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Old 10-12-2023, 09:29 AM   #1
hazel
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antiX-23 installation image boot problem


I am trying to install AntiX-23 on an old Samsung laptop with VIA electronics (video driver openchrome). AntiX-21 runs OK on this machine. I can't get the installation image to boot all the way with any of the available boot options, not even with the legacy kernel and failsafe boot. It gets as far as preparing to load X, but then I just get a slideshow of variously coloured screens.

Unfortunately whatever is happening also locks up the keyboard, so I can't get to a virtual console either. If I could, presumably I could install in text mode or at least have a look at the Xorg.0.log file and get some idea of what is going wrong.

How do I get round this block?
 
Old 10-12-2023, 09:46 AM   #2
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Have you tried the kernel boot option nomodeset?
 
Old 10-12-2023, 10:01 AM   #3
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Yes, I tried to get that from the GRUB boot option. The default syslinux boot doesn't seem to offer any editing. Perhaps there's a special key I need to press for that. The grub menus are very confusing (I HATE grub) and I couldn't get an actual kernel command line to edit, but I think I did succeed in choosing a nomodeset option on one of the menus. If I did, it didn't work. I also tried (via grub) to get to a console boot (no X) but I still got the slideshow.

I think I need to try again after a time gap. Right now, I'm too flustered. And maybe I'm not thinking straight with all this business in Israel. I have relatives out there. I'll do a DDG and see if there's a way of getting a kernel command line out of syslinux. Then I could add something like init=3.
 
Old 10-12-2023, 10:39 AM   #4
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I just assumed it would work but I just tried the grub option with nomodeset and it didn't boot up.
 
Old 10-12-2023, 11:24 AM   #5
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
I just assumed it would work but I just tried the grub option with nomodeset and it didn't boot up.
What kind of video card do you have? I know mine is rather eccentric.
 
Old 10-12-2023, 11:31 AM   #6
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I am using VirtualBox and the virtual graphics controller is supported by the SVGA driver.
 
Old 10-12-2023, 03:50 PM   #7
anticapitalista
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I'm not 100% sure, but changes in Xorg and graphics drivers in Debian 12 have deprecated support for video driver openchrome even though we include it.
 
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Old 10-13-2023, 12:14 AM   #8
hazel
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That wouldn't surprise me. It's all of one piece with cups withdrawing support for old printers. If it is true, that machine may have to be frozen at AntiX-21. I don't usually go online with it so there's no real security issue. I use it partly for the family genealogical database (but I have a version of that on Slackware now) and partly as a testbed for a friend of mine who has AntiX as her only Linux system but isn't very computer-savvy. Having a version of AntiX myself means that I can give her a heads-up if there's anything unusual about an update.

There must be a way of editing the boot in real time so as to boot into a command line. Could you tell me how to do that? And the root password for the installer? Then perhaps I could add a stanza to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d specifying openchrome and see if that fixed the problem. If so, it would be worth doing the upgrade.

Update: I found this in the Arch Wiki, last updated this July. It looks from this as if the problem may be in the kernel's viafb module.

Last edited by hazel; 10-13-2023 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Extra info
 
Old 10-13-2023, 04:32 AM   #9
anticapitalista
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If you are using antiX-23-full with sysVinit, to boot to comnand line add '3' (without quotes) to boot menu.
You could also try removing disable=lxF
There is also an option in f4 called vcard=menu that might help.
For passwords - user/password
demo demo
root root

BTW - xserver-xorg-video-openchrome is included on the iso

Last edited by anticapitalista; 10-13-2023 at 04:34 AM.
 
Old 10-13-2023, 05:29 AM   #10
hazel
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Thanks. How do I get an editable boot line in syslinux? Or should I switch to grub? I don't know much grub syntax; I always used lilo or elilo.

I'm pretty sure the problem lies with viafb, because I remember having trouble with that module before when I was running Dragora on that machine (with a much earlier kernel of course) and istr the symptoms were the same. I will also try booting with a modprobe.blacklist instruction for viafb.

Time to start cooking lunch. I'm setting the afternoon apart for this job.

Last edited by hazel; 10-13-2023 at 05:37 AM.
 
Old 10-13-2023, 07:49 AM   #11
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So:
vcard=menu gives a menu with one item: VIA. Or quit.
Booting without lxf and splash makes no difference.
Booting to level 3 makes no difference. So it's not X as such which is causing the trouble. It must be viafb.
Booting with modprobe.blacklist=viafb is much better. It gets as far as slimski trying to load /usr/share/slimski/themes/antiX/en_us, then stops dead.
Code:
localized themefile would be: /usr/share/slimski/themes/antiX/en_US
...but no matching locale-specific theme file is present
/usr/share/slimski/themes/antiX/en_US
But I can then get a second console with alt-F2. I'm going to create an xorg conf file for the openchrome driver and then try telinit 5.

With viafb off, most listing commands crash the console (though the exit command always works!). I couldn't use nano; the control combos didn't work. So I used repeated echo commands to create a config file for the card with openchrome as driver, then tried telinit 5. That didn't work so "startx". Xorg started, crashed but I have a log. Yippee!

It shows that openchrome was loaded. Then "Unable to map the framebuffer". That probably means I need to boot with "iomem=relaxed" as well as blacklisting viafb. Funny that! I had this problem in AntiX-19 but not in AntiX-21. Too tired to go further today.
Attached Files
File Type: txt Xorg.0.log.txt (6.2 KB, 2 views)

Last edited by hazel; 10-13-2023 at 08:43 AM. Reason: More info
 
Old 10-14-2023, 04:53 AM   #12
hazel
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It doesn't work when I add iomem=relaxed to the kernel command line. I get the colours again, even though viafb is confirmed as blacklisted in the startup messages. And without that parameter, I can't get X to come up at all because of the memory mapping problem; I just get a very crippled virtual console. Stalemate. I suspect that part of the problem lies with the kernel devs having removed the old non-framebuffer console, apparently because there was no one to maintain it. There's a thread on that somewhere.

But I have at least found out why the boot sequence stops with slimski unable to find a suitable theme. There are indeed no English themes at all in /usr/share/slimski/themes/antiX, neither en_US nor en_GB. There are a lot of spanish ones and a sprinkling of other European tongues but no English. Which is pretty weird when you consider that en_US is the default language for the installation.

@Anticapitalista: what do you have against us English speakers?

On a more serious note, what should I do now? I'm ready to take advice but I am reluctant to just install a crippled AntiX-23 over an AntiX-21 that works well.

Last edited by hazel; 10-14-2023 at 04:56 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2023, 05:34 AM   #13
anticapitalista
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antiX-21 is supported until 2027 so if that works well, I'd stick with that.

Slimski login theme defaults to English so there should be no need for another English theme file like you see in other languages.
All they do is translate the login messages.
 
Old 10-14-2023, 05:47 AM   #14
hazel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anticapitalista View Post
Slimski login theme defaults to English so there should be no need for another English theme file like you see in other languages.
All they do is translate the login messages.
Fine, but why, in that case, does the boot sequence stop dead with that message about not finding the theme? Surely it ought to go on and try to load X, and then report the failure of that due to the mapping area (but maybe it does that and I can't see it because the terminal has seized up).

I was hoping to use this install as a test bed before helping my friend install hers. I'll see how she feels about doing it without a dress rehearsal! If it works, I'll put it on my main machine where the old slackware-14 used to be. That has good reliable Intel everywhere.

Last edited by hazel; 10-14-2023 at 05:50 AM.
 
Old 10-14-2023, 08:38 AM   #15
anticapitalista
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That slimski error message is not the cause of not being able to boot to X.

One boot 'cheat' that used to work was xorg=openchrome
 
  


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