System info: (will be amended if any more info is asked for)

My laptop runs Xubuntu 12.10. As it has a Solid State Drive, /tmp, /var/tmp, /var/log and /var/log/apt are set to tmpfs in the /etc/fstab file - in case this makes any difference.


My problem is quite simple. Approximately 50% of boot attempts end in the mouse cursor on a black screen (presumably LightDM failing to load), forcing me to restart and try again.

I can access the Ctrl+Alt+F1 terminal to reboot the machine, but it's very annoying having to shut down and reboot one, two or three times before successfully reaching the login screen. The error seems to be with LightDM, as I've tried five boots in a row with GDM and they've all gone fine.

Thanks for any help you can give.

Xorg.1.log after running xstart after failed boot: http://paste.ubuntu.com/1437249/

  • When you open the terminal (tty1) to reboot, have to tried executing startx instead?
    – Seth
    Dec 10, 2012 at 5:07
  • Most likely a graphics card issue. What card do you have? Dec 10, 2012 at 6:02
  • I have a Nvidia GT330M. But without Bumblebee in use, the laptop should only use the HD4000 integrated chip.
    – Sman789
    Dec 12, 2012 at 0:12
  • When I run the command startx, I get a fatal error message at the bottom of the page of output. I've uploaded the X log, which contains the same error ("no screens found"), and added it to the main question.
    – Sman789
    Dec 14, 2012 at 14:32
  • 1
    I have the same problem. I hadn't gone looking for a solution yet, but then I accidentally stumbled upon this post: webupd8.org/2013/01/ubuntu-lightdm-black-screen-when-using.html. It seems to be a race condition that surfaces only with the speed an SSD brings. The workaround is adding a 2 second delay to the LightDM startup script. Jan 12, 2013 at 12:39

2 Answers 2


It's crashing at:

[ 74.599] (EE) Screen(s) found, but none have a usable configuration.

because of this:

[ 74.599] (EE) intel(0): [drm] failed to set drm interface version.

[ 74.599] (EE) intel(0): Failed to become DRM master.

[ 74.599] (II) UnloadModule: "intel"

So, your Intel drivers are crashing, the X server is unloading them, and so you end up at the black screen you describe. As Kupiakos said:

You may also want to try an experimental or older version of your intel video driver.

(Your current one isn't working)


Hrm, while I'm definitely no X Server or Kernel driver expert... I did find these forum posts:




It may also be related somehow to this bug (running into your same issues): https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/966871

I'd take a look at your kernel modules that are loaded. You may also want to try an experimental or older version of your intel video driver.

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