Dark screen after login

Hi all, :wave:

I have a question regarding a certain problem a friend of mine ran into lately.

She uses an HP laptop running Linux Lite 6.4 as a sole OS. So no fancy setup at all.

The day before yesterday it still booted alright and she could use the login screen to enter her credentials.
As of yesterday after this procedure, however, there was just a black screen with nothing on it. “CTRL+Alt+F3” didn´t work either. :frowning_face:

I spoke to her on the phone today and it seems there was an update the day before.

Well, in the end she could could get it working again by using an older kernel.
Version 5.15.0.-84 didn´t produce the black screen.

I guess that´s just some sort of workaround for the time being and there seem to be a few points to consider: :thinking:

  • We suppose upgrading to a newer kernel introduced the problem described. Does this seem to be correct?

  • What might the underlying problem be? Login-manager? Something else?

  • While using the older kernel 5.15.0.-84 should she apply any upgrades?

  • Is it likely the problem will be fixed with upgrades to come?

  • How should she proceed for the time being/in the near future?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help

Many greetings from Rosika. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Rosika,
We have to resolve this question first… then what to do will be obvious.

All that the login manager does is accept your password and start X11 or the DE. If the password part fails it usually brings up the login screen again. You got blank. Therefore I think maybe X11or DE is not starting.

  • the video drivers in the new kernel are missing or wrong
  • the new kernel is not talking to X11 properly
  • some mixup with X11 and Wayland
  • other

I am sure you can sort it out
Start by disabling the login manager so you can see what is going on.
Look at dmesg
lshw -c display



Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks a lot for your help.

O.K., running these commands may provide some valuable information.

But the system has to be running and a graphical DE has to be present in order to run these commands in a terminal.

As my friend couldn´t log into a virtual console when using the newer kernel she´d have to execute the commands in the OS running the older kernel. And here she got no problems… :thinking: .

Another general question, if I may ask:

Suppose she´s using her system with the older kernel for a while.
What about systerm updates in this case :question:

Should she apply the updates?
If at some point in the future a newer kernel will be released and if this kernel fixes the problem introduced by the present one…

… will sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade install it then?

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Rosika,
I’m not familiar with Linux Lite, but let me ask you a question just out of curiosity: doesn’t Linux Lite have virtual consoles?


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No. You an use recovery mode and get a console login… like before, remember.


Hi Jorge, :wave:

thank you for your reply.

Yes, it does, as it´s based on ubuntu.
She can log in but gets just a black screen, and:

… for some reason.
That´s what she told me on the phone. I myself couldn´t verify it, of course. :blush:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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You can nearly always leave an older kernel, and just apply updates to packages. People with Gentoo do that all the time.
If your friend does updates of packages, she would probably not know how to avoid a kernel update, if one came along.
hanging onto the old kernel may be difficult
You need to solve the issue with the new kernel


Yes, that will work.
You will need to know when it is available, or you will get the faulty kernel again.


Hmm, according to her description when selecting recovery mode she gets this:


Where would the console login be :question:

Right. And in the end she might need a newer kernel version (with the fix) after all.

Thanks, Neville. That´s what I wanted to know.

Well, due to the fact that she lives far away from me I can help her just by telephone (and anydesk, if she has a graphical DE).
Not an easy situation, it seems… :thinking:.

Thanks a lot for your help, Neville.

Many greetings from Rosika . :slightly_smiling_face:

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Under grub, then choose recovery mode.

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Isn’t there an option on boot time to select the former kernel? This would address a faulty kernel upgrade.

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Yes, in the grub menu, in Recovery or Advanced mode, it will list all the available kernels.


Ah, I see. Thanks, Neville.
I didn´t know that. :blush:

Yes, I know of advanced mode. This way she could get the older kernel to work.
I didn´t know one could choose different kernels in recovery mode though.

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


@abu :

Hi Alfred, :wave:

I´m so sorry. I completely forgot to reply to your comment. :bowing_man:

My friend contacted me only yesterday askíng whether there was something new regarding her problem.
So I looked up the thread and noticed my mishap. Sorry again.

Yes. We could get her laptop going by selecting the older kernel this way.
It´s 5.15.0.-84.

In the meantime there´s available.
Yet she claims that the latest one would still introduce the problem. :frowning_face:

Thank you very much.

Cheers from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face: