Linux Install Advice Sought . . .

Started Jul 23, 2014 | Questions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,342
more on nomodeset, screen captures of boot menus....

With the latest Mint 17 releases, it looks like you need to use the Tab key from the boot menu, instead of F6 (like you would with the "official" Ubuntu based distros).

Basically, a nomodeset kernel line option prevents it from using more advanced video modes, so you can then install a proprietary driver later (sort of like starting Windows in safe mode, only just the video driver is impacted by the setting).

IOW, you'll end up with the wrong resolution, etc. But, it should work well enough to install the distro, then let you select a proprietary Nvidia driver for it that works with the correct resolution your display needs and gives you accelerated graphics features. One you install an Nvidia driver for it, just use the Nvidia Control Panel you'll find in the menus to change video settings (resolution, color depth, etc.).

With an Ubuntu based distro, when you see the automatic boot timer counting down when starting from a DVD image, just press the up arrow key to stop the timer, make sure the first menu choice is highlighted, then press the F6 key.

At that point, scroll down the the nomodeset option you'll find in the list of options that comes up and press enter when nomodeset is highlighted so that you see a check box beside it. Then, press the Esc key to get rid of the selection list and press Enter with the default Start Menu option selected. That way, it's only going to load a basic video driver.

Then, after you install it and boot to the desktop using the nomodeset option, just go to Menu>System Settings and scroll down to Drivers and click on the Drivers icon, then select the recommended proprietary Nvidia Driver for it after you install it. With some older Nvidia chipsets, you may need to stick with a 304.x driver (versus one of the new ondes).

Here's what you'd see if you pressed F6, the scrolled down to the nomodeset choice and pressed enter (note the check box beside nomodeset). Then, just press the ESC key to exit the choices and press enter on the first start menu choice to boot with a basic video driver.

That's a screen capture from Kubuntu starting, but other official releases of Ubuntu based distros work the same way.

With Linux Mint 17 (and many other distros), click on a key to stop the auto boot from occurring, then with the first boot choice (Start Linux MInt) selected, use the Tab key to see kernel boot line options, then type the word nomodeset (all lower case) at the end of the boot options line, as I did in this example. Put a space just before it as in this screen capture where I typed it at the end of the boot options. Many other distros will work the same way (press the Tab key, then append nomodeset to the end of the line you'll see, then press Enter to continue booting).

Then, just press Enter to start Mint with only a basic video driver being used. Note that as an alternative, try just using the second Start Menu Option (Start in Comparability mode, that still selects a more advanced driver but disables 3D acceleration features that may be causing your corruption with the Nouveau driver it probably uses by default).

Then, after you install it, go to Menu>Preferences>Drivers and select one of the Proprietary Nvidia Drivers for it. For some older Nvidia Chipsets, you may need to use a 304.x driver. But, most chipsets will also work with the latest drivers. This is the driver selection screen you'll see:

Note that it explains that about some Nvidia cards in the release notes for Mint 17 (use the Tab key to select the nomodeset option).

As mentioned, with some older nvidia chipsets, you may want to select the 304.x driver instead. If you'd give us more info about your computer (exact brand/model, video chipset model), we could probably give more precise advise.

In any event, your issue sounds like a compatibility problem with the default Noveau driver being selected by most modern distros when an Nvidia chipset is detected, and since most newer distros use 3D desktop effects by default, you can sometimes end up with issues unless you have a proprietary Nvidia driver installed instead.

So, by starting up a distro using a basic video mode instead (use the nomodeset option), you can then select one of the Proprietary Nvidia drivers for it that should solve any issues after you install it (and modern distro have a driver manager that lets you choose from different proprietary drivers from a menu).

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