Black bar on right side of screen

I have an interesting issue. Frequently upon logging in after a reboot, I have a black bar covering about 1/5 of the screen on the right side. Sometimes rebooting fixes it, often I have to reboot several times before it’s normal. It doesn’t seem to be a screen resolution issue or anything like that. I’m pretty lost where to even begin troubleshooting this. It’s a Thinkpad T500 (everything Intel), and it happens on both the latest and LTS kernels.

Do you have other operating systems installed on that machine to test? Any other way to rule out hardware failure?

I don’t have another OS installed to check, but there is output on that part of the screen as the computer boots up (BIOS menu, ThinkPad splash screen, and login screen all display fine). Plus I don’t think the black region would show up in a screenshot if it was a hardware issue with the screen itself, although I could be wrong?

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Clearly, I drank too much last night. D’oh!

No experience with i3 - but if I saw this I would wonder if my wallpaper was being displayed with a wrong ‘style’ - that is stretched vs centred vs tiled vs zoomed etc etc. How is it set on your system - and could it get wrong information elsewhere in your config?

Also - how is your resolution set?

The wallpaper is set using Nitrogen which is the default for the EOS i3 setup - it’s restored on boot by a script saved from Nitrogen called which just restores the resolution using xrandr. This script is called from the i3 config. I did notice it also is set to restore settings from Nitrogen in the i3 config (exec --no-startup-id nitrogen --restore), maybe that’s conflicting with the script? That doesn’t really seem likely to me though, the black/blank region blocks everything, including the i3 bar and any windows - if it was a wallpaper issue I’d think the whole bar would still be visible. When I open arandr it shows the correct resolution is already set.

I’ll try disabling the Nitrogen restore that happens on login and see what happens.

I warned you I didn’t know much about i3! Good luck - all I can do now is throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks… :grin:

Yeah, no worries! For what it’s worth, Nitrogen does seem to be causing some kind of issues - I disabled the line that restores those settings in my i3 config and it got rid of the black bar on the side. Of course the wallpaper goes back to the default. Still trying to figure out how to get it all working together, but that does at least give me a starting point!

Not that familiar with Nitrogen - does it really do anymore for you than a systemd-timer and a simple script? It’s just a wallpaper switcher, right?

Does not set a timer i believe. It has a command nitrogen --restore that will restore whatever wallpaper you picked last time. This command is supposed to be run when you log in - for example via autostart in i3 config.

Edit : here’s the relevant line

Looks pretty straightforward - butr have you checked out feh? Maybe it does it better?

Hopefully somebody more familiar with this shows soon! :grin:

feh --bg-fill path/to/image

Command is there in endeavour os i3 config. Just below “nitrogen” command. Line 358. Uncomment it and comment out the nitrogen command.

My 2 cents : Problem isn’t with wallpaper setter because its not just the wallpaper thats blacked out. The bar at botton is also blacked. So maybe suspect display configuration? I don’t have much idea about this.

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It’s difficult to say. Something seems to be conflicting, but the script is part of the EOS i3 setup as well. IIRC the welcome app directs you to set your resolution with arandr and save the settings as, which is then loaded by the i3 config.

Would it work to bypass the monitor script and just add a line to my i3 config to run the xrandr set command? If so what would that command look like?

Run xrandr to check supported “modes”

$ xrandr                                                
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 32767 x 32767
eDP1 connected primary 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 310mm x 170mm
   1920x1080     60.01*+  59.93    48.00
   1680x1050     59.95    59.88
   1400x1050     59.98
   1600x900      60.00    59.95    59.82
   1280x1024     60.02
   1400x900      59.96    59.88
   1280x960      60.00
   1368x768      60.00    59.88    59.85
   1280x800      59.81    59.91
   1280x720      59.86    60.00    59.74
   1024x768      60.00
   1024x576      60.00    59.90    59.82
   960x540       60.00    59.63    59.82
   800x600       60.32    56.25
   864x486       60.00    59.92    59.57
   640x480       59.94
   720x405       59.51    60.00    58.99
   640x360       59.84    59.32    60.00
HDMI1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
VIRTUAL1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

So, for me, display name is eDP1 and mode name is 1920x1080.

I will run this to set resolution

xrandr --output eDP1 --mode 1920x1080

(note that everything is case sensitive)

You may also try with --auto. It tries to set maximum resolution supported.

xrandr --output eDP1 --auto

Make sure you replace eDP1 with the name of your display.

To have my i3 config automatically set it on login, would it be something like:

exec --no-startup-id xrandr --output (display name) --mode 1920x1080


(Assuming that 1920x1080 is supported by your display)

It problem on built in display or when connect external display? :pray:

make sure you comment the line you have already in i3 config…


It’s actually 1920x1200 but as long as that’s the right syntax!

Setting xrandr in the i3 config file seems to work well, at least on a couple of reboots. The problem was somewhat random to begin with (but seemed to be happening much more often), so I’ll post again if the issue keeps happening or comes back at some point.

Thanks all!