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Old 07-06-2005, 02:35 PM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Distribution: Ubuntu / Fedora / YellowDog
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Question GUI won't launch after first time install of Ubuntu 5.04

I installed Linux for the first time in my life last night, it took forever (2+ hours), but installed. Newbie to Linux is an understatement!

But once it came up, the GUI won't run, it says something is not configured properly. I have no idea where to start.

I tried to install Fedora 4 first and it hung on not being able to determine what sort of monitor I have, never got past disk 1.

It is a 400 MHz Dell P2 with a bad MB Video card (bios disabled), so I have a PCI slot video card installed now and it is connected to a 21in monitor with the 5 BNC connectors to the HD-15 video card connector. The installer seemed to work with the PCI video card just fine.

Any thoughts? Command line interface seems to work fine, but no GUI.

Where do I start and where is a good Linux primer? I am somewhat familliar with Unix (Solaris) as a user, but never as an Admin(root)

Old 07-06-2005, 04:27 PM   #2
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 118

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There is not enough info for a diagnosis.

But here are a few hints:

First, try a Live CDs (Knoppix and Ubuntu have a pretty good hardware detection). If Ubuntu runs on the Live CD, it should also run when installed on HD from its install CD.

Second, if the Xorg server can not start the graphic user interface, it usually complains (on a text screen). You should be able to see that. If not, perhaps the monitor can not display it (vertical/horizontal frequency to high/low, etc.)

Third, check the log file for the Xorg server for any hints on what might have gone wrong:

cat /var/log/Xorg.0.log | more

Last edited by vimico; 07-06-2005 at 04:35 PM.
Old 07-07-2005, 01:48 PM   #3
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Registered: Jul 2005
Location: SE Wisconsin
Distribution: Ubuntu / Fedora / YellowDog
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I looked through it and it showed errors on "screen(s) found, " but saying none had a resolution that it could use. And it failed probing the RAMDAC. It is an old 1995 Mach64 video card. I swapped in a NVidia video card that is newer, like 2001ish. And started a resinstall of it all.

The old video card would not run the live CD with GUI, same errors. The live CD would run with the new video card though.

Thanks for the help! I hope all works ok now!

I guess I'm just too much a
Old 07-08-2005, 04:02 AM   #4
Registered: Jan 2004
Distribution: Debian, Ubuntu
Posts: 118

Rep: Reputation: 15
Yeah, 10 years might be a little old. "In the old days" video cards did not have a standard interface which could be used by the operating system to query the capabilities of the video card. Perhaps it's one of those.

Some info that might be useful:

The configuration of the X server is stored in /etc/X11/xorg.conf. You can verify this position by checking the log file mentioned above. Near the beginning of the file you find
(==) Using config file "....."
If a Live CD does recognize a card, it creates the config file and then starts the X(org) server.

If a particular config file does work on the Live CD, chances are high that it also works with the normal installation.

So, save the config file from the Live CD, e.g to a floppy disk, USB drive. Then start the normal installation, rename the old config file (the one that did not work) and copy the config file from the floppy disk to its place. Then restart the system.

This should result in some kind of graphical display. It might not be the perfect one - but you can at least start firefox and try to get more help


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