I had been running Ubuntu 7.10 since it came out in October 2007, but when Ubuntu 8.04 came out a few days ago I decided to see how the openSUSE distribution had progressed since I last checked it in version 10.1. I downloaded the 10.3 live CD via Bittorrent and burned the ISO to disc.
When I tried to boot to the CD, I was chose openSUSE 10.3 from the menu. What I got was a black screen with a large colored block that seemed to be my cursor. I rebooted from the CD, changed the video mode, and tried again; same thing. I broke out the ol' command line with Ctrl + Alt + F1 and tried some things there, but had no luck. I couldn't even get the live CD to run to see if I wanted to install it.
Fortunately, I found the Techzone blog post OpenSUSE LiveCD results in blank Screen which described how to get around this video problem:
- at the menu, select openSUSE 10.3
- under boot options, type "3", and press Enter
- at the login prompt, type "root" as the username, and press Enter
- type the command "sax2-vesa", and press Enter
- you'll get a dialog box asking if the video configuration is acceptable
- you'll be returned to the console, where you should type "init 5" to boot into the now-functional GUI.