klenwell information services : Pastebin20120219

Draft of Response to AskUbuntu Question

Question: http://askubuntu.com/questions/105651/

(Won't allow me to post response for 8 hours)

The main obstacle to loading Ubuntu 11.10 on the g7 is the video card. There is not a driver for the Intel video card. More information on the issue can be found here:


NOTE: I was informed on the Ubuntu IRC channel that this issue may not exist in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. So if you'd prefer an install that just works, you might try installing that version.

If you simply run the install CD for 11.10, you may end up with a dark screen that is virtually unreadable. To workaround this, these are the steps I followed:

#Part I: Installation#

1. Download Ubuntu 11.10 64-bit version and burn to a CD. If you're familiar with IRC and have a second computer, I'd also recommend logging into the Ubuntu IRC channel in the event unexpected difficulties arise. It helped me.
3. With the Install CD in the DVD player, restart the machine. Hit F9 to change the boot order and boot from CD
4. When the CD boots, a purple screen with a keyboard logo at the bottom will appear. Hit any key to get to the install menu
5. Hit F6, down-arrow to the nomodeset option and hit spacebar. An x will appear next to it indicating you have selected it.
6. Select Install Ubuntu from the main menu and proceed with install. This took me about 30 minutes and went .

#Part II: Reboot#
Once the installation is complete, you will be prompted to reboot your system. The nomodeset flag will not be set in your new install. You must interrupt the reboot to edit the bootloader and then, once the restart is complete, update the bootloader config file to avoid the dark screen issue. The changes are pretty simple. Follow these steps:

1. As soon as the system boots, hold down the SHIFT key to get to the grub (boot) menu.
3. Select default Ubuntu kernel at top and press E to edit the boot config file
4. On the line near the bottom that begins "linux /boot" and includes "quiet splash", add at the end nomodeset
5. Press ctrl-x to proceed

See the link here for screenshots: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1613132 (I followed those directions but I've tried to clarify a couple points here that were frustratingly ambiguous when I first tried to follow them.)

#Part III: Update Grub Config File#

1. Once you're logged in, open a terminal
3. Make a backup of the grub file you'll be editing: `sudo cp -v /etc/default/grub{,.bak}`
4. Edit the grub file: `sudo gedit /etc/default/grub`
5. Change the line: `GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash"` to `GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet splash nomodeset"`
6. Save and close file
7. Apply changes by running command: `sudo update-grub`

Again screenshots are available here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1613132

Now restart your system. It should restart without issue. If you end up on a very faintly lit dark screen, do a hard reboot and follow the steps in Part II. Then double-check the steps in Part III and follow them again. (I forget to run `sudo update-grub` the first time.)

Since making these changes, I haven't noticed any screen issues or deterioration in the quality of my display. The only side-effect, as far as I can tell, is that when you choose Displays in the System Settings menu, it will say "Unknown" and all options will be grayed out.

Hopefully a driver will show up soon. More information on that topic can be found here:


If you know of a better solution to this issue, please share it. (The one recommended in the link above -- using the ATI driver -- was strongly discouraged on the Ubuntu IRC channel.)
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