I'm using Ubuntu Server 11.10 x86, and after I make my normal selection (Ubuntu, with Linux 3.0.0-12-generic-pae) from the GRUB menu, the screen just goes blank - there's not even a cursor showing up.

Basically I (suspect that I) had a bad NFS mount tying up the boot process so I fixed that and now it seems like the boot is actually worse off. Here's the problem I had before: Is a bad NFS mount preventing a clean boot?

Not sure if this is useful, but when I hit the 'e' key in the GRUB menu, this is the configuration that shows up:

setparams 'Ubuntu, with Linux 3.0.0-12-generic-pae'

set gfxpayload=$linux_gfx_mode
insmod gzio
insmod part_msdos
insmod ext2
set root='(hd0, msdos2)'
search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root <long hex value>
linux /vmlinuz-3.0.0-12-generic-pae root=UUID=<another long hex value> ro
initrd /initrd.img-3.0.0-12-generic-pae

Recovery mode works just fine, networking and all. In fact, if select recovery mode it actually brings up the following menu:

Recover Menu (limited read-only menu)
  resume - Resume normal boot
  fsck - Check all file systems (will exit read-only mode)
  remount - Remount / read/write and mount all other file systems
  root - Drop to root shell prompt

and if I select resume I get the following output:

<timestamp> tpm_tis 00:00: tpm_transmit: tpm_send: error 4294967234
initctl:Event failed

Ubuntu 11.10 <server> tty1
<server> login:

Everything works fine after that.

Other things I've noticed: 1) when booting normally, the Num Lock and Scroll Lock lights on they keyboard show (after pressing the corresponding keys), but the Caps Lock doesn't 2) Ctrl+Alt+Fx to switch TTY's doesn't work 3) this link doesn't help much: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Troubleshooting/BlankScreen 4) hitting Esc or any other keys doesn't work after I've selected normal boot mode

So, back to the original question: why is my machine not showing anything when booting (in non-recovery mode)?

  • Are you aware that your system 1) is booting in Readonly mode and 2) 11.10 ceased support since 9 May 2013? – Braiam Dec 13 '13 at 23:16
  • 1) i don't think it is and 2) yes – s g Dec 13 '13 at 23:20
  • Not 100% sure if this works with 11.10, but try hitting the escape key after grub passes control to the kernel. This ought to show the boot chatter. – Mark Plotnick Dec 13 '13 at 23:26
  • Unfortunately, hitting Esc didn't do anything. It's okay, though, I found the solution – s g Dec 14 '13 at 23:02

I appended nomodeset to the end of the linux kernel line:

linux /vmlinuz-3.0.0-12-generic-pae root=UUID=<another long hex value> ro nomodeset

That fixed it!

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