How To Fix “Fatal server error: no screens found” | Ubuntu

If you’re running off a live USB disk or changing your graphics card the error below might appear when Xorg is looking for the wrong drivers or device. You might also get this error while using the Nvidia drivers, I found however this was caused by some of the extra options added into the xorg.conf file (usually located /etc/X11/xorg.conf). If the case is that it’s a problem with the aditional options I suggest making a backup of the file and attempting to comment out (#) aditional options, this will need a bit more of an expert eye to see what isn’t needed though.. You can also use the following to rollback to a working version when using the Nvidia drivers.

There is a pretty simple fix, if it is caused by broken or changed xorg.conf file:

Fix:
Make a backup of your current Xorg.conf, just in case something goes even more wrong and it can be easily restored:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.bckup 

Now you’ll want to restore the failsafe (sometimes called xorg.conf.backup) config to be used as the default:

sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.failsafe /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Yeah, it was that simple (if this error was caused by a broken or changed xorg.conf anyway. So you can continue and start the x server with:

startx

Error:

X.Org X Server 1.9.0
Release Date: 2010-08-20
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.24-27-server i686 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linux ubuntu 2.6.35-22-generic #33-Ubuntu SMP Sun Sep 19 20:34:50 UTC 2010 i686
Kernel command line: noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash -- maybe-ubiquity
Build Date: 16 September 2010  05:39:22PM
xorg-server 2:1.9.0-0ubuntu7 (For technical support please see http://www.ubuntu.com/support) 
Current version of pixman: 0.18.4
 	Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
	to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
	(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
	(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Fri Mar  4 11:35:54 2011
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"
(==) Using system config directory "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d"
(EE) No devices detected.

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support 
	 at http://wiki.x.org
 for help. 
Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.

 ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
giving up.
xinit: No such file or directory (errno 2): unable to connect to X server
xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error. 

7 comments to How To Fix “Fatal server error: no screens found” | Ubuntu

  • John Mc Alinden

    Cheers mate, that was useful

  • I use a HP Tx2 laptop. I run Maverick Meerkat. I was surfing the web with my Globacom 3G modem (which is actually a HUAWEI Mobile Broadband E173 modem) and got carried away and pulled it out of the USB port without shutting the system down first. Now, my computer doesn’t seem to be able to start the X Windowing System.
    When I choose Ubuntu from grub, I get the initial purple Ubuntu flash screen with the five dots. After that the computer just hangs. So, I proceed to reboot and to choose “Ubuntu…recovery mode” this time around from the grub menu; and this takes me to the Recovery Menu. Nothing really helps me here, except the ‘resume’ option which dumps me at a bash prompt.

    Trying ‘startx’ tells me that:
    …Parse error on line 20 of section In in file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf
    “In” is not a valid section name.
    (EE) Problem parsing the config file
    (EE) Error parsing the config file

    Fatal server error:
    no screens found

    ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
    giving up.
    xinit: No such file or directore (errno2): unable to connect to X server
    xinit: No such process (errno3): Server error.

    After this I followed your advice on this webpage and tried to backup my xorg.conf file. My computer found none. Then I copied the failsafe version to a new xorg.conf. This worked.

    The error still persists — and with a new dimension this time! :0(

    Now it also tells me:
    xauth: error in locking authority file /home/stanley/.Xauthority
    before returning me to a bash prompt.

    What do I do now, please? I have my original Ubuntu installation disc.

    Thank you.

  • carol llorente

    Thanks! This solved my problem. :D

  • gelukkig

    Youuuu save my life thanks youu!!!

  • X.Org X Server 1.9.0
    Release Date: 2010-08-20
    X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
    Build Operating System: Linux 2.6.24-27-server i686 Ubuntu
    Current Operating System: Linux ubuntu 2.6.35-22-generic #33-Ubuntu SMP Sun Sep 19 20:34:50 UTC 2010 i686
    Kernel command line: noprompt cdrom-detect/try-usb=true persistent file=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper initrd=/casper/initrd.lz quiet splash — maybe-ubiquity
    Build Date: 16 September 2010 05:39:22PM
    xorg-server 2:1.9.0-0ubuntu7 (For technical support please see http://www.ubuntu.com/support)
    Current version of pixman: 0.18.4
    Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
    to make sure that you have the latest version.
    Markers: (–) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
    (++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
    (WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
    (==) Log file: “/var/log/Xorg.0.log”, Time: Fri Mar 4 11:35:54 2011
    (==) Using config file: “/etc/X11/xorg.conf”
    (==) Using system config directory “/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d”
    (EE) No devices detected.

    Fatal server error:
    no screens found

    Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
    at http://wiki.x.org
    for help.
    Please also check the log file at “/var/log/Xorg.0.log” for additional information.

    ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
    giving up.
    xinit: No such file or directory (errno 2): unable to connect to X server
    xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error.

  • Nimmi

    Thanks a lot!

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