Debian won't boot

mgamber's picture


I am currently a newbie to Linux and am trying different distos. I have an Asus EeePC which came loaded with windows xp. I installed Linux Mint on the HD with windows. And it works OK.

Now I have tried to load Debian on an external hard drive. The installation seemed to have failed somewhere. When I set my bios to boot from the hd. I get "GRUB loading." "Welcome to GRUB." then an error: "no such device: ******** (a long line of letters, numbers, and dashes.)" Then "Entering rescue mode..." "grub rescue>........................................................."

If I then restore defaults in bios and reboot, I get into GNU GRUB version 1.99-27-deb7u2. Here I have 6 choices - Debian GNU/Linux, with Linux 3.2.0-4-686-pae, or the same with (recovery mode), or 2 choices for windows xp (the original OS.) or Linux Mint (x2) (load with wondows on the internal hd.

If I choose windows or Mint they boot fine. Debian however loads giving me a lot of code. Then it asks for my login and password and logs in but stops at my username@my system:~$.

What do I do from here or what did I do wrong?

Any help would be appreciated.


Re: Debian won't boot

IntnsRed's picture

> I have tried to load Debian on an external hard drive.

What's likely going on (just a guess) is that the external hard drive requires some sort of non-free driver that is not included in Debian but that is included in the other GNU/Linux distribution. Debian takes a militant view about non-free/proprietary software, where as some other Linux distros will include non-free software.

> Debian however loads giving me a lot of code.

The text you see scrolling by are the messages from the Linux kernel and the various drivers and programs that are run at startup. This is completely normal and can be vitally useful in case of some sort of error.

Other distributions sometimes focus on trivial cosmetics rather than functionality and diagnostics, so some will cover that information up with a "splash screen" to hide it.

> but stops at my username@my system:~$

That's a Bash command-line prompt, waiting for you to enter a command.

Typically the X windowing system will automatically be loaded to give you a GUI. For some reason, yours is not.

This could be because of some sort of error, or it could be because X is not installed.

Try typing "startx" to fire up the X windowing system. If installed, you'll be taken to a GUI desktop.

If X is not installed, you'll have to log in as the "root" user (the superuser) and then install X and a GUI desktop. Debian allows the selection of various different GUI desktops, so you should read up on the choices. Executing the command "apt-get install task-gnome-desktop" or "apt-get install kde-full" to install either the GNOME or KDE desktops, or "apt-get install task-xfce-desktop" for the XFCE desktop (it uses a bit less memory than GNOME or KDE).