PCDM / Lumina: Problem with / Missing external display option


Note: I copied this thread over from pcbsd forum and updated it a little for new findings (and upgraded my user name :-)).

I’m using my netbook in desktop mode. Meaning the lid is closed at all times.

The display, keyboard and mouse are all external. That was no problem with pcbsd v10.3 PCDM. The external display (1280x1024, 4:3; internal: 1366x768, 16:9) got the full screen displayed (if conneted at boot time).

That already wasn’t true with the current version of Lumina under pcbsd v10.3. There I can only add an additional display beside the internal display. But I want them to display both the same content!

And with TrueOS (= 12.0-CURRENT, 14th Oct.) the problem seems to have been extended to PCDM. The internal display displays the complete screen - if no external display is connected and PCDM is reloaded, the external display (if connected at boot time) only shows a gray background and the TrueOS logo. Then the internal display only displays the gray background, part of the logo and the “power” button in the right hand corner. The login GUI is missing.

PCDM on v10.3 has no such problems. The external display (4:3) gets the full login screen, the internal display (16:9) is missing the lower part that’s missing to 4:3, but that’s expected - at least by me.

Btw: No problem with xfce on TrueOS. Just as under v10.3.

So, please add an option for additional displays that does not extend the display to two, but displays the same content on both displays! Xfce can do it, so why not Lumina, as well - and PCDM could handle it up until and including pcbsd v10.3.

Getting modesetting working
How to change the pre-selected (cursor) line of PCDM login GUI

There are a few solutions for this:

  1. Setup your two monitors to be clones of each other in your xorg.conf
  2. Flag your external monitor as the “primary” monitor in your xorg.conf
  3. Disable your internal monitor in your xorg.conf

Examples can be found on the ArchLinux Wiki (one of the best resources I have found - just note that the file on FreeBSD is “/etc/X11/xorg.conf”, not the “10-monitor” file they reference in the wiki.

PCDM selects which screen to place the login dialog on this way:

  1. If a primary screen is listed - use that one
  2. If no primary, use the left-most screen (left edge has x=0)
  3. If could not find a monitor aligned with the x=0 screen boundary, just use the first monitor in the list.

PCDM does not change your display settings on startup - it just uses what you have configured in your default xorg.conf.

[New problems solved] New Intel driver in April 21 install image - more problems with external displays

Thanks for the great information. I’ll check it out.

As a mainly GUI guy I always forget about tinkering around with the files themselves when there’s a gui present but doesn’t solve my problem. :slight_smile:
And as I have never touched xorg.conf…

I’ll report back!


Well, the fist part was easy - to at least get back to the state before the April 21 image additional problems:

As it turns out the new installer where I can’t chose the graphics driver to be used for installation did install or enable the modesetting driver - not the Intel driver as I assumed.

Just looking into /etc/X11/xorg.conf showed me that info. So I just logged out and used PCDM’s graphics driver settings option and switched to Intel. Now all is back as it was before the switch from March 31 image to April 21 image.

But the xorg.conf file does not contain all the info that @beanpole135 or the link he gave mentions. So, now I’ll try to edit the file according to my hardware and hope my other issues get solved that way, too.

Stay tuned.


As a command line guy, I have never really liked graphical login environments. They make it easy to miss error messages or information during a boot. That’s why I disable them (rc-update delete PCDM), log into the console, then type in startx. This also makes it easier to recover from broken X config.
pciconf -lv can get you some of the information you need (look for display or vga devices)

NOTE: this is not a reflection on anything related to graphical logins, simply my preferences (old dog, new tricks, not enough biscuits).



When testing different settings in /etc/X11/xorg.conf I remembered:

If I run Intel driver, there is no login GUI (the little windows where you type in the login data, the background etc. is all there) at all when the external display is plugged-in. I.e. neither the internal nor the external display shows the login GUI!

Only when I unplug the external display and then restart PCDM the internal display shows the login GUI.

So, editing the xorg.conf according to the ArchLinux Wiki got me nowhere. So I went back to the PCDM graphics driver setup feature and enabled the “multi monitor” option. That didn’t really change anything but the xorg.conf file has some other entries which look ok to me, at least more “trustworthy” than my manually inserted ones. So, for now I leave it at that.

And regarding

I wonder if PCDM changed between pcbsd 10.3 or the intel graphics driver, because on pcbsd both displays get the login GUI, on trueos none does (see above)…

But wait… I do a quick check on the pcbsd BE’s xorg.conf file…

…well: the pcbsd xorg.conf file contains only settings for the external display. Using those settings (only) for trueos doesn’t change anything, neither. So, I as thought, there must have happen some major change between pcbsd and trueos regarding intel driver / pcdm.

For now, I’m out of ideas. But I’ll keep an eye on that problem - I get reminded of it every time I boot up trueos, anyway. :slight_smile:


I just purchased a TP-W530 Laptop and installed TrueOS on it.

I downloaded the TrueOS DVD “TrueOS-Desktop-17.12-x64-DVD.iso” and attempted install but it would not bring up GUI installer.

I had an older copy of TrueOS so I tried to install that. (I believe it is:
TrueOS-Desktop-2016-12-27-x64-DVD.iso -or-

It successfully installed and later updated to current. Runing “uname -a” returned:

[user@WorkSta] ~% uname -a
FreeBSD WorkSta 12.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #11 8b9df91(drm-next-4.7): Sat Dec 24 15:17:28 UTC 2016 root@gauntlet:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/GENERIC amd64

This laptop has two video cards in it. Intel and nVidia. Something is tripping up during install and if I try to change drivers. For some reason it cannot boot xorg in vesa mode so it just fails and skips it. I have connected to an external monitor. I need to be able to tell the system I have an additional monitor but not sure how if I cannot run PCDM? or the Monitor config wizard.

Please Help!

PROCESSOR = Intel Core i7-3740QM 2.7Ghz (Turbo to 3.7Ghz)
GRAPHICS = NVIDIA Quadro K1000M (2GB GDDR3) / Intel HD Graphics 4000
DISPLAY = 15.6" (1920x1080)




in the bios/uefi settings, you need to turn off the nvidia display to get trueos installed


Thank you

That got it. and it was able to boot in to the GUI again. (The older TrueOS installed with the nVidia)

It is working fine with the BIOS set to Intel Graphics. Do I have to manually modify my xorg to allow it to use the nVidia card?


To be honest. I’m not sure.

You’re options are.

Read through discourse door an answer.

Turn it back on BIOS and see what happens


Hello again, similar issue, separate system.

I am running TrueOS on a VM for the past year +.

The host has 3 monitors. Monitor A & B are for the TrueOS VM full screen. Monitor 3 is left to Host for various host things. See attached Screenshot from TrueOS… Add Screen no longer available

Originally when I set this up I believe my actions were:

1. IN TrueOS, touch /var/.runxsetup
2. Set up Display Wizard for multiple monitors.  (I set it for 3, only configured 2)
3. User Monitor Configuration to add additional monitors. (Screenshot)

There was no need to return to this since it was working fine 5 days a week for the past year.

Now, after all these updates and my laptop issues, I thought I would revisit. I noticed right away that Now I cannot add a new monitor in either tool: (Same issue I am having on Laptop.)

Display Wizard
Monitor Configuration

Is anyone else reading this running TrueOS on multiple monitors? Are you able to configure, reconfigure. It seems that functionality was taken out of the Display Wizard some time in the past year. Now it seems to only allow you to select specific graphic drivers.



I know @beanpole135 & @q5sys both multi-monitor setups, at time


The add screen tab is only accessable if it can detect a screen that has not been added.
@beanpole135 runs three monitors and so do I. I’ve not had a problem reconfiguring.

The only caveat that I do know of is that if you are using a laptop dock, it ‘may’ restrict you to certain resolutions. I know with my Thinkpad dock won’t detect my 4k monitors, but it will my 1080P monitors. But the laptop will detect the 4k monitor if I plug it directly into the laptop itself.


Will this be the configuration forever or is there a different future plan? I do see in the docs where it says “the advanced tab is being removed.” For now it is just grayed out. It used to have a check box to indicate/enable multiple monitors.

I told my VM today to logout. Then, on the log In screen, I choose the option to “Change Video Driver” to start the Display Manager.

I know in the past I had set the hypervisor to share 3 monitors with the VM in case I wanted to switch to use all three. Today there was no available option to choose or add a monitor.

I will test/check this again in the morning.

@q5sys, Some Monitors will just change to another input if they detect nothing at “that moment” on a specific input. You seem to be indicating that TrueOS will do the same detecting a monitor. That could become a frustrating dance.

In my case, my monitor has a single HDMI port (connected to a 3 HDMI switch) and a VGA port. I have ordered a mini display port adapter and will test that port on the laptop. I tried the VGA port but I guess Monitor and Laptop are not seeing each other at the same time. I really only know it is not working for my situation.

I hope you-all will reconsider the “Automated” method and allow us users to simply inform TrueOS when it should be expecting multiple monitors. That “check box” would erase some doubts and increase confidence in the process.



I’ll write more when I’m home and not on my phone, but since you are doing this in a VM is possible that this is where the issues arises.
Sometimes things in a VM don’t work properly, we don’t have host/guest folder sharing for example. Other times virtual box will change something with an update and then something else will break.

I have never had a problem with multiple screens on actual hardware… I’ve never tried doing multiple screens in a VM.


Nope, Multiple screens are working fine in the current VM environment. This morning I found my VM setting was for only 2 monitors. I switched it to 3 and booted the VM. TrueOS came up with three monitors immediately. Each with the TrueOS GUI Login prompt. so…

You were correct and I was wrong yesterday about weather multiple monitors was working.

I didn’t try removing the 3rd monitor from within Display under Control Panel. I will reboot and try that now. Results Screenshot attached below:



I’m glad to hear that multiple monitors are working fine in a VM! :slight_smile:
Can I take it from your screenshot that you were able to add the all the monitors now or is there still a problem? Sorry, I’m having trouble following.