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empty blue screen after auto screen lock and twin view #698

daschuer opened this Issue May 25, 2012 · 47 comments

I have cinnamon 1.4.0-UP3-0ubuntu1~recise1 running on a twin view setup with nvidia 295.40 driver on a DELL Latitude E6510

After automatic screen lock the main display becomes blue and the second display black.
Moving the mouse, the mouse pointer appers on the blue main display and the second display shows the gnome-screensaver. I cannot enter the second display with the mouse.
Typing the password and unlock is possible but without visual feedback.

Sometimes i can manage to move the focus from the blue screen to the second screen. Than the Unlock dialog appears.

Manual lock gnome-screensaver-command -l works as desired. both displays are displaying the gnome-screensaver
The unlock dialog is displayed on the focused screen. It is also not possible to enter the other screen.

Unity does not suffer this problem. I notice that the gnome-screensaver is only displayed on the focused display. the other display is entirely black.

Maybe this bug depends on this issue

pescobar commented Jun 6, 2012


I am having the same issue. Also reported a bug in launchpad

warkior commented Jun 6, 2012

I have the same issue. Also, as was reported in the other bug report ( moving the mouse to the laptop screen and hitting ESC seems to bring up the login box. I noticed the additional bug that the clocks at the top of the screens don't seem to sync. The laptop screen clock continues to advance, while the external screen does not. Screenshot was posted here:


Same bluescreen issue when i try unlocking Mint 13 Cinnamon 64 bit. What system info can I provide?

drakej commented Jun 21, 2012

Same issue as well. Running Linux Mint 16 64-bit and using a discrete nvidia graphics card.


drakej I think you mean Mint 13? If you move mouse to other screen and press escape, login window pops up on other monitor.

drakej commented Jun 21, 2012

yea I meant 13, the issue only happens after a few minutes (despite the fact that I disable all the features to automatically lock, put the display to sleep, etc.). I'll let you know next time the issue comes up if that solution works. Thanks spartan7.

qlimax commented Jul 20, 2012

Same issue on Mint 13 64bit , screen keeps black with the clock on the top when going away for a while...
None of the workaround worked. (Didn't tried the nouveau drivers)

My hardware is an iMac 9,2 24''
I have a secondary monitor configured with the Nvidia-settings tool.

Graphic card:

lspci | grep VGA
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation Device 0655 (rev a1)

This issue is important!

Linux Mint member

Can this be closed or still an issue?

drakej commented Sep 11, 2012

I would say that it's not a bug but poorly defined behavior. A user has to know to press the escape key which they will only know based on guessing or research. Expected behavior or rather, the intuitive behavior would be to bring up the password prompt when any key or mouse movement is detected when in a multi-screen environment.


Same issue: Mint 13 64 bits, two screens, NVIDIA graphics (01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation G98 Quadro NVS 295)

If l lock the screen and the screen turns off (when inactive for x minutes), when i come back and move the mouse, the left screen appears empty and blue, and the right screen black (with a little padlock in the corner). I have found the solution in this post: if i press 'ESC' and after that i move the button, the right screen 'comes to life' and the password prompt appears on it.

I don't known if it is a bug or a poorly defined behaviour, but i think that it needs to be solved, because less experienced users could not find the solution and change to other linux distribution. (i was dowloading xubuntu when i have read this post)


I have the same issue, also in connection with the proprietary Nvidia drivers and a two screen setup.

This bug seems to be connected to DPMS (or rather with the standby mode). In my case, the problem vanishes, when I turn dpms off, by running xset -dpms. Therefore adding this command to the end of your ~/.bashrc could prevent this from happening, with the downside, that your monitors won't go into standby mode anymore.

Can anyone confirm, that this workaround works?


Just updated to cinnamon 1.6 and Nvidia 304.43. I am facing still the same issue from my first post.

ffix commented Sep 21, 2012

Same problem with dual displays and intel driver.

local/cinnamon 1.6.0-2
extra/xf86-video-intel 2.20.8-1

pescobar commented Oct 3, 2012

still having the same issue with cinnamon 1.6.1 and nouveau driver


I'm having the same problem with cinnamin 1.6.1 under Fedora 17 with the Intel driver.


Same problem. I have Fedora 17 with cinnamon-1.6.1-2.fc17.x86_64 and xorg-x11-drv-intel-2.20.8-1.fc17.x86_64 .


Dual screen too?


Yes! Laptop (LVDS1) in docking station and 23' monitor (HDMI1).

lociii commented Oct 30, 2012

Same here but not always.
Mint 13 64bit, cinnamon 1.4.0, nvidia 295.40

Dual screen setup with Nvidia Quadro 2000 and two screens connected via DisplayPort


For me there is only solution for this: kill -9 cinnamon from text console. It will reload cinnamon without losing running apps.

I can confirm that temporary solution from GranularMike comment works.


What happens if you hit Esc a few times? Try this with the mouse on one display, and if that doesn't work, try moving the mouse to the other display.


I have the same issue. My best guess is that the login window (unlocking the session) is being displayed under the blue screen.

Just type in your password and the session will unlock and everything will be back to normal. This is a bug, but has an easy workaround.

ytaras commented Dec 12, 2012

Same issue - Mint 14, 2 monitors

╰─$ lspci | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 12)


I also have the same issue, it's really annoying as I want to show off my desktop to Windows and Mac users, but that ugly blue screen just kills the polish on my work Mint 13 box with TwinView on NVidia 310.14 experimental drivers, Cinnamon 1.6, xscreensaver.

Interestingly, the blue screen doesn't cover the whole left monitor since I have mismatched monitors (left in portrait, right in landscape). It seems to cover only the part that matches the vertical resolution of the right monitor.

xset -dpms doesn't help. I tried some of the other xset parameters, but no luck.

And I get a partial black screen (only partial, there's a Gnome Shell top toolbar visible) when I come out of gnome-screensaver and suspend sometimes on my home Mint 14 box with NVidia proprietary drivers.


I get the exact same issue as hermanlau on my work machine: Ubuntu 12.04 64bit with Nvidia-304 driver and twinview with two screens. My two screens are matched for resolution though (1920x1080 on both). I tried several different versions of the nvidia driver, including 310 experimental but the issue remains.

On my home machine (Mint 14 64bit, Nvidia 310 and also two matched screens) I don't get the blue screen but I do notice I only see the top Gnome Shell toolbar on the primary monitor and nothing but black on the secondary. Pressing escape brings up my desktop background and the login box on the primary monitor though the secondary stays black until I log back in.

The home machine's problem is more of a polish thing, but with the blue screen problem I have to blindly type in my password and hope that the focus is in the right place (which I'll admit I've been lucky with). Pressing escape does not change the situation.

MiY4Gi commented Jan 23, 2013

I've got twinview monitors (primary at 19201200 with secondary at 19201080), and am using Mint 14 32bit with Nvidia 313.09 driver and Linux 3.7.1.

I used to have an issue at the beginning where my locked (primary) monitor was displaying my wallpaper with the lock in the corner, but it wouldn't display the password field for me to login, with my secondary monitor only showing black. I eventually decided to type the password anyway, even though there wasn't a password entry box, then surprise-surprise, it logged in.

I had to do that quite a few times, but not all the time, only after long periods of the screen being locked, so I assumed it was a hardware issue.

Now though, I haven't noticed the problem occurring, and I don't know if I changed anything on my system. Maybe the problem occurred when I was still using the old Stable Nvidia drivers, or maybe when I was using the old Linux 3.5.

So, long story short, I don't have the problem anymore. I suggest you guys upgrade to the Nvidia 313.09 drivers (for newer graphics cards of course) and see if the problem goes away.


I also have this issue when going into standby. When my screens come back up they are both black with the time and my username with a lock next to it displayed at the top of the left screen. I can still login by hitting ESC and entering my username and password (although nothing is displayed on the screen).

NVIDIA Driver 313.18

2 monitors 1920x1080

rjanja commented Feb 4, 2013

The newly-forked cinnamon-screensaver has the same issue. ESC->Click->ESC consistently brings up the prompt. On my dual-monitor configuration, the prompt only appears on the secondary monitor when auto-lock takes place. For now I've turned off screen lock.


Using xset -dpms seems to work for me, too.


Dual screen and nvidia seems to be the common thread here. I have ubuntu 12.04, with 1.6.7-0ubuntu1~precise1 using nouveau driver. I'll try moving the mouse cursor next time, I'd rather not turn off stand-by as I have to lock the monitor at night.


I have been having the same problem, Linux Mint Nadia, Nvidia 4200M.

However, I don't get a blue screen, but the password window is not shown (apparently).

What I have noticed, and may help solve the problem, is that upon unlocking the session, my primary monitor wakes up, showing the top bar with the date and user, while the secondary monitor does not wake up.

Now, the window prompting the password is displayed at the secondary monitor (blanked out) and that is why we don't see it. If I click on the second monitor, it "wakes up" and voila! I can see the login prompt.

So I believe the problem could be fixed by ensuring that the login window is displayed on the primary monitor.

joeha commented Feb 20, 2013

For me it is quite the same as for areynaldos, though the monitor where the password prompt should be (in my case the secondary screen) does not wake up at all. Sometimes i can just enter the password and the screens are unlocked, but sometimes nothing works.
Using ubuntu 12.10 & cinnamon 1.6 with an AMD Radeon 6700M Series


I finally hit the problem yesterday, and got a password prompt on the secondary monitor by dragging the mouse and then hitting the Esc key. A better solution than Ctrl+Alt+Backspace.


Hi, I've been investigating this bug for a while, these are my current findings:

It is indeed related to dual screen, but not nvidia. I have reproduced this problem with intel as well. Also, it doesn't need to be two monitors, it can be reproduced by connecting a VGA monitor to a laptop.

The problem happens with cinnamon and GNOME 3, but not with unity. It also doesn't happen if you replace cinnamon's wm with compiz by running compiz --replace. So, it's something related to the wm, that both GNOME and cinnamon have in common.

This can be reproduced with both xscreensaver and gnome-screensaver, with some difference in the behavior, but the blue screen is there for both, so the screensaver is not at fault.

Also, when using screens of different sizes, or moving the screens so that they don't align, the blue square doesn't fill the screen completely. If putting the screens one on top of the other (i.e. no screen is left or right) it doesn't happen.

My hypothesis is that something is trying to draw on the right monitor but is not setting the offset for this screen correctly, so that it ends up trying to write on the wrong monitor and X shows blue where this program tried to draw.

jpahullo commented Mar 6, 2013

I agree with margamanterola in the behavior, even though I does not know the technical details (if that is for GNOME3 o so, for example).

I had until yesterday, a 21,5 inc monitor on the left of another monitor of 17 inc. When I logged out or forced it by typing CTRL+ALT+L, a blue square appeared on my 21,5 inc monitor.

I also used the package disper (and disper -s and disper -e) to force a single monitor in use when logged out, and extend (-e) the screen to both monitors when logged in (a simple script found googling resolved that). The problem of that script is that all application windows are put together on a single monitor, having to remove them in the correct place after log in.

It would be very nice if it is solved by some way.

normanr commented Apr 16, 2013

I wonder if this is the same problem as and It seems to be a bug with the graphics drivers: not removing old windows when the application disposes them, they only get removed when the application terminates.


After upgrading to Cinnamon 1.8 (with cinnamon-screensaver) this seems to be fixed.


can confirm for Ubuntu precise x64: Fixed! Thank you.


Actually the bug is not fixed because it is not a screensaver bug. It took us over half a year to track it down but it is a bug in Mutter/Muffin after all. The bug is independent of hardware (Intel, NVIDIA, ...) but a user needs at least 2 monitors. Also it is independent of the screensaver in use - albeit for some screensavers it is harder to trigger and cinnamon-screensaver seems to be one of them.

The public Gnome bug is
Comment 1 contains the link with which I can perfectly reproduce it under Muffin 1.8.2. Comment 5 contains a workaround. Comment 6 links to with patches for Mutter 3.5.91.

Here is a patch for Muffin 1.8.2:

diff --git a/src/compositor/meta-window-group.c b/src/compositor/meta-window-group.c
index b786765..970b368 100644
--- a/src/compositor/meta-window-group.c
+++ b/src/compositor/meta-window-group.c
@@ -105,18 +105,12 @@
 meta_window_group_paint (ClutterActor *actor)
   cairo_region_t *visible_region;
-  cairo_region_t *unredirected_window_region = NULL;
   ClutterActor *stage;
-  cairo_rectangle_int_t visible_rect, unredirected_rect;
+  cairo_rectangle_int_t visible_rect;
   GList *children, *l;

   MetaWindowGroup *window_group = META_WINDOW_GROUP (actor);
   MetaCompScreen *info = meta_screen_get_compositor_data (window_group->screen);
-  if (info->unredirected_window != NULL)
-    {
-      meta_window_actor_get_shape_bounds (META_WINDOW_ACTOR (info->unredirected_window), &unredirected_rect);
-      unredirected_window_region = cairo_region_create_rectangle (&unredirected_rect);
-    }

   /* We walk the list from top to bottom (opposite of painting order),
    * and subtract the opaque area of each window out of the visible
@@ -137,12 +131,20 @@

   visible_region = cairo_region_create_rectangle (&visible_rect);

-  if (unredirected_window_region)
-    cairo_region_subtract (visible_region, unredirected_window_region);
+  if (info->unredirected_window != NULL)
+    {
+      cairo_rectangle_int_t unredirected_rect;
+      MetaWindow *window = meta_window_actor_get_meta_window (info->unredirected_window);
+      meta_window_get_outer_rect (window, (MetaRectangle*) &unredirected_rect);
+      cairo_region_subtract_rectangle (visible_region, &unredirected_rect);
+    }

   for (l = children; l; l = l->next)
       if (!CLUTTER_ACTOR_IS_VISIBLE (l->data))
+        continue;
+      if (l->data == info->unredirected_window)

       /* If an actor has effects applied, then that can change the area
@@ -195,9 +197,6 @@

   cairo_region_destroy (visible_region);
-  if (unredirected_window_region)
-    cairo_region_destroy (unredirected_window_region);

   CLUTTER_ACTOR_CLASS (meta_window_group_parent_class)->paint (actor);

Please double check the attached patch before applying it. ;-)
Credits also go to margamanterola for backporting the patch.


Opened pull request linuxmint/muffin#91 to get this fixed in Muffin.


@clefebvre This is still present in the cinnamon-1.8.8+nadia that was pushed to the repos the other day. Any idea if/when this patch might make it into the wild?


I've got this issue with 1.8.8-0ubuntu1~precise1, I can reproduce perfectly using


The bug was fixed in muffin just after the 1.8.2 release. Looking at the commits history and the packages available from linuxmint, There doesn't seem to have been a new release of muffin after that, even if there were cinnamon releases.

Can we please have a muffin release addressing this issue?


All our Cinnamon users reported that the blue screen issue was fixed by linuxmint/muffin#92.
A few users (~ 30) reported that they had their desktop or other windows visible (no interaction possible) instead. This issue was fixed by linuxmint/muffin#86 and linuxmint/muffin#110.
Since we use Muffin + pull 86, 92 and 110 we haven't had any reports any more about this issue.

@dalcde dalcde added the BUG label May 5, 2015
@dalcde dalcde closed this May 24, 2015

I can find the login window in the blue screen by moving my cursor to the middle of my left screen. The cursor changes from an arrow to a long capital I shape indicating that I'm in the password insertion box. Then I type my password and I'm in, but this is ridiculous. Also the proportion of my left screen covered in blue is equal to the size of the right screen. The blue screen is overlaid as a colour over the login prompt, its not that the login prompt isn't on top and isn't there. The login prompt is there and is usable, its just invisible (almost, except for the cursor). I'm using Debian 7 Wheezy and its been a problem for some time now.


@eamonnkenny This Bug has been closed more than a year ago, if you experience similar behaviour chances are high, that it is caused by an absolute different problem, so please file a new bugreport.

Before that you should check if you are using the latest cinnamon version (2.6.13 at time of writing) and if not upgrade and check if the issue still persists

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