Black Screen Issue on Fedora 29 with Nvidia GPU

01 November 2018

Fedora 29

Today, I spent about 4 hours only to figure out why my Fedora 29 shows a black screen after the login screen. I've already used Fedora since 3 months. After using Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Linux Mint, and Manjaro, I decided to try Fedora due to the SE Linux security feature. At the beginning, I encountered a lot of issues since installing Nvidia driver in Linux is not so easy like other drivers. The installation guide from If Not True Then False has helped me alot. Many thanks to JR that keeps maintaining the guide.

So, as some people may know on October 30th 2018, Fedora released its new version: Fedora 29. I was happy to know about the news. I downloaded the new release and installed it in my desktop. After installing the new release, update the other softwares and restarting the PC, I saw a black screen after entering my login password. I could not open the terminal using the keyboard combination ctrl + alt + F2. Even ctrl + alt + del did not work. Choosing the kernel 4.18.12-200 in the grub menu and pressing ctrl + alt + F2 during the black screen, allowed me to open the terminal. However, I couldn't find any significant log message.

After trying to check all the config and checked if the display server (Xorg or Wayland) is the culprit or not, I read a note on the installation guide page from If Not True Then False which cannot be found easily in the second point of the guide:

Note Fedora 29 users: GDM is not currently working properly. I get black screen when I try to login any desktop. Gnome 3.30.1 works, but you will need some other display manager than GDM, example LXDM, LightDM, SDDM or KDM. Quick guide howto change display manager on Fedora.

This note has saved my time and my desktop PC! Thus, I would like to write down how I fix my computer:

  1. Choose the latest kernel and try to open the terminal and login by pressing e on the grub menu. Then add nomodeset at the end of line 14 where we can see linux16 /boot/..... rhgb quiet. Then press ctrl + x. The nomodeset instruct the Linux kernel to not load the video driver, and use BIOS mode instead. If it does not work, alternatively you can start with the kernel 4.18.12-200 to boot, press ctrl + alt + F2, and login in the terminal.
  2. Then install a display manager. I chooce the LightDM due to its beatiful UI:

    dnf install lightdm
  3. Disable GDM during the startup and enable LightDM:

    systemctl disable gdm
    systemctl enable lightdm
  4. Reboot:


Yuhuu, now I can login to my Fedora 29 again and I don't need to reinstall my desktop. I hope this hint can help you.

Note: I tried using lxdm too. If you choose to use lxdm, don't forget to change the Desktop to GNOME on the bottom left of the login screen, instead of Default. If not, you will see the black screen again. The problem with this workaround is that the lockscreen does not work anymore.

Update 2018-11-05: Meanwhile, the fix for the gdm black screen issue is to remove the rhgb in the command line of the linux kernel in the grub. Just open the grub file:

sudo nano /etc/sysconfig/grub

Remove rhgb in the line with GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX= so that becomes:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="resume=UUID=06e738ca-97c0-45ac-8871-6f1c40933c4f quiet rd.driver.blacklist=nouveau"

Update 2018-12-24: A next step to deal with the black screen after a restart is to update the Plymouth after installing a new Nvidia driver. Plymouth is the graphical start process during a startup. You can do this steps from this tutorial.