[Lubuntu] Some PC's or LTSP clients stall during boot at a blank, black screen

John Hupp lubuntu at prpcompany.com
Fri Dec 7 22:53:48 UTC 2012

An expanded list of what works and doesn't work for me (not 
double-tested, and where not specified I'm listing chips rather than 
card mfr/model):

- PCI Matrox Millennium II MGA 2164W (PCI card)
- Intel 82810E (integrated)
- An ATI-based AGP card sold as a MIC E-G012-02-1214(B)
- ATI Rage 128 Pro (AGP card)
- ATI Rage 128 (AGP card)
- HP VectaVL PCw/ integrated video, probably either:
         Matrox G250 2X AGP
         Matrox Millennium G400 4X AGP

Partially Worked (got past the blank, black screen but then failed somehow):
- Diamond STL III S540 XTRM32M 82 (AGP card)
- Diamond Spdstr A50 with SiS 6326AGP chip (AGP card)

- Trident 3DImage 9850 (AGP card)
- S3 Trio64V+ (PCI card)
- Diamond Viper with Power Weitek 9000/9001 and Oak Technology T9351 
chips (PCI card)
- ATI Mach64 (PCI card)
- eMachines eTower 500i w/ integrated video, probably:
     ATI Rage Pro Turbo 2X AGP

On 12/7/2012 2:18 PM, John Hupp wrote:
> To give my supposition a bit more weight, I removed the discrete video 
> card from a working Lubuntu 12.10 machine and installed it in the 
> machine that fails both as a client and a standalone-with-Live-CD.  It 
> then successfully booted the Live CD.
> The card that worked was an old PCI Matrox Millennium II MGA 2164W.
> The card that failed was a slightly newer AGP card with a Trident 
> 3DImage 9850 chip.
> On 12/7/2012 11:32 AM, John Hupp wrote:
>> Read on about Lubuntu 12.10 after this intro: I have been 
>> troubleshooting a behavior in which many LTSP clients on my Lubuntu 
>> 12.10 LTSP server fail to boot. They stall after the Lubuntu splash 
>> screen at a blank, black screen.
>> But one of the PC's that fails to boot as an LTSP client also * has 
>> enough resources to boot the Lubuntu 12.10 Live CD*, so I tried that, 
>> and I found that it fails to boot with the same stalled blank, black 
>> screen after the Lubuntu splash screen.  I left it like that for ~ 15 
>> minutes to check for an 8-minute stall (which another user reported 
>> elsewhere), and it didn't budge.
>> Since Valerio P is troubleshooting (below) what seems like the same 
>> behavior with LTSP clients on Edu/Ubuntu 12.04 servers, and since I 
>> show the same behavior also on a Lubuntu 12.10 Live CD, I now wonder 
>> if this is a *buntu 12.04/12.10 problem related to certain chipsets 
>> or video chips.  Complicating that observation somewhat, I note this 
>> machine I just ran the Live CD on had run both Lubuntu and Ubuntu 
>> 12.04 without such a behavior.
>> On 12/4/2012 4:16 PM, John Hupp wrote:
>> > Valerio Pachera on the Edubuntu list has been troubleshooting what 
>> seems like the very same problem.  His thread came apart somehow but 
>> you can see all the posts here: 
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/edubuntu-users/2012-December/thread.html
>> >
>> > He got his clients working *most* of the time by disabling NBD 
>> compression.  (Undoubtedly performance has taken a hit.)  He refers 
>> to documentation of a previous problem with NBD compression on fat 
>> clients which presumably was solved, but now gives the appearance of 
>> having returned.  See 
>> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UbuntuLTSP/FatClients#Reenabling_NBD_compression.  
>> However, one LTSP gurureplied that it was likely that NBD compression 
>> was not the cause of the problem, but was merely allow the real cause 
>> to manifest this behavior.
>> >
>> > I checked out the NBD compression issue nonetheless.  On my server, 
>> there was no /etc/ltsp/ltsp-update-image.conf file, but I created 
>> one, added the NO_COMP line, and updated the image. This did not 
>> solve the problem with any clients I tested. Though our respective 
>> setups are different on a number of points, detailed pretty well 
>> here: 
>> https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/edubuntu-users/2012-December/007206.html

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