Desktop remains blank after login

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Desktop remains blank after login

Postby vivvic » 2017-08-30 13:08

Hello all, my name is Trent. I just joined the forum, this is my first post. I am relatively new to Linux, however I consider myself a rather technical person.

My problem is as follows:
I bought a new laptop http://www.geekbuying.com/item/-HK-Stock-ThundeRobot-G150T-D2-Game-Notebook---Gray-375383.html and installed an NVMe ssd(I will refer to this as drive W) as well as a sata ssd(I will refer to this as drive L).
I have windows 7 running on the first partition of drive W, the second partition of drive W is empty for the time being.
I have installed debian 9.1.0 with non-free code/drivers onto drive L.
GRUB is also installed on drive L.

When I boot, GRUB runs fine and allows me to boot into linux (which is my only OS shown in GRUB at the moment). After linux boots, I am prompted with a login screen. After I login, I can see an empty desktop background (the same background that the login screen had) and a mouse cursor that responds to movement.

I have tried booting into recovery mode which hangs during boot.
I have tried ctrl+alt+f1 after logging on which causes the previously responsive mouse cursor to freeze.
I have tried ctrl+alt+f2 after logging on which causes the cursor to disappear.

Other information:
Upon cold booting laptop I can, by pressing f7, force boot from drive W bypassing GRUB altogether and boot into Windows 7.
When in Windows 7 I can see the primary partition of drive W and secondary partition of drive W, but not drive L. I'm sure this is because of the filesystem.
During my research into Linux on this system I read of a potential unrelated issue of this laptop using a dedicated GPU as well as graphics processing in the CPU and in windows it switches between the two depending on the demand, if I remember correctly I read that there isn't an equivalent way to do that in Linux.

Laptop specifications at a glance:

ThundeRobot
Model: G150T-D2
Mainboard Chipset: Intel HM170
Processor CPU: Intel Core i7 6700HQ
Core: Quad Core
Processor Base Frequency: 2.6GHz
Max Turbo Frequency: 3.5GHz
Bus Specification: DMI 8 GT/s
Three-level Caching: 6MB
Core Structure: Skylake
Threading: 8
Process Technology: 14nm
Instruction Set: AVX2, 64bit
Power Consumption: 45W

RAM: 8GB (Support 32GB max)
RAM Type: DDR4, 2133MHz
RAM Slot Quantity: 2 x SODIMM

Graphics Graphics chip type: Independent Graphics
Graphics chip: GTX 960M
Graphics memory: 2GB
Graphics memory type: GDDR5
Graphics memory bit: 128bit
Number of stream processors: 1280(undetermined)
DirectX 12.1

Network Wireless LAN: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac wireless protocol
Wired LAN: 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
Bluetooth: Yes, V4.0
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby sunrat » 2017-08-30 23:47

For dual graphics you need to install Bumblebee - https://wiki.debian.org/Bumblebee
I'm not sure how well nouveau supports 960M so you may need to install bumblebee-nvidia. For this to work properly you should install a module building environment first:
Code: Select all
apt install module-assistant
m-a prepare


There are numerous threads on dual graphics in the forums so you can search for more info. Installing is not always a walk in the park but problems usually occur from not following the wiki exactly.
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby stevepusser » 2017-08-31 00:18

This could be a symptom of missing non-free firmware. Skylake graphics require the "firmware-misc-nonfree" package, and you really should also install "intel-microcode", too. It may be that the installer did not pass those over to the install.

See if you can boot into text mode temporarily by adding

Code: Select all
systemd.unit=multi-user.target


to the GRUB kernel boot command. If so, then log in and run

Code: Select all
apt-cache policy firmware-misc-nonfree intel-microcode


to see the status of those packages.
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby vivvic » 2017-08-31 12:06

sunrat wrote:For dual graphics you need to install Bumblebee - https://wiki.debian.org/Bumblebee
I'm not sure how well nouveau supports 960M so you may need to install bumblebee-nvidia. For this to work properly you should install a module building environment first:
Code: Select all
apt install module-assistant
m-a prepare


There are numerous threads on dual graphics in the forums so you can search for more info. Installing is not always a walk in the park but problems usually occur from not following the wiki exactly.

Thank you sunrat, I will follow up on that as soon as I solve my desktop/GUI problem.

stevepusser wrote:This could be a symptom of missing non-free firmware. Skylake graphics require the "firmware-misc-nonfree" package, and you really should also install "intel-microcode", too. It may be that the installer did not pass those over to the install.

See if you can boot into text mode temporarily by adding

Code: Select all
systemd.unit=multi-user.target


to the GRUB kernel boot command. If so, then log in and run

Code: Select all
apt-cache policy firmware-misc-nonfree intel-microcode


to see the status of those packages.

Thank you stevepusser, that did allow me to boot into text mode.
When I ran
Code: Select all
apt-cache policy firmware-misc-nonfree intel-microcode
the results were:
Code: Select all
firmware-misc-nonfree:
   Installed: (none)
   Candidate: 20161130-3
   Version table:
      20161130-3 500
         500 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch/non-free amd64 Packages
intel-microcode:
   Installed: (none)
   Candidate: 3.20170707.1~deb9u1
   Version table:
      3.20170707.1~deb9u1 500
         500 http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian stretch/non-free amd64 Packages

After that I installed those packages, and as far as I can tell, nothing has changed.
Any other Ideas?

edit:corrected typo
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby stevepusser » 2017-08-31 18:42

Well...that's weird. You seem to have X working, since you get the graphical login screen, but somehow GNOME 3 just shows a blank screen. Have you done any searches for that particular problem?

You could also try the "nomodeset" kernel boot cheat to see if that makes any difference, or install the "xfce4" package, which should be less than 10 MB and gives you a less demanding alternative desktop you should be able to pick from a menu on the login screen to run as a session...if that works, at least you'll have a GUI. Plus, xfce is enough for many users, myself included.
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby vivvic » 2017-09-02 14:28

Working in text mode I've transferred the log files from my Debian system to my Windows system. I posted them online at https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3xDPlyFN-zAOTVEOTVEYmlVdHM.
Is there anything helpful in those logs that might shed some light on what is wrong with my Linux system.

EDIT: If there is anything else that would help to troubleshoot this problem, let me know what you need and were to find it in a default install and I will be glad to include that as well.
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby vivvic » 2017-09-13 19:55

UPDATE!

I reinstalled Debian on this system (with a newly downloaded .iso and checked the hash) and still have the same issue.
I have tried multiple desktop environments.

This time I am able to go into a terminal environment with ctrl+alt+f2 and after text login the command startx brings up a working usable desktop.

Any ideas what could be causing this problem?
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby stevepusser » 2017-09-13 22:40

What is the desktop manager (dm) GUI that you see first, then just gives you a blank screen after you login? If you just have the default GMOME desktop in Debian, you get gdm, but installing other desktops can install and then set as default other ones, such as sdm or lightdm.
The MX Linux repositories: Backports galore! If we don't have something, just ask and we'll try--we like challenges. New packages: Krita 3.3.2.1, Pale Moon 27.6.0, Audacity 2.2.0, mpv 0.27.0, Corebird 1.7.1, Firefox 57.0, SMPlayer 17.11.2
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Re: Desktop remains blank after login

Postby vivvic » 2017-09-18 11:46

stevepusser wrote:What is the desktop manager (dm) GUI that you see first, then just gives you a blank screen after you login? If you just have the default GMOME desktop in Debian, you get gdm, but installing other desktops can install and then set as default other ones, such as sdm or lightdm.


I like Cinnamon, so that is what I was trying last week. I have tried a netinstall in which I choose all the default desktop environment's and when I tried loging into them through the usual means (login GUI) it had the same response, regardless of the desktop environment I chose at the login GUI.

I will try a standard gnome install today and see if that changes anything.

Side note: Is there a way to, from GRUB, boot into text mode, login to an account, then run startx and bring up the desktop? It seems like I once read about a way to make a GRUB option that would automatically login to an account, but I have no idea if running a command is something that can be done from GRUB.

Thanks again,
Trent


EDIT:
Another thing that I have changed in this setup is to temporarily remove other drives so that the only one remaining is the SSD that I have named "L" I dont think that it was part of the issue, just makes trying new installs quicker and less likely to make a mistake.

I noticed no difference when I made this change.
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