The Never-Ending Struggle of Connecting an External Monitor to a Linux Laptop with a Dedicated Nvidia GPU

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As a Linux user, I was excited to upgrade my laptop to a new model with a dedicated Nvidia GPU. However, I soon discovered that using an external monitor with DisplayPort (DP) was a nightmare. While HDMI connected via the laptop's integrated GPU worked out of the box with minor adjustments, the DP simply refused to work correctly. I spent countless hours trying to debug the issue and make it work, but all my attempts failed.

Firstly, I checked the hardware and ensured the DP cable and the monitor were functioning properly. I also tried connecting the laptop to different monitors, but the problem persisted. Next, I checked the Nvidia drivers and ensured they were installed and updated. However, the DP still did not work even after updating the drivers.

I then dug deeper into the issue and found that the problem was how Nvidia GPUs handled DP. I discovered that the Nvidia GPU was not powering on the DP output when the laptop booted up, which caused the external monitor not to detect any signal. This issue was not unique to my laptop, and many other Linux users had reported the same problem with Nvidia GPUs and DP.

After researching the issue, I found that some workarounds involved using external adapters or modifying the xorg.conf file. However, these solutions were not ideal as they often resulted in other issues, such as screen flickering or compatibility issues like waking up from suspend/hibernate. Furthermore, using an external adapter defeated the purpose of having a DP port on the laptop in the first place.

Eventually, I decided to ditch the DP for the time being and stick with using HDMI via the laptop's integrated GPU. While it was not ideal, it was a reliable solution that worked without glitches or issues. However, I continued to keep an eye on the issue and hoped that a proper fix would be available in the future.

In conclusion, using an external monitor with DP on Linux laptops with dedicated Nvidia GPUs can be a nightmare. Despite numerous attempts to debug the issue, I could not make it work without experiencing glitches or issues. While workarounds such as using external adapters or modifying configuration files may work for some users, they were not suitable solutions for me. Ultimately, I decided to ditch the DP and use HDMI instead.