Fedora 18 won’t boot

by on February 11, 2013 at 3:27 am

Recently I filed a bug report with bugzilla regarding Fedora 18′s inability to boot after successful installation from all types of installation methods. Check the comment section of the Fedora 18 Review post for a direct link to the bug report.

Fedora 18, like many other fresh distros, utilizes GRUB2.  However, Fedora 18 is the only distro I have personally encountered this problem of not booting after a successful install.  This problem seems to be related to older hardware, or devices that lack the ability / video memory to use the highly graphical GRUB2 boot screen.  There is no science in my previous statement, just an educated guess.

Most particularly, I have encountered this problem on HP Proliant G4 device, as well as in Virtual Box on a Windows host.

Symptoms:  After successful installation, GRUB2 will briefly flash after post, and then the video output will go black or stop.  The system will never continue booting.

Resolution:  Boot the system with installation media and instead of selecting “Install,” select “Troubleshooting”.  On the following screen, select “Rescue System.”

Continue with the default options, which includes automatically detecting and mounting the system’s root directory to /mnt/sysimage/

After you a dropped to a shell, run chroot /mnt/sysimage to change the root of the system to the freshly installed system.  Next, we need to update our GRUB2 config file to disable the graphical mode.  That is achieve by peforming the following:

echo “GRUB_TERMINAL=console” >> /etc/default/grub
grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg

These two commands will reinstall GRUB2 with the new argument GRUB_TERMINAL=console; unlike legacy GRUB, simply editing a text file is not enough, you must run the grub2-mkconfig command as described above.

Now, exit out of the chroot environment with the simple “exit” command, and reboot the system.  If everything went correctly, you should now see the GRUB2 menu in solid black and white (how Linux on a server should be).  Unfortunately, it’s now time to make yourself a cup of tea, because we have to wait for SELinux to relabel the filesystem.  While it doesn’t take forever, it does take about 3 or 4 minutes.


Still stuck?  Try reading https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/kernel_mode_setting for more information

in Fedora, How-To


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  • Bo

    Procedure did not work.

    • http://www.zipref.com Mike

      Bo, sorry to hear that. Feel free to post here with more info, and I can try to help you as best I can.

  • Felix

    Rescue System option NOT AVAILABLE on Fedora 18 Disk, or changed name

    • http://www.zipref.com Mike


      On the Install DVD or NetInstall CD, Troubleshooting is the option you want to select from the main menu, then select “Rescue System.”

      I’m not sure that the option is available on the LiveCD media, however if you are running a live cd, the steps should be quite similar. After you boot to your desktop in the LiveCD, mount your root volume to where ever you please, such as /mnt. Then, you can chroot to that mount point and continue the steps outlined above.

      If you’re not sure what your root volume is, you can use fdisk -l, gdisk -l (if you’re using GPT) or lvscan if you’re using logical volumes.

  • Tom Stockton

    It worked exactly as advertised! Thanks for getting me out of upgrade hell!


  • Tom Mort

    I upgraded to F18 a few weeks ago. I think was working OK. I ran several updates and was up to 3.8.3-203. I think it was the next time I powered up after this update that the problem started. It starts to boot up, but, stalls when it gets to the point where there is an f in a circle in the middle of a blue screen. Also,I there was a problem shutting down one time. I don’t remember if it was the time before started. There were errors when shutting down and the system hung. had to shut down with the power switch. I tried to boot with 3.8.3-201 and 3.6.2-206, but, it still had the problem. I saw other people had similar problems and it seems to be a video driver problem. I could get into a terminal by pressing cntrl-alt-shft I. I tried running lshw at the command prompt to find my video card info, but the letters that showed up on the screen weren’t the ones I entered. I.I can also get in the grub command line, but, lshw isn’t one of the available commands. I have a Leno voice r61i laptop.

    Someone suggested that I press F12 to see the terminal output before it stalls. I get an error: [FAILED] Failed to start Wait for Plymouth Boot Screen to Quit.
    See ‘systemmctl status plymouth-quit-wait. service’ for details. and there are other things on the screen as well.

    Does this sound like the same problem and/or do you think this suggestion might work?

    I couldn’t get the video card/driver information with linux due to not being able to boot, but, I put a Windows HD in and got the video card info:

    Display Devices
    Card name: Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family
    Manufacturer: Intel Corporation
    Chip type: Mobile Intel(R) 965 Express Chipset Family
    DAC type: Internal
    Device Key: Enum\PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2A02&SUBSYS_20B517AA&REV_0C
    Display Memory: 358 MB
    Dedicated Memory: 0 MB
    Shared Memory: 358 MB
    Current Mode: 1280 x 800 (32 bit) (60Hz)
    Monitor Name: Generic PnP Monitor
    Monitor Model: unknown
    Monitor Id: CMO1526
    Native Mode: 1280 x 800(p) (59.910Hz)
    Output Type: Internal
    Driver Name: igdumd64.dll,igd10umd64.dll,igdumdx32,igd10umd32
    Driver File Version: 8.14.0010.1930 (English)
    Driver Version:
    DDI Version: 10
    Driver Model: WDDM 1.1
    Driver Attributes: Final Retail
    Driver Date/Size: 9/23/2009 20:22:58, 5472256 bytes
    WHQL Logo’d: Yes
    WHQL Date Stamp:
    Device Identifier: {D7B78E66-6942-11CF-9073-BF00ADC2C535}
    Vendor ID: 0×8086
    Device ID: 0x2A02
    SubSys ID: 0x20B517AA
    Revision ID: 0x000C
    Driver Strong Name: oem1.inf:Intel.Mfg.NTamd64:i965GM0:\ven_8086&dev_2a02
    Rank Of Driver: 00EC2001
    Video Accel: ModeMPEG2_A ModeMPEG2_C ModeWMV9_B ModeVC1_B

    • http://www.zipref.com Mike


      I recently had a similar issue. Fedora 18 would start to boot but never give me the login screen. I had been playing around with OpenStack, and after reboot, one of the OpenStack services was keeping my machine from starting. I recommend booting into run level 1 or 3 and disabling any new services.
      Also, I get the ‘Failed to start Wait for Plymouth’ error as well. Usually it just results in a 10 second delay until the login box appears. Instead of getting the flashy new login screen, I get a Gnome2-style login box, with only one chance to enter my password.
      I’m not good at troubleshooting video driver issues. I highly recommend posting you problem onto a community forum such as http://www.linuxforums.org if you are still having trouble.

  • JRHhttps://edit.yahoo.com/forgotroot/

    Doesn’t work for me – I never get to see GRUB, just a flashing cursor atthe top left of screen after POST, that’s it!

    I’ve reinstalled twice now – still the same!

  • Fry

    Thanks for the post.

    I had no problems installing debian and debian-based distros, ubuntu and crunchbang. But Fedora always gave me problems on systems and now this takes the damn cake. Really pisses me off that they are not as compatible with hardware as the aforementioned distros. Ofcourse first I downloaded fedora 19 beta and it crashes during install for no reason and when I downloaded 18, I got the Live version to save time and there’s no recovery of course.

    Peace out.

    • http://www.zipref.com Mike

      Debian is a great distro, very stable. Fedora is a little more cutting edge, and IMO 18 was a little too buggy to be called a ‘stable’ release. It’s a real shame because Fedora has a lot of great software.