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openSUSE 10.3 live CD video workaround

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:
  1. at the menu, select openSUSE 10.3
  2. under boot options, type "3", and press Enter
  3. at the login prompt, type "root" as the username, and press Enter
  4. type the command "sax2-vesa", and press Enter
  5. you'll get a dialog box asking if the video configuration is acceptable
  6. you'll be returned to the console, where you should type "init 5" to boot into the now-functional GUI.
Now I'll just have to see how openSUSE 10.3 compares to Ubuntu 8.04 on my old HP Compaq NX6125 notebook.


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