After GRUB loads the linux image linux-vmdisk or similar, and systemd has loaded, I found the screen displays the systemd boot process steps with a wrong and weird encoding. But after a few seconds and some systemd services have loaded, the screen refreshes, and the display is then correct.

My system is "Arch Linux" with latest update. And systemd version is:

systemd 232

EDIT: here is my dmesg log https://gist.github.com/stardiviner/dfbeb58a7afb2a10dab1e9d51ff34686

I want to know are there related bugs? If I can't find out why, then tell me how to debug this issue?

  • Can you identify the part in the dmesg where the encoding gets messed up? – Philippos May 31 '17 at 8:56
  • It messed up after GRUB, and loading initramfs, until a specific systemd unit started. It is quick so I can't remember it. I will updated here after reboot to take a clearly look. – stardiviner May 31 '17 at 10:17

The strange characters at boot might be due to a wrong GRUB configuration. Try these solutions that involve changes to /etc/default/grub. After each change, remember to update GRUB (grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg or update-grub) and then reboot to test the change.

1) Add these lines:


where <mode> is the resolution of your screen as <width>x<height>x<depth>, see line above for an example.
Note that this mode must be supported by your graphic card; to get a list of supported modes, run

sudo hwinfo --framebuffer

More info here.

2) If this still doesn't work, try to add a parameter vga= (note: deprecated) to the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash vga=792"

3) If still these solutions doesn't work, try this (taken from this previous answer):

Comment out the line with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT.

Add the lines


where <width>x<height> is the native resolution of your monitor.

  • This answer is very detailed. can you describe the reason of why caused wrong characters? – stardiviner May 29 '17 at 2:53
  • I tried all of your methods. none of them works. But thanks still. – stardiviner May 29 '17 at 4:29
  • Have you tried changing the settings in /etc/vconsole.conf? – dr01 May 29 '17 at 8:32
  • No, have not touched it. – stardiviner May 29 '17 at 8:34
  • Try to change the vconsole.font= parameter in it. (I don't know how you find the available fonts in Arch Linux; I'll try to find this info and add it to the post later). – dr01 May 30 '17 at 7:05

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