Librem 14 External Monitor Boot

Librem 14 monitor died and trying to boot up with external monitor. With HDMI plugged in only boots to GRUB mode.

Is there a trick to booting up with an external monitor until I get a new screen on my Librem 14? I got it to work before with typing key to unlock and then logging in to user in the"dark" since I have no working laptop screen but now I cannot get any signal other than starting from off plugged in and only goes to GRUB mode.


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What firmware (Coreboot or Pureboot) is this?

What operating system are you running?

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Pureboot and Pure OS

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@jonathon.hall ?

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@8wai8 Could you clarify what you mean by GRUB mode? What does it say exactly, or could you post a picture?

PureBoot and PureOS do boot to external displays. PureBoot will show up, the default Plymouth disk unlock prompt appears on external displays too. Once you get to the GNOME login screen, you’d get a gray screen (not black, it’s the login screen background), at which point you’d need to press “Enter” (select user), type your password, press “Enter” (password).

You would not normally get anything GRUB-related with PureBoot. PureBoot never actually executes GRUB, it reads the menus itself and directly boots the OS. If you have SeaBIOS firmware you’d see GRUB.


GNU GRUB Version 2.06-3pureos1u1~deb11u5

Options to choose below

Advanced options forr Pureos GNU/LINUX
Memory test (about 6 different options for that)

That is the screen that comes up upon booting with external display. It attempts to boot pureos as normal with black screen and white center logo but then immediately goes to the GNU Grub screen above.

If I choose any of the options it will restart but external display always shows no signal.

Since I do not have the laptops monitor connected anymore I can see nothing. I try start the laptop as normal with nothing external attached, plug in at different times but still no signal. I also tried to load device and type in unlock key as I normally would when I had the laptop screen attached normally in past then plug in for user login screen but still no signal. Also tried to login with user password with no external display attached then plug in but still nothing. I had it working previously like this, plugging in monitor after boot and it worked. Some reason now nothing.

Possible issue because external display is a LG smart TV? I have a normal computer monitor coming by later today so will see if that is the issue.

I am trying to get data off the drive before I send it in for warranty repair. Monitor shorted out randomly only after having for a few months. Nothing else is damaged.

Thanks for your support.

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Apologies, new laptop so realized that I have firmware listed below and I mentioned prior something different originally.

Firmware: coreboot + SeaBIOS

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@8wai8 If your main goal is just to get data off the SSD, typically you are able to retain the SSD during the RMA, unless any other specific arrangements were discussed on the RMA. That might be easier for you in this case. I mentioned this to support and they’ve mentioned this in a similar ticket recently, but I’m not sure if it’s yours, feel free to discuss the option with support for your specific RMA if you need clarification.

If you have another system that can boot a BIOS installation (such as another Purism device or a UEFI system with BIOS compatibility enabled), you also can often boot that install on another system if that’s easiest for you. Just put the SSD in the other system to try that.

If you want to boot this system with a display, try the regular computer monitor next. I have seen smart TVs react poorly to changing modes more than once within a minute or so, which may be happening here. Otherwise we might try forcing Linux to boot with the firmware framebuffer only since the framebuffer mode from the firmware is working.

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It was the “smart” TV all along. However I got it to work after a full boot in the past with that monitor. After hooking up a desktop monitor it booted up as normal. Thank you for your assistance.

Unrelated, but somewhat related to displays…Any idea how to make an external monitor in grayscale through the OS as well the laptop monitor? Actual display has no saturation setting to make grayscale.


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I’m glad to hear that @8wai8 , thanks for following up. I marked your post as the solution for anyone finding this thread in the future.

I don’t know offhand how to make the display grayscale, but posting in the PureOS section was going to be my suggestion, glad you have already posted there :slightly_smiling_face: (Grayscale on laptop and external display). KDE has some desktop effects that can desaturate background windows, but nothing for the whole display, and I don’t know about GNOME offhand.

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