This is my first attempt at Elementary. I’ve managed to install it to the drive of my aging MacBook Air but the boot sequence ends in a black screen with 4 small icons in the upper right of the screen: wifi, Bluetooth , battery and power. Mouse is functioning and the icons produce functioning drop down menus , but that’s it.

I was kind of hoping for something more.

Any suggestions on how to proceed from here are welcome.


2 Answers 2


That's probably a bug in nouveau driver introduced in kernel 4.15. It's still not fixed in 4.19 release. Loki was on 4.14 which is working good. See this: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=106512

Could you specify which GPU exactly do you have?

Could you boot with nomodeset kernel parameter? See: https://askubuntu.com/questions/38780/how-do-i-set-nomodeset-after-ive-already-installed-ubuntu

There are several workarounds:

To achieve these workarounds you'll have to boot with nomodeset kernel parameter.

  1. Build and patch kernel with provided patch from source. How To: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/BuildYourOwnKernel

  2. I have did it so If you wan't use nouveau, don't want to compile it by yourself and are ok with mine .deb binaries of patched kernel 4.15 I can upload them. Ask me If you are interessted. I recommend to do it by yourself.

  3. Use nvidia's proprietary driver. Unfortunately the one in ubuntu repos is also bugged and you have to install official one manually which works without issues: How To: https://github.com/elementary/greeter/issues/166#issuecomment-437144185

If you will be using nvidia-340 then you will be probably interessted also in this issue: https://github.com/elementary/gala/issues/253

  1. Downgrade kernel to 4.14 http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.14/
  • Thanks for your elaborate answer and offering your help. Specs: Core 2 Duo 1.4 GHz, 64-Bit, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics processor. I installed Loki 4.14 and that's working fine. I'm a real novice so building my own kernel is a bit too much for now. Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 12:39
  • But there are a lot of users on this forum who reported the same problem so your guidance will be of good use to them. Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 12:40
  • That's exactly same GPU as I use. You're right there should be a huge amount of people who will experience this problem. I recommend you upgrade to Juno and install nvidia's proprietary driver by following howto I mentioned. With some quirks I use it on daily basis and it's quite stable. You can always boot with nomodeset. It's easy to install kernel 4.14 on Juno if you wan't stay with nouveau.
    – Augustin
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 15:19

I wanted to confirm that I have the same problem and will attempt to answer any questions about the issue as well.

The installation appears to go smoothly at first. The desktop login shows up but the Parallels installation assistant keeps spinning. If you wait you will eventually see a black screen briefly that says:

Parallels Guest Tools were installed sucessfully! Please, reboot your OS to finish the installation of Parallels Guest Tools. mv: cannot stat '/opt/prl-tools-installer/Sgdm' : No such file or directory mv: cannot stat '/opt/prl-tools-installer/Skdm' : No such file or directory

Then the VM restarts and you see the Elementary OS logo. Then you get the black screen with only the top right icons. Then icons respond to clicks and you can Restart and Shutdown using that icon. But the system is not functioning correctly.

Details of my hardware and software:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012)
  • macOS Mojave 10.14
  • Parallels Desktop 13.3.2 (43368) for Mac Home Edition
  • Attempted to install Elementary OS 5.0-stable.20181016
  • I have the same the issue and need a solution too. I am using Parallels 13 on a iMac Pro and just a black screen.
    – timv
    Commented Nov 17, 2018 at 9:00

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