My laptop which has an Nvidia GeForce 310M GPU is 9 years old and it has been OK with all Ubuntu releases until now.

What is the difference between 18.04 and previous releases that causes the black (or purple) screen while loading the live installation? Is it the kernel?

For instance, do kernel developers ditch the old hardware in updates?

I am asking this because I want to know if I can ever use updated distros (e.g. Debian) without nomodeset and graphic problems due to it.

The boot problem may be caused by the switch from LightDM to gdm3 as the default login display manager in Ubuntu 18.04. gdm3 is more heavyweight than the lightweight lightdm login display manager, and it may be causing your 9-year-old laptop to choke under the load of starting gdm3 when it is booting Ubuntu 18.04.

You can switch the login display manager from gdm3 to lightdm with the following commands.

sudo apt install lightdm  
sudo reboot  

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm will open up a new window allowing you to select lightdm as the default login display manager. Use the arrow keys to select lightdm and press the Tab to put the focus on <OK> and press Enter. Then reboot by running this command: sudo reboot

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