Vague question about vague issues with Linux live CD distro's

Discussion in 'Linux' started by pvdven777, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    Dear fellow MDL people,

    I come to you today with a vague issue that has literally been plagueing me for a few years now.

    Although I am a heavy windows user I genuinly like and am interested in using more Linux solutions. In fact I am more than willing to invest time in it. However I seem to keep running into the same or at least similar issues.

    Wanting to find out which distro would work best for me and for which application I downloaded countless ISO's over the last few years. However I would say that 80~90% of them just did not start up properly.
    Your typical distro/live CD will boot into a menu where you can choose normal/safe mode and sometimes some other options like install or run from memory etc. So far mostly ok.
    However after i make my selection I get greeted by a blank screen, and that's where things end. Since there are no error messages visible I am totally clueless as to why this keeps happening (to me).

    Initially I thought it was just hardware incompatibility of some kind. However I use a fairly diverse mix of old and new computer systems to test on. Mostly nothing exotic and regular Intel based hardware.
    Even in Vmware I still encounter these issues sometimes.
    All I have managed to do is play with the "VGA=" option but that never fixed the issue on any occasion.

    I'd be very excited if someone could give me some suggestions to help me track down the root cause (even if it were down to my own stupidity somehow).
     
  2. TT_ZX

    TT_ZX MDL Novice

    Aug 27, 2010
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    The problem is the graphics system in Linux is very complicated. What I mean is there are many different drivers available that may or may not be using a frame buffer. These also have lots of different modes for each driver that may not be compatible with any particular hardware. And this is before you even get to the X server, which uses a different driver altogether. There's many paces for it to fail. I think most distro's try to use fancy features like Plymouth or fbsplash to give you a nice native resolution for you monitor with shiny graphics instead of the old console style boot up. I have had the same issues and can't offer any magic solution for getting around it other than using a different ISO.

    I don't think playing around with a bunch of different live CD's is really going to further your understanding of Linux. I think you would be better to commit to one distro with a good community base and install it onto a VM or real hardware. What you learn in one distro will be applicable to any other distro apart for differences in how packages are handle etc. Good luck.
     
  3. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Was playing with Mint and Ubuntu yesterday, installed fine, logged in fine, installed NVIDIA drivers, on Mint Cinnamon immediately kept crashing, on Ubuntu I got a login loop

    Spent 2-3 hours trying different drivers and different fixes, nothing at all changed, 2017 and you can't even install a simple graphics driver in Linux :D
     
  4. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

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    Guys, your words are really giving me a bit of a positive boost again. Was starting to feell very silly, but its good to hear I'm not alone in these experiences.
     
  5. TinMan

    TinMan MDL Member

    Jul 31, 2009
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    Hey, pvdven777!

    I'm not sure if this is going to help you, but I run into a very similar problem while installing Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon on my desktop machine and I fixed it by plugging out TV set which was connected to my graphics card via HDMI. But, if it is a laptop that you're using, I'm sure this does not apply... Which reminds me - have you tried those "countless ISOs" on different machines or just on one (and the same) desktop/laptop machine?
     
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  6. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    Hi Tinman,

    I have most certainly tried distro's on different machines and VM's. I have an old Centrino laptop and several newer ones of different generations up to i7. Other than that I have the availability of various industrial PC's . Those are built for stability and reliability and generally don't use odd chipsets versions although some of them use mobile chipsets to stay cool.

    I don't recognise my situation in your specific examples, however just like the other MDL'rs before you it seems your story is related to display and display drivers.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience !
     
  7. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    So common theme here is display(driver) issues.
    It baffles me though that there isn't any type of safe boot or debugging mode that at least could provide me with a bit more than a hunch.
     
  8. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    @MrMagic sorry dude but you know how to use terminal correctly? depending that graphic card you use you need install proprietary drivers(by Control Panel) so search before try install in any manner (don't works of course) :D
     
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  9. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    Hope I'm not stirring in a good relationship here :biggrin:
     
  10. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Yes I know how to use terminal, I also know how to Ctrl Alt F1 into console when I can't even log in to use Terminal (Google "ubuntu login loop nvidia")

    Trust me, I tried for hours with 20 tabs open in FF on my main PC (Windows with working graphics drivers) with 100 different methods people with the same problem were suggesting, nothing worked

    Drivers installed fine under Ubuntu, but it caused the login loop, taking ownership of .Xauthority didn't work, renaming it to .bak didn't work, all the other supposedly known fixes didn't work either

    Drivers installed under Mint too, but caused Cinnamon to crash constantly

    Tbh we shouldn't have to do that to get something as simple as a graphics driver installed without breaking the OS in the process

    It's a complete fail, for something that should be a relatively easy task of heading to the driver setting screen and enabling the drivers, rebooting and using the OS, to having to p1ss about in terminals/consoles for hours to fix things that shouldn't be broken from a simple driver install
     
  11. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    @MrMagic ok although I haven't knowledge about Nvidia drivers on Linux O.S. well first please tell me you trying install on laptop or desktop pc?, for analogy with Windows O.S. if you have new gpu as 1070/1080 I see several problems with Windows 10 here who know if with Linux O.S. also :g:them I think that the better action is search on Nvidia forum same on Ubuntu/Mint forums I'm sure that you solve the problem because this versions of Linux works fine trust me and I hope you solve fast this problem dude :)
     
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  12. MrMagic

    MrMagic MDL Guru

    Feb 13, 2012
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    Thanks but I've given up with it for now, maybe another day, it's a spare desktop I was just playing about with for a day when bored

    (Windows PC running GTX980, no issues)
     
  13. sml156

    sml156 MDL Member

    Sep 8, 2009
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    I don't know what version of linux you are trying or what version of grub it uses but on some versions if you press shift key while it is booting will open the grub menu and you can select a different resolution and that may help.

    Note: If you are doing this in VMware your going to have to click inside the window really quick to send keyboard commands to the guest.
     
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  14. WDB

    WDB MDL Novice

    Apr 28, 2011
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    OP, what's your computer's brand and model name?
     
  15. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

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    As I've mentioned, throughout the years I've used quite alot of different systems to play with. Currently I mostly am playing around with the following :
    Notebook MSI MS-1012 (= S260 in retail), Intel 915GM Expres chipset, P3m CPU of around 1.6GHz
    Kontron Industrial PC, Kbox A-101 Intel NM10 chipset with ATOM D2550 CPU
    Advantech Ark-3360 Industrial PC, Intel ICH8-M chipset, Intel Atom N450 CPU
    Lanner LEC3000 Industrial PC, VIA VX800,VIA ULV Eden 1 GHz CPU

    That's aside from my Asus N56J (Intel i7) notebook.

    I always seem to have a very similar hit and miss experience.
    Now I would expect to have some troubles, especially on theVIA chipset machine, but 80~90 fail rate means that either I am very unlucky to have all odd configuration PC's around me or those distro's just suck.
     
  16. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    Yep, tried that, even safe mode bootup but that always gets me to the same place (=nowhere).
     
  17. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

    Jul 4, 2010
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    I can say that I have had a much better success rate with the Linux lite distribution. Maybe that holds some clues ?
    That's a distro I really liked. Unfortunately for some of my intended applications it is still too much loaded with excess applications. But anyway, choice of distro would be another topic entirely and as often mentioned by others its a matter of taste and trial. But the trial part is where I just get stuck way too often.
     
  18. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    @pdven777 hi dude, try Arch Linux for me is one the best distros because you can mount your system acording you need so no more excess or unused applications on it :)
     
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  19. pvdven777

    pvdven777 MDL Member

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    As I said, I'm willing to invest time, however there are some unfortunate limits to that (job, kids etc. :biggrin: ) so I'm not sure I will be up and running with Arch anytime soon although it looks pretty good !
     
  20. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    @pvdven777 yep I desire the best luck for you :biggrin:
     
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