Wednesday, November 21, 2007

OpenSUSE LiveCD results in blank Screen

I have just installed a Nvidia 6200 256MB graphics card in my desktop and suddenly all install/Live CDs have started behaving funny with me.
First I tried Ubuntu 7.10 LiveCD and got a blank screen with the Monitor power light turning "Amber". I then did a hard reboot and this time tried the "Safe graphics Mode" and was able to get a XServer desktop.

However, in OpenSUSE 10.3 KDE Live CD, there is no such option such as "Safe graphics mode". Hence for novice users like me there is no option by which I can boot through this CD and get a graphical desktop. I searched a little and found this workaround.

  1. Select to boot from SUSE LiveCD and enter "3" in the Boot Options. This ensures that "init 3" mode is selected and the Live CD boots in text-only mode; hence, no GUI server is started and we get a login prompt.
  2. Login as "root" with no password.
  3. Run the command "sax2-vesa". This starts the SUSE configuration utility and select the default graphics driver "vesa". Just select the default option, that should work for most hardware. This was will not be able to use the full functionality of my card, but will be able to get a GUI.
  4. Restart the GUI server by entering the command "init 5".
The default OpenSUSE 10.3 KDE desktop starts and I was greeted with this beautiful screen.


The OpenSUSE 10.3 LiveCD contains, for the first time, an icon to install the distribution to the hard disk. The install is as convenient as a Ubuntu install, only difference is that OpenSUSE install offers more flexibility.
Enjoy your OpenSUSE KDE LiveCD.

NOTE: This works well for any video card that is not supported by default by the LiveCD. I have learned from friends that they followed the same trick with their ATI cards and were successful.

22 comments:

warnerchad said...

Thanks! When I tried to boot the openSUSE 10.3 GNOME live CD all I got was a black screen and my cursor was a colored block. This process allowed me to get the live CD running so I could test it out.

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