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I just don't know how to describe this and it's been keeping me from properly Googling...

This is what I see when I boot to the Linux Mint 32-bit LiveCD from a DVD using a DVI video connection using an older PCI graphics card on a machine a friend gave me through a KVM (I don't think the KVM is the problem though):

Boot screen

How can I make my screen appear more... Normal?

edit the same thing seems to happen with Ubuntu.

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That looks like the "Zesty Zebra" edition –  Keltari Jul 22 '13 at 16:23

1 Answer 1

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I was able to solve this by installing Ubuntu LTS (instead of the leading build) and installing without updating.

Then I manually ran the update tool and unchecked everything related to graphics and Unity; I suspect the Unity updates are what caused the problem but I didn't feel like installing again just to find out.

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