EeePC 701 and debian 9.3 video problems

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

EeePC 701 and debian 9.3 video problems

Postby ptouch » 2018-04-22 06:48

I am able to boot into debian 9.3 but the video goes crazy.

I can see that there is something but it skews the lines and I can't read anything. This only happens after it activates the graphics mode. Before that, vga text is readable. I can see debian booting, etc.

I can boot the old OS that came with the EEEPC, the graphics run fine on that, and an Alt+T to bring up the terminal where I can go

lspci -nn

and it says that it's an VGA compatible controller Intel 915GM/GMS/910GML [8086:2592] rev 04
Display controller Intel 915GM/GMS/910GML [8086:2792] rev 04

The built-in screen is broken, but the external VGA looks good on the old EEEPC os, it just goes crazy looking and unreadable under debian 9.3.

Is there a way to boot debian into text mode? It's pretty impossible to do anything when you can't read the video.

I can type CTRL+ALT+F1 and log in. Fumbling around in the dark I can type sudo reboot but that's about it.

Any ideas?
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Re: EeePC 701 and debian 9.3 video problems

Postby pylkko » 2018-04-22 08:23

Boot into single-user mode by selecting rescue in GRUB or add
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to kernel parameters by first pressing "e" in GRUB and then editing the line. also apparently appending the number "3" to the end of the kernel line brings you to non-graphical shell prompt.

However, if a tty does not display correctly I don't know if anything will (without futher changes to the video settings). If you can get the machine on a network you can of course form a connection to it and use it (permanently) without a display with ssh.
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Re: EeePC 701 and debian 9.3 video problems

Postby debiman » 2018-04-22 11:50

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lspci -k | grep -A5 VGA
would help us more.

it should just work witht he standard intel driver; maybe the external monitor messes things up. is it very high-res? maybe the gpu just can't take it.
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Re: EeePC 701 and debian 9.3 video problems

Postby ptouch » 2018-04-23 04:21

Hi guys,

Thanks for your replies. I was doing some reading at ... de_setting
Forcing modes


<conn>: Connector, e.g. DVI-I-1, see /sys/class/drm/ for available connectors
<xres> x <yres>: resolution
M: compute a CVT mode?
R: reduced blanking?
-<bpp>: color depth
@<refresh>: refresh rate
i: interlaced (non-CVT mode)
m: margins?
e: output forced to on
d: output forced to off
D: digital output forced to on (e.g. DVI-I connector)

You can override the modes of several outputs using video= several times, for instance, to force DVI to 1024x768 at 85 Hz and TV-out off:

video=DVI-I-1:1024x768@85 video=TV-1:d

so I edited the grub commands by hitting e at the debian grub boot screen

and added video=800x600@60 video=LVDS:d

so the line looked like: (I'm typing this whilst reading the output of cat /proc/cmdline so apologies if it's not exact)

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BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-4.9.0-4-686 root=/dev/sdb2 ro video=800x600@60 video=LVDS:d quiet

and that was enough to set the graphics to come up so I could do something. Yes! No more crazy skewy video.

I went to Preferences/Monitor Settings and turned off the built in LCD monitor but it turned my external VGA to solid grey, but hitting the FN+F5 key seemed to kick it loose.

And I can get 1280x1024 on my VGA output. Hooray!

According to xrandr the LVDS is actually named LVDS1 so I'll have to try that and see if that makes any difference as video=LVDS:d didn't actually shut it off when it booted.

I'm afraid to shut it down to reboot as much as I struggled to get it going!!! I want to enjoy it for while... 8-)
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Re: EeePC 701 and debian 9.3 video problems

Postby ptouch » 2018-04-24 11:01

So here's what I figured out for my eeePC 701:

I can add these to my grub parameters:


so it would be

linux /vmlinuz-4.9.0-4-686 root=/dev/sdb2 ro quiet video=1280x720@60

I can boot into the included OS, which is linux from 2007 and hit CTRL+ALT+t to launch a terminal and do


to show me what my monitor and the LCD display supports

xrandr --output VGA --mode 1440x900

so it looks like anything higher than that goes super skew:

1680x1050 doesn't work
1600x1200 doesn't work
1920x1080 doesn't work
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