Ubuntu Won't Launch After Installation – 3 Solutions – Troubleshooting

Your Ubuntu does not launch after installation? I propose at least 3 Solutions to solve your problem which comes from my experience.

You have heard of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and you are trying to install it in your machine.

The problem is that more than one (myself included) have noticed that linux does not always launch after installation and sometimes encounters problems during the process.

For this troubleshooting, here are 3 ways to fix it.

Ubuntu does not launch after installation – Solution 1

The first solution is to Disable “secure boot” mode on your machine . Your ubuntu distribution may work fine during testing. The problem occurs after the complete and permanent installation in your hard drive.

What happens is that a black screen is displayed when launching without anything showing.

From experience, this has already happened to me on my ASUS ROG GL552VX machine.

The solution that worked was disabling "secure boot" mode in the BIOS.

In my case we found it by following this path security -> secure boot menu .

The Bios being different according to the machines, yours could be elsewhere.

Image showing my Bios with the page where the "secure boot" option is located

What is the “secure boot” mode for?

You would tell me what is “secure boot” for apart from preventing us from installing what we want?

This BIOS option, which is often enabled by default, ensures that only software officially approved by manufacturers can run on your machine.

One of the advantages is being able to prevent viruses and malware even unknown antiviruses to launch into your computers.

Normally you have nothing to fear if you are under linux.

When to use it?

This type of problem often happens after installing a linux distribution. This BIOS setup is enough to fix your little problem.

Very often before installing a distribution, it is tested by booting it from a USB key or other memory medium.

In some machines like mine, live booting from a USB stick fails to boot linux in live mode.

Our ASUS ROG had exactly the same problem.

This leads to the second solution.

Here is how we proceeded to solve this problem during the installation of ubuntu (version 16.04 LTS at the time).

Ubuntu does not launch after installation – Solution 2

The second solution is to add “nomodeset” in the ubuntu boot configuration file.

Sometimes, when you boot a usb key in order to start linux from it, the distribution does not start.

There are 3 causes that can be deduced from this behavior. The ISO file of the distribution is badly downloaded (less plausible), the key is badly booted (more plausible) and the kernel launch option is not appropriate (less obvious).

The first two causes of the problem are easy to check, unlike the last.

To configure the boot option of your linux you must:

Ubuntu Won't Launch After Installation - 3 Solutions - Troubleshooting

  • At the boot menu similar to the image above hit the “e” key.

  • In the displayed terminal, add “nomodeset” at the end of the linux line. Usually it is in the form linux / boot / vmilnuz- root = UUID =… quiet splash… 

  • After modification, the line should look like this linux / boot / vmilnuz- root = UUID =… quiet splash nomodeset…

  • type f10 or ctrl-x to launch your linux distribution with this configuration.

This is what I used to try Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on ASUS ROG GL552VX. 

This trick may work for linux distros like Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (tested distro).

When to use it?

This option is often required for machines with NVidia cards. We also use this trick when we can't launch a linux distribution from a usb key or other bootable medium.

Normally after trying the distro, you can easily install it and start it without problems.

If ever when starting linux you do not find anything displayed, check if solution 1 (disable “secure boot” mode ) is well executed.

If this is the case, it would therefore be time to move on to the next solution, which is a variant of the current solution.

Install graphics card drivers

At startup, arrived at the boot menu, instead of directly launching Ubuntu or your favorite linux system, you must apply the previous solution by adding the instruction “nomodeset” when launching the linux kernel.

Your system should start normally.

Ubuntu Won't Launch After Installation - 3 Solutions - Troubleshooting

If ubuntu or your linux distribution is running, that's a good sign. At this level two choices will be presented to you to solve the problem definitively. The first which is the one we recommend: install the drivers for your Video card.

To understand the reason see the section “Why does this solution work?” towards the end of the article.

After installing drivers, you will only have to restart your linux normally.

If the problem persists despite installing the driver for your graphics card, repeat the procedure for adding the “nomodeset” at system startup. 

From the desktop, the second solution would be to add yet the instruction “Nomodeset”. This time the instruction will be executed automatically each time the kernel is started. Which brings us to solution 3.

Ubuntu does not launch after installation – Solution 3

The third and last solution will allow us to add “nomodeset” permanently. 

You have certainly noticed that your configuration resets every time you restart the machine.

To prevent this from happening, the “nomodeset” instruction must be added permanently and once and for all.

Here is how we actually go about it.

  • Open the terminal and type “sudo gedit / etc / default / grub”

  • Enter your password

  • Move your cursor to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT = ”quiet splash”

Ubuntu Won't Launch After Installation - 3 Solutions - Troubleshooting

  • Add the nomodeset line at the end of " quiet splash " like this : GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT = ”quiet splash nomodeset”

  • Save and close the window

  • In the terminal type " sudo update-grub2»And validate with the Enter key

When you are done you can now shut down and restart your linux OS normally.

 Why does this solution work?

With older linux kernels the GUI configuration was in the video card drivers used by the X server.

The latter is responsible for the operation of the graphical interface of any linux distribution. Today, GUI configurations are programmed directly into the Linux kernel.

The latter can directly configure the X server without going through the drivers during system startup.

This allows distros to display a high definition splash screen and seamlessly transition to the login screen.

Which was not possible in the past.

Unfortunately, some graphics cards do not support the new linux kernel, especially in live mode.

This explains the reason why live booting does not launch linux with the default configurations.

What we did to solve this solution, is tell the linux kernel not to load the video drivers and instead use BIOS mode until the X server is loaded.

This is what the instruction” nomodeset ” lets accomplish.

Of course it is only temporary until it is added to the bootloader configuration file called GRUB. Then we apply the update with the instruction “ sudo update-grub2".

This is what we applied in this solution section.

Personal note

Our machine, the ASUS ROG GL552VX also has an NVIDIA video card.

To successfully install ubuntu 16.04 LTS at the time, we used solutions 2 -> 1 -> 2.5 respectively. 

Since then, the only update we apply is that of the linux kernels.

It's unclear how things will be with newer linux distributions. However, we believe that the solutions in this troubleshooting article may be useful.




Ubuntu Won't Launch After Installation - 3 Solutions - Troubleshooting

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