Ubuntu 10.04 (lucid Lynx) and intel video chipsets

I have followed the evolution of ubuntu lucid on intel chipsets, since january, using many displays , some different intel chipsets (i915GM,GM45,965)  , vertical usage 19 inches displays (TFT mainly).

but unfortunately, although some people  messages in the launchpad , the actual ubuntu lucid distro will not permit  efficient usage.

screen compatibility problems:

If you have not a recent display, you may face some problems before being able using your display because of problems retrieveing the EDID of your displays. You may need usage of IgnoreEDID option in xorg.conf. And may be use another recent display ...


Most of you will have problems with this infamous plymouth graphic login, difficult  disabling it.

some workarounds needed to make it running (if you can remove the grub splash option)

although you manage to disable  it, some message appear on the console with SIGSEGV message from plymouth .

and if you are very unlucky,  you have not setted up the FSCKFIX option to yes, in /etc/default/rcS, you may have a maintenance login prompt you will never see.

if disk's fsck  is running , you will wait for minutes  in front of a black screen. (I believe it is possible cancelling it with ESC or shift C key)

note:by default the intelfb module is blacklisted  in lucid.

removing plymouth is quite easy : rename all plymouth- *conf files in /etc/init to disable them. You will only sea a warning message,  this will not affect your filesystem fsck .

Drm  ,glx, 3D

I have tried 3D using a real OpenGL application, that loads 3D cad files, in which you can zoom, rotate the model , and animation of the model.The same application, can be compiled for win32 or linux platform and has worked everywhere.

this OpenGL application uses  the following OpenGL features : display lists, Offline and online rendering, 2D text rendering  and glx. No textures . Let's say a basic application, but a big 3D model.

But I think benchmarking with some famous Opengl games, would be useful too.

The problems encountered :

Unstability of the 3D OpenGL canvas, random crashes of the 3D view.

Difficulties to enable direct rendering. Check it with glxinfo,  depending on your processor performance, you may have enough processor power to do soft rendering...

You will not manage to activate direct rendering unless you set up correctly your xorg.conf and allow only one output using the Monitor sections (checked on machines providing lvds,vga hdmi outputs).

eg xorg.conf :

Section "Device"
Identifier "Intel 945G "
Driver "intel"
Option "monitor-VGA" "foo"
Option "monitor-LVDS" "bar"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "bar"
Option "Ignore" "true"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "foo"
Option "Enable" "true"

Unfortunately , to be delivered in production , the following need to be done with intel drivers :

use of xorg intel drivers 2.10 or 2.11 KMS enabled

libdrm   2.4.20

this seems to be done in maverick , next evolution of lucid, you can try switching to it.

I did it on my systems.

VT switching.

Although you are thinking you have a nice display running perfectly, it is not!!!

switching from X to vt100 frequently, you will randomly crash xorg and be logged out until gdm login appears ....

These problems are now solved and to solve it, the best way is to setup  a fresh kernel 2.34 with KMS enabled in your distro .In this case, you will need to unblacklist the intelfb module.


You can make it running, ... but NOT with a fresh ubuntu lucid...sorry if some people found some technical terms they may not understand, or for my bad english ...

The only chipset I  have  not had many problems is 965 (only problems with EDID)

feel free sending me your /var/log/Xorg.0.log file and /etc/X11/xorg.conf if you have problems

The solution is first at switching to maverick, that will improve in many casas  and removing plymouth

Stéphane Ancelot

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29 Responses

  1. Fr33d0m says:

    I’ve read of ATI and NVIDIA having problems with Plymouth, so the question is what runs well with it?

    Not that I’m having any real noticeable trouble with my Intel GM965.

  2. Noel Nuguid says:

    If this is true. this quite sad considering Lucid is an LTS release.

  3. drewsus says:

    I have had no problems recently with my intel chipset on my Acer Aspire One netbook. I have two old external VGAs and have used it on two brand new ones as well. I wrote lots of scripts with xrandr to toggle this and that one and off and change displays and orientations. Very rarely do I have problems and I haven’t used an xorg.conf file since Jaunty.

  4. Dels says:

    i have some problem with activating 3d acceleration with intel g41 chipset

    use of xorg intel drivers 2.10 or 2.11 KMS enabled
    libdrm 2.4.20

    can i get those package offline (deb)? i have slow internet connection at home

  5. Joe of Loath says:

    I have a GM4500HD and no problems here. Compiz runs fine too.

    Although with the quality of spelling and grammar in this posts I had a hard time finding out what problems other people had…

  6. Ade says:

    I am unable to install any variant of lucid onto my Toshiba Satellite A50 because of this problem, get’s so far into booting the live cd and crashes into a black screen. I did try a fix suggested in the forums which allowed me to install, but then grub seemed to be screwed as well and just gave me a grub recovery terminal when the system was re-booted. The system dual boots with XP, so this was a problem.

    I had to go back to a 9.10 install in order to sort it out.

    Yes, a very major overlook to be in an LTS ISO, apparently it was in the alphas, get fixed, but came back for the actual release. Poor effort.

  7. drewsus says:

    [sarcasm]yes Ade, the entire OS that is Ubuntu is a poor effort[/sarcasm]

  8. Ade says:

    I use it on all my computers, it is a great OS. To leave a huge bug on the ISO, which is what I said, is poor!! If you can’t install it, you can’t see how great it is! *rolleyes*

  9. drewsus says:

    Thats fair enough 😉

  10. sbirulinux says:

    I have an “old” Thinkpad R50e (late 2005), and Ubuntu ran fine up to Lucid, which I was unable to fresh-install due to the “black screen of death”, as I heard people calling it. I managed to work around this by going back to a backed up copy of Karmic, and upgrading to Lucid. All went fine until I had to reboot, which ended in the black screen again. I tried a couple of workaround, some of which official (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes), but to no avail. Finally, I had to give up, and stick to Karmic for the time being. And it’s the first time I’m forced to stick with an old version of Ubuntu. And yes, I must say I’m really disappointed, both for it is an LTS for which some users have been left behind, and because I can still run Windows fine on the same hardware, which apparently isn’t good enough for Ubuntu – sadly it should be the other way around. Instead of uselessly moving windows commands around, removing useful things as the system tray, and finding some time to waste on the “windicators”, they should rather fix their OS and free it from serious bugs and regressions, so more people can actually use it “out of the box”, because… “it just DOESN’T work”. I’m sorry I have to say this, because I used to be a real fan of Ubuntu…

  11. ronhof says:

    Same goes for me too..

    Have several R50e Thinkpads running Ubuntu, but really got upset when upgrading the first one. This has to be fixed, we’re lots of people depending on Ubuntu running stable on our Thinkpads…

    The main problem now is with external screens and having the right setup in xorg.conf.

    With no xorg.conf file and with the updated xorg Intel drivers from http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates/ubuntu I’am able to boot and use the laptops LCD, but as soon as I try to connect the external screen, it needs to increase the virtual screen size, creating xorg.conf results in lots of problems…

    I guess I should dive deeper into the xorg.conf file to try solving the problem…

  12. Ade says:

    Ronhof, you may want to try some of the following:


  13. Slacker says:

    I also have a R50e Thinkpad with all the same problems described above. I managed to get it to boot up using Workaround A from the link above, but audio playback skips and the machine crashes if you try to play a video – not good.

    I wonder if this will be fixed or if all of us with Intel chipsets will have to go back to 9.10?

  14. Ignas says:

    I have a HP nx9020 and after doing the Workaround A from the link above the machine crashes if trying to play any video. So the same problem here.

    I think I’ll be going back to lubuntu beta.

  15. lelamal says:

    OK guys, some quick news: I managed to work around the problem, somehow. Although I switched to Kubuntu, I have a Thinkpad R50e with ubuntu on it, and was extremely pissed off because I couldn’t either upgrade to ubuntu lucid, or fresh-install Kubuntu, for the issue affects both system in the same way.

    However, it’s not a proper fix! Basically, this afternoon I set out to solve this issue finally, asked on IRC but none knew how to help. Then I turned to some bug reports on Launchpad, but in a way or another they were all unhelpful. So I decided to get back to the only official documentation on this bug that I knew about: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes. Last month I had already tried Workaround A like many of you, with exactly the same disappointing results. Today, at first, I tried Workaround C (Upgrading), but it didn’t help. Then I tried Workaround D: downgrading, this time. And I must say with relief that 2.6.31 kernel really resolved the issue completely. I had it because I dist-upgraded my system, but I’m sure you can easily get it, if you only have 2.6.32 because you fresh-installed ubuntu – just don’t ask me how, for I never did it =). I just wanted to share it, because I know how frustrating this issue was, and this workaround may give you a completely working environment as long as you keep booting from the 2.6.31 kernel (choose it from GRUB at startup). And yes, video works flawlessly, too! Yay! =) Enjoy!

  16. Ade says:

    Ubuntustatus just posted this on twitter, not sure if it will finally fix this problem, if it does I hope they intend to re-spin the live-CDs as well rather than expect people to work around trying to fix it:

    A new X server is about to be uploaded which requires all the drivers to be rebuilt. Be careful when upgrading in the next few days.


  17. Mahmud says:

    I upgraded to 10.04 on a Compaq Presario V2140 — with some difficulty, but soon discovered that attempting to play music or video files crashed the system. After a lot of fruitless searching I stumbled upon lelamal’s post here and yes! Reverting to the earlier kernel solved my problems. I too can play music and videos now.

  18. lelamal says:

    Choosing the Karmic kernel at GRUB loading remains the safest way to go about it, in my view. However, I was encouraged by Stéphane’s words to upgrade to Maverick. At first I was hesitant, I didn’t intend to upgrade before it went beta or RC. But then his words intrigued me, it could have been the only fix, so since my laptop is just a secondary device I don’t use for production, it wouldn’t matter if I have to cope with some bugs, and decided to give it a try.

    So I firstly added Maverick repository, upgraded only the Intel video drivers to Maverick versions, booted with Lucid default kernel, but was greeted with the annoying black screen following GRUB loading, as before. Secondly, I dist-upgraded to Maverick, sporting kernel 2.6.35-2 (as I’m writing) – which would still be Workaround D, by the way, but in a variant of the Upgrading variant. In fact, instead of upgrading to the _latest mainline kernel_ (as suggested here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes), I’ve upgraded to the latest kernel Ubuntu will use for Maverick.

    Surprise-surprise: it DID solve the issue! Hopefully, I don’t have to use any other workaround – for now, or until something else will break or regress :). Simply boot into Maverick, and use my Thinkpad. Actually, as far as I understood, what works is the new kernel, rather than Maverick itself, so if you’re an advanced user you may want to use the latest mainline kernel, or a custom version of it.

    My opinion remains you SHOULDN’T upgrade your primary machine to an operating system in Alpha stage, unless you know what you’re doing and what the related risks are. If you can cope with the workaround, my personal opinion is to play it safe and have patience!

    All credit goes to Stéphane: a million thanks for this article and your great support!

  19. jyb says:

    They should backport that to Lucid since its an LTS version. If not then too bad for Canonical for not doing it and people will look for a better Linux distro.

  20. Gincotraviano says:

    Just tried on my Thinkpad R50e.

    Ubuntu 10.04 boot in black screen.

    Very dissappointing.

    I don’t know how to fix it.

    Anyway Linux Mint works very well with this system.

  21. sancelot says:

    I don’t know what you tried … However , PLEASE DO NOT USE https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes provided in comments this hack is only useful for release prior to lucid . My solution is only available for users wanting to evolve to lucid.

    Remember linux remains an unix system and in case something goes wrong, unix admin skills are necessary.

    I do not know where you have a black screen : graphics X11 or grub boot ? you may manage to have a console using ctrl alt fx . if not, you can recover your system using a livecd to access your system , but this need unix admin skills

    in your case, I strongly advice you switching to maverick release from the cmd line and remove plymouth

  22. Gincotraviano says:

    sancelot, thank you for your suggestions.

    I just was used to get all working so well so while inserting the 10.04 live CD on my thinkpad I just supposed it will have boot, but nothing happened, I can feel the R50e reading the CD bou nothing more than a black screen is shown.

    I just need a linux distro to install inside windows to test some php scripts with mysql on apache2…

    anyway, also wubi does not start on this notebook…

    Very weird since I tought UBUNTU distro was the more HW compatible and easy to use…

    Ok. No problem, I just need a linux distro installable on Windows and I found one working but I’m very sorry since Ubuntu distro was one of my favourite…

    Unfortunately I’ve read many complaints about the last UBUNTU release and this notebook lenovo/ibm R50e to try to fix it.

    Best regards.

  23. Joe says:

    I have 10.04 on a Thinkpad r50e, and resolved the LCD blank screen issue. I noticed that starting in failsafe graphics mode gave a good display, so I looked at /etc/X11/xorg.conf.failsafe and used it for default by copying to /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
    The contents are:-

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “Configured Video Device”
    Driver “vesa”

    Section “Monitor”
    Identifier “Configured Monitor”

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Default Screen”
    Monitor “Configured Monitor”
    Device “Configured Video Device”

    Hope this helps.

  24. rustiguzzi says:

    I suffered from the flashing white bars on a Dell 2400 Dimension with Ubuntu 10.04, and although it gave me plenty of practice in using the Alt.SysRq keys and the “BUSIER” sequence to reboot, the novelty quickly wore off.

    A fortnight ago I upgraded to 10.10, and since then the problem has completely gone. Three cheers for kernel 2.6.35-22.

  25. rustiguzzi says:

    A belated thought about booting into a black screen . . .

    When running 10.04, I had done workaround ‘A’ in https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Bugs/Lucidi8xxFreezes (restores the blacklisted Kernel Mode Setting) and when upgrading to 10.10 I mistakenly opted to put grub back to normal when the system offered to keep the modified setting. The result was that on first boot I got the black screen – able to log in, but not start X11.

    Got out of it by editing the line
    in /etc/default/grub
    to turn that modeset from a zero to a one, then ran update-grub and rebooted OK. Unfortunately, gedit was not yet available for this little editing job so I used vi, which I don’t recommend to anyone who hasn’t used it before.

    I wonder if there was a more user-friendly editor that could have been invoked.

  26. JohnTVian says:

    I’ve posted my /var/log/Xorg.0.log file and /etc/X11/xorg.conf.seven different varieties. on my blog, just click on my name and you’ll see it. I have a Pavilion a1110n. It runs fine for a while and then crashes out of nowhere. I hope there is an answer somewhere.

  27. JohnTVian says:

    I think I solved my dilemma. in my /etc/X11/Xorg.conf.seven different config files, I had no file that just said Xorg.conf. So I created one with “sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.” I wasn’t sure what to put in it so I followed MARTeck’s advice and copyed the contents of Xorg.conf.failsafe file. I saved the Xorg.conf. file and then ran “sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg” Works like a champ. Thanks for all the information already presented at this sight.

  28. rustiguzzi says:

    My jubilation (above, Nov.1st 2010) was premature. Although that problem went away, it was not the end of the tale of woe on the Dell Dimension 2400. The display freezes, and when that happens, although the mouse pointer can move, nothing else works. Restart is by Alt.SysRq.B. I bought a secondhand Fujitsu-Siemens desktop, which runs Ubuntu 11.04 perfectly, but the Dell (also upgraded) is now poor at displaying video, and the freezes occur more often – typically after 30 mins. Suspecting a hardware problem, I reverted to Windows XP – and behold, it has run perfectly for weeks.

    I would like to use Ubuntu on the Dell, but can’t see how. The Xorg.conf.failsafe file, as far as I can make out, only affects starting a session, and this has never been a problem. Suggestions welcome.

  29. rustiguzzi says:

    One year on . . . some people have found that Ubuntu 10.10 solved this problem, but in my case it didn’t. I hung on for 11.04, but that was even worse. I did what I should have done earlier, and looked for another distro. I’m now using AntiX on the 2400 and it never freezes. I still use Ubuntu on the Fujitsu-Siemens machine, though.

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