Several annoying problems with UGA-2k-A on Lion

I have a 15-Inch, late 2008 MacBookPro running Lion and I get several strange things happening after installing the DisplayLink 1.7b3 driver. My current setup is:

  • 2 brand-new 23’’ Dell Monitors
  • 1 Monitor connected via DVI to the mini port directly on the mac
  • 1 Monitor connected via DVI to the Plugable USB 2.0 Display Adapter, which is connected directly to USB port on the mac

Strange behaviors:

  1. The screen saver doesn’t work. All I get on the screen is a gray color on both monitors.

  2. Flash doesn’t get rendered. Tried in Safari, Chrome and Firefox to no avail.

  3. Blank screen when viewing a website. When browsing a website, the first time the page loads I can see the content, but right after the browser page goes blank. It happens in Safari, Chrome and Firefox.

  4. There’s no feedback from a keyboard input. Nothing gets written to the screen when typing on the keyboard. I even tried different keyboards in case one of them were bad but I got the same result on all keyboards. The fix is to restart the computer but even then the same problem starts after a couple of minutes.

  5. Mouse cursor ghosting. Sometimes I get a ghost mouse pointer on the monitor connected to the display adapter.

  6. Fireworks CS5 crashes. It keeps crashing right after it opens.

Any idea how to get these problems fixed, or when and update will be available?


Hi Thiago,

Thanks for posting! Unfortunately, Lion has been a big step backwards for USB graphics support (which worked relatively well in Snow Leopard and before). DisplayLink is trying to catch up (they’ve released a new driver since Lion has come out), but there’s still much further to go.

Here is some background:…

You’ve done the right thing by also posting in the DisplayLink forum:…

That up front warning being said, let’s try to solve at least the major issues you’re seeing, because they’re not being seen on every system.

Several of the problems you’re describing may be related to a MBP with Hybrid Graphics.

We’d recommend switching your energy saver settings from “better battery life” to “higher performance”

That will keep the MBP from switching back and forth between the two GPUs. Does that resolve any of the issues? Can you say which ones remain?

Thanks for your patience! Unfortunately, it looks like a long haul for Lion.


Hello Bernie, thanks for the quick reply.

Most of the problems got resolved after modifying the energy savings settings to “higher performance”, but a few still remain:

1) Fireworks CS5 crashes. It keeps crashing right after it opens.

2) Keyboard input disappears. I noticed that the keyboard input disappears after an application crashes (Fireworks for example), and when inspecting the DisplayLinkUserAgent process using the Activity Monitor, under “Open Files and Ports” there’s a …(some path)…/windowserver.locked file. When this file is present the keyboard input doesn’t work.


Hi Thaigo,

It’s good to know that resolved many of the issues (the ones caused by hybrid graphics changes in Lion).

  1. Unfortunately, the Fireworks CS5 crash on open appears to be across the board right now, when on Lion and only when a USB graphics adapter is present:…

The workaround, in the interim, is not great, but you can unplug the USB adapter when opening Fireworks, then plug back in after Fireworks has loaded, and all’s well.

The problem appears to be in how Lion has changed one of the APIs (probably related to available displays) that Fireworks calls when it’s starting up (but only when it’s starting up).

We don’t know if DisplayLink has the ability to fix this issue, but they are aware of it and working on it.

  1. This windowserver.locked issue is a great catch that some resource is not getting cleaned up in these cases. Since this is the displaylinkuseragent process, hopefully displaylink’s software can clean this up when an exception happens. We are going to be submitting a ticket to displaylink to report and track this issue. If you’re willing, we’d recommend creating a separate post on DisplayLink’s forum just for this issue, so they’re hearing it both from us and direct from you.

Thanks for your great info here. And thanks for your patience - USB graphics has taken a big step backwards with Lion, and it’ll take some time for the dust to settle in terms of what DisplayLink can solve and not.

Please let us know if we can do anything specific to help, anytime. Just email with your Amazon order number.

Thank you!

Just a note that another good utility to view and control hybrid graphics settings on the Mac (as an alternative to setting always “higher performance”) is the gfxcardstatus utility:…

We filed ticket #19446 with DisplayLink for issue #2 (so it doesn’t get lost in the larger set of Lion issues).

Hi Thiago,

For the Fireworks issue, a workaround may be available … Can you confirm if the problem still happens, when you move the menu bar over to your main (non-USB attached) monitor?


Thanks for letting us know!

Hello Bernie, thanks for the reply.

Before I try the Fireworks workaround, somehow the USB-connected monitor always takes precedence over the one connected via mini display port, thus always displaying the menu bar. Do you have any idea how to “force” it to always be the second monitor?

Thanks for filing the ticket with DisplayLink on issue # 2, I’ll do the same.

No problem. You can go to system preferences, displays, then arrangement tab.

You’ll see one monitor has a white bar representing the menu bar. Just drag that over to another monitor, to move which one it gets assigned to.



Oh cool, I didn’t know just the menu bar could be arranged, nice trick! And apparently it did fix the crashing problem.