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How to Fix Ubuntu Second Monitor Not Working?

Ubuntu is well-liked Linux distribution used a lot for desktop and server computing. Utilising multiple monitors is one of the features that...

Written by Niel Patel · 4 min read >
Ubuntu Second Monitor

Ubuntu is well-liked Linux distribution used a lot for desktop and server computing. Utilising multiple monitors is one of the features that Ubuntu provides, which can help to increase productivity and make it simpler to use multiple applications. However, users may occasionally run into a problem where the second monitor does not function as expected. We will examine potential reasons of Ubuntu’s second monitor not working problem in this blog article as well as solutions.

Basics About Ubuntu Second Monitor

An additional display that may be attached to a computer to increase the desktop workspace is known as a second monitor in Ubuntu. Users who need to multitask or work with multiple applications at once will find this feature to be especially helpful. Users can transfer windows and programmes between the primary and secondary screens when a second monitor is connected to a computer running Ubuntu. They can even utilise different resolutions or display settings for each monitor. You normally need a compliant cable that matches the video ports on both the computer and the monitor in order to connect a second monitor to an Ubuntu machine. VGA, DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI are typical video interfaces. 

Once the cable is attached, Ubuntu ought to automatically identify the second monitor and let you customise its display settings. You can change the resolution, orientation, and placement of the secondary monitor in relation to the primary monitor in Ubuntu by using the Settings app. In Ubuntu, a second monitor makes it much easier to multitask and can significantly increase productivity. For instance, while working on a project or document on one screen, you can have a web browser or a reference page open on the other. A second monitor specifically for a task or activity, such as video editing, coding, or gaming, may also be useful to some users. 

Overall, Ubuntu’s support for using a second monitor is a strong feature that may significantly improve many users’ computing experiences.

How Do I Get Ubuntu To Recognize My Second Monitor?

If you want Ubuntu to recognise your second monitor, use these procedures.

Method 1: Disconnect and reconnect the HDMI cable Again

Check to see whether this straightforward fix works before doing anything further. It could prevent a lot of trouble in the future.

Disconnect the HDMI cable from your computer’s second monitor.

Restart your computer.

Reconnect the cord and see if the display now responds.

Method 2: Update Your Drivers,

Ubuntu or any other OS may be unable to recognise graphics devices and monitors if the drivers are out of current. Therefore, always update the drivers to the most recent version to keep them current. The actions are outlined below.

  • Open Ubuntu’s Settings menu.
  • Navigate to System, followed by Software & Updates.
  • Click on Additional Drivers under the Software & Updates heading. 
  • Ubuntu will then search for missing drivers and available driver updates. Using the terminal, install the drivers.

How Do I Manually Detect My Second Monitor?

If you want to manually detect your second monitor, you’ll need to do one of the following.

1. Use Nvidia X Server settings first.

If your graphics card is an Nvidia one, Ubuntu could act strangely when trying to find a second monitor. Additionally, the standard procedure of going through Applications, System Tools, and Administration settings occasionally is ineffective. In that case, you might want to attempt the next route.

Click the System Tools link under Applications.

then click Administration rather than System Settings.

You ought to see the Nvidia X Server settings under Administration. Choose a different monitor that is currently being recognised there. If you do this, you should be able to use the extra monitor barring any technical difficulties.

2. Choose an alternative kernel to boot with

Changing to a different kernel version might help if your display driver became unloaded. Consider selecting an earlier version, such as V5.4, if you are now using V5.8. This is how to go about it.

  • Imagine that you upgraded Ubuntu while also upgrading the kernel. The logical course of action is to see if your computer has an older kernel. Use the code sample below to see which versions were installed first, though.
  • Restart your computer and click ESC when the purple screen appears during bootup if there are several kernel versions. Use the SHIFT key to navigate to the Grub screen if that is ineffective. 
  • Select an older kernel and wait for the reboot to complete. To verify that the kernel of your choice was loaded, open a terminal and enter the following code.

Possible Causes of Ubuntu Second Monitor Not Working

There may be a number of causes for a second monitor to not function properly in Ubuntu. You can try a few of the following:

Incorrect Connection: The second monitor’s connection to the computer should be checked first. Verify that the monitor is turned on and that the cable is firmly plugged in at both ends.

Display Setting- Verify that Ubuntu is detecting the second monitor in the display settings. Navigate to the Display tab in the Settings app. Make sure the second monitor is set up properly and is switched on.

Graphics drivers: Inadequate or outdated graphics drivers might lead to display issues. Verify that your graphics drivers are current and functional with your hardware.

Cable Issues: Problems with the cable themselves can occasionally arise. To see if the issue is fixed, try a different cable.

Monitor Issues: The second monitor can be problematic. To see if the problem is fixed, try connecting it to a different computer or using a different monitor with your computer.

How to Solve Ubuntu Second Monitor Not Working?

You can attempt the following extra steps to fix the second monitor not working in Ubuntu problem:

Verify once more that the cords are securely attached to the computer and the monitor. To see if the issue is with the cable, try using an alternative cable.

Take a look at the display settings: Go to the Display tab in the Settings app. Verify the second monitor’s detection by Ubuntu and that it is set up properly. If not, try manually customising it.

Launch the “Software & Updates” application, select the “Additional Drivers” tab, and see whether any proprietary graphics drivers are available. Restart your computer after installing them.

To check if Ubuntu recognises the second monitor, open a terminal and type the “xrandr” command. Try using xrandr instructions to setup it if it does. As an illustration, “xrandr –output HDMI-1 –auto –right-of eDP-1” would position the secondary monitor to the right of the main display.

 Sometimes, the desktop environment can contribute to display problems. To see if the problem still exists, try using a different desktop environment, such as GNOME, KDE, or XFCE.

If none of the aforementioned actions resolve the problem, there might be a problem with the monitor or computer hardware. To see if the problem is fixed, consider using a different computer or a different display with your computer.


In Ubuntu, using a second monitor can increase productivity and make it simpler to use multiple applications at once. But occasionally users may run into problems where the second monitor does not function as expected. In this blog post, we looked at the potential reasons for this problem as well as solutions. You should be able to fix the majority of problems such as Ubuntu second monitor not working by using the instructions listed above.

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