Enter Safe Graphics Mode In Ubuntu Or Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Live CD

Piotr Krzyzek —  September 12, 2010 — 3 Comments

So you downloaded the handy-dandy Kubuntu Live CD to play around with. YEY! But for some reason it won’t display any graphics on your monitor. You might get: pixelated images, distorted views, a blank screen or even a blinking LCD power button. Oh yey … kinda screwed there because you can’t even get INTO the boot cd in-order to maybe change the video settings or install updated drivers.

Fear not! There is a solution … or two!

Many of you know of the wonderful “F4″ options screen on the boot CD. After you boot to the CD and it asks you for your language selection, and you select whatever … you are presented with several main options like “Try Kubuntu now”, “Install Kubuntu” … blah blah blah.

All those failed to actually work! So here is what you can do. On that screen, simply press the function key: F4. This brings up a alternate boot options menu. You’ll be presented with stuff like:

  • Normal
  • Safe Graphics Mode
  • Use driver update disc
  • OEM Install

Simply select Safe Graphics Mode and *poof* you’ll (most likely) enter the awesome works of linux :).

BUT WAIT! I DON’T SEE A “SAFE GRAPHICS MODE” OPTION! Oh noes!

No problem actually Enter Safe Graphics Mode In Ubuntu Or Kubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Live CD

This (sadly) happens on the x64 versions (at least the ones I have tried). So what to do? Just follow the steps below and you’ll be in Safe graphics mode!

  1. Press F6 to open the other options menu.
  2. This opens this new menu … it’s useless to us. So now close it!
  3. We did this so that the command options show up near the bottom of the screen. Press tab to access these options.
  4. Press space one (to make some space) and enter the following:     –xforcevesa
  5. Press enter to boot

That options forces “safe graphics mode”, which essentially is forcing the graphics drivers to be a software driver. Ie: you’re CPU will do all the heavy lifting.

With that option will you safely be able to try out Kubuntu (or even Ubuntu) Linux! Of course you won’t have the prettiest graphics, but at least it will work!

I got this information from this link, it saved me a huge headache: http://www.overclock.net/linux-unix/732545-how-install-ubuntu-10-04-ati.html

Piotr Krzyzek

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Piotr Krzyzek is one of those rare people who can say he's a consultant, author, entrepreneur and programmer and mean it. His consulting firm, Chykalophia Group, has attracted international startups, Department Of Defense contractors, local mom-and-pop shops and many others from all around the world. He is a bonafide computer nerd with a passion for business, networking and business development.
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  • Safemode VGA= 771 Alternative

    Thanks for the great hint! Your method did not work for Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS installation on my old Dell Latitude C400. I just wanted to share that adding: vga=771 instead of: -xforcevesa in your step #4 did the trick. It triggers an 800×600 VGA display mode, compatible with most monitors.

    In my case, neither vga=771 or -xforcevesa would allow me to run the live disk of Ubuntu 10.10 or even boot to an installation successfully installed from the text based “alternative” Ubuntu installation disk. I can now upgrade easily from 10.04 to 10.10, if I so choose. Thanks for getting me on the right track, and I hope my suggestion can help someone else!