Login screen not available on HDMI output

Here’s another issue I’m still having after a fresh install. Login screen only displays on internal display and not HDMI. TV output starts working only after login.

So basically, keyboards starts working at login and HDMI starts working after login… not a deal-breaker but annoying. Could be more than annoying on a laptop where the internal keyboard or screen is broken. (my wife has a laptop with a broken internal keyboard and my friend has a laptop with a broken internal display)

Can HDMI-on-login be fixed? Could it be working by default?

Try using early KMS. You can configure it with dracut like this: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Dracut#Early_kernel_module_loading

Early kernel module loading

Dracut enables early loading (at the initramfs stage, via modprobe) through its --force_drivers command or force_drivers+="" config entry line. For example:

# ... 
force_drivers+=" nvidia nvidia_modeset nvidia_uvm nvidia_drm " 
# ...

After setting up that dracut config, rebuild the initramfs.

sudo dracut-rebuild

That would have been too easy!

Unfortunately not working.

There was a discussion about that issue here; unfortunately did not get resolved

Looks like an issue that got mostly ignored

Write an Xsetup script to configure the display you want to use before the login session with xrandr, as described here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/SDDM#Login_session_appears_on_an_unexpected_display

It looks like the issue was solved. The user either ignored the solution presented to them or did not bother to update the thread with their results.


That’s it! Now the login appears on both displays, then switches to HDMI-only after login. Perfect. Why does SDDM otherwise display only on a single output? Looks like bad design.

SDDM is part of KDE? Since they just released Plasma 6, I don’t understand why they haven’t improved this SDDM behavior. It’s something pretty trivial.

I really don’t think new users should have to tinkle and search for these kinds of basic issues. If Linux is to get broader exposure (with the launch of Microsoft Copilot), it has to work better out-of-the-box. In 2024 it’s almost there…

By the way what’s the deal with Wayland and NVidia open source drivers? Last I tried Wayland on NVidia, I got some bugs and it just worked in X11 so I went straight back. I heard that Plasma 6 is getting rock-solid with Wayland even with NVidia; I also heard something that Open Source NVIDIA drivers would soon be the default? Curious to hear what’s the real story and status.

Solving NVIDIA and Wayland long-standing issues would close a big chapter and be a MAJOR step forward for Linux. Also read that real-time Linux is a long-standing issue that’s about to be resolved. It seems Linux might move to a new phase this year.

You have a tendency to imply there is an issue with software that isn’t configured according to your personal preference. This isn’t “bad design” just because you don’t like the default setting.

Someone could just as easily say that when they get to the login screen, all their monitors shouldn’t fire up for no reason–only the primary screen should show the login window, and the rest of the monitors should remain in standby until the session begins. And that is a perfectly valid opinion as well, which seems to align with what the developers intend for this software.

And you know what? This is a super common default. Even Windows does it like that, with the login screen on only the primary display and the rest of them off until you sign in. If you want to change the screen the login window is displayed on, you need to go into the settings and change it.

I’m not saying it should be one way or the other, I’m just saying that the fact that you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s broken.


Actually Windows login shows up on HDMI no problem (when I boot via USB… when I boot as a VM it’s the only output)

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As requested by the OP, I have reopened this thread so he can add further info.

Just wanted to mention that on Fedora KDE, the HDMI output is available for the login screen and even before. Even part of the boot sequence has access to HDMI.

What’s the difference?

It displays login on both screens; but the password typing is only on internal screen by default, and it switches to only HDMI after login.

It seems like whoever among us is using Fedora KDE would be in the best position to answer that. :eyes:

I can confirm that exactly, except that my systems work with Arch/KDE and Garuda/KDE. All have multi-monitor operation via HDMI, and it works without issues on all of them - including my laptop :slight_smile:
I have no idea what is going wrong with your Garuda installation again :thinking:
I assume that you have the Intel iGPU as default on Fedora. I think the main cause in your Garuda installation is the Nvidia card.

By default, the password is entered on the screen on which you last logged in - KDE/SDDM remembers this.

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Here we’re comparing fresh Fedora with fresh Garuda initial setup.

So login should work on external display without requiring tinkering.

Fedora initially had Open Source NVidia drivers; replaced with proprietary one by installing RPM Fusion.

I’ll note that Intel GPU does not have access to the HDMI port.

Hmm, that’s an interesting clue. What result do you get if you install Garuda with the open source drivers?

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I won’t be re-installing Garuda yet but I can boot from USB using Open Source drivers and see where the HDMI starts working.

In the middle of the boot sequence, the TV will get a “ping”, I think that’s when it start being supported and when Fedora starts displaying the load screen on it.

Fedora will display on HDMI from that point on. Garuda remains on internal display until after the login.