Xorg: More than one possible primary device found


Wow it’s a scorcher outside. No wonder this Microserver’s fan is running like crazy. But I digress; I saw this Xorg error on a FreeBSD Gen8 HP Microserver with a low profile PCI-E card:

(!!) More than one possible primary device found

As the error suggests, Xorg is detecting multiple cards. One way is to configure xorg.conf manually, or xorg.conf.d files for each card. I don’t use the onboard Matrox VGA, so I just disable it.

Reboot the Microserver and hit F9 when prompted. Then choose Advanced Options, then Video Options, and choose Optional Video Primary, Embedded Video Disabled, as this pseudo-screengrab shows:

ROM-Based Setup Utility, Version 3.00 ...
║Sy║Advanced System ROM Options         ║
║PC║Video Options                       ║
║PC║Power Supply Requirements Override  ║
║PC║Thermal Configuration               ║
║Bo║A║Optional Video Primary, Embedded Video Disabled ║
║Da║D║Optional Video Primary, Embedded Video Secondary║
║Se║A║Embedded Video Primary, Optional Video Secondary║
║BIOS Serial Console & EMS ║
║Server Asset Text         ║
║Advanced Options          ║
║System Default Options    ║
║Utility Language          ║

Xorg should now start with startx, assuming you have the drivers configured or available for that PCI-E card.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

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