Black screen with Solid Underscore in top left corner of screen Ubuntu 20.04.2 Server (Tried Everything)

CaseyK9

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I have a Dell PowerEdge 1950 1U server, and I have been using Ubuntu for quite some time now. A couple of months ago, I noticed that the monitor that's connected to the server no longer displayed a login screen or anything other than a solid underscore in the top left of the screen.


It does display properly up until Ubuntu gets to the part where I'm supposed to login to the command prompt. I have tried using nomodeset in order to get to the command prompt, however, I am unsure which Graphics Drivers I am required to use.


Dell's website offers drivers for RedHat Enterprise Linux and CentOS however no options for Ubuntu users, and my server is years out of its support from Dell.


When I ran
Code:
lspci -nn | grep -E 'VGA|Display'
it showed up with
Code:
0e:0d.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] ES1000 [1002:515e] (rev 02)

I am completely unsure of what I should do to get my server to boot up. I do have the proprietary AMD drivers installed, which I installed trying to get my server to display on the monitor. But that didn't work.


The ones I installed were xserver-xorg-video-amdgpu and mesa-vdpau-drivers


I am entirely unsure what I should install to get the proper drivers or whether I should downgrade from the latest Ubuntu version and try that. However, I would really prefer to fix this without having to completely reinstall, because of the amount of data I have on this server, it would take me hours to back everything up for a reinstall.


The server does not have any form of Secure Boot options in its BIOS and it is installed through legacy BIOS since the server doesn't support UEFI.


Would appreciate any help I can get.


I have tried all sorts of solutions, I have Googled this and followed this issue for about a month now trying solutions when I have free time. Nothing has worked, all it does is after doing nomodeset or installing drivers, it will boot into said black screen right after it sets the hostname, even with nomodeset turned on. I can, however, SSH just fine into the server.


Booting into it with no splash it is failing on
Code:
Feb 19 10:35:30 awd kernel: i5k_amb i5k_amb.0: hwmon_device_register() is deprecated. Please convert the driver to use hwmon_device_register_with_info().

My server isn't UFEI or emulating UEFI and it isn't BIOS emulating UEFI. It is simply a legacy BIOS. So those solutions won't help me.
 


CaseyK9

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I got it to boot me into the command prompt by using Alt + ← and it let me login perfectly fine. Would be nice for somebody to comment and tell me how to get into this on startup without having to do this each time.
 

f33dm3bits

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The card should work out of the box since your kernel is newer than 2.6.12, since the driver is in the kernel. Can you run the following.
Code:
lspci -v
Then find the line in your first post.
Code:
0e:0d.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
Then share what it says under that section for Kernel driver in use and Kernel modules. Also it will be useful to see your Xorg.0.log since if there is a problem with the driver or something like that it should log it there. What display manager are you using?
 

CaseyK9

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The card should work out of the box since your kernel is newer than 2.6.12, since the driver is in the kernel. Can you run the following.
Code:
lspci -v
Then find the line in your first post.
Code:
0e:0d.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
Then share what it says under that section for Kernel driver in use and Kernel modules. Also it will be useful to see your Xorg.0.log since if there is a problem with the driver or something like that it should log it there. What display manager are you using?
Code:
0e:0d.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] ES1000 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
        Subsystem: Dell ES1000
        Flags: bus master, VGA palette snoop, stepping, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 19
        Memory at d8000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=128M]
        I/O ports at dc00 [size=256]
        Memory at fc2d0000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64K]
        Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [virtual] [disabled] [size=128K]
        Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 2
        Kernel driver in use: radeon
        Kernel modules: radeonfb, radeon
There is no Xorg.log file in /var/log, just checked.

I am unsure of what display manager I am using.
 

f33dm3bits

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Looks like the expected correct drivers are loaded. Do you know if you are using Wayand or Xorg, I am guessing Waylind since you can't find the Xorg.0.log file. Can you share the output of: dpkg --list | egrep -i "xorg|wayland"
 

CaseyK9

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Looks like the expected correct drivers are loaded. Do you know if you are using Wayand or Xorg, I am guessing Waylind since you can't find the Xorg.0.log file. Can you share the output of: dpkg --list | egrep -i "xorg|wayland"
Code:
ii  kwayland-data                                 4:5.68.0-0ubuntu1                                                  all          Qt library wrapper for Wayland libraries - data files
ii  kwayland-integration:amd64                    4:5.18.4.1-0ubuntu1                                                amd64        kwayland runtime integration plugins
ii  libkf5waylandclient5:amd64                    4:5.68.0-0ubuntu1                                                  amd64        Qt library wrapper for Wayland libraries
ii  libqt5waylandclient5:amd64                    5.12.8-0ubuntu1                                                    amd64        QtWayland client library
ii  libqt5waylandcompositor5:amd64                5.12.8-0ubuntu1                                                    amd64        QtWayland compositor library
ii  libva-wayland2:amd64                          2.7.0-2                                                            amd64        Video Acceleration (VA) API for Linux -- Wayland runtime
ii  libwayland-bin                                1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - binary utilities
ii  libwayland-client0:amd64                      1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - client library
ii  libwayland-cursor0:amd64                      1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - cursor library
ii  libwayland-dev:amd64                          1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - development files
ii  libwayland-egl1:amd64                         1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - EGL library
ii  libwayland-server0:amd64                      1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - server library
ii  qtwayland5:amd64                              5.12.8-0ubuntu1                                                    amd64        QtWayland platform plugin
ii  wayland-protocols                             1.20-1                                                             all          wayland compositor protocols
ii  xorg-sgml-doctools                            1:1.11-1                                                           all          Common tools for building X.Org SGML documentation
ii  xserver-xorg                                  1:7.7+19ubuntu14                                                   amd64        X.Org X server
ii  xserver-xorg-core                             2:1.20.9-2ubuntu1.2~20.04.1                                        amd64        Xorg X server - core server
ii  xserver-xorg-input-all                        1:7.7+19ubuntu14                                                   amd64        X.Org X server -- input driver metapackage
ii  xserver-xorg-input-libinput                   0.29.0-1                                                           amd64        X.Org X server -- libinput input driver
ii  xserver-xorg-input-wacom                      1:0.39.0-0ubuntu1                                                  amd64        X.Org X server -- Wacom input driver
ii  xserver-xorg-legacy                           2:1.20.9-2ubuntu1.2~20.04.1                                        amd64        setuid root Xorg server wrapper
ii  xserver-xorg-video-ati                        1:19.1.0-1                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI display driver wrapper
ii  xserver-xorg-video-fbdev                      1:0.5.0-1ubuntu1                                                   amd64        X.Org X server -- fbdev display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-intel                      2:2.99.917+git20200226-1                                           amd64        X.Org X server -- Intel i8xx, i9xx display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-nouveau                    1:1.0.16-1                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- Nouveau display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-qxl                        0.1.5+git20200331-1                                                amd64        X.Org X server -- QXL display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-radeon                     1:19.1.0-1                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI Radeon display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-vesa                       1:2.4.0-2                                                          amd64        X.Org X server -- VESA display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-vmware                     1:13.3.0-3                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- VMware display driver
ii  xwayland                                      2:1.20.9-2ubuntu1.2~20.04.1                                        amd64        Xwayland X server
 

f33dm3bits

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Can you share the output of the following as well: ls -l /etc/X11
If that exists share the output of: cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager
 

CaseyK9

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Can you share the output of the following as well: ls -l /etc/X11
If that exists share the output of: cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager
ls -l /etc/X11
Code:
total 72
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root root   709 Jan 20  2017 Xreset
drwsr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 26 16:48 Xreset.d
drwsr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Dec 26 16:48 Xresources
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root root  3730 Dec 14  2018 Xsession
drwsr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Feb 19 09:50 Xsession.d
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root root   265 Jan 20  2017 Xsession.options
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    13 Feb 29  2020 XvMCConfig
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   630 Jan 17 12:41 Xwrapper.config
drwsr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Jan  3 12:06 app-defaults
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    15 Jan 17 12:42 default-display-manager
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root  4096 Jan 17 12:40 fonts
-rwsr-xr-x 1 root root 17394 Jan 20  2017 rgb.txt
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Jan 16 19:08 xinit
drwsr-xr-x 2 root root  4096 Feb 29  2020 xkb
cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager
Code:
/usr/sbin/gdm3
 

f33dm3bits

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Can you try the following and share the output.
Code:
sudo systemctl start gdm3
systemctl status gdm3
sudo egrep  "xorg|EE" /var/log/syslog
 

CaseyK9

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Can you try the following and share the output.
Code:
sudo systemctl start gdm3
systemctl status gdm3
sudo egrep  "xorg|EE" /var/log/syslog
systemctl status gdm3
Code:
● gdm.service - GNOME Display Manager
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/gdm.service; static; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Fri 2021-02-19 11:44:00 EST; 5h 17min ago
    Process: 2109 ExecStartPre=/usr/share/gdm/generate-config (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
    Process: 2157 ExecStartPre=/usr/lib/gdm3/gdm-wait-for-drm (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 2187 (gdm3)
      Tasks: 3 (limit: 75871)
     Memory: 6.5M
     CGroup: /system.slice/gdm.service
             └─2187 /usr/sbin/gdm3

Feb 19 11:43:59 awd systemd[1]: Starting GNOME Display Manager...
Feb 19 11:44:00 awd systemd[1]: Started GNOME Display Manager.
Feb 19 11:44:03 awd gdm-launch-environment][2207]: pam_unix(gdm-launch-environment:session): session opened for user gdm by (uid=0)
Feb 19 11:44:05 awd gdm3[2187]: Child process -4023 was already dead.
Feb 19 11:44:05 awd gdm3[2187]: Child process 2207 was already dead.
Feb 19 11:44:05 awd gdm3[2187]: Unable to kill session worker process
Nothing outputted from sudo systemctl start gdm3 or sudo egrep "xorg|EE" /var/log/syslog
 

f33dm3bits

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According to what I can find Ubuntu 20.04 seems to still be using Xorg and not Wayland, guessing your system has been up for a while since it's a server so can you share the output of the following.
Code:
sudo egrep "xorg|EE|WW" /var/log/syslog*
 

CaseyK9

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According to what I can find Ubuntu 20.04 seems to still be using Xorg and not Wayland, guessing your system has been up for a while since it's a server so can you share the output of the following.
Code:
sudo egrep "xorg|EE|WW" /var/log/syslog*
Code:
/var/log/syslog:Feb 20 08:30:02 awd pmlogger_daily[147877]: /usr/lib/pcp/bin/pmlogger_daily: 31: cannot create /tmp/pcp.EEdSwiTk2/lock: Permission denied
/var/log/syslog:Feb 20 08:30:02 awd pmlogger_daily[147877]: /usr/lib/pcp/bin/pmlogger_daily: 139: cannot create /tmp/pcp.EEdSwiTk2/usage: Permission denied
/var/log/syslog:Feb 20 08:30:02 awd pmlogger_daily[147877]: /usr/lib/pcp/bin/pmlogger_daily: 140: cannot create /tmp/pcp.EEdSwiTk2/usage: Permission denied
/var/log/syslog:Feb 20 08:30:02 awd pmlogger_daily[147938]: pmgetopt: cannot open /tmp/pcp.EEdSwiTk2/usage for reading configuration
/var/log/syslog.1:Feb 19 10:15:10 awd smartd[1171]: Device: /dev/sdb [SAT], WDC WD40EZRZ, S/N:WD-WCC, WWN:5-0014ee, FW:80.00A80, 4.00 TB
Binary file /var/log/syslog.1 matches
Binary file /var/log/syslog.2.gz matches
Binary file /var/log/syslog.3.gz matches
Binary file /var/log/syslog.4.gz matches
Binary file /var/log/syslog.6.gz matches
I removed the serial numbers for my drive as that wasn't needed to be shown.
 

f33dm3bits

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Your setup is quite confusing, Xorg seems installed but there is not log history of you using Xorg which makes me think you may be using Wayland. Which installation iso did you download and can you share the output of the following.
Code:
sudo grep -i wayland /var/log/syslog*
And before when it still was working when you selected your user which session did you select on the bottom right? Ubuntu or Ubuntu on Wayland or another?
 

CaseyK9

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Your setup is quite confusing, Xorg seems installed but there is not log history of you using Xorg which makes me think you may be using Wayland. Which installation iso did you download and can you share the output of the following.
Code:
sudo grep -i wayland /var/log/syslog*
And before when it still was working when you selected your user which session did you select on the bottom right? Ubuntu or Ubuntu on Wayland or another?
sudo grep -i wayland /var/log/syslog*
Code:
Binary file /var/log/syslog.1 matches
I used Ubuntu Server 20.04 download from Ubuntu's official download. For session, I selected Ubuntu Server. My installation is only a command line-based installation, it doesn't have a desktop environment.
 

f33dm3bits

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Thanks! That explains a lot, lately I have been replying tot posts with people who have graphical environments and for some reason I missed that part in your first post and I automatically thought you were having problems with a graphical environment as well. So the problem is that normally where you see a terminal screen with a login your are just seeing a blinking cursor, when you switch to a virtual console using ctrl+alt+f2-f9 you do get the login screen you expect?
 

CaseyK9

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Thanks! That explains a lot, lately I have been replying tot posts with people who have graphical environments and for some reason I missed that part in your first post and I automatically thought you were having problems with a graphical environment as well. So the problem is that normally where you see a terminal screen with a login your are just seeing a blinking cursor, when you switch to a virtual console using ctrl+alt+f2-f9 you do get the login screen you expect?
Yep. I'd like to fix it so that it uses the correct virtual console.
 

f33dm3bits

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From what you have explained so and from what I have seen, I am getting the idea xorg/wayland and gdm3 and maybe some other graphical packages have been installed. So what we are going to do is remove those since you said you never installed a graphical environment, can you create a new file with the name pkgs.txt with the following packages.
Code:
kwayland-data
kwayland-integration:amd64
libkf5waylandclient5:amd64
libqt5waylandclient5:amd64
libqt5waylandcompositor5:amd64
libva-wayland2:amd64
libwayland-bin
libwayland-client0:amd64
libwayland-cursor0:amd64
libwayland-dev:amd64
libwayland-egl1:amd64
libwayland-server0:amd64
qtwayland5:amd64
wayland-protocols
xorg-sgml-doctools
xserver-xorg
xserver-xorg-core
xserver-xorg-input-all
xserver-xorg-input-libinput
xserver-xorg-input-wacom
xserver-xorg-legacy
xserver-xorg-video-ati
xserver-xorg-video-fbdev
xserver-xorg-video-intel
xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
xserver-xorg-video-qxl
xserver-xorg-video-radeon
xserver-xorg-video-vesa
xserver-xorg-video-vmware
xwayland
gdm3
From the location where you created pkgs.txt run the following.
Code:
sudo apt remove $(cat pkgs.txt) -y
Then do the following and share the output of these last two commands.
Code:
sudo systemctl set-default multi-user.target
systemctl get-default
Reboot your system and I think you shouldn't be getting the screen with the blinking cursor anymore.
 
Last edited:

CaseyK9

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Yes, I am having the issue when I use virtual console 1.

Code:
ii  gdm3                                          3.36.3-0ubuntu0.20.04.3                                            amd64        GNOME Display Manager
ii  gir1.2-gdm-1.0:amd64                          3.36.3-0ubuntu0.20.04.3                                            amd64        GObject introspection data for the GNOME Display Manager
ii  kwayland-data                                 4:5.68.0-0ubuntu1                                                  all          Qt library wrapper for Wayland libraries - data files
ii  kwayland-integration:amd64                    4:5.18.4.1-0ubuntu1                                                amd64        kwayland runtime integration plugins
ii  libgdm1                                       3.36.3-0ubuntu0.20.04.3                                            amd64        GNOME Display Manager (shared library)
ii  libkf5waylandclient5:amd64                    4:5.68.0-0ubuntu1                                                  amd64        Qt library wrapper for Wayland libraries
ii  libqt5waylandclient5:amd64                    5.12.8-0ubuntu1                                                    amd64        QtWayland client library
ii  libqt5waylandcompositor5:amd64                5.12.8-0ubuntu1                                                    amd64        QtWayland compositor library
ii  libva-wayland2:amd64                          2.7.0-2                                                            amd64        Video Acceleration (VA) API for Linux -- Wayland runtime
ii  libwayland-bin                                1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - binary utilities
ii  libwayland-client0:amd64                      1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - client library
ii  libwayland-cursor0:amd64                      1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - cursor library
ii  libwayland-dev:amd64                          1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - development files
ii  libwayland-egl1:amd64                         1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - EGL library
ii  libwayland-server0:amd64                      1.18.0-1                                                           amd64        wayland compositor infrastructure - server library
ii  qtwayland5:amd64                              5.12.8-0ubuntu1                                                    amd64        QtWayland platform plugin
ii  wayland-protocols                             1.20-1                                                             all          wayland compositor protocols
ii  xorg-sgml-doctools                            1:1.11-1                                                           all          Common tools for building X.Org SGML documentation
ii  xserver-xorg                                  1:7.7+19ubuntu14                                                   amd64        X.Org X server
ii  xserver-xorg-core                             2:1.20.9-2ubuntu1.2~20.04.1                                        amd64        Xorg X server - core server
ii  xserver-xorg-input-all                        1:7.7+19ubuntu14                                                   amd64        X.Org X server -- input driver metapackage
ii  xserver-xorg-input-libinput                   0.29.0-1                                                           amd64        X.Org X server -- libinput input driver
ii  xserver-xorg-input-wacom                      1:0.39.0-0ubuntu1                                                  amd64        X.Org X server -- Wacom input driver
ii  xserver-xorg-legacy                           2:1.20.9-2ubuntu1.2~20.04.1                                        amd64        setuid root Xorg server wrapper
ii  xserver-xorg-video-ati                        1:19.1.0-1                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI display driver wrapper
ii  xserver-xorg-video-fbdev                      1:0.5.0-1ubuntu1                                                   amd64        X.Org X server -- fbdev display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-intel                      2:2.99.917+git20200226-1                                           amd64        X.Org X server -- Intel i8xx, i9xx display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-nouveau                    1:1.0.16-1                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- Nouveau display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-qxl                        0.1.5+git20200331-1                                                amd64        X.Org X server -- QXL display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-radeon                     1:19.1.0-1                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- AMD/ATI Radeon display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-vesa                       1:2.4.0-2                                                          amd64        X.Org X server -- VESA display driver
ii  xserver-xorg-video-vmware                     1:13.3.0-3                                                         amd64        X.Org X server -- VMware display driver
ii  xwayland                                      2:1.20.9-2ubuntu1.2~20.04.1                                        amd64        Xwayland X server
 

CaseyK9

New Member
Credits
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From what you have explained so and from what I have seen, I am getting the idea xorg/wayland and gdm3 and maybe some other graphical packages have been installed. So what we are going to do is remove those since you said you never installed a graphical environment, can you create a new file with the name pkgs.txt with the following packages.
Code:
kwayland-data
kwayland-integration:amd64
libkf5waylandclient5:amd64
libqt5waylandclient5:amd64
libqt5waylandcompositor5:amd64
libva-wayland2:amd64
libwayland-bin
libwayland-client0:amd64
libwayland-cursor0:amd64
libwayland-dev:amd64
libwayland-egl1:amd64
libwayland-server0:amd64
qtwayland5:amd64
wayland-protocols
xorg-sgml-doctools
xserver-xorg
xserver-xorg-core
xserver-xorg-input-all
xserver-xorg-input-libinput
xserver-xorg-input-wacom
xserver-xorg-legacy
xserver-xorg-video-ati
xserver-xorg-video-fbdev
xserver-xorg-video-intel
xserver-xorg-video-nouveau
xserver-xorg-video-qxl
xserver-xorg-video-radeon
xserver-xorg-video-vesa
xserver-xorg-video-vmware
xwayland
gdm3
From the location where you created pkgs.txt run the following.
Code:
sudo apt remove $(cate pkgs.txt) -y
Then do the following and share the output of these last two commands.
Code:
sudo systemctl set-default multi-user.target
systemctl get-default
Reboot your system and I think you shouldn't be getting the screen with the blinking cursor anymore.
Virtual console #2 still works. It's only #1 that's broken.
 
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