RHEL 6.3 vs RHEL 6.4 - X startup failed, falling back to text mode

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I'm booting up my server to install 6.4 and after the prompt about testing the media, I get the following message flashed at the bottom of the screen:

X startup failedfalling back to text mode

And then it continues in text mode.

But when I boot up with 6.3, I don't get this message and the install continues normally in graphical mode.

Any ideas why this would be happening with 6.4?



Hi Neil,

Check whether you have x windows system and desktop groups installed. Is this troubleshooting solution any help? https://access.redhat.com/knowledge/solutions/36244

Let me clarify some more.  I have a RHEL 4 server which I want to wipe out and install RHEL 6 instead.  When I boot up with the 6.3 DVD, it launches the graphical install interface with no problem.  So I cancel and don't proceed.  Then I try to boot up with the 6.4 DVD but it cannot launch the graphical install interface.

That's quite strange. Boot up with the 6.4 DVD and have a look in /var/log/Xorg.0.log and see if there are any errors.

If you have a support entitlement, please feel free to open a case for this, it seems we may have a regression and we like to get those fixed as a priority.

I'm a little confused.  You say to boot up with the 6.4 DVD and check the log?   You mean go through the whole install in text mode and then check /var/log/Xorg.0.log when it's done?

Before I posted this issue, I did take an image of my server and then went through the text mode install.  After the install, it just boots to a login prompt.  So it looked like X Windows wasn't installed.  When I eventually do this install in Production (this is a test machine right now), I want to be able to select my application options during the install, which includes FTP, KDE Desktop, etc.  These options are available to select in graphical mode but not in text mode.

So after I went through the text install and found that this is not what I thought was supposed to happen, I figured maybe something just went wrong, so I re-imaged the server back to RHEL 4 and tried to boot up again with the 6.4 DVD.   Of course, it still only ran in text mode again, so that's when I came here for help.

By the way, I did open a case with Support on March 7th, but it is not getting much attention at all by them.

You should be able to switch to another virtual console during the installer, there's no need to go through a full install.

Boot from the DVD, select OK or Skip for the media check, then when X doesn't load and falls back to the text installer, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to switch to the second virtual console. You'll now have root access in the live DVD environment.

I was mistaken before, Anaconda keeps its Xorg log in /tmp/X.log, so read this with less /tmp/X.log

It would be useful to compare a "working" and "non-working" log file. You could start the network and scp the files somewhere else, or you can plug in a USB drive and copy the files to that.

What's your support case number? We'll see if we can hurry it along.

I will try this tomorrow.  Thanks!

Case # is 00801652

For anyone else hitting the same issue, Neil has very helpfully assisted us with troubleshooting and testing, and we've identified a bug in the video driver which was causing this.

We are currently working on getting the fix into RHEL.

This issue has been resolved in RHEL 6.4, the fixed driver is available in xorg-x11-drv-mach64-6.9.3-4.1.el6_4, the fix will also be available in RHEL 6.5 onwards.

We have added this to our Knowledgebase at:

 xorg-x11-server crashes during installation of RHEL 6.4

Many thanks Neil for bringing this error to our attention, and your assistance with confirming our patch.

Speaking of wonky ATI drivers...

KMS is proving to be a royal PiTA when upgrading systems to RHEL 6.4. Other than making our default kickstart set all of our ATI-equipped HPs' grub.conf files' "kernel" lines include "nomodeset" is there a true fix for the KMS issues?