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The last couple of days I have had to reboot my Ubuntu-workstation when the screen suddenly goes black. After some seconds I get a pop-up with the message:

Ubuntu is running in low-graphics mode

There is some buttons that tells me I can do different things but whatever I do I end up losing all windows I worked in earlier and having to reboot to get back full resolution.

I have not found any way to reproduce this behavior. It has happened after being logged in for several days and sometimes just after boot and login when I'm starting an xterm and in all time intervals in between.

I also run a default setup of munin on the box, but it shows nothing outside normal behavior.

I run Ubuntu 8.10 fully updated on a Dell Optiplex 210L.

  • What can I do to prevent this blackness?
  • What should I monitor and how to get some useful debug information?
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Have a look at dmesg and ~/.xsession-erros. Also, are you using the right drivers? – Bobby Feb 1 '10 at 10:53
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Well, try updating to the latest version of Ubuntu. 10.04 is not so bad. Why are you using such an old version.

Hey, have you got proper drivers for your video card? That seems to be the problem here. Go to System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers and see if any drivers are available. Download and install all of them.

And yes, as I was confused earlier, restricted drivers are free. They're just not open-source.

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