NVIDIA dual-monitor fails with Ubuntu17.10

Asked by Robert Wohlhueter on 2017-12-07

[Using Ubuntu 17.10, kernel 4.13.0-17-lowlatency, for AMD64, studio flavor, with xfce window managr; with NVIDIA GeForce GTX660Ti graphics card, with nvidia driver version 384]

With Ubuntu 14, 16, and now recently upgraded to 17.10, I have been using this graphics card with two monitors. A few weeks after upgrading to 17.10, I installed some software updates (from routine from "software-updater", without paying attention to what was actually updated.) On a subsequent reboot, the dual-display configuration was lost.

I can't recount all of the remedies I've persued. Notably, restoring /etc/X11/xorg.conf from backups, and (using "software-updater | settins | additional drivers"), reverting to nvidia driver version 340, and 304. All to no avail.

The most significant difference to my eyes is in the nvidia-setting gui, which is at all like I'm used to (as, for example, shown in the URL "https://help.ubuntu.com/community/NvidiaMultiMonitors"). Further, I note that synaptic offers only version 384 of "nvidia-settings" (even when I revert to driver version 340 or 304)

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Additonal info: when I boot in demo mode off an Uvuntu17.10 dvd, both displays function, and the setting | display manager shows both displays in proper, dual-display configuration (by default). When booting normally -- off hard-disk -- settings | display detects s only one display (the primary).

That is, this is clearly a software issue brought on my a software updat.

More information, and a solution (maybe):

I finally got my dual-display setup working, as follows:
1) Removed, via synaptic, installed nvidia -drivers (namely,. 384)
2) In software-updater | settings | additionaldrivers, selected and installed generic xorg drive.
3) Rebooted into recovery mode, and ran the latest (NVIDIA-Liux_x86_64-387.34.run) driver -- previously down-loaded from NVIDIA.
4)Reboot comes p in dual-display mode; checking software-updater | settings | additional drivers, now shows a new category, "continue using manually installed driver" (checked)

My conclusion is that there are serious compatibility issues between synaptic-respository-supplied nvidia drivers and ubuntu-17.10-studio. My experience in the past (Ubuntu 14, 15) was that the respositoryy-suppled nvidia drivers were "safer" than those directly downloaded from NVIDIA. But I've changed my mind.

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