[CentOS] blue screen instead of login screen

Frank Cox theatre at melvilletheatre.com
Thu Jan 12 04:55:36 UTC 2012

On Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:57:58 -0600
Frank Cox wrote:

> I installed Centos 6.2/i386 on a machine last night with a 1920x1080 monitor.
> The installer ran in graphical mode and looked fine.  After the install was
> finished I rebooted and ran through the "firstboot" stuff (set up user, etc)
> with no problem and, again, it looked good.
> After that, when I should have seen the gdm login screen, all I got was the
> blue background but not the box with the usernames in it, so there is no way
> to log in.

I've been playing with this some more and while I haven't found a solution I
think I can now better define the problem.

If I boot that computer with kernel parameter "nomodeset", I don't get the
fancy "Centos 6" graphic with the spinning doodad; instead I get a white and
blue bar across the bottom of the screen and then it ends up at the gdm login
screen.  Which looks normal and lets me log in.  And my desktop comes up as it

BUT the screen resolution is only 1280x1024.  I think (though I forgot to check
for sure) it's using the VESA driver instead of the Intel driver when I use the
"nomodeset" kernel parameter.

Booting up normally (without the "nomodeset" parameter) the screen comes up in
1920x1080 resolution like it should, with the Centos 6 graphic and the spinning
doodad, but it ends up with the gdm background screen and no way to log into it.


If I boot into runlevel 3 and log in and then run startx, I get the blue
background screen and apparently my whole desktop is running but it's just not
showing up!  I discovered that if I right-click on that blue background screen
after logging in and running startx, I get the "Create Folder/Create
Launcher/Create Document/Open in Terminal/etc" menu that you usually get when
right-clicking on the gnome desktop.  Opening a terminal from that menu gets me
gnome-terminal, and if I type "gnome-panel" into that terminal I get an error
message telling me that gnome-panel is already running.  Looking at a list of
running processes shows me gnote and a whole bunch of gnome stuff; i.e. the
gnome desktop is actually up and running.  The panel and desktop icons are just
not showing up on the screen; only the desktop background.  However, if I
right-click on the desktop background and "Create Folder", that folder now
shows up on the desktop.  (It's the only thing on the desktop.)

"killall gnome-panel" appears to work (it appears to do nothing, actually, but
that's normal) but the gnome-panel still doesn't show up.  Normally, when you
type killall gnome-panel the panel goes away and comes right back.  Since it's
already gone (but apparently still running) it stays gone even though it
appears to restart like it should.

This leads me to the conclusion that the problem can't be that any part of the
gnome installation is missing because it works at the lower 1280x1024

I'm open to any ideas.

MELVILLE THEATRE ~ Real D 3D Digital Cinema ~ www.melvilletheatre.com

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