Tag: hardware

How to connect a TV to a computer in Windows 11

Is it possible to connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer in Linux

This guide will show you how to connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer in Windows 11. It will also talk about the available settings and solutions to common problems that arise when connecting a TV to a computer.

If you are a Linux user, then see the articles:

What you need to connect a TV or an additional monitor to a computer

To connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer or laptop, you need:

  • TV with HDMI connector (all modern models) or monitor with HDMI connector (all monitors released in the last two decades)
  • a computer with an HDMI connector – almost all computers and laptops will fit
  • HDMI cable

Choosing an HDMI cable

I approached the choice of HDMI cable quite simply – I chose the cheapest with the right length, which I found in the store. In subsequent use, this cable fully satisfied my needs.

Despite its cheapness, this HDMI cable supports:

  • UHD 4K@2160P / 4K@60Hz / 4K HDR
  • High Speed HDMI 2.0
  • Gold plated contacts

Cable length 1.8 meters.

Apparently, these are already the minimum characteristics – perhaps more expensive models support higher resolutions and data transfer at higher speeds.

What TV can be connected to a computer

Using an HDMI cable, you can connect any TV with an HDMI connector. This connector is present on all TVs and monitors released in the last decade.

Older TVs without an HDMI connector can also be connected to a computer, but instead of an HDMI cable, you will need a wire with an adapter.

As for the technical characteristics of the TV (diagonal size, screen resolution, screen refresh rate, aspect ratio), this is not critical. That is, you do not have to select a TV model with the same characteristics as your monitor. Modern video cards support a variety of modes (screen resolutions and refresh rates), including the video card will work with a TV if the screen resolution is different from the monitor.

For example, the characteristics of my devices:

  • laptop monitor: 17", 1920×1080, 16:9, 120 Hz
  • TV (all specifications): 32", 1366x768p, 16:10, 60Hz

That is, these are two very different devices, but at the same time I had no problems when they worked together.

How to connect HDMI cable to TV

Plug the HDMI cable into the connectors of the computer (laptop) and TV.

Both on the computer and on the TV, there may be several HDMI connectors – remember the number of the selected connector.

Turn on your computer and TV.

Note: The HDMI cable can be connected when the computer and TV are already on.

Use the remote control to select “HDMI” as the input source on the TV.

If, after selecting HDMI as the signal source on the TV, you see the message “No Input Signal”, then:

  1. Select HDMI with a different number.
  2. Move the wire, it may not be firmly connected to the computer or TV socket.
  3. Make sure your computer is on.
  4. The monitor on the computer should not be turned off due to inactivity.

How to use a TV connected to a computer

There are two main modes:

  • join displays
  • mirror (duplication) of images on both displays

When displays are combined, the total space expands. That is, if you connected another 1920×1080 display to a computer with one 1920×1080 display, then now the resolution of your virtual screen becomes 3840×1080, if there are three such displays, the resolution will become 5760×1080. You can drag program windows from one display to another. Some apps and games support these wide virtual screens.

When the image is repeated (Mirror), the same image will be shown on both displays.

Among the displays, Primary stands out. This is the one connected first. A feature of the main display is that it shows desktop shortcuts, although this can be changed in the settings.

In the next video, the TV is connected to the computer. To play a YouTube video on a TV, the web browser window is dragged from the monitor to the TV.

Where are the settings for the second display and TV

Open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Display” section.

Here you will see the display settings.

Select the display (or TV) you want to customize.

At the top of the settings window, you'll see a display layout.

The “Multiple displays” settings area appears only if multiple monitors (TVs) are connected to the computer, it contains settings for the computer's behavior when working with multiple displays. To see these settings, click on the arrow icon on the right side.

The following are settings common to all displays.

Then at the bottom of the window are settings specific to each display.

Select a monitor to change its settings.

The following settings are individual for each monitor:

  • Scale
  • Display resolution
  • Display orientation

When you go to the “Advanced display” settings section, you will also be able to adjust the refresh rate for each of the displays.

How to set Main (Primary) Monitor

By default, desktop shortcuts are shown on the Main Display. You can change, i.e. choose a new primary monitor. For this:

1. Open the “Settings” application, this can be done by pressing Win+i.

2. Go to the “Display” section.

3. Select the display you want to make Primary.

4. Expand the “Multiple displays” settings area.

5. Check the “Make this my main display” checkbox.

How to turn off the display or TV in the settings, without physically disconnecting

You can disconnect the HDMI cable from your TV or computer at any time, but this is not always convenient. In addition, you may want to turn off the computer monitor or the laptop's built-in monitor.

To turn off any monitor or TV in Settings, open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Display” section.

Below the monitor layout, you will see a drop-down list of the following items:

  • Duplicate these displays
  • Extend these displays
  • Show only on 1
  • Show only on 2

Selecting the “Show only on…” option will cause the image to be displayed on only one display (or TV), and all others will be disabled.

A disabled monitor will stop working (it will no longer receive an input signal), but the disabled monitor will still be available in the settings. You can turn it back on at any time. To enable all monitors, select one of the following options from the drop-down list above:

  • Duplicate these displays
  • Extend these displays

How to make the TV show the same thing as the monitor

Open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Display” section.

Under the monitor layout, select “Duplicate these displays” from the drop-down list.

As a result, the resulting settings for both monitors at once will be shown.

Now the image on the monitor and TV is the same:

You may notice that the picture on the TV is slightly cropped.

This may be due to the aspect ratio or screen resolution.

In my case, both the aspect ratio and the screen resolution of the monitor built into the laptop and the TV are different. Changing the screen resolution to what the TV has somewhat reduced the problem with cut edges.

How to make the TV become an extension of the monitor

Open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Display” section.

Under the monitor layout, select “Extend these displays” from the drop-down list.

In this case, one of the monitors will be considered the main one. In this case, each of the monitors will show its own desktop, which, in fact, is one.

Why can't I drag the program window to the second screen

If you see two displays in the settings, but you can’t drag the program window to the TV or the second display, then try dragging the window to the other side. That is, if you, for example, are trying to drag a program window to the left side, then try dragging it to the right side instead.

The fact is that the physical location of the second monitor (TV) and its location in the settings can be different. To fix this, swap the monitors in the settings.

In addition to the location of the monitors to the left and right of each other, other options are possible.

You can place one of the monitors (or TVs) above the other.

In this case, the screen resolution and desktop area will change accordingly.

If you have many monitors, you can place them however you want, not all monitors need to be in a straight line horizontally. You can arrange them, for example, as 3×2, that is, two rows of three monitors.

How to make the Taskbar only show on the Main monitor

If you want the taskbar to be shown only on the Main monitor, then follow the steps below.

Open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to “Personalization” → “Taskbar”.

Expand the “Taskbar behavior” section.

Uncheck the “Show my taskbar on all displays” setting.

How to make the taskbar show on all monitors

If you want the taskbar to be shown on all connected monitors and TVs, then follow these steps.

Open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to “Personalization” → “Taskbar”.

Expand the “Taskbar behavior” section.

Check the box next to “Show my taskbar on all displays”.

After that, the Taskbar will be shown on all monitors.

How to set different desktop wallpapers for monitor and TV

You can set a different desktop wallpaper for all connected monitors and TVs.

To do this, open the “Settings” application, this can be done by pressing Win+i.

Go to “Personalization” → “Background”.

Right click on the photo you want to set as your desktop wallpaper. From the pop-up menu, select the number of the monitor for which you want to set this desktop background.

Now the desktop wallpaper on the monitor and TV is different.

How to identify displays

If you have multiple monitors and you are confused about their settings, then you can enable the display of the number on the screen of each monitor.

Open the “Settings” app by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Display” section.

Click the “Identify” button, which is located under the schematic image of the monitors.

After that, each monitor and TV will show squares with display numbers in the settings.

Why is the sound played through a computer (laptop) and not through a TV

An HDMI cable can carry both video and audio. But even after connecting the TV with an HDMI cable, sound is still output from the laptop speakers or computer speakers.

To change the audio output source, go to the audio settings. To do this, open the “Settings” application, this can be done by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Sound” section.

In the “Output” section, select “Audio for Displays”.

You can also expand the settings for each sound source by clicking the arrow symbol to the right of the source name. In the window that opens, you can fine-tune each sound source.

Why did the sound disappear after turning off the TV on the laptop (computer)

To change the audio output source, go to the audio settings. To do this, open the “Settings” application, this can be done by pressing Win+i.

Go to the “Sound” section.

In the “Output” section, select “Speakers”.

Setting the action when closing the laptop lid when using a second monitor

If you are using a laptop, closing the laptop lid when additional monitors are connected to it may not be what you expect. For example, when you close the laptop lid, the computer goes into Sleep mode or shuts down, but you expect to be able to work on a second monitor or watch TV connected to the computer.

To control how the computer behaves when the laptop lid is closed, open the “Control Panel”.

In the Control Panel, go to “Category” → “Small icons”.

Open the “Power Options” section.

Click on the “Choose what closing the lid does” link.

You can also go to this setting by running the command:

control /name Microsoft.PowerOptions /page pageGlobalSettings

In the window that opens, note that all actions are configured for two modes:

  • On battery
  • Plugged in

For the action for “When I close the lid”, select “Do nothing”.

How to prevent the monitor from turning off

If there is no activity for some time (for example, 10 minutes), the monitors will be turned off. You can disable the setting to turn off displays.

To control when monitors turn off due to inactivity, open the “Control Panel”.

In the “Control Panel”, go to “Category” → “Small icons”.

Open the “Power Options” section.

Click on the “Choose when to turn off the display” (or “Change when the computer sleeps” link).

You can also go to this setting by running the command:

control /name Microsoft.PowerOptions /page pagePlanSettings

In the window that opens, note that all actions are configured for two modes:

  • On battery
  • Plugged in

Set longer time intervals before turning off the monitor and entering sleep mode, or select “Never”.

How to connect a TV to a computer in Linux in GNOME (Ubuntu)

Is it possible to connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer in Linux

This post will show you how to connect a TV or a second monitor to a Linux computer with the GNOME desktop environment. It will also talk about the available settings and solutions to typical problems that arise when connecting a TV to a computer.

GNOME is used in distributions such as Ubuntu, and the GNOME desktop environment can be installed on any other distribution.

If you have a different desktop environment, then see the articles:

If you are a Windows user, then see the article “How to connect a TV to a computer in Windows 11”.

What you need to connect a TV or an additional monitor to a computer

To connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer or laptop, you need:

  • TV with HDMI connector (all modern models) or monitor with HDMI connector (all monitors released in the last two decades)
  • a computer with an HDMI connector – almost all computers and laptops will fit
  • HDMI cable

Choosing an HDMI cable

I approached the choice of HDMI cable quite simply – I chose the cheapest with the right length, which I found in the store. In subsequent use, this cable fully satisfied my needs.

Despite its cheapness, this HDMI cable supports:

  • UHD 4K@2160P / 4K@60Hz / 4K HDR
  • High Speed HDMI 2.0
  • Gold plated contacts

Cable length 1.8 meters.

Apparently, these are already the minimum characteristics – perhaps more expensive models support higher resolutions and data transfer at higher speeds.

What TV can be connected to a computer

Using an HDMI cable, you can connect any TV with an HDMI connector. This connector is present on all TVs and monitors released in the last decade.

Older TVs without an HDMI connector can also be connected to a computer, but instead of an HDMI cable, you will need a wire with an adapter.

As for the technical characteristics of the TV (diagonal size, screen resolution, screen refresh rate, aspect ratio), this is not critical. That is, you do not have to select a TV model with the same characteristics as your monitor. Modern video cards support a variety of modes (screen resolutions and refresh rates), including the video card will work with a TV if the screen resolution is different from the monitor.

For example, the characteristics of my devices:

  • laptop monitor: 17", 1920×1080, 16:9, 120 Hz
  • TV (all specifications): 32", 1366x768p, 16:10, 60Hz

That is, these are two very different devices, but at the same time I had no problems when they worked together.

How to connect HDMI cable to TV

Plug the HDMI cable into the connectors of the computer (laptop) and TV.

Both on the computer and on the TV, there may be several HDMI connectors – remember the number of the selected connector.

Turn on your computer and TV.

Note: The HDMI cable can be connected when the computer and TV are already on.

Use the remote control to select “HDMI” as the input source on the TV.

If, after selecting HDMI as the signal source on the TV, you see the message “No Input Signal”, then:

  1. Select HDMI with a different number.
  2. Move the wire, it may not be firmly connected to the computer or TV socket.
  3. Make sure your computer is on.
  4. The monitor on the computer should not be turned off due to inactivity.

How to use a TV connected to a computer

There are two main modes:

  • join displays
  • mirror (duplication) of images on both displays

When displays are combined, the total space expands. That is, if you connected another 1920×1080 display to a computer with one 1920×1080 display, then now the resolution of your virtual screen becomes 3840×1080, if there are three such displays, the resolution will become 5760×1080. You can drag program windows from one display to another. Some apps and games support these wide virtual screens.

When the image is repeated (Mirror), the same image will be shown on both displays.

Among the displays, Primary stands out. This is the one connected first. A feature of the main display is that it shows desktop shortcuts, although this can be changed in the settings.

In the next video, the TV is connected to the computer. To play a YouTube video on a TV, the web browser window is dragged from the monitor to the TV. The video begins by selecting HDMI as the audio output source to play audio on a TV instead of playing it on a computer (laptop).

Where are the settings for the second display and TV

Open Settings, go to the “Display” section.

Or immediately find the “Display” editing window in the Start menu.

Here you will see the display settings.

Select the display (or TV) you want to customize.

Each display will have its own set of settings.

The following groups of settings are presented:

  1. Display mode selection
  2. Selecting the Physical Location of Displays
  3. Selecting the Primary Display
  4. Customization of orientation, resolution, scaling, refresh rate of individual displays.

How to set the Primary monitor

By default, the Primary monitor shows the Top bar, Activities, and desktop shortcuts (if you have created them). You can change the monitor that will be considered the primary monitor, i.e. select a new primary monitor. For this:

1. Open the Settings app, go to the “Display” section.

2. In the Primary Display drop-down list, select the monitor that you want to make the primary.

3. Click the “Apply” button.

How to turn off the display or TV in the settings, without physically disconnecting

You can disconnect the HDMI cable from your TV or computer at any time, but this is not always convenient. In addition, you may want to turn off the computer monitor or the laptop's built-in monitor.

To turn off any monitor or TV in settings, open “Display” settings.

Select “Single Display” mode.

Then select the monitor you want to keep active (all others will be disabled).

Click the “Apply” button.

A disabled monitor will stop working (it will no longer receive a signal), but the disabled monitor will still be available in the settings. You can turn it back on at any time.

How to enable a display disabled in settings

Open the “Display” settings.

Select “Join Displays” or “Mirror” mode.

Click the “Apply” button.

This will automatically enable disabled monitors.

How to make the TV show the same thing as the monitor

Go to Setting → Display.

Select the “Mirror” option.

Click the “Apply” button.

As a result, the resulting settings for both monitors at once will be shown.

Now the output on the monitor and TV is the same:

You may notice that the picture is slightly cropped on the TV, this is due to the fact that the aspect ratio of the monitor built into the laptop and the TV is slightly different.

You can choose a different screen resolution and aspect ratio in the “Resolution” setting.

As a result, now the image on the TV is not cropped, but on the laptop monitor, blank bars appear on the sides of the screen.

How to make the TV become an extension of the monitor

Go to Setting → Display.

Select the “Join Displays” option.

In this case, one of the monitors will be considered the main one. In this case, each of the monitors will show its own desktop, which, in fact, is one.

Why can't I drag the program window to the second screen

If you see two displays in the settings, but you cannot drag the program window to the TV or the second display, then try dragging the window to the other side. That is, if you, for example, are trying to drag a program window to the left side, then try dragging it to the right side instead.

The fact is that the physical location of the second monitor (TV) and its location in the settings can be different. To fix this, swap the monitors in the settings.

In addition to the location of the monitors to the left and right of each other, other options are possible.

You can place one of the monitors (or TVs) above the other.

In this case, the screen resolution and desktop area will change accordingly.

If you have many monitors, you can place them however you want, not all monitors need to be in a straight line horizontally. You can arrange them, for example, as 3×2, that is, two rows of 3 monitors.

How to make the taskbar (Top bar) show on all monitors

If you want the Top bar (taskbar) to be shown on all connected monitors and TVs, then follow these steps.

Go to Setting → Appearance, in the “Dock” section, find the setting with the “Show on” drop-down list.

The following options will be offered:

  • All displays
  • Primary display
  • Built-in display
  • [List of connected monitors and TVs]

Select the “All displays” setting.

After that, the Taskbar will be shown on all monitors.

In this case, if the program window is opened using the Taskbar (Favorites), the program will appear on the monitor on which the Taskbar is located, the button of which was clicked.

The following video shows Ubuntu with a TV connected. The Ubuntu setting is set to “Join Displays” mode (combining displays), as well as showing the Taskbar on all monitors. The result shows an example of opening application windows on the TV and monitor and working in these applications.

Why is the sound played through a computer (laptop) and not through a TV

An HDMI cable can carry both video and audio. But even after connecting the TV with an HDMI cable, the sound is still output from the laptop speakers or computer speakers.

To change the audio output source, go to the audio settings. This can be done via Setting → Sound.

Or find this settings window through the start menu.

Find the “Output Device” setting.

Select the HDMI device from the dropdown list.

Why did the sound disappear after turning off the TV on the laptop (computer)

To change the audio output source, go to the audio settings. This can be done via Setting → Sound.

Or find this settings window through the start menu.

Find the “Output Device” setting.

In the drop-down list, select the “Speakers - Built-in Audio” device.

How to connect a TV to a computer in Linux in Xfce (Kali Linux, Xubuntu)

Is it possible to connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer in Linux

This post will show you how to connect a TV or a second monitor to a Linux computer with the Xfce desktop environment. It will also talk about the available settings and solutions to typical problems that arise when connecting a TV to a computer.

Xfce is used in distributions such as Kali Linux and Xubuntu, and the Xfce desktop environment can be installed on any other distribution.

If you have a different desktop environment, then see the articles:

If you are a Windows user, then see the article “How to connect a TV to a computer in Windows 11”.

What you need to connect a TV or an additional monitor to a computer

To connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer or laptop, you need:

  • TV with HDMI connector (all modern models) or monitor with HDMI connector (all monitors released in the last two decades)
  • a computer with an HDMI connector – almost all computers and laptops will fit
  • HDMI cable

Choosing an HDMI cable

I approached the choice of HDMI cable quite simply – I chose the cheapest with the right length, which I found in the store. In subsequent use, this cable fully satisfied my needs.

Despite its cheapness, this HDMI cable supports:

  • UHD 4K@2160P / 4K@60Hz / 4K HDR
  • High Speed HDMI 2.0
  • Gold plated contacts

Cable length 1.8 meters.

Apparently, these are already the minimum characteristics – perhaps more expensive models support higher resolutions and data transfer at higher speeds.

What TV can be connected to a computer

Using an HDMI cable, you can connect any TV with an HDMI connector. This connector is present on all TVs and monitors released in the last decade.

Older TVs without an HDMI connector can also be connected to a computer, but instead of an HDMI cable, you will need a wire with an adapter.

As for the technical characteristics of the TV (diagonal size, screen resolution, screen refresh rate, aspect ratio), this is not critical. That is, you do not have to select a TV model with the same characteristics as your monitor. Modern video cards support a variety of modes (screen resolutions and refresh rates), including the video card will work with a TV if the screen resolution is different from the monitor.

For example, the characteristics of my devices:

  • laptop monitor: 17", 1920×1080, 16:9, 120 Hz
  • TV (all specifications): 32", 1366x768p, 16:10, 60Hz

That is, these are two very different devices, but at the same time I had no problems when they worked together.

How to connect HDMI cable to TV

Plug the HDMI cable into the connectors of the computer (laptop) and TV.

Both on the computer and on the TV, there may be several HDMI connectors – remember the number of the selected connector.

Turn on your computer and TV.

Note: The HDMI cable can be connected when the computer and TV are already on.

Use the remote control to select “HDMI” as the input source on the TV.

If, after selecting HDMI as the signal source on the TV, you see the message “No Input Signal”, then:

  1. Select HDMI with a different number.
  2. Move the wire, it may not be firmly connected to the computer or TV socket.
  3. Make sure your computer is on.
  4. The monitor on the computer should not be turned off due to inactivity.

How to use a TV connected to a computer

There are two main modes:

  • join displays
  • mirror (duplication) of images on both displays

When displays are combined, the total space expands. That is, if you connected another 1920×1080 display to a computer with one 1920×1080 display, then now the resolution of your virtual screen becomes 3840×1080, if there are three such displays, the resolution will become 5760×1080. You can drag program windows from one display to another. Some apps and games support these wide virtual screens.

When the image is repeated (Mirror), the same image will be shown on both displays.

Among the displays, Primary stands out. This is the one connected first. A feature of the main display is that it shows desktop shortcuts, although this can be changed in the settings.

In the next video, the TV is connected to the computer. To play a YouTube video on a TV, the web browser window is dragged from the monitor to the TV. The video begins by selecting HDMI as the audio output source to play audio on a TV instead of playing it on a computer (laptop).

Where are the settings for the second display and TV

Open Settings (Setting Manager), go to the “Display” section.

Or immediately find the “Display” settings window in the Start menu.

Here you will see the display settings.

Select the display (or TV) you want to customize.

Each display will have its own set of settings.

How to install the Primary monitor

By default, desktop shortcuts are shown on the Primary monitor. You can change, i.e. choose a new primary monitor. For this:

1. Open the Settings Manager app, go to the “Display” section.

2. Select the monitor you want to make your primary

3. Activate the “Primary Display” slider next to the monitor name.

How to turn off the display or TV in the settings, without physically disconnecting

You can disconnect the HDMI cable from your TV or computer at any time, but this is not always convenient. In addition, you may want to turn off the computer monitor or the laptop's built-in monitor.

To turn off any monitor or TV in settings, open “Display” settings.

Select the monitor you want to turn off – this can be done by clicking on the schematic image of the monitor with a number or by selecting the name of the monitor from the drop-down list.

Then turn off the monitor using the slider marked 2 in the screenshot.

A disabled monitor will stop working (it will no longer receive an input signal), but the disabled monitor will still be available in the settings. You can turn it back on at any time.

How to make the TV show the same thing as the monitor

Go to Setting Manager → Display.

Select the “Mirror displays” option.

You may notice that the display sizes are not the same – this is due to the fact that they have different screen resolutions.

To ensure that the image is exactly the same on both displays, select the same screen resolution.

Please note that when “Mirror displays” is selected, the "Primary Display" option becomes unavailable because both monitors become equal.

As a result, the resulting settings for both monitors at once will be shown.

Now the image on the monitor and TV is the same:

How to make the TV become an extension of the monitor

Go to Setting Manager → Display.

Disable the “Mirror displays” option.

In this case, one of the monitors will be considered the main one. In this case, each of the monitors will show its own desktop, which, in fact, is one.

Why can't I drag the program window to the second screen

If you see two displays in the settings, but you can’t drag the program window to the TV or the second display, then try dragging the window to the other side. That is, if you, for example, are trying to drag a program window to the left side, then try dragging it to the right side instead.

The fact is that the physical location of the second monitor (TV) and its location in the settings can be different. To fix this, swap the monitors in the settings:

In addition to the location of the monitors to the left and right of each other, other options are possible.

You can place one of the monitors (or TVs) above the other.

In this case, the screen resolution and desktop area will change accordingly.

If you have many monitors, you can place them however you want, not all monitors need to be in a straight line horizontally. You can arrange them, for example, as 3×2, that is, two rows of 3 monitors.

After changing the relative position of monitors in the settings, shortcuts and the taskbar moved to another monitor

If you swapped them in the monitor settings, then the desktop shortcuts and the taskbar are most likely moved to the leftmost monitor (TV). This is due to the fact that by default it is set in the settings that the Desktop shortcuts and the Panel are placed automatically, without being tied to the Primary display. How to make the Desktop shortcuts and Panel show on the Primary monitor is shown below.

Customizing the Xfce Panel, Desktop shortcuts and Notifications on a computer with multiple monitors

Options related to advanced settings for your TV or second monitor are located in the following settings sections:

  • Panel
  • Desktop
  • Notifications

All of these settings can be quickly accessed at once by going to Setting Manager → Display and then clicking the letter “i” next to the “Primary Display” enable slider.

You will see the following window:

The primary display is currently configured to show

  • Xfce Panel
  • Desktop icons
  • Notifications

In this window, you can click the “Configure” buttons next to the setting you want to change.

How to make the taskbar show on the main monitor

Go to Setting Manager → Display, click the “i” next to the “Primary Display” slider.

Opposite “Xfce Panel” click the “Configure” button.

On the “Display” tab, find the “Output” setting.

Several options will be offered:

  • Automatic (that is, on the very first (left) monitor in the settings)
  • Primary (on the main monitor)
  • HDMI-1 (monitor connected via HDMI cable)
  • ePD-1 (laptop built-in monitor)

To show the taskbar on the main monitor, select the “Primary” option.

How to make the taskbar show on all monitors

If you want the taskbar to be shown on all connected monitors and TVs, then follow these steps.

Go to Setting Manager → Display, click the “i” next to the “Primary Display” slider.

Opposite “Xfce Panel” click the “Configure” button.

On the “Display” tab, find and activate the “Span monitors” setting.

After that, the Taskbar will be shown on all monitors. Open programs will be added to the taskbar from left to right. That is, at first the taskbar will be filled on the very first (left) monitor and then it will start to fill on the subsequent ones.

How to set different desktop wallpapers for monitor and TV

You can set a different desktop wallpaper for all connected monitors and TVs.

To do this, go to Setting Manager → Display, click the letter “i” next to the “Primary Display” enable slider.

Opposite “Desktop icons” click the “Configure” button.

You will see something like this:

Move this dialog to the display you want to edit the settings for

That is, in order to change the desktop wallpaper, you need to move the window that opens to the monitor (or TV) for which you want to set a new wallpaper.

For example, the inscription “Wallpaper for Monitor 0 (eDP-1)” means that the wallpaper will be set for the monitor built into the laptop.

And the inscription “Wallpaper for Monitor 1 (HDMI-1)” means that the wallpaper for the device connected via HDMI cable is currently being configured.

How to make Desktop icons show on Primary monitor

By default, desktop icons will be shown on the first (leftmost) monitor or TV. To change this, go to Setting Manager → Display, click on the letter “i” next to the “Primary Display” enable slider.

Opposite “Desktop icons” click the “Configure” button.

In the “Desktop” window that opens, go to the “Icons” tab.

Find and activate the “Show icons on primary display” setting.

How to make notifications appear on the Primary display

By default, notifications are shown on the display where the mouse cursor is when the notification is displayed. To change this, go to Setting Manager → Display, click on the letter “i” next to the “Primary Display” enable slider.

Opposite “Notifications”, click the “Configure” button.

In the window that opens, on the “General” tab, find the “Show notification on” setting and select “primary display” in the drop-down list.

How to make notifications appear on the display with the mouse pointer

Go to Setting Manager → Display, click the “i” next to the “Primary Display” slider.

Opposite “Notifications”, click the “Configure” button.

In the window that opens, on the “General” tab, find the “Show notification on” setting and select “display with mouse pointer” in the drop-down list.

Why are monitors of different sizes in the settings

If monitors have different screen resolutions, they will be shown in different sizes in the settings.

If you wish, you can choose the same screen resolutions for all monitors and TVs.

The same screen resolutions can be set both in the “Mirror displays” mode, and when using monitors to show different areas of the desktop.

Is it necessary to set the same resolution for the monitor and TV

No, it doesn’t need.

Moreover, the TV or monitor may not support the resolution or screen refresh rate that the second monitor supports.

For example, if you have selected a screen resolution of 1920×1080 in the TV settings, but the TV itself only supports 1366×768, then the picture will be displayed with a resolution of 1366×768 anyway.

How to make the monitor display popup windows to identify displays

If you have multiple monitors and you are confused about their settings, then you can enable the display of the name and number on the screen of each monitor.

Go to Setting Manager → Display, open the “Advanced” tab.

Activate the setting “Identifying Displays. Show popup windows to identify displays”.

How to remove pop-up windows with monitor names and numbers

Go to Setting Manager → Display, open the “Advanced” tab.

Disable the “Show popup windows to identify displays” setting.

How to enable automatic configuration of connected displays

Go to Setting Manager → Display, open the “Advanced” tab.

Activate the “Configure new displays when connected” setting.

How to turn off automatic configuration of connected displays

Go to Setting Manager → Display, open the “Advanced” tab.

Disable the “Configure new displays when connected” setting.

Why is the sound played through a computer (laptop) and not through a TV

An HDMI cable can carry both video and audio. But even after connecting the TV with an HDMI cable, sound is still output from the laptop speakers or computer speakers.

To change the sound output source, go to the sound settings (Volume Control). This can be done via Setting Manager → PulseAudio Volume Control.

Or find this settings window through the start menu.

Another quick way to get to the sound settings is to click on the speaker icon next to the clock and select “Audio mixer”.

The “Output Devices” tab will open, you can search there for a TV or HDMI device as an audio output source, but in my case there was no such device. Only “Speakers” were available as “Port”.

To switch the sound output to an HDMI device, go to the “Configuration” tab and in the drop-down list of the “Profile” setting, select the item with HDMI.

For example, to get the sound through the TV, I chose “Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output” instead of “Analog Stereo Output”.

Why did the sound disappear after turning off the TV on the laptop (computer)

To change the sound output source, go to the sound settings (Volume Control). This can be done through Setting Manager → PulseAudio Volume Control, or find this settings window through the start menu. Another quick way to get to the sound settings is to click on the speaker icon next to the clock and select “Audio mixer”.

Go to the “Configuration” tab and in the drop-down list of the “Profile” setting, select “Analog Stereo Output”.

Setting the action when closing the laptop lid when using a second monitor

If you are using a laptop, closing the laptop lid when additional monitors are connected to it may not be what you expect. For example, when you close the laptop lid, the computer goes into Suspend (Sleep) mode or shuts down, and you expect to be able to work on a second monitor or watch TV connected to the computer.

To control how the computer behaves when the laptop lid is closed, go to Settings Manager → Power Management.

You can also find this settings window through the Start menu.

Here in the “System” tab you can change the behavior performed when the laptop lid is closed.

Please note that the behavior of the computer in two modes is separately configured:

  • On battery – when the laptop is running on battery power
  • Plugged in – when the laptop is running on mains power

The “When laptop lid is closed” setting determines the action that the computer will perform when the laptop lid is closed, even if a second monitor or TV is connected to it.

The following options are available:

  • Switch off display – disable built-in laptop display
  • Suspend – Stops all applications and puts the computer into low power mode. When you turn on the computer, it returns to the same state that it was before Suspend. The difference from Hibernate is that the computer turns on faster, although it continues to consume energy.
  • Hibernate – hibernation mode, writing the current state of the computer and RAM to the hard disk and turning off the computer. When you turn on the computer, it returns to the same state that it was before Hibernate. The difference from Suspend is that the computer completely stops consuming power and cannot lose data due to the fact that the battery is dead. But it turns on a little longer than when exiting the Suspend state.
  • Lock screen – Show a screensaver that requires the user to enter a password.

If you do not want the laptop to turn off when the lid is closed, then select “Switch off display” or “Lock screen”.

How to connect a TV to a computer in Linux in Cinnamon (Linux Mint, LMDE)

Is it possible to connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer in Linux

This post will show you how to connect a TV or a second monitor to a Linux computer with the Cinnamon desktop environment. It will also talk about the available settings and solutions to typical problems that arise when connecting a TV to a computer.

Cinnamon is used in distributions such as Linux Mint and LMDE, and the Cinnamon desktop environment can be installed on any other distribution. In my case, I'm using Arch Linux with Cinnamon.

If you have a different desktop environment, then see the articles:

If you are a Windows user, then see the article “How to connect a TV to a computer in Windows 11”.

What you need to connect a TV or an additional monitor to a computer

To connect a TV or a second monitor to a computer or laptop, you need:

  • TV with HDMI connector (all modern models) or monitor with HDMI connector (all monitors released in the last two decades)
  • a computer with an HDMI connector – almost all computers and laptops will fit
  • HDMI cable

Choosing an HDMI cable

I approached the choice of HDMI cable quite simply – I chose the cheapest with the right length, which I found in the store. In subsequent use, this cable fully satisfied my needs.

Despite its cheapness, this HDMI cable supports:

  • UHD 4K@2160P / 4K@60Hz / 4K HDR
  • High Speed HDMI 2.0
  • Gold plated contacts

Cable length 1.8 meters.

Apparently, these are already the minimum characteristics – perhaps more expensive models support higher resolutions and data transfer at higher speeds.

What TV can be connected to a computer

Using an HDMI cable, you can connect any TV with an HDMI connector. This connector is present on all TVs and monitors released in the last decade.

Older TVs without an HDMI connector can also be connected to a computer, but instead of an HDMI cable, you will need a wire with an adapter.

As for the technical characteristics of the TV (diagonal size, screen resolution, screen refresh rate, aspect ratio), this is not critical. That is, you do not have to select a TV model with the same characteristics as your monitor. Modern video cards support a variety of modes (screen resolutions and refresh rates), including the video card will work with a TV if the screen resolution is different from the monitor.

For example, the characteristics of my devices:

  • laptop monitor: 17", 1920×1080, 16:9, 120 Hz
  • TV (all specifications): 32", 1366x768p, 16:10, 60Hz

That is, these are two very different devices, but at the same time I had no problems when they worked together.

How to connect HDMI cable to TV

Plug the HDMI cable into the connectors of the computer (laptop) and TV.

Both on the computer and on the TV, there may be several HDMI connectors – remember the number of the selected connector.

Turn on your computer and TV.

Note: The HDMI cable can be connected when the computer and TV are already on.

Use the remote control to select “HDMI” as the input source on the TV.

If, after selecting HDMI as the signal source on the TV, you see the message “No Input Signal”, then:

  1. Select HDMI with a different number.
  2. Move the wire, it may not be firmly connected to the computer or TV socket.
  3. Make sure your computer is on.
  4. The monitor on the computer should not be turned off due to inactivity.

How to use a TV connected to a computer

There are two main modes:

  • join displays
  • mirror (duplication) of images on both displays

When displays are combined, the total space expands. That is, if you connected another 1920×1080 display to a computer with one 1920×1080 display, then now the resolution of your virtual screen becomes 3840×1080, if there are three such displays, the resolution will become 5760×1080. You can drag program windows from one display to another. Some apps and games support these wide virtual screens.

When the image is repeated (Mirror), the same image will be shown on both displays.

Among the displays, Primary stands out. This is the one connected first. A feature of the main display is that it shows desktop shortcuts, although this can be changed in the settings.

In the next video, the TV is connected to the computer. To play a YouTube video on a TV, the web browser window is dragged from the monitor to the TV. It also selects HDMI as the audio output source to play the sound on a TV instead of playing it on a computer (laptop).

Where are the settings for the second display and TV

Open the Settings application (System Setting), go to the “Display” section.

Here you will see the display settings.

Select the display (or TV) you want to customize.

Each display will have its own set of settings.

How to make the TV show the same thing as the monitor

Go to System Setting → Display.

Select the “Mirror” option.

As a result, the resulting settings for both monitors at once will be shown.

How to make the TV become an extension of the monitor

Go to System Setting → Display.

Select the “Join Displays” option.

In this case, one of the monitors will be considered the main (Primary) one. In this case, each of the monitors will show its own desktop, which, in fact, is one.

Why can't I drag the program window to the second screen

If you see two displays in the settings, but you can’t drag the program window to the TV or the second display, then try dragging the window to the other side. That is, if you, for example, are trying to drag a program window to the left side, then try dragging it to the right side instead.

The fact is that the physical location of the second monitor (TV) and its location in the settings can be different. To fix this, swap the monitors in the settings:

In addition to the location of the monitors to the left and right of each other, other options are possible.

You can place one of the monitors (or TVs) above the other.

In this case, the screen resolution and desktop area will change accordingly.

If you have many monitors, you can place them however you want, not all monitors need to be in a straight line horizontally. You can arrange them, for example, as 3×2, that is, two rows of 3 monitors.

Why are monitors of different sizes in the settings

If monitors have different screen resolutions, then they will be shown in different sizes in the settings.

Is it necessary to set the same resolution for the monitor and TV

No, it doesn’t need.

Moreover, the TV or monitor may not support the resolution or screen refresh rate that the second monitor supports.

For example, if you have selected a screen resolution of 1920×1080 in the TV settings, but the TV itself only supports 1366×768, then the picture will be displayed with a resolution of 1366×768 anyway.

How to install the Primary monitor

By default, desktop shortcuts are shown on the Primary monitor. You can change, i.e. choose a new primary monitor. For this:

1. Open the System Setting app, go to the “Display” section.

2. Select the monitor you want to make your primary

3. Click the “Set as Primary” button next to the monitor name.

How to turn off the display or TV in the settings, without physically disconnecting

You can disconnect the HDMI cable from your TV or computer at any time, but this is not always convenient. In addition, you may want to turn off the computer monitor or the laptop's built-in monitor.

To turn off any monitor or TV in settings, open “Display” settings.

Select the monitor you want to turn off – this can be done by clicking on the schematic image of the monitor with a number or by selecting the name of the monitor from the drop-down list.

Then turn off the monitor using the slider marked 2 in the screenshot.

A disabled monitor will stop working (it will no longer receive a signal), but the disabled monitor will still be available in the settings. You can turn it back on at any time.

Why does the sound come through a computer (laptop), and not through a TV

Go to sound settings (Sound). This can be done via System Setting → Sound. Or by clicking the musical note icon next to the clock and selecting “Sound System”.

Go to the “Output” tab.

Select “HDMI / DisplayPort Built-in Audio” as the output device.

Why did the sound disappear after turning off the TV

Go to sound settings (Sound). This can be done via System Setting → Sound. Or by clicking the musical note icon next to the clock and selecting “Sound System”.

Go to the “Output” tab.

Select “Speakers Built-in Audio” as the output device.

How to make the TV (on the second monitor) also show desktop icons

Go to System Setting → Desktop.

In the “Desktop Layout” drop-down menu, select the option you need:

  • No desktop icons
  • Show desktop icons on primary monitor only
  • Show desktop icons on non-primary monitor(s) only
  • Show desktop icons on all monitors

Setting the action when closing the laptop lid when using a second monitor

Go to System Setting → Power Management.

Here you can change the behavior performed when the laptop lid is closed.

In order for the action selected when closing the laptop lid to be applied even if a second monitor is connected, activate the “Perform lid-closed action even with external monitors attached” setting.

When connecting and disconnecting the TV, the next time you close the lid of the laptop, the monitor goes into sleep mode

On my laptop, the lid close action is set to Do nothing. This setting works fine, that is, when I close the lid of the laptop, the computer continues to work.

But when connecting and disconnecting the TV, the following problem was noticed: when the lid is closed, the laptop goes into sleep mode (Suspend), although the settings are set to “Do nothing”.

This looks like a bug. To fix it, install the “gnome-tweaks” package.

Run:

gnome-tweaks

On the “General” tab, find and disable the “Suspend when laptop lid is closed” setting.

Disabling this setting resolved the issue.

Dynamic swap files are created only when needed

Swapspace is an excellent dynamic swap space manager

The disadvantage of large swap files is that they take up a lot of disk space even during those periods when programs have enough RAM and swap files are not used.

Related articles:

The Swapspace program solves this problem: swap files are created only when they are really needed, that is, when the operating system runs out of RAM. If the created Swap file runs out of space, another one is created. If it is not enough, then as many swap files are created as necessary. This prevents applications that need RAM from crashing. After the need for Swap files disappears, they are automatically deleted.

If you often need large swap files, then create a static large file without using Swapspace. Or, as a better option, increase the amount of RAM in your computer or server.

The Swapspace service can be used in conjunction with a fixed size swap file, in which case it will be taken into account when creating additional swap files.

Install Swapspace

To install swapspace on Debian, Kali Linux, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and their derivatives, run the command:

sudo apt install swapspace

To install swapspace on Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch and their derivatives, install pikaur and then run the command:

pikaur -S swapspace

Setting up swapspace

The swapspace service does not need to be configured, it is easy enough to start!

Swapspace already has balanced settings for creating and deleting swap files. If desired, you can change the settings in the /etc/swapspace.conf file:

sudo gedit /etc/swapspace.conf

You can change the time after which swap files will be deleted after they are freed, you can set the maximum size of swap files created, you can change the location of swap files.

By the way, you can check the available disk space with the following command:

df -h /

Keep in mind that the swap file should only be readable by the root user, otherwise it would be a serious security hole.

As already mentioned, there is no need to configure anything, you can proceed to start the service.

Managing the swapspace service

Starting the swapspace service:

sudo systemctl start swapspace.service

Checking the status of the swapspace service:

systemctl status swapspace.service

Adding the swapspace service to autoload:

sudo systemctl enable swapspace.service

To stop and remove the swapspace service from startup, use the following commands:

sudo systemctl stop swapspace.service
sudo systemctl disable swapspace.service

Checking if swapspace works

To fill all available RAM, use the following command:

stress-ng --vm-bytes $(awk '/MemAvailable/{printf "%d\n", $2 * 1.1;}' < /proc/meminfo)k --vm-keep -m 1

See also: How to check Swap file usage in Linux

As you can see, the swap file is being used, even though there was no swap file on the system before swapspace was started.

Check swap file usage with swapon:

swapon --show

It turns out that three swap files have been created, one of which is completely filled, the other is partially filled, and the third, apparently, has been prepared in advance:

NAME                 TYPE   SIZE   USED PRIO
/var/lib/swapspace/1 file 809,6M 808,6M   -2
/var/lib/swapspace/2 file 665,1M  90,7M   -3
/var/lib/swapspace/3 file 823,6M     0B   -4

Stop the stress test:

Some time after the end of the stress test (the specific time can be configured), the swap files are deleted automatically:

How to check Swap file usage in Linux

The swap file will be used when the physical memory runs out. In order to check the operation of the Swap file, you need to artificially use up all the RAM. You don’t need to run many applications and open dozens of tabs in your web browser to do this, instead you can use stress testing tools like stress-ng.

See also:

Install stress-ng

To install stress-ng on Debian, Kali Linux, Linux Mint, Ubuntu and their derivatives, run the command:

sudo apt install stress-ng

To install stress-ng on Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch and their derivatives, install pikaur and then run the command:

pikaur -S stress-ng

How to fill 110% of the free memory

An example of a command that will consume 10% more RAM than system has free RAM:

stress-ng --vm-bytes $(awk '/MemAvailable/{printf "%d\n", $2 * 1.1;}' < /proc/meminfo)k --vm-keep -m 1

After that, watch the memory consumption – you will see how the Swap file starts to be used.

On the command line, Swap file usage can be checked with the command:

swapon --show

How to check Bluetooth version in Windows

To determine the Bluetooth version on a Windows computer, you need to open Device Manager.

This can be done in several ways at once:

1) Click on the start menu and start typing ‘Device Manager’, click on the suggested match.

2) OR open the ‘Power User Menu’ using the Win+x keyboard shortcuts and select ‘Device Manager’ there

3) OR press Win+r and type to execute:

devmgmt.msc

In Device Manager, find Bluetooth and expand the list:

Locate the Bluetooth adapter. Its name will vary depending on your specific hardware, but you should usually look for something like ‘Intel Wireless Bluetooth’ or ‘Bluetooth Adapter’.

The name itself may already indicate the version of the supported Bluetooth standard (as in the screenshot below). If so, you can ignore the next step since you have the answer!

If you're having trouble finding the right item in the list, one thing's for sure; the element you need to find in the list will not contain the word ‘Enumerator’, so ignore all such entries.

Double-click on the device name to open the properties of the device that you consider to be the primary Bluetooth adapter. You'll know right away if you're in the right element as you should see an ‘Advanced’ tab with content similar to the one shown below.

On this screen, you need to find the ‘Firmware Version’, i.e. HCI and LMP (Link Manager Protocol).

For example, on the screen you can see the version ‘10.256’. Now we need to convert the LMP version of the Bluetooth adapter to the actual supported Bluetooth version. Please note that your LMP version may be a decimal number. As you can see from the LMP table, any LMP number starting with 10 means that your adapter supports version 5.1 inclusive of the Bluetooth standard.

Link Manager Protocol Version (LMP)

Bluetooth Core Specification 

LMP 0

Bluetooth Core Specification 1.0b (withdrawn)

LMP 1

Bluetooth Core Specification 1.1 (withdrawn)

LMP 2

Bluetooth Core Specification 1.2 (withdrawn)

LMP 3

Bluetooth Core Specification 2.0 + EDR (withdrawn)

LMP 4

Bluetooth Core Specification 2.1 + EDR (deprecated, to be withdrawn)

LMP 5

Bluetooth Core Specification 3.0 + HS (deprecated, to be withdrawn)

LMP 6

Bluetooth Core Specification 4.0

LMP 7

Bluetooth Core Specification 4.1

LMP 8

Bluetooth Core Specification 4.2

LMP 9

Bluetooth Core Specification 5.0

LMP 10

Bluetooth Core Specification 5.1

LMP 11

Bluetooth Core Specification 5.2

The latest Bluetooth versions at the moment are 5.2 and 5.3. Still current specs 4.0/4.1 and later. If your adapter is older, using a new Bluetooth adapter on your computer may help improve the quality of your Bluetooth connection. If you are using devices that send a lot of data, such as constantly streaming audio or video, you really need to make sure that both the adapter and the device are compatible with at least Bluetooth version 3.0 + HS, and preferably 4.0 and later.

For reference: in version 5.*, the data transfer rate is doubled compared to 4.*.

Firmware files for drivers in Linux

What is Linux Firmware for?

Firmware can be confusing because not all users remember them, and firmware are not always pre-installed on Linux distributions. At the same time, firmware is just as important for the normal operation of devices as are drivers (kernel modules), which usually already exist in the system, since they are part of the Linux kernel.

Due to the lack of firmware, the device may not work completely or partially.

The name of the firmware packages differs in distributions (and sometimes it differs in an unobvious way, for example, by rearranging words). Firmware packages can contain both firmware for devices from different manufacturers, and for devices from the same manufacturer.

Sometimes firmware from one manufacturer is divided in different packages, for example, the firmware-intel-sound package contains firmware for Intel sound devices, and the firmware-iwlwifi package contains firmware for Intel wireless cards.

There are cases when the firmware of devices of the same type and the same manufacturer is divided into different packages, for example, the firmware-ath9k-htc and firmware-atheros packages contain firmware for Atheros wireless adapters.

Examples of problems that missing firmware can cause:

Firmware in Kali Linux

Kali Linux has several firmware packages, for example:

  • firmware-linux-free
  • firmware-linux-nonfree
  • firmware-misc-nonfree

The first two packages contain firmware that was previously included in the Linux kernel. The first package contains firmware that complies with the Debian Free Software Guidelines, the second contains the rest that do not comply with the Free Software Guidelines. Most of the firmware got into the non-free package. And the third package contains… more firmware.

In addition to these packages, there are packages containing firmware for certain devices from certain manufacturers, for example, firmware-realtek, firmware-atheros, firmware-iwlwifi.

The Kali Linux repository also has two metapackages:

  • firmware-linux – includes firmware-linux-free and firmware-linux-nonfree
  • kali-linux-firmware – includes bluez-firmware, firmware-amd-graphics, firmware-atheros, firmware-brcm80211, firmware-intel-sound, firmware-iwlwifi, firmware-libertas, firmware-linux, firmware-misc-nonfree, firmware-realtek, firmware-sof-signed, firmware-ti-connectivity, firmware-zd1211

In order not to experience problems with Wi-Fi and other devices in the future, it is recommended to install the kali-linux-firmware package, which will install most of the necessary firmware.

In Kali Linux, it is convenient to search for firmware packages with a command like

apt search SEARCH_STRING

As SEARCH_STRING, you can specify the name of the device, manufacturer, chipset of the device, the name of the firmware file, if you know it.

Firmware in Debian

In Debian, in addition to the firmware-linux-free, firmware-linux-nonfree, and firmware-misc-nonfree packages already familiar from Kali Linux, there is also the already familiar firmware-linux metapackage that combines the first two.

In addition to those discussed, there are firmware for devices from individual manufacturers, for example, firmware-iwlwifi, firmware-ath9k-htc, firmware-atheros, firmware-amd-graphics and others.

Firmware in Ubuntu, Linux Mint

In these distributions, the firmware is not divided into free and nonfree and is placed in one package called linux-firmware.

In addition to this package, there are also firmware for certain manufacturers, such as firmware-ath9k-htc, nouveau-firmware and others.

In general, in Ubuntu and Linux Mint, most of the firmware is collected in a single linux-firmware package, it is convenient!

But the search for firmware packages with a command like

apt search SEARCH_STRING

practically useless if you are trying to search by device model, chipset or firmware file. If you searched and did not find a separate package for your device, then most likely the firmware you need is contained in the linux-firmware package.

Firmware in Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch

Until recently, all firmware were collected in one linux-firmware package. But some large and rare firmware have been divied into separate packages, details in the article “Changes in the linux-firmware package: kernel requirements, separating large files into separate packages”.

How to install all firmware for various drivers in the Linux kernel

In order to avoid possible problems due to missing firmware in the future, it is recommended to install them, since they take up relatively little disk space. Previously, many firmware were part of the kernel (which is understandable, given their importance), but were removed from the kernel, apparently to save space.

Installation of the main firmware packages is performed by the following commands.

On Kali Linux:

sudo apt install kali-linux-firmware

On Debian:

sudo apt install firmware-linux firmware-misc-nonfree firmware-iwlwifi firmware-ath9k-htc

On Ubuntu, Linux Mint:

sudo apt install linux-firmware firmware-iwlwifi firmware-ath9k-htc

On Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch:

sudo pacman -S linux-firmware

Linux does not see Wi-Fi on Intel chipset. “firmware: failed to load iwlwifi” error (SOLVED)

Built-in Wi-Fi adapter manufactured by Intel is not detected by the system. Linux does not see the Wi-Fi device as if it is not connected.

To view system events since the last boot, run the following command.

journalctl -b

You can scroll through the output or search for “iwlwifi”.

An example output related to a non-working Wi-Fi adapter on an Intel chipset:

Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: Intel(R) Wireless WiFi driver for Linux
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: enabling device (0000 -> 0002)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-46.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: firmware_class: See https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware for information about missing firmware
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-46.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-45.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-45.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-44.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-44.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-43.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-43.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-42.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-42.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-41.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-41.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-40.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-40.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-39.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-39.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-38.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-38.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-37.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-37.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-36.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-36.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-35.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-35.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-34.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-34.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-33.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-33.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-32.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-32.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-31.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-31.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-30.ucode (-2)
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: Direct firmware load for iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-30.ucode failed with error -2
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: minimum version required: iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-30
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: maximum version supported: iwlwifi-9000-pu-b0-jf-b0-46
Jan 27 11:57:00 HackWare-Kali kernel: iwlwifi 0000:00:14.3: check git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/firmware/linux-firmware.git

To search the system log, you can use the following command:

journalctl -b | grep iwlwifi

In the output, the key line is “firmware: failed to load iwlwifi-9000-*.ucode (-2)”, that is, it was not possible to load the iwlwifi firmware.

Searching the package repository

apt search iwlwifi

showed that in Kali Linux, the iwlwifi firmware is placed in the firmware-iwlwifi package, install it:

sudo apt install firmware-iwlwifi

On Ubuntu, Linux Mint and Debian, run the following command to install the firmware:

sudo apt install firmware-iwlwifi

On Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch and their derivatives, run the command:

sudo pacman -S linux-firmware

After installing the firmware and restarting the computer, the problem will disappear and the Wi-Fi adapter will work.

Linux does not see Wi-Fi on Realtek chipset. “firmware: failed to load rt2870.bin” error (SOLVED)

When connecting a Wi-Fi adapter with a Realtek chipset, nothing happens, or the device does not work properly.

Command

iw dev

outputs the following information:

phy#0
        Interface wlan0
                ifindex 3
                wdev 0x1
                addr 52:e7:b0:49:a2:84
                type managed
                txpower 0.00 dBm

The txpower value is zero, the system does not see the Wi-Fi device.

Run command

journalctl -f

and connect the Wi-Fi adapter to your computer

Jan 27 06:09:24 HackWare-Kali kernel: usb 1-1: reset high-speed USB device number 2 using ehci-pci
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali kernel: ieee80211 phy0: rt2x00_set_rt: Info - RT chipset 3572, rev 0223 detected
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali kernel: ieee80211 phy0: rt2x00_set_rf: Info - RF chipset 0009 detected
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali kernel: ieee80211 phy0: Selected rate control algorithm 'minstrel_ht'
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali NetworkManager[612]:   [1643281765.9900] device (wlan0): driver supports Access Point (AP) mode
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali systemd[1]: Starting Load/Save RF Kill Switch Status...
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali NetworkManager[612]:   [1643281765.9949] manager: (wlan0): new 802.11 Wi-Fi device (/org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/3)
Jan 27 06:09:25 HackWare-Kali kernel: usbcore: registered new interface driver rt2800usb
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali systemd-udevd[1328]: Using default interface naming scheme 'v250'.
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali NetworkManager[612]:   [1643281766.0124] rfkill0: found Wi-Fi radio killswitch (at /sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.0/usb1/1-1/1-1:1.0/ieee80211/phy0/rfkill0) (driver rt2800usb)
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali systemd[1]: Started Load/Save RF Kill Switch Status.
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali NetworkManager[612]:   [1643281766.0298] device (wlan0): state change: unmanaged -> unavailable (reason 'managed', sys-iface-state: 'external')
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: ieee80211 phy0: rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Info - Loading firmware file 'rt2870.bin'
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: rt2800usb 1-1:1.0: firmware: failed to load rt2870.bin (-2)
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: firmware_class: See https://wiki.debian.org/Firmware for information about missing firmware
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: rt2800usb 1-1:1.0: Direct firmware load for rt2870.bin failed with error -2
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: ieee80211 phy0: rt2x00lib_request_firmware: Info - Loading firmware file 'rt2870.bin'
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: rt2800usb 1-1:1.0: firmware: failed to load rt2870.bin (-2)
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali kernel: rt2800usb 1-1:1.0: Direct firmware load for rt2870.bin failed with error -2
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali NetworkManager[612]:   [1643281766.0307] device (wlan0): firmware may be missing.
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali NetworkManager[612]:   [1643281766.0310] device (wlan0): set-hw-addr: set MAC address to 52:E7:B0:49:A2:84 (scanning)
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali dbus-daemon[611]: [system] Activating via systemd: service name='org.freedesktop.Avahi' unit='dbus-org.freedesktop.Avahi.service' requested by ':1.72' (uid=119 pid=1345 comm="/usr/libexec/colord-sane ")
Jan 27 06:09:26 HackWare-Kali dbus-daemon[611]: [system] Activation via systemd failed for unit 'dbus-org.freedesktop.Avahi.service': Unit dbus-org.freedesktop.Avahi.service not found.
Jan 27 06:09:28 HackWare-Kali ModemManager[639]:   [base-manager] couldn't check support for device '/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:0b.0/usb1/1-1': not supported by any plugin
Jan 27 06:09:31 HackWare-Kali systemd[1]: systemd-rfkill.service: Deactivated successfully.
Jan 27 06:09:33 HackWare-Kali systemd[1]: blueman-mechanism.service: Deactivated successfully.

In the output, the key line is “firmware: failed to load rt2870.bin”, that is, it was not possible to load the firmware rt2870.bin.

In Kali Linux, the rt2870.bin firmware is placed in the firmware-misc-nonfree package, install it:

sudo apt install firmware-misc-nonfree

On Ubuntu, Linux Mint and their derivatives, run the following command:

sudo apt install linux-firmware

On Debian, run:

sudo apt install firmware-misc-nonfree

On Arch Linux, Manjaro, BlackArch and their derivatives, run the command:

sudo pacman -S linux-firmware

After installing the firmware and restarting the computer, the problem will disappear and the Wi-Fi adapter will work.

Note that Debian and derivatives have a firmware-realtek package which also contains Realtek firmware. In addition to these two packages, various distributions contain Realtek drivers and firmware in separate packages – to determine exactly which package you need, search your distribution's package repository for the name of the Wi-Fi adapter, as well as the name of the driver and firmware file that may appear in the error message.

See also the section “Drivers and firmware”.

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