[Workaround] How to use external monitor in NVidia Optimus mode

For dual Intel/Nvidia GPU notebooks, as I understand it’s not possible to use external monitor/TV while in Nvidia Optimus mode because HDMI/DP ports are directly tied to Nvidia card. So we are doomed to Discrete mode, meanning using only Nvidia card which is very bad for the battery, or…

Here I discovered that I can create sys-gui(-gpu) and attach only Nvidia card to it in Optimus mode even without hiding it from the dom0 and sys-gui-gpu is passed to external monitor, while using iGPU on the laptop’s screen!

So funny to have practically 2 Qubes systems on one laptop. Just create VMs you want in each. Even internal keyboard and touchpad are automatically assigned to sys-gui-gpu, while I left external keyboard and mouse to dom0.

In this scenario you can manipulate sys-gui-gpu VMs out of it, from dom0!

Qubes is so great! The only OS that over-raided this Optimus’ limitation as far as I know!

Hi, i have a integrated amd and nvidia gpu. Idk how to install optimus, and test my hardware, my second monitor is not working too. Can you write a detailed guide how you do that. Thanks.

Hello. Writing detailed guide would be repeating procedures already detailed in many places around here. Search the forum for it. The only differences I have already stated:

  1. Enable Optimus mode in BIOS, not “Discrete”. There is no such thing as “installing”
  2. When creating HVM or sys-gui-gpu (these creatings would be repeating I’m not willing to invest time into at this point) just attach only NVIDIA GPU to it and fire it up. and you should get the picture on your external monitor/TV via mDP or HDMI, or even USB-C-to-DP/HDMI. But you’d get external monitor only from witihin these two qubes

If you want your whole Qubes to be seen on external monitor, then forget about Intel’s iGPU, enable “Discrete” mode in BIOS and you’d be good to go with Nvidia through whole Qubes.

I don’t know your laptop.

Try it and record every step you do and if you don’t succeed, write and describe every tiny detail of your doings and about laptop, and then and only then I (we) might help.

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