I want to install debian 8.2 (Jessie) on my msi GT70 2PE Dominator pro computer (which at the moment is running linux mint). The install went smoothly, apparently (after resolving some problems with help from this site!). But, when rebooting after the install, the reboot seems to go well, but it only shows the debian 8.2 blue artwork, without any icons or menus, so I am not able to get anything done. What went wrong, and what can I do?

Maybe I should add that I installed debian with the mate desktop.

Graphics card: nvidia GTX 880 M

EDIT Trying to answer the questions in the one answer. Yes, I see the grub screen with two lines: debian gnu/linux, and advanced options for debian gnu/linux. I choose the first, enter. Then some grub output flashes by (takes some time), and so appears the blue debian screen with a white menuline on top. It has one menu option for default Xsession, or for MATE. I choose MATE, types my user name+password, enter. Then---nothing happens, almost. Well, the white menuline disappears, and the screen appears frozen. The mouse do not work anymore (either the touchpad), the muse marker do not move. But I can hear the cooler works! more than usual. Nothing to do but restart.

  • No, these are two different questions. The one (which I just answered myself) is about problems during the install, not finding some files. The other one is about problems after the install apparently finnished with success, but the installed debian not functioning properly. Dec 22, 2015 at 23:12
  • Are you using compiz?
    – mchid
    Dec 23, 2015 at 2:07
  • @mchid: No, not using compiz. A fairly standard/default debian install. Only deviation from default was using mate. Dec 23, 2015 at 2:30
  • Make sure mate-panel is installed and if so, try starting it up to see if it will work
    – mchid
    Dec 23, 2015 at 2:37
  • If you need to, start it up from tty1 or 2 after you run export DISPLAY=:0 you should be able to start it up from there and it will run on tty7.
    – mchid
    Dec 23, 2015 at 2:40

1 Answer 1


This sounds like you are starting the fallback mode window manager after X starts.

You're not providing enough details however to know.

Please indicate precisely what happens, that is, you see grub (yes/no), you start the boot (yes/no), you see or don't see some boot text scrolling by, you get to a login screen, you login, you see the debian blue.

If you get past the login and you are just seeing the default empty desktop, that's the fallback mode desktop, which usually you see either because something is missing from the main desktop, so it can't start, or because you accidentally selected it from the which desktop to start menu at the display manager login point. That list is usually a drop down of some type somewhere, it depends on which display manager login you are using. For example, lightdm, sddm, slim, xdm, gdm3, gdm, etc. If I remember right, mate has its own display manager login, I think. mdm is it? I think that's right.

Once you provide more details it should be possible to figure it out.

If you are not getting to the login, there is something totally unrelated going on, but if you end seeing a gui graphic on your screen, that means X started in most cases, which means your display driver is working.

[updated for new info]

If Mate is crashing on desktop start, which it fairly clearly is, I would recommend installing something like XFCE4 (xfce4 debian metapackage), then try starting that. If it starts, the issue is in the Mate desktop. If xfce4 does not start, then the issue is probably in the graphics driver would be my guess.

What graphics card are you using? And what driver, if it's a non free card like AMD or Nvidia? Or free.

A hard locking desktop means it's crashing. I believe Mate might be a bit too old if you are using Jesse, and lacking many bug fixes it would have in Debian Testing or Sid. XFCE would not have these issues since it was fairly stable when Jesse was created.

  • Ill adding some more information in the post. Dec 23, 2015 at 23:17
  • 1
    What video driver are you using? I don't know Mate but if the desktop is configured to default to eye candy type display mode, as unfortunately many now are, if you don't have the current nvidia driver installed, nouveau, the free xorg nvidia driver, itself may be crashing with your new card. Installing xfce will determine that immediately however, so do that, then note the results.
    – Lizardx
    Dec 23, 2015 at 23:25
  • I finally followed the advice on installing debian testing instead. That worked, without problems. Desktops MATE, XFCE and cinnamon all working. Dec 25, 2015 at 14:57

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