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I've installed Debian on my desktop, but now all I can see is white noise on my screen.

  1. started with a squeeze netinstall
  2. updated my /etc/apt/sources.list from:

    # deb http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ squeeze main
    deb http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ squeeze main
    deb-src http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ squeeze main
    deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main
    deb-src http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main
    # squeeze-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
    deb http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ squeeze-updates main
    deb-src http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ squeeze-updates main


    deb http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://ftp.belnet.be/debian/ wheezy main contrib non-free
    deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main contrib non-free
  3. Run:

    aptitude update
    aptitude install apt dpkg aptitude
    aptitude full-upgrade

    The only thing that stood out during the upgrade was the warning that firmware for r8169 was no longer installed.

During the boot I can see normal text, but - before I need to type my password - my screen only shows white noise.


  • The /home directory is coming from a Ubuntu (11.04 upgraded to 11.10).
  • I haven't installed X yet. On my first install run (this is currently the third), I tried installing X to "fix" the problem, but that resulted in the same thing (although there was a different noise block for my mouse that I could move around).
  • Copied the syslog to gist-8929da15
share|improve this question
Can you get to a text console by hitting alt-F1? – Paul Tomblin Dec 17 '11 at 20:45
I haven't install X yet. All TTYs show the same. – Gert Dec 17 '11 at 20:57
Try booting in single user mode, then. – Paul Tomblin Dec 17 '11 at 21:12
If you were previously using X, it was probably trying to come up. Otherwise you would have seen a text console. You could try killing it with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace. Take a look at the logs, and post a suitable snippet if you wish. Are you using a proprietary module, like Nvidia? If so. check it is being loaded. – Faheem Mitha Dec 17 '11 at 21:42
Before executing aptitude full-upgrade it would be more safe to execute aptitude safe-upgrade. Syslog is not very helpful in this case (there are some errors but don't look very critical), try booting in rescue mode and also cat ~/.xsession-errors to see if X is failing. – ierax Dec 18 '11 at 10:29

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