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I would like to use my laptop screen and 2 external monitors independently. I have tried using a VGA splitter, but it did not work and someone told me that an HDMI VGA adapter won't work. How can I do this?

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You would need to check the capabilities of your laptop graphics card to see if it can display your laptop screen and both the external VGA and HDMI simultaneously to duplicate or extend your desktop.

I have a funny feeling that you will only be able to use, at most, any 2 displays/outputs - not the 3 you desire.

I.e.

laptop LCD + VGA (no HDMI) OR laptop LCD + HDMI (no VGA) OR VGA + HDMI (no laptop screen)

A "splitter" of any kind will duplicate the output - you will not be able to "extend" your desktop across screens. You need independent outputs to achieve this.

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  • Old post, but can you elaborate on what the tools on Ubuntu are, to check the capabilities of a laptop graphics' card, to see if it can display laptop screen+ external VGA + external HDMI simultaneously, in order to extend the desktop's real estate ? Tx. – Cbhihe Nov 27 '15 at 14:17
  • Most of the time if you know the graphics card make and model then the manufacturer site can inform you of its capabilities. Obviously this not always the case but, in Ubuntu, if you open the settings panel and click the "Displays" icon you can see the available monitors (if connected) and the available options... The following AskUbuntu Q/A should help: askubuntu.com/questions/29797/… – Kinnectus Nov 27 '15 at 14:20
  • I use the VGA compatible controller NVIDIA Corporation G84GLM [Quadro FX 570M] (rev a1). On my ubuntu 14.04.3 one needs to connect displays (as you point out) to be able to see if the capability to support them exists or not. Obviously I'd like to know that before committing 300 bucks on an external HDMI thingy. My already existing external VGA desktop extension works fine, but I only see that in System Setting>Display. – Cbhihe Nov 27 '15 at 14:29
  • I wouldn't be able to "recommend" anything and what I say on here is purely advice that should not be acted upon without your own further research and testing. Ideally you should borrow equipment (if you haven't already got it) and test to see if you can get the laptop+VGA+HDMI output working before spending money on your own kit... – Kinnectus Nov 27 '15 at 14:40

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