I'm trying to make Scientific Linux work on a 3.0Ghz 64-bit P4 working on an Intel D915GAG motherboard with 4GB of memory. (Scientific Linux is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux-based distro for scientific environments; my boss insists that I use this instead of my much dearer Ubuntu DVDs...)
Now the kernel that gets installed with the Scientific Linux 5.0 installation DVD is the 2.6.18-8.1.8-el5 version. The installation proceeds without any problems, and the system boots normally. However, once the graphical interface loads, we're presented only to a strange message window in which all characters are messed up: they're all squares! I've never seen this before. This message window might contain an error message, but because we can't read it we don't know. There's also a button there, and it closes the message window; but then, the graphical interface doesn't load up at all afterwards.
The only thing that remains there is the mouse cursor. And it even moves. But nothing else ever happens, and at this stage, not even Ctrl-Alt-F5 does anything.
I don't even know where to start. Is this a video driver problem? What the hell should I do? What should I try?
I'm now booting into text mode to see what I can come up with. Any suggestions would be very greatly appreciated!!!
Hmmm, lspci in text mode shows that the VGA adapter is correctly identified as an Intel Integrated Graphics Adapter (82915G). So I'm thinking that's not it... Damn.
Edit: I've managed to get the X Window system to start by simply using startx when booting in single user text mode. All characters are still messed up, but the graphical interface itself loads succesfully. Two message windows appear (probably error messages again...) but can't be read at all. I've even managed to open a terminal window (whose characters are readable) inside this mess.
Isn't there a boot log file I can check to see which error messages I'm missing?
As for the motherboard and persuading my boss, I'm working on it!!!
I found that, in the X Window system init log, there was an error about "Could not init font Path element unix:/7100" or something to that effect. I tried manually setting a few font paths, but it didn't work.
I tried installing from a Live CD and it worked perfectly. I tried copying the X11 configuration files, but it still didn't work.
So I got fed up and installed from the Live CD. A few installation options simply weren't there, but I'm now adjusting the OS to behave as it should. It now works correctly. Still haven't figured out what happened though...