debian stretch fresh install boots into black screen

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

debian stretch fresh install boots into black screen

Postby worclsep » 2018-04-19 12:58

I have been using Linux (mostly debian) for some years now. Although I'm far from being an expert user ( I'm rather a permanent beginner :? ), I have always been able to get my systems up and running by searching for solutions on the net. Now I am stuck for the first time and I'm in desperate need for some guidance and help. It is also the first time I am installing on an EFI-system (had to go through some learning curve on that one and am perhaps not quite at the end of it). However, I believe that the issues I have had related to EFI and dual-booting with Windows are not related to the problem I would like to concentrate on here, maybe I'm wrong?

The hardware I'm using in this case:
A new small Notebook, I guess it is sometimes also referred to as a Netbook.
Intel Atom x5-Z8350 Processor w/ integrated Graphics
Full HD IPS Touch-Display
4GB RAM
64GB Flash Storage as HD (shows as mmcblk0)
1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0

I wanted to keep the preinstalled Win10 on the built in flash-drive and therefore wanted to install my linux on a fast external USB-flash-drive on the USB 3.0 connector. I booted 2 variants of a Live+nonfree USB-stick from the USB 2.0 connector. Both versions, Mate and Gnome, came up with no problems. Gnome had a better performance with respect to the toch-pad, which i liked, but I wanted to stay with Mate to start with because that's what I have been used to for a while. So I went on with the installation, which went through without any failures. After an initial problem with EFI, which I got solved, I could start my debian 9.3 Mate system.

This is the problem:
The boot process usually brings up the mouse pointer and then the login screen and lets me enter user name and password. However, after a very short time, too short to enter the two fields completely, the screen goes dark and then may or may not come back to let me or let me not enter the rest. If I am able to complete both fields and press ENTER, the login fields would return empty if the password was incorrect, telling me so, or, with a correct password, the screen would go dark and remain there forever. Reset in this case is possible only with the brute force power button. To make things even more confusing, somehow, not knowing how exactly and not knowing whether or not I did something different at all, the system booted a very few times normally into graphical user mode and worked very well as such. The only two things it didn't like was when the power management went into idle mode or when I tried to switch to another tty. Then it froze and again only the hard power button could help. When booting I also tried the nomodeset option, but that didn't make any difference. Booting into rescue mode is always possible (which gives me a high resolution text screen). So I have acces to everything on the system, but it is far beyond my capabilities to interpret all the various logs or to know what to look for. So I would much appreciate any help on this issue. By the way, is it normal that in a system that uses lightdm (I understand Mate is using lightdm) to have not only entries in /usr/share/lightdm but also in but also in /usr/share/gdm?.

Thx for any guidance you can give me!
worclsep
 
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Joined: 2018-04-19 10:21

Re: debian stretch fresh install boots into black screen

Postby bw123 » 2018-04-19 13:58

...So I have acces to everything on the system, but it is far beyond my capabilities to interpret all the various logs or to know what to look for. So I would much appreciate any help on this issue. By the way, is it normal that in a system that uses lightdm (I understand Mate is using lightdm) to have not only entries in /usr/share/lightdm but also in but also in /usr/share/gdm?
...


It's okay. Some apps put a file or two in /usr/share/gdm in the event it is installed. It's really up to you to find out whether you are using lightdm or gdm, don't assume anything, but yeah I think it's very likely you are using lightdm.

Maybe it will help figure things out by identifying the graphics hardware, instead of just "integrated" find out what chipset, and driver that X is using...

This is not far beyond your capabilities to do some investigation. The hardware is easy to id https://wiki.debian.org/GraphicsCard and the xorg log is very well known and written about all over the internet. The display manager probably has a link at /etc/X11/default-display-manager or you can probably use
systemctl status display-manager
to find out for sure, even when it's not running.

One thing I have done in the past is boot until the dm comes up, then switch to tty2 with ctrl-alt-f2 and login as root there. Then you can use systemctl as root to stop/start/status on the display-manager and other things and maybe gather more information.
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bw123
 
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Re: debian stretch fresh install boots into black screen

Postby worclsep » 2018-04-20 02:23

bw123 thank you for your reply.

The system I'm having problems with just happened once again to boot regularly into graphical user mode by chance after having failed to do so numerous times. This time I am sure that I haven't changed anything on my part as compared to failed instances. The login screen however did not go black immediately this time but gave me enough time to enter user name and password. From previous experience I am pretty sure that it would hang again if I tried to switch to another tty or if I would allow it to enter idle mode. I'm trying to avoid both for the moment. So as long as it runs I'm using this very system to post this reply. The fact that it actually can work lets me assume that there should be no hardware issue. This assumption is also supported by the fact that booting from a live medium works without problems every time.

I would rather suspect an issue in the boot sequence timing where some parts might not be available when they are needed. But I have no idea what this could be and where to look for. If I'm right I further suspect that one should somehow force the boot process to get this in the correct order. But I am really lost here.

To answer to your suggestions:
bw123 wrote: It's really up to you to find out whether you are using lightdm or gdm, don't assume anything, but yeah I think it's very likely you are using lightdm.

I'm pretty sure the system has lightdm:
Code: Select all
root@NB-AKOYA-hp:/# systemctl status display-manager
● lightdm.service - Light Display Manager
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lightdm.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Fri 2018-04-20 02:12:15 CEST; 26min ago
     Docs: man:lightdm(1)
  Process: 636 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c [ "$(cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager 2>/dev/null)" = "/usr/sbin/lightdm" ] (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 641 (lightdm)
    Tasks: 5 (limit: 4915)
   CGroup: /system.slice/lightdm.service
           ├─641 /usr/sbin/lightdm
           └─648 /usr/lib/xorg/Xorg :0 -seat seat0 -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -nolisten tcp vt7 -novtswitch

Apr 20 02:12:15 NB-AKOYA-hp systemd[1]: Starting Light Display Manager...
Apr 20 02:12:15 NB-AKOYA-hp systemd[1]: Started Light Display Manager.
Apr 20 02:12:21 NB-AKOYA-hp lightdm[676]: pam_unix(lightdm-greeter:session): session opened for user lightdm by (uid=0)
Apr 20 04:12:42 NB-AKOYA-hp lightdm[719]: pam_unix(lightdm:session): session opened for user hpk1 by (uid=0)
The above is for the system as it is running right now. When it was in rescue mode, systemctl status display manager showed something like 'lightdm not running (dead)' or so. Trying to start it in that case resulted in an unrecoverable black screen.

bw123 wrote:Maybe it will help figure things out by identifying the graphics hardware, instead of just "integrated" find out what chipset, and driver that X is using...

lshw (snip):
Code: Select all
       *-display
             description: VGA compatible controller
             product: Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series PCI Configuration Registers
             vendor: Intel Corporation
             physical id: 2
             bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
             version: 36
             width: 64 bits
             clock: 33MHz
             capabilities: pm msi vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
             configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
             resources: irq:301 memory:d0000000-d0ffffff memory:c0000000-cfffffff ioport:f000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff

lspci:
Code: Select all
root@NB-AKOYA-hp:/# lspci -nn
00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series SoC Transaction Register [8086:2280] (rev 36)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series PCI Configuration Registers [8086:22b0] (rev 36)
00:03.0 Multimedia controller [0480]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series Imaging Unit [8086:22b8] (rev 36)
00:0b.0 Signal processing controller [1180]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series Power Management Controller [8086:22dc] (rev 36)
00:14.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series USB xHCI Controller [8086:22b5] (rev 36)
00:1a.0 Encryption controller [1080]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series Trusted Execution Engine [8086:2298] (rev 36)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series PCI Express Port #1 [8086:22c8] (rev 36)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge [0601]: Intel Corporation Atom/Celeron/Pentium Processor x5-E8000/J3xxx/N3xxx Series PCU [8086:229c] (rev 36)
01:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation Wireless 3165 [8086:3165] (rev 91)

The above doesn't really tell me much :?: Any suggestion to find out more than that?

I can also find the Xorg logs of course. However, I have no clue what to look for there. I am a little hesitant to just dump the full and lengthy logs here, but of course I could do so if that's the acceptable way in this forum and someone were willing to take the time to look into it. Just let me know which logs or parts of it might be helpful.

Tanks again to anyone who could help me with this issue.
worclsep
 
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Joined: 2018-04-19 10:21


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