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How To Fix “EE No Screens Found” Error When Starting Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 on Raspberry Pi 4 via SSH

Ubuntu 19

In this article, we will explore how to fix the “EE no screens found” error when starting Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 on Raspberry Pi 4 via SSH. This error is usually encountered when trying to start the desktop environment using the startx command on a Raspberry Pi running Ubuntu Server.

Quick Answer

To fix the "EE no screens found" error when starting Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 on Raspberry Pi 4 via SSH, you need to install the missing "fbdev" module using the command sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-fbdev. After installing the module, try starting the desktop environment again using the startx command.

Understanding the Error

The “EE no screens found” error indicates that the X server is unable to detect any screens. This can be a common issue when trying to run a desktop environment on a headless server. The X server is responsible for managing the display on Unix-like operating systems. When it can’t find a screen to display on, it throws this error.

Checking the X Server Log

The first step in troubleshooting this error is to check the X server log file. This file is located at ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log and contains detailed information about the X server’s operation. To view the log file, use the cat command:

cat ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log

This command will display the contents of the log file in your terminal. Look for any error messages that might indicate what’s causing the “EE no screens found” error.

Installing the Missing Module

In the context of this article, the log file showed a missing “fbdev” module. The “fbdev” module is a driver for the X server that allows it to use the Linux kernel’s framebuffer device for display. If this module is missing, the X server won’t be able to display anything, leading to the “EE no screens found” error.

To fix this, install the missing module using the sudo apt install command:

sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-fbdev

The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, apt is the package manager used by Ubuntu, and install tells it to install a package. xserver-xorg-video-fbdev is the name of the package that contains the “fbdev” module.

After installing the module, try starting the desktop environment again using the startx command:

startx

The startx command starts the X server and the default desktop environment.

Conclusion

The “EE no screens found” error when starting Ubuntu Desktop 19.10 on Raspberry Pi 4 via SSH can be caused by a missing “fbdev” module. By checking the X server log file and installing the missing module, you should be able to fix this error and successfully start the desktop environment.

Remember to always check the log files when encountering errors with the X server. They contain valuable information that can help you diagnose and fix the problem. If you’re still having trouble, consider seeking help from the Ubuntu community.

What is SSH?

SSH stands for Secure Shell and is a cryptographic network protocol that allows secure remote access to a computer or server. It provides a secure channel over an unsecured network by encrypting the data being transmitted.

How can I access Ubuntu Desktop on Raspberry Pi 4 via SSH?

To access Ubuntu Desktop on Raspberry Pi 4 via SSH, you need to have SSH enabled on the Pi and know its IP address. You can enable SSH by running the command sudo raspi-config on the Pi, selecting "Interfacing Options," and enabling SSH. Then, from your computer, open a terminal and use the command ssh username@ip_address to connect to the Pi, replacing "username" with your username and "ip_address" with the IP address of the Pi.

What is the X server?

The X server is a software component that provides the foundation for graphical user interfaces on Unix-like operating systems. It manages the display hardware, handles input devices like keyboards and mice, and allows applications to render graphics on the screen. It is responsible for creating and managing windows, managing user input, and handling the display of graphical elements.

How can I view the contents of a file in the terminal?

To view the contents of a file in the terminal, you can use the cat command followed by the file name. For example, to view the contents of a file named "myfile.txt," you would use the command cat myfile.txt. This will display the contents of the file in the terminal.

How can I install a package in Ubuntu using apt?

To install a package in Ubuntu using apt, you can use the sudo apt install command followed by the name of the package. For example, to install a package named "example-package," you would use the command sudo apt install example-package. The sudo command is used to run the command with administrative privileges.

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