Ubuntu 11.04 Server x64 unable to boot

Asked by Clifford Dhamanigi on 2011-07-05

Hi,

I recently downloaded and installed Ubuntu 11.04 Server x64-bit as a guest Operating System on VMware Workstation 7.1.4 on my Windows 7 Ultimate x64-bit host.

I allotted 1GB of RAM and 50GB of Hard Disk Space. I have enabled 3D acceleration if required.

Even during the install, the setup was trying to download so many other packages. It succeeded in downloading and installing all of those packages. It completed the installation successfully as well and rebooted the first time without any hassles.

Since I was installing Ubuntu on VMware, it recognized the OS and proceeded to setup as Easy Install.

Upon first reboot of the system, VMware started installing VMware tools and then gave me a prompt to login to the system.

I logged into the system successfully, issued a few commands such as id, uname -a, ifconfig and so on.

Eventually to shutdown and power off Ubuntu, I issued the command "sudo shutdown -h now", and this was the last time I ever saw Ubuntu running.

After the above shutdown, whenever I try to power on the Virtual Machine which has Ubuntu installed, it just goes to a completely blank screen and halts there and nothing happens after that.

Please let me know if I have done something wrong and how I can rectify this issue.

My System configuration is as follows:

System Make & Model: Acer Aspire 5742G
Processor: Intel Core i5-430M
RAM: 4GB
HDD: 500GB
VRAM: 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 420M
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks & Regards,
Clifford Dhamanigi
System Administrator, Oracle Solaris

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
Oracle Certified Solaris 10 Associate
Oracle Solaris 10 System Administrator Certified Professional

When you get the blank screen, what happens when you press a key (like Shift or Spacebar)?

How about when you press Alt+F1? Alt+F2?

What percentage of your CPU resources (as indicated in the Windows Task Manager) are used up by vmware-vmx.exe while the virtual machine is running (on the blank, nonfunctional screen)?

"I logged into the system successfully, issued a few commands such as id, uname -a, ifconfig and so on."

Did you issue any commands to change configuration, install/update software, or the like?

Hi Eliah,

Thanks for your quick response.

Nothing happens when I press spacebar or shift keys, but when I pressed Alt+F1, I immediately got the log in prompt and I am now able to successfully log in to the server.

Just for answering the rest of the questions posted in your response, the vmware-vmx.exe process was consuming close to 50MB of memory.

I did not issue any commands that made any configuration changes to the server. I only issued informative commands for my curiosity.

Is there any changes I can make in the OS or in VMware Workstation for the log in prompt to appear as and when it should appear? I really don't mind the way it is working right now, but I just wanted to know if I can better the experience.

Thanks & Regards,
 Clifford Dhamanigi
 System Administrator, Oracle Solaris

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
 Oracle Certified Solaris 10 Associate
 Oracle Solaris 10 System Administrator Certified Professional

The problem where you get a blank screen on boot looks like one or the other of two known related issues in Natty, in which GRUB2 (the boot loader used by Ubuntu) hands off to the 7th virtual console instead of the 1st.

I presume you do not know this (since if you did, you would probably have thought to press Alt+F1), but GNU/Linux systems have virtual consoles (also called virtual terminals), named tty1, tty2, tty3, and so forth. The number of virtual consoles is system specific, and you could even change it on your own system, though I have never come across any situation where it made sense to do so. Typically there are seven (or sometimes eight) virtual consoles. The first six (or seven) are typically active (you can log on in them and you get a usable command prompt). When a graphical user interface is installed, it typically runs on the first inactive virtual console. When in a virtual console that does not have GUI running on it, you can switch to any other virtual console ttyN by pressing Alt+N (where N is the number of the virtual console). When you have a GUI installed and running, then to switch out of it to another virtual console, you must press Ctrl+Alt+N (where N is still the number for the target virtual console). Virtual consoles are extremely useful, especially on a machine that has no graphical user interface, because they provide an extremely simple and always-available way to perform multiple interactive tasks at once. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_console for more information about virtual consoles.

If you haven't done so already, update the system--that is, issue "sudo apt-get update", then "sudo apt-get upgrade", then "sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" (but be sure to look over the changes to what packages are installed that third command will make before approving them). Then reboot the machine ("sudo reboot") and see if the problem still occurs.

There are a few possibilities:

(1) Updating the system fixed the problem, and you had installed with an old CD (the Alpha 1 CD or a sufficiently old daily-live to have this problem). If this happens, then you were suffering from bug 700686 (see also bug 695658), which has been fixed.

(2) Updating the system fixed the problem, but you had not installed with an old CD. This is unexpected. If this happens, or you are unsure which CD you installed from (or how old the .iso image was that produced it), please post again here so we can figure out what's going on. (Though if you decide not to post, that's OK too--in this case, your problem is fixed, and you may not want to spend your time investigating it further.)

(3) Updating the system did not fix the problem. If this happens, the you are suffering from bug 761830. If you are willing, please post in bug 761830 to indicate that you are running a fully updated Natty server system and you have this problem; please also specify your architecture (i386 or amd64), the full name of the .iso image you used to create the Ubuntu Server installation media, and any non-default configuration you specified while installing. The reason this would help is that, so far, it is not certain whether or not bug 761830 happens on server systems (it might only happen on non-server command-line-only systems). Please also use the green "This bug affects..." link near the top of bug 761830 to indicate that you are affected. And I recommend subscribing to the bug as well, to ensure that you are notified of changes.

If updating the system does not fix the problem, then you should be able to apply a manual workaround to fix the problem on your system. One such workaround is https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub2/+bug/761830/comments/33. Another workaround (removing "splash" from GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT) is hinted at in http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1768725, but I am not sure if it really works. If you have trouble applying either of these workarounds (or some other workaround), please feel free to reopen this question to ask for assistance.

Hi Eliah,

Hi Eliah,

Thank You for your response.

I am sorry about the previous comment, I accidently pressed the enter key and the comment got posted and the issue got re-opened.

I did try updating and rebooting the system, and it does NOT seem to fix that issue yet. I still have to type Alt+F1 to get to tty1 and get to the log in prompt.

I will be following your instructions in step 3 of your previous reply.

I have been successful in editing the file /etc/grub.d/10_linux and making the necessary changes, saving the file and running the respective command to update the re-configuration. Now my system automatically lands at the command prompt through tty1 after a few seconds of delay.

Thanks & Regards,
  Clifford Dhamanigi
  System Administrator, Oracle Solaris

Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist
  Oracle Certified Solaris 10 Associate
  Oracle Solaris 10 System Administrator Certified Professional