Black screen after update

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This article is based on SUSE Linux 10.2.

Symptom

You are using an NVidia graphics card. After a software update the screen remains black.

Reason

There are two drivers for NVidia graphic cards, one being open source (called nv) and one from NVidia (called nvidia). The one from NVidia is only delivered in its binary form and can be incompatible with a new kernel. However, nv does not have 3d acceleration.

Solution

Use the open source driver instead of NVidia's:

  1. When your system doesn't reach the graphic level (init 5) you get stuck in a line command mode that expects you to log in. You have to log in as root.
  2. With an editor (e.g. vim) open the file "/etc/X11/xorg.conf" and find the line 'Section "Device"'.
  3. Proceed to the line 'Driver "nvidia"', change it to 'Driver "nv"', save and quit.
  4. Reboot.

See also