I just installed Ubuntu 16.04.7 from mini.iso. It's a VIA Nano U3500 @ 1GHz with 1 GB RAM and 4 GB HDD and from my research it seems this is the most appropriate Ubuntu for such a machine.
On the menu screen where you select installable components I only checked the OpenSSH server, and I'm assuming it won't install any graphical environment then.
Now when I boot the machine I only see a black screen. Only when I press Alt+F1 I get a login prompt. There are 5 more terminals with F2 to F6. With Alt+F7 I get a screen with a slightly bolder font (I think it's called "the VGA font") that says
/dev/sda1: clean ... files, ... blocks.
Alt+F8, F9, etc. do nothing.
I noticed that when I press Alt+F1 during the boot process (the machine takes about 10 seconds to fully boot) I get to see a few boot messages, like
[<timestamp>] [sdb] assuming drive cache: write through and then immediately I get the login.
If I hold shift at the beginning of the boot process, I get the GRUB menu with "Ubuntu" selected, if I then confirm with Enter the booting runs again with a black screen.
What would I have to do to be able to watch the usual boot messages and see the login without pressing any keys after boot?