NVIDA driver starts X on external monitor, laptop screen still shows boot log (UPDATED)

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I ran into a strange error after installing NVIDIA drivers on my laptop with Ubuntu 22.04. The machine has an RTX 2070 and an Intel video card and my screen is connected via HDMI.

After first installing the driver, I only got the internal laptop screen working. At some point the external screen showed the Ubuntu background, but I could not drag windows to it! Without using NVidia drivers (so I presume the graphics were done via the Intel card), I could use both.

So then I tried to force using the Intel card by installing 'nvidia-headless' but now something even stranger happens: my laptop screen shows the boot log (all the messages showing "[ OK ] Starting Disk Manager..." etc) on the laptop screen, and the X session only starts on the external monitor.

When I remove the NVIDIA drivers, I'm back to using two screens again.

I've now blacklisted the Nouveau driver, installed the driver straight from NVIDIA (the .run file not the .deb packages) and tried multiple versions of the drivers from, but every one of those now results in the boot log showing on the laptop screen.

Could there be a 'headless' setting that the NVIDIA drivers all use that I need to delete? It's not /etc/X11/xorg.conf (I deleted the one that the NVIDIA settings program offers to write -- which now only configures the external monitor).

If you have any ideas I would love to hear them!


After installing the Ubuntu drivers as a .run file and then reinstalling the ubuntu packages (both version 525) again, I am now back at where I started. Laptop screen works, not the external screen.

Interestingly, when X starts up it first shows the Plasma initialisation animation (rotating cogs) on both screens, then flickers and continues on only the laptop screen, then the desktop on 1 screen.

Looks like an X settings problem then not NVIDIA-related???


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