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Boot stalls at Plymouth logo

asked 2015-04-07 02:53:30 -0500

snowolfe gravatar image

updated 2015-05-06 23:58:26 -0500

I am recording this here for the benefit of others - I am happily working around my issue using the methods outlined below.

I have a Dell Inspiron 14 7000 series laptop that has an nVidia Optimus setup - both Intel and nVidia (Geforce GTX 850M) graphics chips that are supposed to auto-switch depending on the need for intensive 3D graphics - it is a power consumption optimization setup. I rarely need the advanced graphics (not a gamer and don't regularly use intensive graphics) - I bought the laptop for its price and other features.

Since moving to the 3.19.x kernels I have regularly not been able to boot beyond the plymouth logo, which typically locks the entire interface, requiring me to power-cycle the machine to boot again. On other occasions it fails to even start plymouth, but on very rare occasions it boots successfully. I have been able to use the oldest kernel I have installed (3.18.9) to boot, but this will soon be cycled out at the next kernel update (unless I ignore it).

The problem appears to be linked to the nouveau driver and if I blacklist the driver I am able to start successfully. The display outputs are all linked to the Intel graphics chip and as such I don't need to use the nVidia graphics card, so this appears to be my best alternative for now.

I haven't tried the nVidia binary drivers because I am using a UEFI installed Fedora, which makes using the nVidia driver difficult due to driver signing issues, besides, as noted, I don't need the high end graphics. This may be an alternative for other users though (untested by me).

I have not filed a bug report as I can't seem to find any log data to indicate the specific problem and when my interface locks at the plymouth logo I can't even switch to a console to view the output.

If anyone can advise how to troubleshoot this, then I will gladly file a bug (if someone hasn't already - I could not find anything similar in bugzilla).


Here is how I have permanently (for now) disabled the nouveau driver, and now I boot successfully every time.

Use sudo -i to switch to root.

Substitute $(uname -r) with the actual kernel value if you are running against a different kernel to the one you want to update.

1. If nouveau is currently active - either:

modprobe -r nouveau
mv /usr/lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/nouveau/nouveau.ko  \
   /usr/lib/modules/$(uname -r)/kernel/drivers/gpu/drm/nouveau/nouveau.ko.blacklist
-- OR --

Remove the installed nouveau driver. Leave it installed if you anticipate re-enabling the driver later. Alternatively, reinstall the driver when you need it.

yum remove -y xorg-x11-drv-nouveau

2. Optionally: Backup the original initramfs file first. Only do this if you plan on re-enabling the nouveau driver later.

mv /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).img /boot/initramfs-$(uname -r).nouveau.img ...
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answered 2015-04-07 05:37:21 -0500

snowolfe gravatar image

See my work around inline with the question. I permanently disable the nouveau driver for the meantime.

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Unless you have Secure Boot enabled, the NVIDIA binary drivers should work. I use the NVIDIA drivers from RPM Fusion in a UEFI-installed F21. I have Secure Boot disabled. If the NVIDIA module is not loaded with Secure Boot enabled, you could sign the module yourself to load it. I don't have an Optimus setup so this may not work for your setup.

cgonz31 gravatar imagecgonz31 ( 2015-04-07 19:10:18 -0500 )edit

Thanks. I am aware I can sign the drivers myself, but that is a convoluted process that needs to be done every time the kernel is updated. My preference would be to stick to the nouveau driver because I don't need the advanced functionality that the nVidia driver gives me, but for the meantime the Intel graphics card does everything I need - until the nouveau driver works again.

snowolfe gravatar imagesnowolfe ( 2015-04-07 19:20:53 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2015-04-07 02:53:30 -0500

Seen: 788 times

Last updated: May 06 '15