Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Install Debian debian-9.3.0-amd64-netinst.iso - get gray Screen

ESXi 6.5 (VM-Version 13)

I try to install Debian Linux. After the first scrren I click "Install" to start the non graphical installation. Now I get a gray Screen.

pastedImage_0.png

I should get this screen:

pastedImage_1.png

What can I do?

Helmut Kaindl

15 Replies
Highlighted
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi,

Did you check it on different browsers?

** If you found this note/reply useful, please consider awarding points for "Correct" or "Helpful" ** Davoud Teimouri - https://www.teimouri.net - Twitter: @davoud_teimouri Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/teimouri.net/
0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you for your question and your helping.

I tried it with Mozilla Firefox 57.0.2, Google Chrome Version 63.0.3239.84, Microsoft Edge 41.16299.15.0, Internetexplorer 11.125.16299.0. On every Browser I get the same gray Screen on the second Page. The first page of the Installation menu is ok. I also tried with other Installation packages. I can install Ubuntu 16.04, but if I try to install Debian I get the gray Screen.

Server is a new Dell EMC - PowerEdge R740 with latest updates from Dell installed.

Greetings from Austria

Helmut

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Have you tried updating the ESXi host client?

https://labs.vmware.com/flings/esxi-embedded-host-client

Or for something less intrusive on the ESXi server, perhaps give the VMRC 10.x a try as the console viewer.

http://www.vmware.com/go/download-vmrc

https://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/vmrc_pubs.html

Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you very much for helping. I installed the update for the client:

VIBs Installed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.24.0-7119706

VIBs Removed: VMware_bootbank_esx-ui_1.21.0-5724747

and I also tired the remote console:

But again with all Browsers and the remote Console I get this gray screen.

Seems to be a bug.

Kind regards

Helmut

Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I also have the same problem as Helmut.

My server with the latest ESXi can not install any linux with text user interface (TUI) based installation like the latest versions of:

  • Ubuntu Server
  • Debian

While starting the TUI installer it gets the same gray screen as in the original post of this thread.

The error can be viewed with any browser and with remote console (Workstation Pro 14).

I can only install anything which has a GUI installer.

That's how I was able to install at least:

  • Kubuntu
  • Debian
  • CentOS

Does anybody have up-to-date information about this problem?

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Have you tried increasing the total video memory allocated to the video card?

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, I have tried increasing the video ram from 4 MB to 16, 32 & 64.

It does not work.

Nevertheless it should have worked even with the small amount of VRAM I allocated since its just TUI.

I was able to install Kubuntu 17.10 with 16 MB VRAM on a GUI installer.

The problem I imagined was that the installer of the guest OS gets confused in rendering its TUI because it may not know its render bounds.

Thats why I set the client console resolution directly via these arguments:

svga.maxWidth = 640

svga.maxHeight = 480

Sadly this does not resolve the problem either.

The last resort would be to setup the guest OS image to start with SSH.

But this would cost me too much time preparing the image when I want to setup multiple machines with different OSes so I wont try it for now.

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

When I press enter multiple times when doing the TUI debian installation I weirdly get blue and red lines on the mid of the screen.

The red and the blue seems to be the same as in the installer which was screenshot by Helmut in the original post.

I think the VM / installer works but the rendering of the TUI does not work and leads to weird artifacts on the screen.

Maybe this helps analyzing the problem further.

screenDebian93.PNG

Ubuntu Server 16.04 works on my machine using TUI installer (see screenshot below).

So i suppose the problem only occurs on Debian 9 & Ubuntu 17.10?

ubuntu_1604.PNG

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@fp0x00

Have you tried forcing 800x600 instead of 640x480? Your Ubuntu screenshot is closer to 800x600 as is Helmut's screenshot of the non-gray Debian 9 TUI.

You could also try adding the line

svga.vgaOnly = "TRUE"

I don't know if it works or how it behaves with VM hosted on ESXi. But for Workstation/Player, svga.vgaOnly = "TRUE", IIRC, a Windows VM will have a 640x480 with 16 colour capability.

Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Hello bluefirestorm,

I tried out your suggestions.

Both sadly didnt work. But maybe it gives us some hint on why its not working.

Tested with Debian 9:

Only setting the resolution to 800x600:

800x600_svgafalse.PNG

Setting resolution 800x600 and svga.vgaOnly="TRUE"

Note: Before it goes the to the black screen when I enter "Install" it says

"error: No suitable video mode found"

"Booting in blind mode"

svga_only_true.PNG

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Your screenshot with the all-grey Debian x64 #3 is closer to 1024x768 resolution than 800x600. I wonder if the svga.maxWidth and svga.maxHeight is really taking effect or not.

As for the svga.vgaOnly = "TRUE" looks like it did take effect as the Debian installation complained about "no suitable video mode found". By definition VGA standard is 640x480 16 colours. It is SVGA that is 800x600 and XGA is 1024x768 256 colours. Considering the Debian installation is saying no suitable video mode found that means it cannot support the VGA standard even for text user interface only.

If this KB https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1003 is still applicable

# for 800x600

svga.autoDetect = "FALSE"

svga.maxWidth = "800"

svga.maxHeight = "600"

svga.vramSize = "1920000"

# for 1024x768

svga.autoDetect = "FALSE"

svga.maxWidth = "1024"

svga.maxHeight = "768"

svga.vramSize = "3145728"

Although the svga.vramSize should be optional as it does not exceed the 4MB minimum in ESXi VMs.

Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Hello bluefirestorm,

thank you for the your hints with the resolution.

Sadly the gray screen remains.

I also think that the resolution setting does not work when the gray screen appears.

On every explicitely set resolution it results in the resolution you see in the screenshot.

It appears to only take effect at the pre-installation menu where I have the choice of doing the TUI or GUI installation.

# for 800x600

svga.autoDetect = "FALSE"

svga.maxWidth = "800"

svga.maxHeight = "600"

svga.vramSize = "1920000"

800x600_autodetect_false_settings.PNG

800x600_autodetect_false.PNG

# for 1024x768

svga.autoDetect = "FALSE"

svga.maxWidth = "1024"

svga.maxHeight = "768"

svga.vramSize = "3145728"

1024_768_autodetect_false_settings.PNG

1024_768_autodetect_false.PNG

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I also had this issue just now.

My workaround was to create the VM with hardware version 12 instead of 13. That has fixed the issue for me and allowed the installation to proceed normally.

Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, your suggestion worked for me also

0 Kudos
Highlighted
Contributor
Contributor

I ran into this issue as well, and was able to solve it by disabling the frame buffer within the debian installer.

At this screen:

pastedImage_0.png

Running Graphical Install seems to work ok, but running Install only results in a grey screen like others have seen.

Disable the frame buffer as shown in help--> F8:

pastedImage_64.png

So: go to the help screen to get to the boot console, then run: "install vga=normal fb=false"

0 Kudos