Considering great advancements have been made in linux installs, why is it so hard when it goes wrong.

My ubuntu attempt failed miserably, I admit I’m trying to install it on an old old machine, but if it boots into ubuntu, which is full blown linux from CD why does it fail miserably to install.

Were I not familiar with windows and linux and partitions I would have a dead machine by now, had I been a normal user trying this I would be stuck.  Having tried googling problems all I find are forums filled with fanboys slaggin off each others distro.  The level of support I have found in the community for linux is abysmal compared to windows.  At least MS has, ubuntu’s equiv was pitiful.

Now after clearing down the disks and doing a Suse install, which went great until reboot time, I find myself in the same old situation.

I’m confronted with a white screen.  Completely blank. The forums are of no use whatsoever, again.  If I were a normal user then again I have a dead box with nowhere to turn because I didn’t buy this thing.  The linux boys would have you believe that linux is a great alternative for everyone to windows, but it aint, its a long long way from being an end user product.  It’s great for techies like me with a bit of knowledge but not for the rest of the world.

In case your wondering how I fixed the white screen. Here’s how.

Its a window manager problem.  It’s trying to display at a resolution or color depth or sync rate not compatible with your monitor.

First you need to get to a normal Terminal Window, this can be done by pressing ctrl-alt 1 or 2 and will switch from the white screen to a text login.  Login using “root” as the user and the password you gave during the install.

I tried running a program called Sax2 but as the window manager was already running it said could not open device.

So I ran “mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.old”

Then “cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.install /etc/X11/xorg.conf”

Switched back to the window manager screen with Ctrl-Alt-F8 and hit Ctrl-Alt-Backspace twice, this kills the windows manager and restarts it in the nastiest way possible.

But hey presto it worked, it started in a low-res mode.  Then I could use the interface and programs to set it up properly.


If you are thinking of having a go on linux, do it on an old machine so you can at least do stuff whilst the linux machine is dead.  Buy a book complete with Distro, it wil help you no end in trying to fix your problems,  I relied on an old RHat7 book I had to gain the knowledge, its transferable knowledge for most of it. 

Give it a go but tread lightly.