• For other hardware compatibility issues, refer to our known issues.

Error starting GDM

This section applies if you see the following error message when starting Tails:

Error starting GDM with your graphics card: name of your graphics card [id] (rev number). Please take note of this error and visit https://tails.boum.org/gdm for troubleshooting.

  1. Identify the name, ID, and revision number (if any) of your graphics card.

    For example, if your error message starts with:

    Error starting GDM with your graphics card: NVIDIA Corporation GT218M [NVS 3100M] [10de:0a6c] (rev a2)

    • The name is NVIDIA Corporation GT218M [NVS 3100M].
    • The ID is [10de:0a6c]. The ID is unique to the model of your graphics card, it is not unique to your computer.
    • The revision number is a2. Your graphics card might have no revision number.
  2. Check if your graphics card is listed below. For example, you can search for its name or ID on this page.

    • If your graphics card is listed, check if a workaround is documented to make it work on Tails.

      If the workaround doesn't work, please contact our support team by email.

      Mention in your email:

      • The version of Tails that you are trying to start.
      • The name, ID, and revision number (if any) of your graphics card.
      • The workaround that you tried and that failed.
    • If your graphics card is not listed, please contact our support team by email.

      Mention in your email:

      • The version of Tails that you are trying to start.
      • The name, ID, and revision number (if any) of your graphics card.

      You can send us a photo of the error message as it appears on your screen.

  3. If your problem get fixed in a future version of Tails, please let us know so we can update this page.

AMD Radeon HD

Affected graphics cards

NameIDRevision number
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Mars XTX [Radeon HD 8790M][1002:6606]
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Mars XTX [Radeon HD 8790M][1002:6606](rev ff)
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Seymour LP [Radeon HD 6430M][1002:6761]
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Cedar [Radeon HD 5000/6000/7350/8350 Series][1002:68f9]
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Broadway PRO [Mobility Radeon HD 5850][1002:68a1]
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RV730/M96 [Mobility Radeon HD 4650/5165][1002:9480]
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Device [1002:98e4][1002:98e4](rev da)

Workaround

For some models, adding radeon.modeset=0 to the startup options fixes the issue.

We need more test results from users: #12482

AMD Radeon R9

Affected graphics cards

NameIDRevision number
Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Hawaii PRO [Radeon R9 290/390][1002:67b1]

Workaround

Adding radeon.dpm=0 to the startup options fixes the issue.

Intel

Affected graphics cards

Various Intel graphics card.

Workaround

Adding xorg-driver=intel to the startup options might fix the issue.

Otherwise, try starting in the Troubleshooting Mode.

Intel 855GM

Affected graphics cards

NameIDRevision number
Intel Corporation 82852/855GM Integrated Graphics Device[8086:3582](rev 02)

Nvidia Tesla

Affected graphics cards

NameIDRevision number
NVIDIA Corporation MCP89 (GeForce 320M)[10de:08a0]a2

List of graphics cards in the N50 family (Tesla)

Workaround

Try adding nomodeset to the startup options.

Nvidia Maxwell

Affected graphics cards

NameIDRevision number
NVIDIA Corporation GM107 [GeForce GTX 750 Ti]?a2
NVIDIA Corporation GM204M [GeForce GTX 970M][10de:13d8]
NVIDIA Corporation GM204M [GeForce GTX 970M][10de:1618]

List of graphics cards in the NV110 family (Maxwell)

Workaround

This problem has been fixed for some of these graphic cards.

Otherwise, try adding nouveau.noaccel=1 or nouveau.modeset=0 to the startup options.

We need more test results from users: #15116

Nvidia Pascal

Affected graphics cards

List of graphics cards in the NV110 family (Pascal)

Workaround

This problem has been fixed for some of these graphic cards.

Otherwise, try adding nouveau.noaccel=1 or nouveau.modeset=0 to the startup options.

We need more test results from users: #15116

Other issues

Black screen with switchable graphics computers

Some computers with switchable graphics (such as Optimus) fail to choose a video card and end up on a black screen. This has been reported for MacBook Pro 6,2, MacBook Pro 10,1 Retina, MacBook Pro 15-inch (early 2011) and might affect many others.

There are several possible workarounds for this issue:

  • Explicitly select one of the two graphics adapters in the BIOS instead of letting the system choose one automatically. If this does not solve the problem, try selecting the other graphics adapter.

  • For the Mac computers, it is possible to use a third-party application, http://gfx.io/, to force integrated graphics only through macOS. Then restart in that special mode that works with Tails.

  • Expert Linux users can also do the following:

    1. Add the i915.modeset=0 rootpw=pass option in the Boot Loader Menu.

    2. Create a file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/switchable.conf with the following content:

      Section "Device"
          Identifier "Device0"
          Driver "nouveau"
          BusID "1:0:0"
      EndSection
      
    3. Restart X with the command:

      service gdm3 restart
      
    4. After the GNOME session has started, change again the root password with the command:

      sudo passwd
      

For more details, see our ticket on Video is broken with switchable graphics.

Cannot start GNOME session with switchable graphics computers

On some computers with switchable graphics, Tails 2.10 and later fails to start the GNOME session and keeps returning to Tails Greeter.

Starting in Troubleshooting Mode works, as well as adding the modeprobe.blacklist=nouveau to the startup options.

Intel GM965/GL960

Affected graphics cards

NameIDRevision number
Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (primary)[8086:2a02]
Intel Corporation Mobile GM965/GL960 Integrated Graphics Controller (secondar)[8086:2a03]

The laptop crashes while running Tails.

Workaround

Adding video=SVIDEO-1:d to the startup options fixes the issue.

Virtual machines with virt-manager, libvirt and QEMU

See the dedicated troubleshooting documentation about graphics issues in Tails running inside a virtual machine with virt-manager.

Virtual machines with VMware

To improve support of Tails running inside a virtual machine with VMware, ?install the open-vm-tools-desktop software package in Tails.