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Sometimes, after I start Debian from grub, the screen will turn black. This happens at the time when normally the font changes and the green/red "[success]"/"[Failed]" messages start appearing. The brightness+/- buttons don't work, and I'm not sure whether I can log in. (I think I can, but this keeps happening when I'm in a hurry!) I have to turn off the computer with the power button. This usually happens 3-6 times in a row, even if I use recovery mode.

I'm on an HP Pavilion with AMD A6-4400M APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics. 64 bit. Running nothing but Debian Jessie.

Here's my syslog around when that happens:

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian systemd-backlight[332]: Failed to get backlight or LED device 'backlight:acpi_video0': No such file or directory

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian systemd[1]: systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_video0.service: main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian systemd[1]: Failed to start Load/Save Screen Backlight Brightness of backlight:acpi_video0.

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian systemd[1]: Unit systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_video0.service entered failed state.

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian systemd-fsck[321]: /dev/sda1: clean, 328/62248 files, 42082/248832 blocks

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian kbd[344]: Setting console screen modes.

Nov 11 11:37:23 debian kbd[344]: setterm: $TERM is not defined.

The message about about failing to load/save backlight brightness appears also during normal startup - in fact, when I see it displayed on the screen, I know my computer's working properly.

This question is similar: https://askubuntu.com/questions/97214/screen-turns-off-on-boot But the answer doesn't help me, I think. Also, I'll restart my computer now and get a normal syslog output for comparison. (It got written over this time. Oops.)

Update: My screen failed to turn on 2 or 3 more times. With the screen off, I tried to log in, open a terminal, and touch foo.txt. It didn't work.

Here's the corresponding part of syslog for the successful startup:

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian systemd-fsck[310]: /dev/sda1: clean, 328/62248 files, 420

82/248832 blocks

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian systemd-backlight[331]: Failed to get backlight or LED device 'backlight:acpi_video0': No such file or directory

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian systemd[1]: systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_video0.service: main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian systemd[1]: Failed to start Load/Save Screen Backlight Brightness of backlight:acpi_video0.

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian systemd[1]: Unit systemd-backlight@backlight:acpi_video0.service entered failed state.

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian lvm[328]: 2 logical volume(s) in volume group "debian-vg" now active

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian lvm[339]: 2 logical volume(s) in volume group "debian-vg" now active

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian lvm[341]: 2 logical volume(s) in volume group "debian-vg" monitored

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian kbd[346]: Setting console screen modes.

Nov 11 13:02:03 debian kbd[346]: setterm: $TERM is not defined.

  • Sounds like a video driver issue (it's occurring during the switch from generic to GPU-specific drivers). The solution is likely to be hardware- and setup-specific. – Tom Hunt Nov 11 '15 at 18:04

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