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Bug#899240: debian-installer: blank screen on boot (6th Gen. ThinkPad X1)

On 21/05 03:47, Matti Pöllä wrote:
> booting to Debian Installer fails on a 6th Generation Lenovo ThinkPad
> X1 (type 20KH-006MMX) with the following symptoms:
> * Boot from a Debian installation media (mini.iso 2018-05-18 on a USB
>   drive). Also tested with Wheezy, Jessie, Stretch and Testing amd64
>   ISOs.
> * GRUB menu (version 2.02-2) shows options "Install", "Advanced
>   options" and "Install with speech synthesis".
> * On entering "Install", the screen goes blank. The machine is still
>   powered on and the keyboard leds respond to, e.g., the "mute"
>   button. Switching to virtual terminals does not help as the screen
>   appears dead.

This issue is reproducible if the installer is starting in UEFI mode
(grub says "Debian GNU/Linux UEFI Installer menu") but CSM Support is
disabled in the Thinkpad Setup screen, which is the one you access by
pressing F1 at boot.

Set CSM Support to "Yes" under Startup -> UEFI/Legacy Boot to get past

Alternatively, set "UEFI/Legacy Boot" to "Legacy Only", in which case
the installer will start in BIOS mode.

> Booting to a live environment using debian-live-9.3.0-amd64-gnome.iso
> is not affected by the bug. The live system uses a full 2560x1440
> resolution on a 4.9.0-4-amd64 kernel. However, the "Install" option on
> the same ISO results in a blank screen.

This might be due to the live image including i915.ko in its initrd? It
seems to get loaded pretty early on, much earlier than X. To
doublecheck, remove boot=live from the kernel parameters. You'll be
dropped into a initramfs shell and by running lsmod you'll see that i915
is loaded already.

Also I've tried booting the live image with modprobe.blacklist=i915 and
it behaves exactly like the installer with CSM Support disabled
(immediate blank screen).

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