Using the Fedora 9 KDE Live CD on unsupported video hardware

Jim Cornette fc-cornette at
Mon Jul 7 02:25:50 UTC 2008

Rance Hall wrote:
> Hey gang,
> I hope this question has a lot more meat on its bones as Ive learned a
> great deal about altering the video parameters that are being fed to
> the kernel.
> Problem:  On my mobo the integrated video card (a via chrome9 based
> card) and monitor (an old Samsung SyncMaster 955DF) Fedora 9 cant
> figure out what video combination to use and when it screws up, it
> locks up the system tight.  Only a hard boot will fix it.
> On an install cd anaconda will accept the xdriver=vesa option and
> graphical install works fine, The only real issue is that in my
> experience Anaconda notoriously uses low resolution so as to hide
> problems with a video setup till the actual system is installed.
> So taking what I know and applying that to a LIVE CD (specifically the
> KDE one, as Im a KDE guy and dont have much use for Gnome, etc (please
> no flames, is a personal preference, I didnt - and wont - say gnome
> sucks - it doesnt, just that I dont like it.)
> OK, the Live CD doesnt have anaconda on it (nor should it) but I need
> a way to apply what Ive learned about telling the system to use VESA
> till I can figure out the details of why my hardware is not working
> corectly.
> First, the kernel will accept a vga=xxx code that affects the terminal
> consoles, but that doesnt seem to have any affect on X.
> The kernel command line can be altered by adding something like
> "video=vesafb:mode:1280x1024-75"
> This seems to really help my situation, but not enough.
> without this alteration the LiveCD will crash and lockup hard within 5
> seconds or so after udev starts.
> with this alteration the LiveCD boots successfully and displays a
> login prompt (which is further than I ever got before) but the
> keyboard is still locked and about 5 seconds or so later I get a funny
> horizontal image on the screen that is indicative of overstating the
> capability of the video hardware at some level.
> I know I'm on the right track here, but I cant seem to finish the job,
> any help much appreciated.
> I need a hint or a pointer to let me know what Im missing please.
> Thanks all

The only clue that I can offer is that X for the live CD supposes that 
the "magic" for auto-detection will work without an /etc/X11/xorg.conf 
file. As you realize, it is a poor "magic show" for your hardware.

Booting in runlevel 3 and transferring your working xorg.conf file 
before telinit 5 should get X working without attempting auto-detection.

Since I did not try the live CD myself, going to the fedora installation 
on-line help sites for live CD's that should exist out there somewhere.


"Linux poses a real challenge for those with a taste for late-night
hacking (and/or conversations with God)."
(By Matt Welsh)

More information about the fedora-list mailing list