Ubuntu – How to make Ubuntu recognize an unknown external display (so I can adjust its resolution)


I have a Dell laptop with an external monitor attached (a Samsumg SyncMaster 931c).

My laptop display was recognized, and I can adjust its optimum resolution.
My external display is still unknown, thus I'm stuck at a lower resolution (1024×768):

enter image description here

I tried the "Detect Displays" button, but it didn't work, nothing happens.

I recently upgraded from Ubuntu 12.04 to 12.10.
Things were working before.
I don't know if I can actually change this configuration, or if this is a bug.

I searched for an answer here and also in Launchpad's website, but found none.

I even tried to install Nvidia drivers, and just messed things up.
It seems I wasn't even using nvidia before, as I guessed by looking at my additional drivers configuration:

enter image description here

My laptop has an Intel chipset, I guess:

$ dpkg --get-selections | grep -i -e nvidia -e intel
intel-gpu-tools                 install
libdrm-intel1:amd64             install
libdrm-intel1:i386              install
nvidia-common                   install
xserver-xorg-video-intel            install

I don't have an xorg.conf file (I think this is nvidia related, am I right?):

$ cat /etc/X11/xorg.conf
cat: /etc/X11/xorg.conf: No such file or directory

$ ls -l /etc/X11/
total 76
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Out 19 23:41 app-defaults
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Abr 25  2012 cursors
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    18 Abr 25  2012 default-display-manager
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root  4096 Abr 25  2012 fonts
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 17394 Dez  3  2009 rgb.txt
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root    13 Mai  1 03:33 X -> /usr/bin/Xorg
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root  4096 Out 19 23:41 xinit
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Jan 23  2012 xkb
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root     0 Out 24 08:55 xorg.conf.nvidia-xconfig-original
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root   709 Abr  1  2010 Xreset
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Out 19 10:08 Xreset.d
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Out 19 10:08 Xresources
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  3730 Jan 20  2012 Xsession
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Out 20 00:11 Xsession.d
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   265 Jul  1  2008 Xsession.options
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    13 Ago 15 06:43 XvMCConfig
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   601 Abr 25  2012 Xwrapper.config

Here is some information I gathered by looking at other related posts:

$ sudo lshw -C display; lsb_release -a; uname -a
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       version: 07
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
       resources: irq:48 memory:f6800000-f6bfffff memory:d0000000-dfffffff ioport:1800(size=8)
  *-display:1 UNCLAIMED
       description: Display controller
       product: Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2.1
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.1
       version: 07
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm bus_master cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: memory:f6100000-f61fffff
LSB Version:    core-2.0-amd64:core-2.0-noarch:core-3.0-amd64:core-3.0-noarch:core-3.1-amd64:core-3.1-noarch:core-3.2-amd64:core-3.2-noarch:core-4.0-amd64:core-4.0-noarch:cxx-3.0-amd64:cxx-3.0-noarch:cxx-3.1-amd64:cxx-3.1-noarch:cxx-3.2-amd64:cxx-3.2-noarch:cxx-4.0-amd64:cxx-4.0-noarch:desktop-3.1-amd64:desktop-3.1-noarch:desktop-3.2-amd64:desktop-3.2-noarch:desktop-4.0-amd64:desktop-4.0-noarch:graphics-2.0-amd64:graphics-2.0-noarch:graphics-3.0-amd64:graphics-3.0-noarch:graphics-3.1-amd64:graphics-3.1-noarch:graphics-3.2-amd64:graphics-3.2-noarch:graphics-4.0-amd64:graphics-4.0-noarch:printing-3.2-amd64:printing-3.2-noarch:printing-4.0-amd64:printing-4.0-noarch:qt4-3.1-amd64:qt4-3.1-noarch
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 12.10
Release:    12.10
Codename:   quantal
Linux Batcave 3.5.0-17-generic #28-Ubuntu SMP Tue Oct 9 19:31:23 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

$ xrandr -q
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 2304 x 800, maximum 32767 x 32767
LVDS1 connected 1280x800+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 286mm x 1790mm
   1280x800       59.9*+
   1024x768       60.0  
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   640x480        59.9  
VGA1 connected 1024x768+1280+32 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
   1024x768       60.0* 
   800x600        60.3     56.2  
   848x480        60.0  
   640x480        59.9  
DP1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
  • If there's anything else I can do, any other information I can post here, to help me configure this external display, please let me know.
  • If this is actually a bug, I apologize (I know bugs are not allowed here), but I really wasn't sure. And I will promptly file a bug report in Launchpad if that's the case.

Thanks a lot in advance. 😉

Best Answer

The monitor cable was loose.
When I removed the cable and firmly plugged it in again, everything suddenly worked.
The monitor was recognized, and now I am using my previously desired resolution: The monitor was recognized

I feel kind of silly, because I never thought merely touching a loose cable would be of any help.