2000M, so I tried using a number of NVidia binary drivers (including 352.63, despite having issues installing it), but all of them seem to either kill Unity, get stuck in a bootloop at the lightdm log on or resize the screen so the menu options are no longer selectable/visible.  I also tried changing the option in the BIOS for making the NVidia card as the dedicated graphics card rather than as a hybrid. After this, the overview window changed to Gallium 0.4 as the graphics, but the top and left menu ribbons had disappeared for some reason, making it unusable. I also don't really want to go down this route as I want to avoid the extra drain on the battery, and don't know how this will affect my Windows partition. Given that each time something screws up, it can take quite a while to fix it back to normal, I was hoping someone with similar experiences has a workaround.


Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!



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Re: Lenovo P50 second monitor issue in Ubuntu 16-04

2016-08-17, 16:52 PM

For what it's worth, I've been using P50 with dual monitors (DP and HDMI, no dock) on Xubuntu 16.04 for few months now and it works just fine.
I use nVidia graphics only with 361 series proprietary drivers. Also make sure you have the latest linux-firmware package and bios and firwares from http://support.lenovo.com/fi/en/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-p-series-laptops/thinkpad-p50


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Re: Lenovo P50 second monitor issue in Ubuntu 16-04

2017-03-27, 12:39 PM

Similar issue ?

p50 with Ubuntu 16.04


I can't get to work my external monitor with the

Lenovo ThinkPad Workstation Dock

-> constant flickering, see also:



I'm currently forced to use the monitor (VGA) with an adapter on the mini-display-port directly on the p50.

I had to install proprietary nvidia driver for this, currently 375.39



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Re: Lenovo P50 second monitor issue in Ubuntu 16-04

2017-04-22, 0:00 AM

Which firmware did you install? I only see one for the SSD.


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Re: Lenovo P50 second monitor issue in Ubuntu 16-04

2017-04-23, 11:01 AM

I'm using 16.04 on the P50.  Initially I had a hell of a time getting external monitors to work.  No matter what I tried, I just couldn't get it to recognize an external monitor.  Eventually, it wasn't even working on Windows anymore even after updating the firmware and I just gave up; then, a couple weeks later I plugged in the HDMI cable and it suddenly worked.  So there is an element of randomness.  However, I recently reinstalled and everything worked right away without the voodo magic, so things are getting better.  Here are my suggestions:

  1. Update the firmware using the updater from Lenovo (there was a bug with the HDMI port that was affecting all OSes).
  2. Switch to the propriatory Nvidia drivers.  You can just do this through the "additional drivers" GUI, install with apt, find some bleeding edge version in a PPA or do whatever you want.  At this point I think most of the recent versions will all work.
  3. Make sure you are using the Nvidia drivers with 'prime-select query', if it says intel, switch to nvidia with 'sudo prime-select nvidia'
  4. Both the HDMI port and displayport ports should work now.  No idea if the USB-C port works or will work anytime soon.

I realize this isn't that detailed (and assumes starting from a new install), but it should just work so I'm hoping this broad overview might help you realize something you may have missed (ie. the firmware update).  If you are trying to get it to work with bumblebee, I can't help unfortunately as I've never gotten it to work.


The Fedora team has done some amazing things getting hybrid graphics to work in Fedora 25.  Everything just works out of the box even with the open-source driver.  It uses the intel card by default, routes external monitors through the nvidia and you can choose to launch apps with the nvidia card.  There are still some kinks in the works but I have to admit that I'm very impressed with how close they are to solving hybrid graphics on linux.  Hopefully some of this progress will make its way over to Ubuntu soon!


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  • Message 6 of 6

Re: Lenovo P50 second monitor issue in Ubuntu 16-04

2017-06-10, 21:58 PM

Does anyone make the DisplayLink USB 3.0 Dock work with Ubuntu 16.04 on an external monitor?

TPs own: X31 (2003), X61T, X200T, Tablet 2, P50 (2016); Win XP-10, Ubuntu8.04-16.04.
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