boot – Does a working nomodeset means the gpu isn’t defective?

I have an M6600 which runs Kubuntu 20.04. I have problems with the screen sometimes. The laptop boots and I am able to log in. After some while I get a brownish display with vertical stripes. Sometimes it doesn’t show the login screen.

What always works is setting nomodeset in grub. Does this mean my problem is software related? I want to check first before I buy a gpu (even the M6600 gpus are quite expensive right now).

Here is some more information about the M6600:

  Host: Precision-M6600 Kernel: 5.8.0-48-generic x86_64 
  bits: 64 Desktop: KDE Plasma 5 
  Distro: Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) 
  Type: Laptop System: Dell product: Precision M6600 v: 01 
  serial: <superuser/root required> 
  Mobo: Dell model: 04YY4M v: A00 
  serial: <superuser/root required> BIOS: Dell v: A04 
  date: 07/11/2011 
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 86.9 Wh condition: 86.9/98.2 Wh (88%) 
  Info: Dual Core Intel Core i5-2520M (MT MCP) speed: 2394 MHz 
  min/max: 800/3200 MHz 
  Device-1: AMD Blackcomb (Radeon HD 6970M/6990M) driver: N/A 
  Device-2: Ricoh type: USB driver: uvcvideo 
  Display: x11 server: 1.20.9 driver: vesa FAILED: ati 
  unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,radeon 
  Message: No advanced graphics data found on this system. 
  Device-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network driver: e1000e 
  Device-2: Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 driver: iwlwifi 
  Local Storage: total: 592.27 GiB used: 29.86 GiB (5.0%) 
  Processes: 204 Uptime: 22m Memory: 7.73 GiB 
  used: 1.48 GiB (19.1%) Shell: Bash inxi: 3.1.07 

xorg – Black screen on boot without nomodeset

I have just installed Ubuntu 20.04 on a new build with the following hardware:

  • CPU: Intel i5-10400
  • Integrated Graphics: Intel UHD 630
  • Motherboard: ASRock h510m-ITX/ac
  • RAM: Corsair LPX Vengeance 16GB 2666MHz
  • SSD: Crucial P2 500GB

I have been unable to get any graphics output to work unless I add nomodeset to my kernel parameters – whenever it boots up the screen simply turns off after the ASRock logo, and does not respond to any keyboard input (I can’t even switch to a tty).

This includes on the Live USB installer, which I had to run in “safe graphics” mode to install. I have also tried the 21.04 Live USB, and even Manjaro (GNOME 20.2.1), both of which had the same issue.

If I use nomodeset then Ubuntu boots normally, but I believe this disables any hardware acceleration, and I’m unable to change the display resolution, so I am looking for a proper fix.

Checking the journal (I can log in via SSH) I see that GDM fails to start:

Mar 21 15:20:32 colin-desktop gnome-shell(901): Failed to create backend: No GPUs with outputs found
Mar 21 15:20:32 colin-desktop gnome-session(830): gnome-session-binary(830): WARNING: App 'org.gnome.Shell.desktop' exited with code 1
Mar 21 15:20:32 colin-desktop gnome-session-binary(830): WARNING: App 'org.gnome.Shell.desktop' exited with code 1
Mar 21 15:20:32 colin-desktop gnome-session-binary(830): Unrecoverable failure in required component org.gnome.Shell.desktop
Mar 21 15:20:32 colin-desktop gdm-launch-environment)(803): pam_unix(gdm-launch-environment:session): session closed for user gdm
Mar 21 15:20:32 colin-desktop gdm3(781): GdmDisplay: Session never registered, failing

And that the Xorg server exits, with error messages from /var/lib/gdm3/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log:

(     9.404) (EE) modeset(0): No modes.
(     9.406) (EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.
(     9.406) (EE)
(     9.406) (EE) no screens found(EE)
(     9.406) (EE)
(     9.406) (EE) Please also check the log file at "/var/lib/gdm3/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.
(     9.406) (EE)
(     9.407) (EE) Server terminated with error (1). Closing log file.

If I enforce the intel driver via a configuration file in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d then Xorg reports a segmentation fault instead, but the overall effect is the same – no screen!

I have tried various fixes, but none have worked (I’m happy to try these again in case I got something wrong though!):

  • Adding i915 and intel_agp to the initramfs (suggested by the Arch Wiki)
  • Various configuration options in /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d
  • Updated drivers from ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers and ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa
  • Installing a newer kernel (5.11)

I would be very grateful for any help that anyone could offer.


boot – Problems installing Ubuntu (and Mint) – black screen on the live system and the installed system – requires Nomodeset

I have a fairly normal Ryzen setup, but I can't install Ubuntu 18.04 (or others) with working graphics. I need Nomodeset in the start options so that I can support all graphics halfway, but I would assume that my setup is supported by the default settings.

I get the GRUB and if I try to boot it immediately it turns black and shows no splashes.

My setup:
Ryzen 2600X
MSI B450 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

All bios & the like should be up to date.

How to debug such a problem