Left at the command prompt after full install ?

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Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby hlpew » 2019-12-19 13:55

Hello everyone.
I have successfully downloaded the latest version of Debian (ver 10.2.0),
I have then, successfully installed the full version (ver 10.2.0) onto my
computer. Now, here comes the tricky part :-)
After, the full and complete install, Debian leaves me at the command prompt,
all the time. I always get this same result (after the complete full install),
after Debian has completed its install.
Now where do I go ?

I have tried various commands (like "startx"), at this command prompt, and
don't get anywhere ? I just want Debian to leave me at a GUI of some sort.
I simply want to get the graphical user screen (greetings screen ?) after I have done a
install of the full and complete version of Debian.

Can anyone help me, please ?

I have tried quite a few different commands at the command prompt,
and simply don't get anywhere. None of my actions gives me a nice
GUI of some sort :-)

Kind regards,
Howard Pew. (from Australia)
20 Dec 2019 at 1.43am
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby arochester » 2019-12-19 16:31

What did you install and where did you get it from?

What desktop did you install?

When you type startx what does it say?
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby NetNuttt » 2019-12-20 00:41

i have the same issue sometimes with my Lanovo laptop with AMD processor and graphics.
I have to use apt and install linux firmware. You may have to do a "apt search firmware | more" and find the names of the firmware you need to install.
I do the following
firmware-amd-graphics
firmware-linux-free
firmware-linux-nonfree
firmware-misc-nonfree
You may need others but this usually gets me graphics.
Hope this helps.
Debian {Testing }, Awesome, LXDE and IceWM.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby neuraleskimo » 2019-12-20 14:35

NetNuttt wrote:i have the same issue sometimes with my Lanovo laptop with AMD processor and graphics.
I have to use apt and install linux firmware. You may have to do a "apt search firmware | more" and find the names of the firmware you need to install.
I do the following
firmware-amd-graphics
firmware-linux-free
firmware-linux-nonfree
firmware-misc-nonfree
You may need others but this usually gets me graphics.
Hope this helps.

Same for me on my system with AMD video and let me add the you will need to add contrib and non-free to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Also, on a really new system with Intel video, I needed to use the firmware and kernel from backports. However, as @arochester pointed out, without details, it is hard to give specific advice. Good luck!
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby Mr. Lumbergh » 2019-12-31 01:24

hlpew wrote:Hello everyone.
I have successfully downloaded the latest version of Debian (ver 10.2.0),
I have then, successfully installed the full version (ver 10.2.0) onto my
computer. Now, here comes the tricky part :-)
After, the full and complete install, Debian leaves me at the command prompt,
all the time. I always get this same result (after the complete full install),
after Debian has completed its install.
Now where do I go ?

I have tried various commands (like "startx"), at this command prompt, and
don't get anywhere ? I just want Debian to leave me at a GUI of some sort.
I simply want to get the graphical user screen (greetings screen ?) after I have done a
install of the full and complete version of Debian.

Can anyone help me, please ?

I have tried quite a few different commands at the command prompt,
and simply don't get anywhere. None of my actions gives me a nice
GUI of some sort :-)

Kind regards,
Howard Pew. (from Australia)
20 Dec 2019 at 1.43am

As arochester said, which install did you use? Some iso's out there give you a full desktop with Gnome or LXDE, but some are smaller. I ran the small "net installer" when I set up my Debian system, and it doesn't come with much out of the box; I had to install the GUI from the command line.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby NFT5 » 2019-12-31 06:59

OP hasn't been back since 20/12/2019, so don't know if he's found the solution, or not. However, I notice that there are quite a few threads with what appears to be the same problem, which I've also experienced when doing fresh installations of Buster.

Generally the installation goes smoothly but, on booting in to the new system, one is left with just a flashing cursor on an otherwise blank screen. Booting from GRUB in 'recovery mode' can get one to a command prompt, as root, but no GUI.

The problem also occurs when doing a full upgrade from a working installation of Debian 9 (Yes, I tried that too). As I usually do, I was using the firmware net install iso, tried on both USB and CD. The Live iso with firmware gives the same results.

Although I've experienced the problem on other machines, all with AMD processors, the following relates specifically to a Lenovo Ideapad 110-15AST with 7th Gen A9 processor. I believe that it will apply to other, similar machines.

So, after installation you should get to the GRUB menu. Select the 'advanced options' menu and then boot in Recovery Mode. You will then be presented with the option to enter your root password or Ctri-D. Enter your root password, hit Enter and you will then be at a command prompt, as root. The usual cautions apply here, as root you can bork your system irrecoverably, so be careful.

Using apt or apt-get, install the various firmware packages. If you have another, working, installation on the same machine, look at that and install the packages that it has. Alternately, the list given here will do, for starters.

NetNuttt wrote:I have to use apt and install linux firmware. You may have to do a "apt search firmware | more" and find the names of the firmware you need to install.
I do the following
firmware-amd-graphics
firmware-linux-free
firmware-linux-nonfree
firmware-misc-nonfree


In my case, that got me to a login screen and then to the desktop. However, the system would only draw a single window. After that, any redraws would result in the screen turning to an unusable, torn mess. This happened with the live iso as well. If you are lucky, your system may work at this point. More likely it won't, so proceed as follows.

Restart and get back to the root command prompt. Alternately, if you like living on the edge, you can open a terminal in your unstable GUI environment. Note that is what I did and the reason why some commands start with 'sudo'. If you're root then obviously, you don't need the 'sudo' prefix.
Enter:
Code: Select all
lspci -nnk | grep -i EA3 "3d|display|vga"


This should give you something like this:
chris@LENOVO15:~$ lspci -nnk | grep -i -EA3 "3d|display|vga"
00:01.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Stoney [Radeon R2/R3/R4/R5 Graphics] [1002:98e4] (rev c6)
Subsystem: Lenovo Stoney [Radeon R2/R3/R4/R5 Graphics] [17aa:3841]
Kernel driver in use: amdgpu
Kernel modules: amdgpu
--
01:00.0 Display controller [0380]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Sun XT [Radeon HD 8670A/8670M/8690M / R5 M330 / M430] [1002:6660] (rev 83)
Subsystem: Lenovo Sun XT [Radeon HD 8670A/8670M/8690M / R5 M330 / M430 / Radeon 520 Mobile] [17aa:3841]
Kernel driver in use: radeon
Kernel modules: radeon, amdgpu


Note the entry that I've highlighted in red. Note that the important result is the first one for the VGA compatible controller, not the second one, which in my case, reads "radeon". If this line doesn't exist then you need to install firmware,as above, first.

If what I've highlighted in red reads "amdgpu" then you'll need to create the proper folder and configuration file in that folder.

Start by checking if you have the folder
Code: Select all
chris@LENOVO15:~$ ls -l /etc/X11


This should give you something like this:
Code: Select all
total 80
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:20 app-defaults
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    18 Dec 21 15:20 default-display-manager
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:19 fonts
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 17394 Nov 23  2016 rgb.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:20 xinit
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Feb 12  2019 xkb
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 30 01:00 xorg.conf.d
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root   709 Nov 23  2016 Xreset
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:19 Xreset.d
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:19 Xresources
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root  3517 Nov 23  2016 Xsession
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:20 Xsession.d
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   265 Nov 23  2016 Xsession.options
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 21 15:20 xsm
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    13 Dec  6  2016 XvMCConfig
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   630 Dec 21 15:20 Xwrapper.config


What you're looking for is the folder "xorg.conf.d". It shows in the above but the sharp-eyed amongst you will notice that it was created on 30/12, so I didn't have it.

If the folder does not appear in the list then you need to create it.
Code: Select all
chris@LENOVO15:~$ sudo mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d


Then create your configuration file
Code: Select all
chris@LENOVO15:~$ sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-amdgpu.conf


This will open the nano text editor in an unsaved file called '20-amdgpu.conf. Copy/paste or type the following:
Code: Select all
Section "Device"
   Identifier "AMD"
   Driver "amdgpu"
   Option "TearFree" "true"
EndSection


Now save. Ctrl-X, then "y", then Enter.

Exit and restart your machine.

In my case, this was all that was necessary. Everything works. However, if the result you get is "radeon" rather than "amdgpu", then the procedure is slightly different. I'll detail that a little later.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby p.H » 2019-12-31 10:37

NFT5 wrote:OP hasn't been back since 20/12/2019, so don't know if he's found the solution, or not. However, I notice that there are quite a few threads with what appears to be the same problem, which I've also experienced when doing fresh installations of Buster.

Generally the installation goes smoothly but, on booting in to the new system, one is left with just a flashing cursor on an otherwise blank screen. Booting from GRUB in 'recovery mode' can get one to a command prompt, as root, but no GUI.

This does not seem to be the same issue as the OP. The OP gets a command line prompt, not a flashing cursor.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby NFT5 » 2019-12-31 11:14

Perhaps, but from my reading of his post I get the impression that he's new to Linux and may well be mistaking the flashing cursor for a command prompt. If he has managed to start the system in recovery mode then he will have a command prompt, but the GUI won't start, as he says.

It's taken me over a week to track down the solution I posted, with a few false starts along the way. It seems to be happening in various distros, all Buster based, and misunderstanding the difference between the flashing cursor and the CLI seems to be not unusual. Of course it would be better if OP was here to give us some feedback, but given that his hardware seems to be similar I think that there's a reasonably good chance it's the same problem.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-12-31 11:40

To repeat arochester's excellent question:
hlpew wrote:I have tried various commands (like "startx"), at this command prompt, and
don't get anywhere ?

What actually happens after you run the startx command? Please post the X.Org log from the failed session.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby p.H » 2019-12-31 11:49

NFT5 wrote:Perhaps, but from my reading of his post I get the impression that he's new to Linux and may well be mistaking the flashing cursor for a command prompt. If he has managed to start the system in recovery mode then he will have a command prompt, but the GUI won't start, as he says.

A flashing cursor would not have allowed to type commands such as startx, and the OP did not mention anything about recovery mode.
Granted, the OP did not mention much about anything though.
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Re: Left at the command prompt after full install ?

Postby Danielsan » 2019-12-31 17:01

But at least saying which gpu card are you using?
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