MX ahs install, etc.,

Well, I don’t think this distro is gonna work. Should have read @daniel.m.tripp 's tirade on it…lol.

First, grub is not grub! The first time it popped up after install, I thought I hadn’t installed it. Some kind of fancy menu that only waits (like grub) a few seconds before defaulting and, of course, have to “e” to edit/add “nomodeset” or I get just a black screen and flashing cursor. Yes, I know how to make it permanent, but was really still testing it out, since in live version, like @daniel.m.tripp I have a 14" laptops screen and can hardly read any of what is there. Then I updated, installed the nvidia driver pkg and rebooted. Same thing. Flashing cursor.

So I think I will try a different distro from my Ventoy flash drive (that has about 20 on it, plus other things) and yet the drive is not recognized by MX. Hmmm…go into disks, mount the ext drive showing 2 partitions, but no Ventoy usb drive. Tried a different usb port. Still nothing.

So I put it in LM. Hear a beep, but no drive shows. Finally go to gparted, oh it is there–it is an empty parition: unallocated.

What??? I do not know what happened, but apparently it wiped my Ventoy drive. Thank GOD, I always keep a folder on my LM machine, backed up, with all my Ventoy files.

But the real kicker of MX is I can now use my external monitor, but not my laptop screen? That’s crazy.

I was trying to use a distro based on Debian, since I now have it on the server, but I guess not.

Back to the drawing board.


Does nvidia drive both the external monitor and the laptop screen?
The external would be an hdma port on the nvidia card.
The internal screen might be something special needing drivers.

Are your Ventoy files just the iso files that I keep on my external drive? I have a hell of a time installing Ventoy, so I just use Etcher if I want to do an install. For Boxes, I just pull the iso off of my external drive.

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Nvidia is the hdmi, although this laptop does have integrated Intel Iris graphics, but I researched the laptop screen issue and so many people quit using MX because of that.


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Ventoy format s the USB drive so that you can not only boot from it, but drag & drop those iso files to it. ItsFOSS has an article on how to do it, but that is how I first learned of Ventoy. You actually download, use tar then run the in terminal. Then you copy that link to browser and it asks you which disk you want to install Ventoy on.

As I said, I keep the ventoy folder and all my iso files in a folder called Ventoy Files so that if anything ever happens to the flash drive, I don’t have to redownload all those iso files.



Well MX is only a good choice if it works.
I am disappointed, because I like it.
There are plenty of other Debian based distros… eg Peppermint

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Once you have filled the Ventoy USB with iso’s, it’s done–write only, not r/w. Then you have to build a whole new one. I currently have three 32G Ventoy sticks, all filled up. As the distros update, I’ll have to rebuild them. Maybe the ItsFOSS article will help.

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Not so crazy.
I have a Dell G3. with nvidia + intel integrated.
I have read, such laptops have the display wired to the integrated GPU, while the external HDMI is physically connected to the nvidia.
So called ‘optimus setup’.
Making this work correctly both internal display + external monitor is quite a bit tricky, involves prime+reverse prime configuration… anyway, not an out-of-the-box-default configuration. Don’t even look for that, I think no distro will provide a configuration for such a hardware, which is OK by default…
I have my config files for xorg, which works for me correctly on my hardware, it for Debian 12 - I assume it may work on Debian derivative distro.
Or you could use it as skeleton to fiddle with, and finally find the good confif for your hardware. Let me know if you want to have my config files…

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@kovacslt yes, I did research and find that mine is considered Optimus, but when you tell MX ‘yes’ to that question, it still only wants to install the normal nvidia driver, which was already installed, and what was still not allowing the OS to even recognize that there was any other screen besides the external one.

All other installs on this same laptop, (Pop OS & Fedora) have allowed me to see both monitors out-of-the-box. It’s just on Pop, while you could see the laptop screen when lid was opened, the cursor remained on the external monitor without the desktop view and the desktop view on the laptop screen had no cursor…lol.

Fedora allowed me to see both screens upon install and the cursor worked on both. In fact, the only reason I wanted to find something other than Pop was due to rebooting never worked with laptop lid closed. It always required a hard shut down/restart after rebooting for updates in order to see either screen again.

But having just installed Debian on the home server, I was hoping to install a suitable OS on the laptop that would have no issues communicating with it the way Fedora often does (Wayland).

I tried Peppermint and could not believe there was no bluetooth in live session. I use the same bluetooth keyboard and mouse for 3 computers via KVM and it is hard for me to have to type all of that info on the small laptop keyboard and use my finger on the touchpad for a mouse. The laptop sits on a riser just out of reach from my desktop. So since I could not find any bluetooth available, gave up on that.

I will continue to experiment with the laptop, as it is secondary to my main work desktop, so not imperative that I get it up running right away. I was just really hoping to use MX.


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That’s correct the normal nvidia driver is needed. With a different configuration though.

Sounds like intel graphics driver removed/blacklisted.
If you drop MX Linux, I think we don’t need to fight the problem, otherways I’m sure it would be possible to install nvidia driver correctly beside the iGPU driver.
This shurely means some manual config.

Wayland is a completely different story.

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If you can help me figure it out, I would love to use MX. I really hate the Wayland incompatibility issue between other linux apps. And having to always log out/back in to resolve them is time consuming.

As I said, I already had the nvidia driver installed. Any other items to install? Or is it only a matter of customizing .config files?

I appreciate your willing ness to help me sort this out. Do you need my specs? Here they are, in case:


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I used to have an Asus “ROG” laptop - with hybrid graphics - essentially a gaming laptop, but it looked svelte like a MacBook pro… I mostly ran elementary on it (actually paid for it) - and I used Prime to switch between integrated Intel GPU, and discrete NVidia GPU (GTX970) - seemed a bit clunky (had to log out of X and back in again after switching) - but it worked… Played topshelf games (native Linux version) via Steam quite well…

But then I lost my job and was out of work for nearly 9 months - so I had to regretfully sell it (worst part was having to re-install Windows 10 from scratch)…

Haven’t really tried gaming on my Lenovo E495 with Pop!_OS - prefer to game on my desktop machine (just been playing Cities Skylines)…


There seem to be a number of ways of configuring this


Prime render offload is my choice, but also with the option reverse-prime, so that external display is available to X.
I need to get to my laptop to copy/paste xorg.conf.
I may try an MX ahs install, just to see wether it behaves the same as Debian?
I won’t have time to this test before friday though…

That’s not necessary these days :wink:

@kovacslt thank you. As I said before, this computer is not exactly in a rush since it is my secondary machine. I appreciate the help and can wait till you test.

Sheila Flanagan

Reading the article briefly, now I know what @kovacslt was referring to as “prime” as I had no idea.
Using both (use NVIDIA GPU when needed and keep it powered off to save power):

  • #Using PRIME render offload - official method supported by NVIDIA.
  • #Using optimus-manager - switches graphics with a single command (logout and login required to take effect). Also supports hybrid mode with PRIME render offload. It achieves maximum performance out of NVIDIA GPU and switches it off if not in use. Since the 1.4 release AMD+NVIDIA combination is also supported.

Hopefully, with help, I can get this figured out and try MX again.

Sheila Flanagan

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@nevj & @kovacslt I just wanted to update that I am now running MX Linux with both laptop screen & external hdmi monitor.

It’s not in my nature to give up, or not try and resolve issues. Heck, it is what I do for a living…lol. So I decided there had to be a way to get this to work. So I once again booted into live session and began the installation.

I watched the terminal closely during install and only installed after first installing Nvidia driver, but without rebooting (like I did last time when terminal reported conflict with currently loaded noveaux and the installed nvidia driver), so once the install finished, it rebooted and I was at the login screen. Once logged in, desktop appeared and I set about getting the bluetooth peripherals connected and then began messing with the desktops. At this point, I had desktop on both laptop screen and external monitor, BUT, as previously stated, the mouse cursor was on external, but all icons/menus and open windows were on the laptop screen WITHOUT a cursor. So I used the old “tab” and “spacebar” method of getting the display to mirror and that resolved the issue of cursor and desktop items not being combined onto the same output.

So I am out of time for tonight, but will continue with setup tomorrow after I finish work and hopefully I won’t need much help, but we shall see.

Thanks so much,


Great!!! :smiley:

You’re a hero :slight_smile:

My steps to achieve a working X11 config with my hibrid GPU setup:
-Install Debian as usual
-Install proprietary nvidia drivers:
apt install nvidia-driver libcuda1 libnvidia-encode1 nvidia-opencl-icd
because I need cuda for Davinci Resolve, and nvenc for ffmpeg/OBS encodings…

Put this content into /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "layout"
Screen 0 "Screen0"
Inactive "nvidia"
Option      "AutoAddDevices" "true" 
Option      "AutoAddGPU" "true"
Option "AllowNVIDIAGPUScreens"

Section "Device"
Identifier "nvidia"
Driver "nvidia"
BusID "PCI:01:0:0"
Option "AllowEmptyInitialConfiguration"
Option         "metamodes" "nvidia-auto-select +0+0 {ForceFullCompositionPipeline=On}"
#Option         "TripleBuffer" "on"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "nvidia"
Device "nvidia"

Section "Device"
Identifier "intel"
Driver "intel"
BusID "PCI:0:02:0"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen0"
Device "intel"
#GPUDevice "intel"

Section "ServerFlags"
#Option "AutoAddGPU" "false"

Note the BusID’s in the config files, I get those from lspci output, for me it is:

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation CoffeeLake-H GT2 [UHD Graphics 630]
01:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GP107M [GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile] (rev a1)

(I omitted here irrelevant hardware elements, pasted only the video cards).

Most recypes tell we have to use the modesetting driver for the intel iGPU, but I wanted to have the VIRTUAL display option, which is provided by the intel dirver, but not by the modesetting driver. So despit it is told I must use modesetting in this case, I use the intel…
If you plan to use the modesetting, as it is recommended, change the line
Driver "intel"
Driver "modesetting"

Now when X starts, LightDM has to launch a displaysetup script, here I followed the Debian Wiki

with a slight modification:

So put into /etc/lightdm/ :

xrandr --setprovideroutputsource NVIDIA-G0 Intel
xrandr --auto
xrandr --dpi 96

And make this executable (chmod +x…)

I get the parameters of the first line by exeecuting xrandr --listproviders
I write this because the recype tells about NVIDIA-0 and intel, note that I needed NVIDIA-G0 and Intel.
This may be different for you…

This makes reveres prime functional, and whenever I plug in the external monitor, it is recognized, and desktop is extended…

To make lightdm really run this script, edit /etc/lightdm.conf, so that the first lines look like:


If I run a program, it will run on the iGPU by default.
This is wrong for Davinci Resolve, it must run on the nvidia, so I modify it’s desktop file to launch its executable.
__NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD=1 __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=nvidia /opt/resolve/bin/resolve

So the desktop files content looks like this:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=DaVinci Resolve
Exec=env __NV_PRIME_RENDER_OFFLOAD=1 __GLX_VENDOR_LIBRARY_NAME=nvidia /opt/resolve/bin/resolve

Theoretically I could run any program, game or such on nvidia, but usually I need only Davinci to run there.

I hope this helps you somewhat to fight your optimus related problem!

Let me take the opportunity to whish you a well blessed and happy Easter!

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Aww, thanks. Not sure about that, but I did get it working for now. Since I play games as well, I will probably HAVE to use your detailed instructions. Thanks so much for that. Hope to have time to deal with that this weekend after the important stuff is done with the Debian 12 server.

Blessed, I am.

Again, thanks for everything, and when I start on the gaming settings, I may be back asking for further help.