When I use and external monitor on a MacBook Pro 2014 model (HDMI), unlocking the laptop requires that I lift the lid to type the password in because it is the only screen out of the two that will ever show the desktop manager (login or wake screen). This goes for both Pantheon and after installing Xubuntu-desktop package to see if it would be different with LightDM; it's not.

Waking the laptop from sleep leaves both the laptop and external monitor blank, so a password cannot be entered; I've tried regardless to see if anything would happen; it doesn't do anything and I have to hold my power-button down to shut it off. I have tried both changing the primary displays and deactivating displays using Elementary OS's default stuff and using ARandR. Nothing seems to work.

I thought a lot of the early development for Elementary OS was done on a MacBook? It's why I chose Elementary. I've seen it on a lot of YouTube videos. Has no one tried an external monitor? A TV? I don't think the desktop managers (login screens) are using personal display settings and it is causing problems.

90% of the time HDMI works just fine, I'm just getting tired of not having suspend as a working option or having to lift the lid to unlock the screen saver and type in the password because the DM doesn't talk to any personal settings. An external Keyboard will talk to the MacBook, but doesn't actually do anything but wake it up to a blank screen I can't get past.

I have had both the default video drivers and have tried install NVIDIA stuff; it doesn't help.

Just someone please with Elementary on their MacBook try using an external monitor to at least see if it's just me or not.

3 Answers 3


I don't think this particular issue is hardware specific; I'd file an issue at github.com/elementary/pantheon-greeter.


Try this tutorial, see if it works.

Fixing Suspend Kernel Bug



This is the main reason of your issue: Config file /var/lib/lightdm/.config/monitors.xml is just ignored

Pantheon Greeter and whole elementary lightdm implementation are buggy. Every other things work very well and design of the whole system interface is the best I have ever seen on Linux. But this bug makes my job as a programmer very annoying. For now I would recommend you to get symbol of the monitor you want to be the main by command:

xrandr -q

After that edit xorg.conf:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and paste this peace of text:

Section "Monitor"
  Identifier  "HDMI-1"
  Option      "Primary" "true"
  Option      "PreferredMode"  "1920x1080"

PrefferedMode is the resolution of the monitor you chose as the main. It will place Pantheon Greeter on all monitors you have attached to your MacBook in mirror mode.

This is very awful workaround that doesn't deserve to exist in 21 century but as I know the only one.

  • Thank you for your reply, but what I ended up doing is switching to Xubuntu, only to face the same issue since it also uses LightDM. What actually fixed it was using ARandR to make my monitor the primary and only one and then installed xscreensaver. So when I wake from suspend, xscreensaver handles the password and actually takes note of my screen settings, which LightDM never did at all. I tried just using ARandR, but LighyDM in both Elementary and Xubuntu don't seem to access personal screen settings. Aug 17, 2017 at 16:38

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