oS 13.2 new install - is it possible to choose grub2 boot screen for a dual monitor system?

In a desktop with 2 monitors connected to a discrete pci nvidia card, main monitor on DVI, secondary on VGA, the boot menu is always displayed on the VGA monitor, while the DVI one stay in standby. Even with the VGA monitor switched off, the DVI monitor only light up when the KDE4 desktop loads.

It seems it’s enough that the VGA monitor is connected for the bios to choose it as primary. MB is an ASUS H87M-E, with ASUS UEFI bios. There’s no bios setting for this, only to choose between onboard and pci-ex video.

I’ve googled this, found two or three similar questions but no actual answer. GNU GRUB site didn’t yeld much, too, the only related option seems to be the env variable gfxterm. From https://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/html_node/Simple-configuration.html :

‘GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT’Select the terminal output device. You may select multiple devices here, separated by spaces.
Valid terminal output names depend on the platform, but may include ‘console’ (PC BIOS and EFI consoles), ‘serial’ (serial terminal), ‘gfxterm’ (graphics-mode output), ‘ofconsole’ (Open Firmware console), or ‘vga_text’ (VGA text output, mainly useful with Coreboot).

The default is to use the platform’s native terminal output.

Is there a way to change this, or to show the boot menu in both displays (clone-like)?


Grub pretty much uses BIOS services for all I/O. You are probably stuck with whatever you can configure in BIOS settings.

On Tue, 16 Dec 2014 05:36:02 +0000, nrickert wrote:

> Grub pretty much uses BIOS services for all I/O. You are probably stuck
> with whatever you can configure in BIOS settings.

That’s what I was thinking as well; in my case, it shows on my HDMI
display and my LCD display at the same time.

Same as the BIOS boot message.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Administrator
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Thanks nrickert and hendersj. That’s what I suspected, unfortunately.

This is the first dualboot setup I use since 2005. Until now this was not an issue since boot was automatic (no boot menu choice to make) and KDE set to autologin.

One mobo I had (or perhaps it was the video card) would show the boot screen and everything before KDM in both displays, and IINM KDM would duplicate the login screen wallpaper in the second monitor, apparently honoring my choice of primary display in system-settings for the login screen.
This choice, by the way, seems to be missing from the display module in KDE 4.14.3.

With this board there’s a lot of video memory noise in the primary monitor (1920 x 1200) during KDE loading, that shows correctly in the secondary monitor (1440 x 900).

That’s totally wrong, sorry.

With the previous video card, the VGA monitor would show some slight interference, that I blamed on inadequately shielded VGA cables. That’s why I chose to connect the primary monitor to the DVI port.

However, with this ASUS GTX 650 board the VGA display is pretty stable, so one solution to my first post might be simply to connect the 1920x1200 monitor as VGA and the secondary, smaller one to DVI.

Is there any counter indication to doing this?

P.S.: the board with the VGA interference is a ZOTAC GT520, the only one of four that I bought from ZOTAC (1x9800GT, 2xGT520, 1xGT630) that’s still working. The other three broke within 1-2 years of purchase, while an older ASUS GT210 is still chugging along nicely.
I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought those. They were too cheap, really, to be any good.