Can a Zephyrus G15 laptop running Linux power two external monitors?
Yes. To test this, I’ve booted EndeavourOS with two 1440p Ultrawide monitors connected to my new ASUS Zephyrus G15 laptop. One panel via HDMI and the other via USB C.
As already mentioned, I am running EndeavourOS which is a very popular Arch-based Linux distribution. Furthermore, I prefer the GNOME DE over XFCE because of the quick network configuration and macOS-like workflow.
The monitors are ultrawide 34″ LG panels which I prefer because of the non-curved display. For CAD and 3D modeling, curved panels look wrong. The monitors only have a refresh rate of 60Hz but since I don’t game, that is not an issue.
The laptop screen has a 165Hz refresh rate and works without any additional tweaking. The HDMI can USB C cables are from Amazon and upon booting, all three screens were automatically recognized. I didn’t try X11 so keep in mind that this blog post is about using external monitors on the Zephyrus G15 under Wayland.
As soon as an external monitor is plugged in, Gnome Settings will show a small graphical representation of the layout. In my case, it just so happens that the laptop is to the right of my main monitor and the second display is on the next desk and usually connected to a different computer. I was easily able to drag the small display icons and upon applying the change, my mouse cursor moved correctly between the three displays.
What I didn’t test
Unfortunately, I am very bust so the setup wasn’t left alone long enough to fall asleep but the next time I’ll hook up two external monitors, I will test the wake-up feature. Under System > Settings > Privacy > Screen Lock, I set the timeout to 15 minutes and turn automatic screen lock to off.
Since I only bought one USB C cable, I couldn’t test if the two USB C ports could drive the external monitors but next time I place an Amazon order, I’ll buy a second USB C to Display Port cable.
The advantage of using the USB C port to drive an external display is to take advantage of the powerful NVIDIA RTX 3080 GFX card and while testing Blender, that feature worked flawlessly.
The external monitor test was the last one to help me determine if I can actually remove Windows from my Zephyrus G15 laptop. Since all features work under Linux, I will use the upcoming Easter break to format the hard drive and install EndeavourOS as the only operating system.
If you happen to contemplate this move as well then please check out asus-linux.org which has all the information that’s needed in order to set the battery charge percentage to 60% and also control the power profiles. I am amazed how well the laptop performs and look forward to the 5.18 kernel series which has just entered beta as AMD devices will be even better supported.
As always, if you have questions then ask and I will try to be more specific. Thank you for reading.