RC1 installer aborts: X fails to start

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Steven Collins

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Jul 25, 2012, 12:43:14 PM7/25/12
to qubes...@googlegroups.com
I can't get very far with the RC1 installer because every time, X
fails to start and anaconda aborts. My hardware is a Dell Latitude
E6520 with an i7-2760QM CPU and nVidia NVS 4200M discrete graphics.
Optimus is disabled in the BIOS (so the OS sees only the nVidia GPU
and not the integrated graphics), and this problem didn't occur with
the Beta 3 installer (or Beta 3 installed, or a previous installation
of bare-metal Debian).

I'm not in front of the machine right now but the errors in the X log
are always of the form

(WW) System lacks support for changing MTRRs
(EE) VESA(0): V_BIOS address [something] out of range

(The GPU is too new for nouveau to handle it, so it ends up using VESA
regardless of the install option chosen.)

The [something] seems to be a different non-zero hex number every time.

I tried pretty much every permutation of starting the installer: the
regular install and the "basic video driver" install, with and without
nopat, with and without various mtrr-related hypervisor and kernel
command-line parameters. One thing I haven't had a chance to try yet:
booting Xen with ACPI off seemed promising (without it, the installer
always hangs after it fails, I hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete, and it says
"Restarting system"; with "acpi=0", it actually restarted), but I was
trying the install from USB, and passing acpi=off to the kernel seemed
to render it unable to find its own USB drive after initial boot. So
next step is to try installing from DVD with acpi=off, unless someone
else has a better idea.

Speaking of DVD, I tried to re-download the ISO several times
yesterday evening (central USA time) but the signature would no longer
verify.

I realize that nVidia is known to be problematic (and the Optimus
configuration, even if "disabled", is probably not helping things),
but it's what I have to work with at the moment, and I thought you'd
appreciate the report.

Regards,
Steven Collins

Joanna Rutkowska

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Jul 25, 2012, 1:38:16 PM7/25/12
to qubes...@googlegroups.com, Steven Collins
On 07/25/12 18:43, Steven Collins wrote:
> Speaking of DVD, I tried to re-download the ISO several times
> yesterday evening (central USA time) but the signature would no longer
> verify.
It might mean one of the several things:

1) Somebody is doing a MitM attack on your and is serving you a wrong
ISO, or...

2) somebody compromised our web server and is serving a wrong ISO to
select/random clients, or...

3) you have some buggy downloading software, or...

4) you don't know how to verify gpg signature correctly (or your gpg
software is buggy/malformed, etc).

In any case, the signature should be ok, and it is not, you should not
proceed with the installation.

joanna.

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Steven Collins

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Jul 25, 2012, 2:06:49 PM7/25/12
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Of course. I suspect it is some variant of 3), but just wanted to
mention it in case I'm wrong. The USB key I have been trying to
install from is from an ISO which did verify, but my web browser
inadvertently overwrote the original ISO file (adding credence to the
theory of 3) ... )

Steven Collins

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Jul 25, 2012, 9:50:34 PM7/25/12
to qubes...@googlegroups.com
Problem solved. I've learned more about nVidia's Optimus technology in
the last day than I ever wanted to know. The solution, somewhat
ironically, is to ENABLE Optimus in the BIOS, even though the help
text there says only to do so when running Windows. When it's enabled,
the OS sees the Intel integrated graphics as the primary graphics
card, which is fine by me and probably preferable for Qubes. The ACPI
thing was a red herring (a separate and known problem, with a separate
and known solution).

The install went fine and I am indeed writing this very email from my
newly installed Qubes RC1 system. Thanks for all your hard work!

In summary, for the HCL:

Dell Latitude E6520 with i7-2760QM CPU. VT-d works fine (has to be
enabled in BIOS). If you have nVidia graphics you may need to enable
Optimus in BIOS also, even though help text says not to for
non-Windows OSes. (Note that this essentially DISABLES the nVidia GPU
for dom0.)

Marek Marczykowski

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Jul 26, 2012, 10:06:49 PM7/26/12
to qubes...@googlegroups.com, Steven Collins
On 26.07.2012 03:50, Steven Collins wrote:
> Problem solved. I've learned more about nVidia's Optimus technology in
> the last day than I ever wanted to know. The solution, somewhat
> ironically, is to ENABLE Optimus in the BIOS, even though the help
> text there says only to do so when running Windows. When it's enabled,
> the OS sees the Intel integrated graphics as the primary graphics
> card, which is fine by me and probably preferable for Qubes. The ACPI
> thing was a red herring (a separate and known problem, with a separate
> and known solution).
>
> The install went fine and I am indeed writing this very email from my
> newly installed Qubes RC1 system. Thanks for all your hard work!

Good to hear it!

> In summary, for the HCL:
>
> Dell Latitude E6520 with i7-2760QM CPU. VT-d works fine (has to be
> enabled in BIOS). If you have nVidia graphics you may need to enable
> Optimus in BIOS also, even though help text says not to for
> non-Windows OSes. (Note that this essentially DISABLES the nVidia GPU
> for dom0.)

Thanks!
--
Best Regards / Pozdrawiam,
Marek Marczykowski
Invisible Things Lab



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ubay...@gmail.com

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Nov 12, 2018, 2:45:08 PM11/12/18
to qubes-devel
This didn't fix it for me. I had Optimus on the whole time, still got a black screen after a couple of seconds of text from Xen.

awokd

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Nov 22, 2018, 11:59:09 AM11/22/18
to qubes...@googlegroups.com
ubay...@gmail.com wrote on 11/12/18 3:48 PM:
> On Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 9:50:34 PM UTC-4, Steven Collins wrote:

>> Dell Latitude E6520 with i7-2760QM CPU. VT-d works fine (has to be
>> enabled in BIOS). If you have nVidia graphics you may need to enable
>> Optimus in BIOS also, even though help text says not to for
>> non-Windows OSes. (Note that this essentially DISABLES the nVidia GPU
>> for dom0.)

> This didn't fix it for me. I had Optimus on the whole time, still got a black screen after a couple of seconds of text from Xen.
>

You might need to
https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/nvidia-troubleshooting/#disabling-nouveau.
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