Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 115674
first boot uses unsafe video modes and runs in text-only setups
Last modified: 2008-05-13 14:13:00 EDT
Description of problem:
On a system with unknown monitor firstboot does not use 640x480 VGA
mode. This may actually damage some old hardware.
Graphical firstboot also runs on a text install, which is rather
unfortunate when the machine being installed isnt connected to a
monitor at all.
IIRC, anaconda sets the runlevel to 5 unless you do a custom or server
install and select text only login. Only then will it set the
runlevel to 3.
Firstboot should now run in text mode if the runlevel is 3 (this is
new in FC2). However, if you did a text mode anaconda install and
XFree86 was installed and the runlevel was set to 5, I'm not sure how
firstboot is supposed to somehow know to avoid starting in graphical mode.
If firstboot defaulted to a save video mode (60Hz 31.5Khz 640x480
only) it wouldnt be so bad (but I guess thats an installer bug). Maybe
text mode installs should write something to /etc/sysconfig/firstboot
indicating a textual first boot or a "show license and ask " box instead ?
Whether a text mode install should by imply a text mode firstboot is
probably Jeremy's decision to make. Jeremy mentioned on IRC that
perhaps a text mode installation should automatically imply runlevel
3. This would cause firstboot to come up in text mode without any
changes to the firstboot code.
Graphical firstboot during a text-mode installation is still an issue in FC4. I
am using X (implies runlevel 5) but I have an external X terminal.
The computer itself has no graphical monitor, that's why I have to use text mode
installation, but with firstboot as it currently exists it is IMPOSSIBLE to
finish the installation.
More recent firstboots have a text mode that runs after text installs. How is
the unsafe video mode problem now that we are using the X autoconfig code?
I'm not familiar enough with the non EDID behaviour in this case.
The safe mode without EDID is 640x480@60HZ. We've always done 800x600 which is
By now its probably the case that few of our users have non EDID capable
displays except TFT and few will have 640x480 TFT!
This report targets the FC3 or FC4 products, which have now been EOL'd.
Could you please check that it still applies to a current Fedora release, and
either update the target product or close it ?
Fedora apologizes that these issues have not been resolved yet. We're
sorry it's taken so long for your bug to be properly triaged and acted
on. We appreciate the time you took to report this issue and want to
make sure no important bugs slip through the cracks.
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If this bug is still open against Fedora Core 1 through 6, thirty days
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Thanks for your help, and we apologize again that we haven't handled
these issues to this point.
The process we are following is outlined here:
We will be following the process here:
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/BugZappers/HouseKeeping to ensure this
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firstboot is now entirely using X's autoconfiguration code to set up the X
session. In the future we'll probably be using whatever the new gdm does
instead. So if you're still seeing dangerous video modes in rawhide post-F9,
that's going to be an X problem.
And of course, there's a working text mode interface as well.