Installation ISO

I have Arch Linux installed on an AMD-based Asrock deskmini A300. I had previously had trouble with graphical artefacts after xfce14.4 xwfm4 update but solved it as per the Arch wiki. I thought I would try installing the latest EndeavourOS on my machine. On startup with the USB Live system, after all the verbose info finishes I get a cursor and then a green screen - nothing else. I can find no answer to this at the moment. Any ideas?

Edit: I hit ‘e’ at the bootloader and deleted the intel-ucode reference, leaving just the amd-ucode part. This got me into the installer with artefacts everywhere I moved the mouse. This is no good is it?

It is the Radeon onboard graphics that is giving the issue. I have some of the same problems with my older Radeon HD 3870. It usually gets past the artifacts but it is annoying. I have tried many things and it only made it worse for me. I’m just wondering since the Xfce is the install ISO if they could try the v-blank settings from the start?

Yes it is. I’m getting erratic results. I have to select the Sandisk Partition 2 in my BIOS settings. Then I have to hit ‘e’ on the bootloader screen and delete the intel-ucode part. I then should get the welcome screen. Sometimes I don’t; I get the green screen and start it all over again. If I get the welcome screen on the Liveuser, I also get the artefacts, so I go into ‘settings/window manager tweaks/compositor’ and uncheck ‘Enable Display Compositing’. That gives me a stable screen. Alternatively, I can type ‘xfwm4 --vblank=off --replace’ into the terminal and that removes the artefacts. I haven’t decided whether I should install over my current working Arch Linux, but I might do it just for fun tomorrow. If things go awry, it only takes me 10 minutes to do an Arch Install. Anyway, I can’t understand why EndeavourOS can’t produce an iso that works properly on AMD graphics since this problem has been known about for quite a long time now.

Just to let you know it’s not just happening on the EndeavourOS ISO. I get the same issue on Manjaro. The one that I don’t get it on is Arcolinux and I think it’s because they don’t load any of the desktop and background images on the installer. It goes straight to the Calamares installer and you only have a small dock with Firefox, terminal, file browser and text editor I think and the shutdown restart log out controls. I have been trying other XFCE ISO’s and trying everything I can think of. Nothing seems to work. I think it’s worse for the newer AMD GPU’s. I have it on both my oldest Radeon HD 3870 and also on my Radeon HD 7450 but it’s not quite as bad on it. I am able to get past the artifacts as it only lasts a few seconds but it is really annoying. I wish I had an answer for you and I have discussed it with @joekamprad and he has given me some things to try but so far I haven’t had any success. Manjaro is actually worse for me. But like I mentioned I wonder if they can set the v-blank off, or xpresent, on the iso and see if it’s any different.
Once I get it installed and set v-blank off or xpresent it’s okay.

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may just ask @arcolinux ?
But i feel like it is related simple to the fact that Arcolinux is not loading that much stuff on login.

I think maybe because it doesn’t load a bunch of graphics because there is no background & nothing but dock and shutdown/restart/logout. It goes right to calamares installer. Like I say it happens on Manjaro bad too.

I can’t use the installer at all. I have had occasional success trying odd things as above but it’s all very erratic. I reckon I just get the green screen every time now. I shan’t bother with EndeavourOS on my AMD-based system until the team can sort out the installer ISO.

Do you have a picture of it.

The live usb stick works to the point where you would get the graphical interface with the installer. It then switches to a complete green screen with no mouse or anything. The whole system is frozen and nothing will get me out of it. At the last text screen prior to the green screen there is a message about no xauthority. I can’t see what else is printed because that is only on screen for a fraction of a second before the green screen.

I have tried different usb sticks and used dd to create the iso several times. Nothing I have done solves the problem. I’ll try to think of something else to do.

hi david
I’ve had similar issues with AMD Radeon Vega over the last few years
here’s a workaround that works for me…
during the last stage of the boot process the screen will clear and you’ll have a screen about a third full of text with last message saying something like ‘startx’
at this stage quickly hit ctrl+alt+f2 to get the login prompt
login as root (no password), manually type in startx, gui should load…
you might get the ‘blocky screen’ but you can go into Windows Manager Tweaks and disable compositor whilst doing your install and fix this issue later
Good luck!

Thanks very much for your response. I have tried the ctrl-alt-F2 before to get to the login CLI without success. I have experimented with it after your suggestion. The installer does an automatic login so waiting until the final screen of info is too late. I found that if I’m really quick and hit ctrl-alt-F2 as soon as the DHCPD loading is finished I stop the auto login and can login as root. That does give me the installer and I can turn compositor off to stop the artefacts. I get constant flashing of the previous login screens. The other problem is I get a warning about being root user. Your advice certainly works, but I’m not going to risk messing up a good Arch setup until I can be sure that the EndeavourOS installer will work properly with AMD Radeon graphics.

Edit: I have found another method which is easier. I let the iso run its course until I get the complete green screen. Then I hit ctrl-alt-F2. Of course I see nothing, but if I switch my monitor off, and then back on I now have the login prompt with no green screen. So I login as root and then type ‘startx’. That gives me the welcome screen and I can sort out the artefacts in the usual way (xfwm4 --vblank=off --replace). It seems stable after that.

I get the artifacts on my HD 3870 when booting on the live ISO when it comes up to the desktop but it goes away after a few seconds. Once installed it is fine and i set vblank to xpresent or off and there are no issues installed. I don’t understand why either as it is using radeon and everything is correct. Same driver is loaded on live ISO as is installed. It’s an Xfce bug in my opinion. It seems to happen mostly on AMD graphics.

I definitely don’t get it at all on my older Intel NUC5. I experimented with an Archman iso and got the same result. The initial graphical welcome screen is fine but when logged in to the calamares installer, up came the green screen. So it has to be an Xfce 14.4 bug associated with the radeon vega graphics.

I tried it on Manjaro and also get the same thing. On Arcolinux they have no background or desktop items so if I move the mouse during the desktop portion loading I get a bit in the background but it disappears quick.

Update on Installation ISO & Green Screen:
There were two updates to Arch Linux this evening and one was a firmware update for the AMDGPU. I updated and expected to get rid of the artefacts on my Arch Linux XFCE4 running kernel 5.3.1. It didn’t seem to make any difference. Then I played around with the USB stick installation ISO. At one point I did a ctrl-alt-f2 and started up X with ‘startx – -depth 16’. It gave me a stable install screen for a while. I shut down the computer and went back to my standard Arch system with kernel 5.3.1. Lo and behold - no artefacts at all. I rebooted and shutdown a couple of times and each time the system was stable without artefacts, so I assume the firmware update has done the trick.

Back to the installation ISO. If I interrupt the startup with ctrl-alt-f2 just as the system is about to do an automatic login, I get the login prompt and can login as root (no password needed). I then type ‘startx – -depth 16’ and the installation continues to the graphical interface with a stable desktop and no artefacts. I will play around with it tomorrow and if it is still stable I may try an install of endeavouros from the iso. Fingers crossed. I hope this may be of help to anyone else with the same problem.

Is it startx – depth 16? what does the – depth 16 do? This looks different startx – -depth ? I don’t have that key?

It’s a mystery to me. I researched the problem of getting only a green screen when I started up the USB Drive Installation ISO. I found various suggestions, none of which worked (including nomodeset at the grub2 screen). Somewhere I found the suggestion that the colour depth was causing the green screen. So I interrupted the USB installation at the auto login and first tried startx -- -depth 24. That didn’t work so I tried startx -- -depth 16. That takes me to the install screen without a green screen interfering. It seems stable enough but with occasional screen flashes. I don’t think it’s the full answer so I’m sticking with my Arch Linux full install for now.

I know it worse on the newer AMD GPU than my older HD Radeon. I get the flickering screen flashes and artifacts of various colors filling the screen but goes away after a brief moment . It may not be a problem for you once it’s installed. On mine after it’s installed i set the vblank setting in xfce4 to xpresent or off and it’s good. If i had a newer AMD i would try it.

I think you’ll find it’s an issue on all that use the newer xfce 4.14 version.

The installation ISO is unuseable. My Arch Linux setup with either kernel 5.3.1 or the arch Linux lts 4.19 works fine now. I can’t find any solution to the installation ISO. It is clearly not suitable for the AMD Radeon Vega graphics. I have tried it on my Intel NUC5 with integrated Intel graphics and it works fine.

I’m just saying it’s an issue with Xfce 4.14 on mostly all the distros i have tried on my Radeon but not as bad as what you are getting.