I installed Kali 2016.1 (Rolling) version in VMWare Workstation. After installation of Kali and installing VMWare Tools, I noticed that the kernel release version was kali-4.3.0. I proceeded with upgrading it to a later version by modifying the /etc/apt/sources.list file with the URL to the rolling repo:

sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade 

The upgrade appears to have happened successfully, however, the reboot simply ends up with a black screen. I changed to a tty screen by pressing ctrl+Alt+F3 and then typed in

service gdm3 restart 

I am still left with a black screen error.

I noticed that the dmesg log file is full of the following error messages:

[drm:vmw_cmdbuf_work_func [vmwgfx]] *ERROR* Command buffer error. 

I do notice that the kernel version has upgraded as running

uname -r



Any pointers on what could be happening here?

Thanks John


This Tip taken (from Pavel Rizzo): Kali Linux 2.0 broken, doesn't boot

It appears that one way to work around this issue is to install lightdm by dropping to the shell (tty2 - ctrl + alt + F2) and typing in:

sudo apt-get install lightdm

Choosing lightdm as default and then

sudo reboot 

appears to bring up the kali login screen as GUI.


On grub screen press e to open grub parameters. Replace quiet with nomodeset quiet splash. To make this change permanent once you reach desktop, edit the same in /etc/default/grub and run sudo update-grub

  • 1
    Can you explain why this would solve the problem?  Please do not respond in comments; edit your answer to make it clearer and more complete. – G-Man Dec 7 '18 at 20:30

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