Ubuntu – 17.10 to 18.04 upgrade freezes during boot


I just took a working Gateway P4 desktop computer and upgraded it from 16.04LTS all the way to 17.10 without any problem. As soon as I tried to install 18.04LTS, I had trouble booting.

I've reinstalled in many different ways, with no improvement in the boot problem. The Ubuntu logo appears and the dots flash a few times, then the mouse pointer freezes and the system is totally unresponsive. If I boot with the "quiet splash" removed from the kernel line in grub, I can see that it just stops shortly after starting the first user account 120.

Here is a clue… If I replace "quiet splash" with nomodeset, it boots fully, but it's in 640×480 mode only.

Here's the i915 video information…

  *-display UNCLAIMED
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: 82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       version: 02
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: memory:e0300000-e037ffff ioport:20e0(size=8) memory:d0000000-dfffffff memory:e0380000-e03bffff memory:c0000-dffff

I suspect that I need to add a special i915 video controller kernel parameter to grub to make the video work properly. Any ideas on what parameter that might be… or any other ideas?

Update #1: I just discovered that if I boot into "Recovery Mode", and then choose "Resume normal boot", it boots fully, to a 1024×768 4:3 (should be 16:9) desktop.

Update #2: Upgrading from 17.10 to 18.04, booting fails. Reinstalling 18.04, booting fails. Disk partition delete and clean 18.04, booting fails. Installing 18.04 "proposed" software, booting still fails. Ubuntu Live DVD works fine.

Update #3: I found a list of i915 parameters…

~$ modinfo -p i915
modeset:Use kernel modesetting [KMS] (0=disable, 1=on, -1=force vga console preference [default]) (int)
panel_ignore_lid:Override lid status (0=autodetect, 1=autodetect disabled [default], -1=force lid closed, -2=force lid open) (int)
semaphores:Use semaphores for inter-ring sync (default: -1 (use per-chip defaults)) (int)
enable_rc6:Enable power-saving render C-state 6. Different stages can be selected via bitmask values (0 = disable; 1 = enable rc6; 2 = enable deep rc6; 4 = enable deepest rc6). For example, 3 would enable rc6 and deep rc6, and 7 would enable everything. default: -1 (use per-chip default) (int)
enable_dc:Enable power-saving display C-states. (-1=auto [default]; 0=disable; 1=up to DC5; 2=up to DC6) (int)
enable_fbc:Enable frame buffer compression for power savings (default: -1 (use per-chip default)) (int)
lvds_channel_mode:Specify LVDS channel mode (0=probe BIOS [default], 1=single-channel, 2=dual-channel) (int)
lvds_use_ssc:Use Spread Spectrum Clock with panels [LVDS/eDP] (default: auto from VBT) (int)
vbt_sdvo_panel_type:Override/Ignore selection of SDVO panel mode in the VBT (-2=ignore, -1=auto [default], index in VBT BIOS table) (int)
reset:Attempt GPU resets (default: true) (bool)
error_capture:Record the GPU state following a hang. This information in /sys/class/drm/card<N>/error is vital for triaging and debugging hangs. (bool)
enable_hangcheck:Periodically check GPU activity for detecting hangs. WARNING: Disabling this can cause system wide hangs. (default: true) (bool)
enable_ppgtt:Override PPGTT usage. (-1=auto [default], 0=disabled, 1=aliasing, 2=full, 3=full with extended address space) (int)
enable_execlists:Override execlists usage. (-1=auto [default], 0=disabled, 1=enabled) (int)
enable_psr:Enable PSR (0=disabled, 1=enabled - link mode chosen per-platform, 2=force link-standby mode, 3=force link-off mode) Default: -1 (use per-chip default) (int)
alpha_support:Enable alpha quality driver support for latest hardware. See also CONFIG_DRM_I915_ALPHA_SUPPORT. (bool)
disable_power_well:Disable display power wells when possible (-1=auto [default], 0=power wells always on, 1=power wells disabled when possible) (int)
enable_ips:Enable IPS (default: true) (int)
fastboot:Try to skip unnecessary mode sets at boot time (default: false) (bool)
prefault_disable:Disable page prefaulting for pread/pwrite/reloc (default:false). For developers only. (bool)
load_detect_test:Force-enable the VGA load detect code for testing (default:false). For developers only. (bool)
force_reset_modeset_test:Force a modeset during gpu reset for testing (default:false). For developers only. (bool)
invert_brightness:Invert backlight brightness (-1 force normal, 0 machine defaults, 1 force inversion), please report PCI device ID, subsystem vendor and subsystem device ID to dri-devel@lists.freedesktop.org, if your machine needs it. It will then be included in an upcoming module version. (int)
disable_display:Disable display (default: false) (bool)
enable_cmd_parser:Enable command parsing (true=enabled [default], false=disabled) (bool)
use_mmio_flip:use MMIO flips (-1=never, 0=driver discretion [default], 1=always) (int)
mmio_debug:Enable the MMIO debug code for the first N failures (default: off). This may negatively affect performance. (int)
verbose_state_checks:Enable verbose logs (ie. WARN_ON()) in case of unexpected hw state conditions. (bool)
nuclear_pageflip:Force enable atomic functionality on platforms that don't have full support yet. (bool)
edp_vswing:Ignore/Override vswing pre-emph table selection from VBT (0=use value from vbt [default], 1=low power swing(200mV),2=default swing(400mV)) (int)
enable_guc_loading:Enable GuC firmware loading (-1=auto, 0=never [default], 1=if available, 2=required) (int)
enable_guc_submission:Enable GuC submission (-1=auto, 0=never [default], 1=if available, 2=required) (int)
guc_log_level:GuC firmware logging level (-1:disabled (default), 0-3:enabled) (int)
guc_firmware_path:GuC firmware path to use instead of the default one (charp)
huc_firmware_path:HuC firmware path to use instead of the default one (charp)
enable_dp_mst:Enable multi-stream transport (MST) for new DisplayPort sinks. (default: true) (bool)
inject_load_failure:Force an error after a number of failure check points (0:disabled (default), N:force failure at the Nth failure check point) (uint)
enable_dpcd_backlight:Enable support for DPCD backlight control (default:false) (bool)
enable_gvt:Enable support for Intel GVT-g graphics virtualization host support(default:false) (bool)

Update #4: I'm currently running with i915.modeset=0 in my grub kernel line, it's booting, and I'm getting 1024×768 (4:3).

Update #5: Updating to kernel 4.16.9 doesn't fix the problem.

Update #6: A portion of @karel's answer provided a good enough workaround. Switching from gdm3 display manager to lightdm display manager works. I could then also remove i915.modeset=0 from my grub kernel line.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install lightdm
# if lightdm wasn't already installed, it'll ask which dm you want
# if lightdm was already installed, then you need to:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
# and choose lightdm over gdm3

Update #7:

Turns out that the problem isn't a gdm3 vs lightdm problem. It's a gdm3/wayland problem with older Intel GPU's. To fix…

In terminal

  • cd /etc/gdm3 # change directory
  • sudo pico custom.conf # edit this file

Find and change:


To this:


Save the file.

  • sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3 # select gdm3 DM

Select gdm3 and OK.

  • reboot # reboot the computer



Setting kernel options for the i915

How can I fix broken i915 drivers for Intel GPUs?

Best Answer

Try logging in to your default desktop environment from the tty virtual console. The virtual console can be accessed by pressing the keyboard combination Ctrl+Alt+F3 after the computer gets stuck when booting it. Login to the virtual console with your username and password and run the following command.

sudo systemctl start graphical.target

If that doesn't work, switch the login display manager from gdm3 to lightdm. LightDM is a more lightweight login display manager than gdm3.

sudo apt install lightdm   
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm 
sudo reboot  

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm will open up a new window allowing you to select lightdm as the default login display manager. Use the arrow keys to select lightdm, press the Tab key to put the focus on <OK> and press Enter. Then reboot by running sudo reboot

Try booting from Xorg instead of Wayland. Edit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf with sudo nano /etc/gdm3/custom.conf, uncomment #WaylandEnable=false so it is WaylandEnable=false and run sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3 # select gdm3

If that doesn't work either see if you can at least switch to text mode (for troubleshooting purposes) with no GUI stuff like the X server running.

sudo systemctl start multi-user.target  
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