florian berger

i915 Black Screen on Boot Issue

I am not too quick picking up kernel upadtes, so last Sunday I thought to be a nice occasion to upgrade from 3.0.4-ck to 3.6.2-ck on my Dell D610. Quite a jump!

On reboot with the new kernel it hit me: the infamous "i915 black screen on boot" issue. That is of course far from being unheard of: There are reports from Linux Mint, Ubuntu (also here and here), Debian (also here), Archlinux, Liquorix Kernels, Porteus and OpenSUSE. Whew.

Here is a sum-up of the proposed fixes:

  • Supply i915.modeset=0 or nomodeset as a kernel boot parameter. This prevents the screen from going black on boot, but X will not work, as modeset is required to do so, if I understood that one right.
  • Supply acpi=off as kernel boot parameter. This prevents the screen from going black on boot, but I get a fully grown kernel panic: Fatal exception in interrupt. I'll keep investigating here. "CRASH Your System (and Debug Kernel Panic)" looks like a reasonable guide.
  • Use the vesa xorg driver. Haven't tried.
  • In /etc/rc.local, just before exit 0, put a line setpci -s 00:02.0 F4.B=30. This will turn on the backlight, to brightness 30 (where 00 is full bright and FF is full dark). The boot process will be dark but the light will come on immediately after the login screen appears. (source) '00:02.0' is to be replaced by the actual VGA controller pci bus address. Haven't tried.
  • Supply video=SVIDEO-1:d as a kernel boot parameter. Haven't tried.
  • Supply quiet splash acpi_backlight=vendor acpi_osi=Linux as kernel boot parameters. Haven't tried.
  • Use drm-intel from git://people.freedesktop.org/~danvet/drm-intel. Haven't tried.
  • Patch drivers/gpu/drm/i915/intel_opregion.c as described here. Haven't tried.

Ok, I'll try them and report back.

P.S. Also these mailing list posts seem relevant:

And this bug: Bug 48435 - [SNB eDP] Screen goes blank 30 seconds into boot