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I recently installed Arch Linux, and with that GNOME 3.8.2 + GDM 3.8.1.1.

I have this on a Notebook with an Intel graphics card with the notebook LCD and an external monitor attached via VGA port. I'm using intel driver module i915.

This is the problem I'm having:

  1. I lock the screen, whether through the lock button in the user menu or by pressing ctl+alt+l, the screen blanks and both monitors suspends (like suspending power).
  2. When I try to resume working, moving the mouse or pressing a key, both screens resume power but the login screen is frozen.

Notes:

  • When frozen, I can switch to another TTY just fine.
  • This only happens when I'm using the dual screen setup, if I only use one screen (doesn't matter if I use the onboard notebook LCD or the attached VGA) everything works fine.
  • By "the login screen is frozen" I mean that the screen shows an incomplete screen (like it crashed before it was able to complete rendering) with a grey area in the bottom of the screen. Also the Mouse will not work. Also note that the screen will go powersaving correctly after 20 secs, and if I move the Mouse or press a key, the screen will wake up but in the same condition.

Here is a screenshot of the screen when in the described state: http://i.stack.imgur.com/fIwLu.jpg

Any ideas? Thanks!

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OK, having seen your edit, my answer is irrelevant. Could you post your ~/.xsession-errors file? Also try updating your xorg and anything else that might be relevant. I had a similar problem and it went away after a large update. –  terdon May 31 '13 at 2:44
    
I did a clean boot, logged in, locked the screen, froze as always, and nothing new in ~/.xsession-errors. –  sdecima May 31 '13 at 14:06
    
Also check /var/log/Xorg.0.log and make sure you have an up to date xorg package. –  terdon May 31 '13 at 14:11
    
Nothing either on /var/log/Xorg.0.log when the system freezes. As I said I recently installed this (last weekend) and I pretty much updated all packages daily in search of a solution for this issue. –  sdecima May 31 '13 at 14:28
    
Out of curiosity, do you only get this with VGA screens? When I had the problem I linked to in my previous comment, DisplayPort worked fine, only VGA was screwed up. –  terdon May 31 '13 at 14:34
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2 Answers

I am not sure what you mean by "the login screen is frozen" but assuming your X session is alive and running, you should be able to fix it with xrandr:

  1. Figure out an xrandr line that correctly sets up your system. For example, I have a VGA screen to the right of my laptop. I get the screens' names by

    $ xrandr | grep -w connected
    VGA-0 connected 1440x900+1600+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 408mm x 255mm
    DP-3 connected 1600x900+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 344mm x 194mm
    

    So, since I know my VGA screen is to the right of my laptop, I can recreate this layout with

    xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1440x900 --primary --right-of DP-3 \
           --output DP-3 --mode 1600x900
    
  2. Map the xrand command to a keyboard shortcut of your choice and use it to reactivate your screens.

If all is not well with your X session, you can do the same thing by dropping to a tty and running

export DISPLAY=0:0
xrandr --output VGA-0 --mode 1440x900 --primary --right-of DP-3 \
           --output DP-3 --mode 1600x900
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Thanks @terdon. Unfortunately the xrandr command didn't help; I can't access my X session, and from a TTY I get the error: "Can't open display" (or "Can't open display 0:0"). –  sdecima May 31 '13 at 2:12
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I upgraded the system to (the now released) GDM 3.8.3 and xf86-video-intel 2.21.11 and the issue is fixed. I'm assuming there was a bug in older versions of one of those packages that affected my system.

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