Fedora FC5 black screen install woes – FIX

Here’s a quick post for those having difficulties installing Fedora Core 5 (FC5) on systems with ATI cards.

Our new 80 node cluster install at the DFL is just about finished. I get two Dell PowerEdge 1425s all to myself for web stuffs. First order of business: ditch RedHat Enterprise Linux. I need cutting-edge software.

The install process goes fine in graphical mode until it’s time to restart. Reboot. After loading the system the screen goes black and doesn’t seem to respond to keyboard input. I could, however, log-in to the system via SSH and do some minor investigation, though it was painfully slow. Uptime showed a heavy processor load, and top showed that Xorg was taking up around 100% processor time. Hmm… Clearly a video card/driver-related issue.

I did some searching and found probably the easiest video card fix I’ve ever come across. (And remember – these instructions are ONLY for ATI cards). At the install boot prompt [boot: ] simply enter linux vesa. The install process went smoothly and the server is now usable in graphical mode.

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