August 23, 2006

Ubuntu xorg-server update breaks X: "no screens found"

Author: Joe Barr

IRC channels, LUG mailing lists, and Ubuntu wikis were buzzing with the news this morning that a recent Ubuntu Xorg update (xorg-server 1:1.0.2-0ubuntu10.3) crashes the X Window System on some video hardware. When X is restarted following installation, affected Ubuntu users get a "no screens found" error message instead of X.

The Dell Inspiron 6400 with an ATI video card, Dell Inspiron 8600 with an Nvidia 5200 card, Dell Latitude D620 with Nvidia Quadro NVS 110M video card, and Hewlett-Packard NX6125 are among the systems reported as being bitten by this bug.

One workaround being posted on Wikis is to downgrade to the previous version of Xorg by entering the following commands:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-core=1:1.0.2-0ubuntu10
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart

A better workaround appears to be upgrading to xorg-server 1:1.0.2-0ubuntu10.4, after verifying that it is available in your repositories. To check and see if it is available to you, use the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
apt-cache -f search xserver-xorg-core

If the 10.4 version listed, then proceed with:

sudo apt-get upgrade

Of course, if you haven't upgraded to 10.3 yet, don't.

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