I am running Debian testing with Xfce. When I boot the machine I can see some usual booting messages, the last message is this:

Waiting for /dev to be fully populated ...

After a short time (1-2 seconds) the screen goes blank and Xfce is loaded.

Now when I want to switch from Xorg/Xfce to a console as usual I hit <Ctrl>+<Alt>+F1. The console is correctly shown, however, I get no prompt or shell. Instead, I can still see that last boot messages with the message shown above last. The cursor is blinking after the last character in that message, the console however is not responding to any keyboard input.

$ pgrep -l tty
3345 getty
3346 getty
3347 getty
3348 getty
3349 getty
3350 getty

Any ideas how I can access the shell from this console?

  • This is usually a bug in your display driver. What exact model of video card do you have (the relevant line from lspci would be a good start)? Which driver are you using if several are available? – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Apr 4 '14 at 1:36
  • If my memory is not mistaken, this is normal behaviour on Debian when using the stock "Desktop" option from tasksel (although I've not used it on a desktop in a while, feel free to correct me) -- VC1 has no tty program running, but instead shows boot messages. The other VCs should have running tty programs, what happens if you switch to them (With C-m-F[n])? What is the output of pgrep -l tty? – Chris Down Apr 4 '14 at 2:20
  • @ChrisDown: Switching to another consolse (F2 for example) leads to the same behaviour. I have edited my question to show your requested output. – Matthias Apr 4 '14 at 10:43

I searched a bit further in Google and found the solution:
I needed to boot with the nomodeset option.
After adding this to the grub.cfg file the issue was solved.

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