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. 

9 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!

  • Nick MoMo

    I was getting this error when trying to run systemrescueCD live cd on windows hyper-v.
    After trying all kinds of different configurations, someone suggested using virtualbox (from oracle).

    Downloaded it, installed, booted 1st time.
    Thanks for playing nice once again m$.

  • Anonymous

    Under VirtualBox i am having the error “no screens found” when using:
    -SystemRescueCD 4.7.1

    But only when booting in UEFI mode (EFI checkBox checked):
    -If i boot form .iso directly mounted on VirtualBOX VirtualCD
    -Also if i do create a VirtualHDD with GPT table with EFI partition + Ext4 partition for Grub2 and grub.cfg entry configured to boot from a loop device from SystemRescueCD.iso

    If i boot the CD from the Physical machine (with a CD toasted) it runs OK.
    Also it starts X well if i create on a USB pendrive (by doing the same steps as for VirtualHDD) the GPT table with EFI and Ext4 for Grub2 , bla bla bla

    Steps to reproduce the fail:
    -Configure VirtualBOX virtual machine with EFI enabled
    -Under Storage set the CD to use SystemRescueCD.iso
    -Boot the virtual machine
    Note: It will show a different boot menu, B/W with only 64 Bits options ¿?
    -Type startx or wizard

    Why when booting SystemRescueCD with EFI there are shown only 64Bit options?
    I ask this because when i create from scratch the GPT table, EFI partition, Ext4 for Grub2, i put a own made grub.cfg with options to boot 32Bits version of SystemRescueCD and test it on physical machine and it worked, i could boot 32Bit version from UEFI boot.

    In other words:
    -Physical PC power on (with USB pendrive connected)
    -Press F12 (for my PC it is F12 key) to show boot menu
    -Select the USB pendrive
    -It boots from EFI partition on my USB pendrive
    -Grub2 Menu appears
    -I can choose to boot SystemRescueCD from loop device in a lot of ways since i put all sort of combinations (8 in total) inside grug.cfg, so i can choose how to boot it, just by chooing one of such eight:
    * 32Bit or 64Bit
    * with or without docache
    * auto startx or stay on console

    If i start 32Bit ones it works as well as 64Bits, so why SystemRescueCD when booting in EFI mode does not show 32Bits versions and olny shows 64Bits versions?

    Now i will comment something on boot that changes when inside VirtualBOX:
    -After booting from my own made VirtualHDD with EFI partition it shows a lot of text and a countdown to autorun a script called:
    autostart.nsh
    * Until i created such file on root of EFI partition i was forced to type a command to boot Grub2:
    FS0:\EFI\gentoo\grub2x64.efi

    Well i had tested 32bit and 64bit versions, all has the same problem inside VirtualBOX, startx and wiward fails ith “no screens found” error.

    Resuming:
    -When booting from CD in non EFI mode it works
    -When booting from loop device in non EFI mode it works
    -When booting from CD in EFI mode ir fails
    -When booting from loop device in EFI mode it fails

    Note just in case it helps someone:
    -When i create from scrath the VirtualHDD i was having a lot of problems with video mode for Grub2 menu and also got some errors while booting to console of SystemRescueCD, and one big “booting in blind mode”, so i had to put some insmod inside grug.cfg to load some modules… like efi_

    But i can not get to start X yet while booting in EFI mode from inside VirtualBOX.

    Just in case someone thinks i do not know how to create boot drives in EFI (a few days ago i did know nothing ablut it), among it is too much complicated, at least i got it working and my USB pendrive (1GiB) boots perfectly in EFI mode in more than one physical PC and Grub2 can boot SystemRescuCD with a loop device on both versions 32bits and 64bits and with X working…, also more, it also boots perfectly on non EFI physical machines since i did the trick of 1MiB BIOS grub partition. It is just inside VirtualBOX when SystemRescueCD fails, it also fails if directly booting from VirtualCD drive with .iso inserted.

    I am afraid it me be a BUG inside VirtualBOX.

    P.D.: VirtualBOX guest additions has no sence here, do not tell anyone to install them… remember what is beeing tryed… boot from SystemRescuCD.iso (a LiveCD)… and if VitualBOX has EFI checkbos unchecked it starts X perfectly !!!

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