Ubuntu install blank screen problem

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There have been a number of reports regarding blank screens at startup pre and post installation on the new Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid” release. It seems there are some incompatibilities with some video drivers, particularly (not surprising) some ATI and nVidia. Also in the mix are some older Intel cards. This post outlines a workaround you can try in order to get your video working properly again.

Booting from CD

This section outlines how to workaround the video issue while booting from the CD. Your mileage may vary, depending on your video card, but hopefully this steers you in the right direction:

  1. At the install screen press ‘F6‘ and insert one of the options below, depending on your hardware.
  2. On first boot after install, press e to edit the GRUB menu.
  3. Using the arrow keys to navigate, delete quiet and splash and again insert one of the options below.
  4. Press Ctrl and X to boot.

The suggested options that I have found are hardware specific. Here is a list:

   * Older Intel video card: i915.modeset=1 or i915.modeset=0
   * nVidia: nomodeset
   * Generic: xforcevesa

Hopefully one of these options will get you up and running. Keep reading now to make these changes persistent!


You’ll want to change these settings in GRUB so they’ll automatically be applied on each reboot. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Edit the /etc/default/grub file. You will need Admin privileges to do so (sudo)
  2. Find this line: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash”
  3. Replace with: GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash <option>”

For example, if I had an older Intel model, my GRUB configuration would read:

   GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT=”quiet splash i915.modeset=1″

Save your changes and you should get proper graphics on each reboot.

UPDATE: Based on a lot of user feedback I am reminded that you need to run ‘update-grub’ after you make changes.

From ubuntu-tutorials.com

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