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#1 2018-07-08 14:02:02

majenko
New Member
Registered: 2018-07-08
Posts: 1

Black screen on boot *solution*

This pertains (mainly, as far as I know) to Intel graphics cards - especially ones in laptops.

It's a common problem: you install BunsenLabs (or any other Debian based distro of choice) and all goes well - until your first boot after installation, when you get a black screen. Nothing seems to work. You can CTRL-ALT-F1/2/3 etc to get a TTY login, but Xorg is just black.

I have seen a number of people trying different things, but nothing that gives the actual cause and solution. Well, this is something I have known about for some time smile

The cause is actually grub.  Yes, grub.  It leaves the graphics card in an unstable state after booting and Xorg can no longer work with it.  This is not just restricted to BunsenLabs, but Ubuntu, Debian, etc all suffer the same problem.

Fortunately, the solution is really, really simple. You just run grub in text mode.

The steps:

  • CTRL-ALT-F1 to get a TTY login

  • Log in as your user, and edit the default grub configuration

  • Rebuild the grub files

  • Reboot

$ sudo vi /etc/default/grub [or use your editor of choice]

Find the line:

#GRUB_TERMINAL=console

and uncomment it (remove the #). Save and exit.

$ sudo update-grub
$ sudo reboot

And there you have it - no more black screen with Intel cards.

Hope this helps people pulling their hair out when installing BL on their little old laptop...

(If you're suffering a black screen *whilst* trying to install, that's a different problem. Well - it may be. Or at least it's a different solution since you can't easily change grub on the DVD - so just do a text-based install?)

Last edited by majenko (2018-07-08 14:15:52)

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#2 2019-02-19 10:01:09

cherkie
Member
From: UK(still...)
Registered: 2018-08-09
Posts: 95

Re: Black screen on boot *solution*

Hi there,

I have given your fix a go as I have been experiencing black screen on 50% of my boot ups / restores from suspend.

I will update the post in case this solves it.

Thanks.


I don't have patience or skill to dig deep enough every time system breaks itself or when I break something because of lack of patience and skill.
nore, 23 Feb 2019

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#3 2019-09-05 15:08:58

mischaf
Member
From: Danville, New Hampshire
Registered: 2015-11-29
Posts: 15

Re: Black screen on boot *solution*

Hmmm...I wish I had found this earlier - like 2 weeks ago!
Will give your solution a try when I get home.
Thnx.

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#4 2019-09-05 19:08:06

damo
....moderator....
Registered: 2015-08-20
Posts: 5,159

Re: Black screen on boot *solution*

Can I point out that there are other causes as well? A common one is with nvidia cards requiring certain boot parameters.


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#5 2019-09-05 21:01:03

penguinator
Member
Registered: 2019-05-13
Posts: 30

Re: Black screen on boot *solution*

Black screen after GRUB menu [RESOLVED] (Refer to post #7)

I am following the instructions in this thread, plus one addition of my own, but the problem persists.  Incidentally, the only time the Desktop 'came up' and displayed perfectly was when I was booting from the Live option on the installation DVD.  After the installation, no joy. hmm

I am opening the TTY terminal from the menu selection in the GRUB boot menu, not with the keypress sequence given in the post.  I should mention, the GRUB menu, itself, displays perfectly.  The black-screen problem happens after I select the menu's first line, and 'hit' <Enter>.

Once at the command line, I have done the following in vi, at this line:

#GRUB_TERMINAL=console
and uncomment it (remove the #). Save and exit.

Then, as the OP directed,

$ sudo update-grub
$ sudo reboot

Since after a reboot, the problem persisted, I started examining the rest of GRUB to see if any other parameters seemed a poor match for my system. Then, I saw the commented GFXMODE line. 

Recalling that during installation I had to manually specify screen resolution, I edited as follows:

#GRUB_GFXMODE=640X480
to read:
GRUB_GFXMODE=800X480

[Edit: The netbook's display is now operational, and so, xrandr and xdpyinfo are now working, and showing the correct values for the netbook.  It should be the value originally in GRUB, or 640X480.  This will be corrected.]

This a parameter for the 701's screen resolution that I found on the internet, as the recommendation found in the GRUB file, to run vbeinfo in terminal, produces the error message, 'command not found'.

As a matter of fact, none of the other ways to display the list of available resolutions seem to be working, but the one I found 'sounds right' to my recollection!

As an aside, it seems the OP's suggestion to use vi is not optional.  Likely because the screen display at this point, remains broken, Geany will not run, but vi does. 

Can anyone tell me if my GFXMODE edit was a step in the right direction, and also, please tell me what am I missing to completely resolve the problem and allow a normal boot?

Last edited by penguinator (2019-09-06 12:49:28)


System Info:
ASUS EeePC 701 netbook, 4GB SSD
BL Helium

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#6 2019-09-05 23:05:34

penguinator
Member
Registered: 2019-05-13
Posts: 30

Re: Black screen on boot *solution*

Black screen after GRUB menu [RESOLVED] (Refer to post #7)

There are some developments as I continue to search the internet and experiment with what I'm finding. 

After hitting <Ctrl>x from an edited GRUB entry, I am now able to make a corrupted display flash on the screen (some characters visible on the top half of the screen, with gray'static-lines' on the lower half) that lasts about a half-second, but it's then replaced by the black screen, same as before.

What I did, to get this far, I edited the GRUB parameters by adding nomodeset just before quiet in the line that begins with Linux.  I'm a bit concerned that the final parameter (splash) appears in most references, but is missing here.  A problem, or not?

While I'm writing this on the big monitor, the netbook is before me with the screen folded down.  But, when I raised the netbook's screen, (I've been writing for at least 10 minutes) the BunsenLabs log-in dialog has appeared, asking for a password.  I enter the password, but nothing happens.

Next time I looked at the netbook's screen (5-10 minutes later) I was surprised to see a blank BunsenLab Desktop screen on the netbook, with the Bunsenlabs logo, but otherwise nothing else (no cursor, no icons, no System Information) and unresponsive as well. 

Then as I was getting ready to post this update, I looked down at the netbook again (at least 5-10 minutes have passed) and to my surprise we now have a "WELCOME!" text message, with the fully-populated toolbar above, and System Information on a normal Bunsenlabs desktop.

Hitting the SuperKey makes the Menu pop-up as responsively as with the Live installation.

At least the installation appears to be working correctly, although taking its time to set itself up.  All this is most unusual and unexpected. 

Does this give anyone an idea of how to troubleshoot this?  I would like to go directly to the Bunsenlabs desktop after selecting the top line on the GRUB menu, but not a half-hour later.  roll

Last edited by penguinator (2019-09-06 12:50:22)


System Info:
ASUS EeePC 701 netbook, 4GB SSD
BL Helium

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#7 2019-09-06 12:45:52

penguinator
Member
Registered: 2019-05-13
Posts: 30

Re: Black screen on boot *solution*

Black screen after GRUB menu [RESOLVED]

I removed all the GRUB edits, restoring the file to its default condition, then Saved.  Just to be sure, I removed an SD card, from the netbook's card slot.  The next morning, I rebooted, intending to try nomodeset by itself, since that seemed to give the best result, even if I had to wait a half-hour from the desktop to appear.

I now have a normal boot, going from the GRUB menu to the BLDesktop, without any delay.

I have no idea why this happened.  I even reinserted the SD card, but the system still works normally. I was so surprised I even checked the GRUB parameters, even though I know that edit of the previous night would not be persistent.  Everything there is unchanged from the original defaults.

Thanks for the help and apologies for the lengthy posts giving a step-by-step description of a problem -- that appears to have resolved itself. ops

@cherkie says this 'black screen' problem is intermittent, on his system.  So if it comes back, I'll post again.

Last edited by penguinator (2019-09-06 12:54:59)


System Info:
ASUS EeePC 701 netbook, 4GB SSD
BL Helium

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