Can't see iwndows in a dual screen setup

I have my dell laptop connected to an external display.

this is the output of xrandr command

 ╰─λ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 4480 x 1440, maximum 16384 x 16384
eDP-1 connected primary 1920x1200+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 288mm x 180mm
   1920x1200     59.95*+
   1920x1080     59.93
   1680x1050     59.95    59.88
   1400x1050     59.98
   1600x900      59.95    59.82
   1280x1024     60.02
   1400x900      59.96    59.88
   1280x960      60.00
   1440x810      59.97
   1368x768      59.88    59.85
   1280x800      59.97    59.81    59.91
   1280x720      60.00    59.99    59.86    59.74
   1024x768      60.04    60.00
   960x720       60.00
   928x696       60.05
   896x672       60.01
   1024x576      59.95    59.96    59.90    59.82
   960x600       59.93    60.00
   960x540       59.96    59.99    59.63    59.82
   800x600       60.00    60.32    56.25
   840x525       60.01    59.88
   864x486       59.92    59.57
   700x525       59.98
   800x450       59.95    59.82
   640x512       60.02
   700x450       59.96    59.88
   640x480       60.00    59.94
   720x405       59.51    58.99
   684x384       59.88    59.85
   640x400       59.88    59.98
   640x360       59.86    59.83    59.84    59.32
   512x384       60.00
   512x288       60.00    59.92
   480x270       59.63    59.82
   400x300       60.32    56.34
   432x243       59.92    59.57
   320x240       60.05
   360x202       59.51    59.13
   320x180       59.84    59.32
DP-1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-2 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DP-3 connected 2560x1440+1920+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 595mm x 335mm
   5120x2880     60.00 +
   3840x2160     60.00 +
   2560x2880     60.00
   2560x1440     60.00*
   1920x1080     60.00
DP-4 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

I run:
xrandr --output DP-3 --right-of eDP-1 --auto
xrandr --output DP-3 --primary

The result is that I can see in the other screen namely DP-3 my cursor only. I know that windows can be moved there and opened but the screen is completely black. only the cursor is visible and can be moved from left to right and viceversa.

 ╰─λ garuda-inxi
System:
  Kernel: 6.1.39-1-lts arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 13.1.1
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/@/boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts
    root=UUID=f199b624-ffa0-40b4-945c-c4e71ca3d9ec rw rootflags=subvol=@
    quiet quiet rd.udev.log_priority=3 vt.global_cursor_default=0 loglevel=3
    ibt=off
  Desktop: i3 v: 4.22 info: i3bar vt: 7 dm: LightDM v: 1.32.0
    Distro: Garuda Linux base: Arch Linux
Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: Dell product: XPS 9320 v: N/A
    serial: <superuser required> Chassis: type: 10 serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: Dell model: 0V0059 v: A00 serial: <superuser required> UEFI: Dell
    v: 1.11.0 date: 12/09/2022
Battery:
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 54.8 Wh (100.0%) condition: 54.8/54.4 Wh (100.7%)
    volts: 13.2 min: 11.6 model: SMP DELL J7H5M23 type: Li-poly serial: <filter>
    status: full
CPU:
  Info: model: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P bits: 64 type: MST AMCP
    arch: Alder Lake level: v3 note: check built: 2021+
    process: Intel 7 (10nm ESF) family: 6 model-id: 0x9A (154) stepping: 3
    microcode: 0x42A
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 12 mt: 4 tpc: 2 st: 8 threads: 16 smt: enabled
    cache: L1: 1.1 MiB desc: d-8x32 KiB, 4x48 KiB; i-4x32 KiB, 8x64 KiB
    L2: 9 MiB desc: 4x1.2 MiB, 2x2 MiB L3: 18 MiB desc: 1x18 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 2325 high: 4114 min/max: 400/4700:3400 scaling:
    driver: intel_pstate governor: performance cores: 1: 2091 2: 2500 3: 4114
    4: 2500 5: 2500 6: 2500 7: 2087 8: 2500 9: 2500 10: 2500 11: 2500 12: 2500
    13: 2500 14: 2500 15: 1007 16: 401 bogomips: 79888
  Flags: avx avx2 ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx
  Vulnerabilities: <filter>
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel Alder Lake-P Integrated Graphics vendor: Dell driver: i915
    v: kernel arch: Gen-12.2 process: Intel 10nm built: 2021-22+ ports:
    active: DP-3,eDP-1 empty: DP-1,DP-2,DP-4 bus-ID: 00:02.0
    chip-ID: 8086:46a6 class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: Apple Studio Display
    driver: hid-generic,snd-usb-audio,usbhid,uvcvideo type: USB rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 bus-ID: 5-1.4:3 chip-ID: 05ac:1114
    class-ID: 0300 serial: <filter>
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 21.1.8 compositor: Picom v: git-b700a
    driver: X: loaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,intel,vesa dri: iris
    gpu: i915 display-ID: :0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 4480x1440 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 1185x381mm (46.65x15.00")
    s-diag: 1245mm (49.01")
  Monitor-1: DP-3 pos: right model: Apple StudioDisplay serial: <filter>
    built: 2022 res: 2560x1440 hz: 60 dpi: 109 gamma: 1.2
    size: 595x335mm (23.43x13.19") diag: 683mm (26.9") ratio: 16:9 modes:
    max: 5120x2880 min: 1920x1080
  Monitor-2: eDP-1 pos: primary,left model: Sharp 0x1548 built: 2021
    res: 1920x1200 hz: 60 dpi: 169 gamma: 1.2 size: 288x180mm (11.34x7.09")
    diag: 340mm (13.4") ratio: 16:10 modes: 1920x1200
  API: OpenGL v: 4.6 Mesa 23.1.3 renderer: Mesa Intel Graphics (ADL GT2)
    direct-render: Yes
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel Alder Lake Imaging Signal Processor vendor: Dell
    driver: intel-ipu6 alternate: intel_ipu6, intel_ipu6_psys, intel_ipu6_isys
    bus-ID: 00:05.0 chip-ID: 8086:465d class-ID: 0480
  Device-2: Intel Alder Lake PCH-P High Definition Audio vendor: Dell
    driver: sof-audio-pci-intel-tgl
    alternate: snd_hda_intel,snd_sof_pci_intel_tgl bus-ID: 00:1f.3
    chip-ID: 8086:51c8 class-ID: 0401
  Device-3: Apple Studio Display
    driver: hid-generic,snd-usb-audio,usbhid,uvcvideo type: USB rev: 2.0
    speed: 480 Mb/s lanes: 1 mode: 2.0 bus-ID: 5-1.4:3 chip-ID: 05ac:1114
    class-ID: 0300 serial: <filter>
  API: ALSA v: k6.1.39-1-lts status: kernel-api
    tools: alsactl,alsamixer,amixer
  Server-1: PipeWire v: 0.3.74 status: active with: 1: pipewire-pulse
    status: active 2: wireplumber status: active 3: pw-jack type: plugin
    tools: pactl,pw-cat,pw-cli,wpctl
Network:
  Device-1: Intel Alder Lake-P PCH CNVi WiFi driver: iwlwifi v: kernel
    bus-ID: 00:14.3 chip-ID: 8086:51f0 class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlp0s20f3 state: up mac: <filter>
Bluetooth:
  Device-1: Intel driver: btusb v: 0.8 type: USB rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s
    lanes: 1 mode: 1.1 bus-ID: 3-10:4 chip-ID: 8087:0033 class-ID: e001
  Report: bt-adapter ID: hci0 rfk-id: 0 state: up address: <filter>
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 476.94 GiB used: 23.31 GiB (4.9%)
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends
  ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 maj-min: 259:0 vendor: Samsung model: PM9A1 NVMe 512GB
    size: 476.94 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 63.2 Gb/s
    lanes: 4 tech: SSD serial: <filter> fw-rev: 36308229 temp: 51.9 C
    scheme: GPT
Partition:
  ID-1: / raw-size: 457.45 GiB size: 457.45 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 23.22 GiB (5.1%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p3 maj-min: 259:3
  ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 240 MiB size: 236 MiB (98.33%)
    used: 98.8 MiB (41.9%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/nvme0n1p1 maj-min: 259:1
  ID-3: /home raw-size: 457.45 GiB size: 457.45 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 23.22 GiB (5.1%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p3 maj-min: 259:3
  ID-4: /var/log raw-size: 457.45 GiB size: 457.45 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 23.22 GiB (5.1%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p3 maj-min: 259:3
  ID-5: /var/tmp raw-size: 457.45 GiB size: 457.45 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 23.22 GiB (5.1%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/nvme0n1p3 maj-min: 259:3
Swap:
  Kernel: swappiness: 133 (default 60) cache-pressure: 100 (default)
  ID-1: swap-1 type: zram size: 15.24 GiB used: 1.5 MiB (0.0%) priority: 100
    dev: /dev/zram0
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 58.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
Info:
  Processes: 359 Uptime: 24m wakeups: 2504 Memory: total: 16 GiB note: est.
  available: 15.24 GiB used: 2.8 GiB (18.4%) Init: systemd v: 253
  default: graphical tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 13.1.1 Packages:
  pm: pacman pkgs: 1378 libs: 349 tools: pamac,paru,yay Shell: fish v: 3.6.1
  running-in: alacritty inxi: 3.3.28
Garuda (2.6.16-1):
  System install date:     2023-02-16
  Last full system update: 2023-07-21
  Is partially upgraded:   No
  Relevant software:       snapper NetworkManager mkinitcpio
  Windows dual boot:       Probably (Run as root to verify)
  Failed units:

Any good idea on this?

Did you try reloading i3? Try disabling the compositor (Picom) as well, just in case.

There are a few i3 users out there on Reddit with the same grievance:
https://www.reddit.com/r/i3wm/comments/bybhzt/images_not_being_drawn_on_just_one_monitor/
https://www.reddit.com/r/i3wm/comments/11rgibe/multiple_screen_enabled_with_xrandr_but_does_not/
https://www.reddit.com/r/i3wm/comments/hneza4/dual_screen_one_stays_black_after_login/

(I hate to link directly to Reddit, but it seems public Libreddit instances may be down for good. :cry:)

Anyway, none of those threads really suggest a worthwhile fix for the issue except maybe this comment in the last one:

“Let me guess? NVIDIA gpu? In that case I’d try ditching xrandr altogether and set it directly via NVIDIA-settings.”

Obviously in your case Nvidia is not being used, but still: the suggestion of using something other than xrandr might be worth a shot. Give autorandr a try, or the ever-popular ARandR which has a nice, easy-to-use GUI interface. ARandR can also save the configuration you end up with as a shell script so you can call it in your i3 config if you want.

1 Like

Thanks @BluishHumility to get back to me with some hints.
I have tried to reload i3 and it did not work.
I have tried to install arandr and it did not work. last idea would be to disable picom.

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