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Thread: [HELP] Installing Kali Linux on a Nvidia Optimus system

  1. #1
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    [SOLVED] Installing Kali Linux on a Nvidia Optimus system

    Hi everyone, first of all i just want to say i'm glad to join such a helpful community as this. And to clear it up, I do know computer (just a university student), but not that well, especially Linux since I have never used Linux before. I wanted to install Kali Linux on my machine just for a learning experience in computer security (it all seems very intriguing). However I have been stucked with these errors for the last couple of days trying to install the OS.

    Here are my machine specs:

    Dell Inspiron 7559
    i7-6700HQ
    8GB RAM
    Nvidia 960M GPU
    Windows 10 Pro 1607
    BIOS mode: UEFI Version: 3.0

    Method of OS installation: through bootable USB, Dual-boot system

    I have successfully installed Kali on my HDD, however, when I boot it up, right after I enterd my credentials at the login screen, the machine freezes. And as my searches show, it is due to the fact that my machine have a dedicated discrete graphics card, being the Nvidia 960M, as well as an on board one, which is the Intel HD Graphics 530. This is the Optimus configuration by Nvidia as far as I read. And it is a frequent issues with many threads have already been created about this issue. However, after almost a week of searching, I have tried many various solutions around the web (obviously not every single one of them since some are very long, confusing and I do not know how to execute them) but they all give me the same errors, such as these:

    "watchdog did not stop"
    "detected stalls on CPU"
    "NMI watchdong bug soft lock-up"

    these are the ones I could written down, as the errors screen runs in a loop.

    The solutions I have tried are:

    - https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...an-t-start-gui tried: installing Nvidia drivers, but get errors at dist-upgrade, even if skip dist-upgrade entirely still get errors at install nvidia drivers itself.
    - https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...ptimus-laptop: Even the lspci give me the errors.
    - https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...s-after-login: I couldn't find the file /etc/X11/xorg.config with the command ls as root.
    - https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...bility-Issues: ACPI seems to be a dead end.

    and several more solutions that I have already tried and closed their tabs that I don't remember off the top of my head right now.


    I always format the Kali partition and reinstall Kali every time I try a new solutions.


    It is very frustrating to can't even complete the OS install. but i don't intend to give up soon, so if anyone have any suggestions or have been able to fixed the problem themselves, please let me know I would love to hear and finally fix this issue. I would appreciate it a lot. But please explain it to me in very basic steps because i am a total noob in terminal.

    Thank you very much for everyone who read the thread and the moderators. and sorry for bad english.

    [SOLUTION:]

    This is caused by Kali failing to start the Nvidia graphic card. To forces Kali to use Intel integrated graphic card. I recommend using the following commands in tty (i.e: When you are at the log in screen, press the combination Ctrl + Alt + F1-F12, try to find your combination) to remove all Nvidia related components.

    Code:
    apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
    rm -rf /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    rm -rf /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart/optimus.desktop
    rm -rf /etc/xdg/autostart/optimus.desktop
    After running these commands and reboot, you will be able to log into Kali without the OS freezing. Now follow the guide here at the link:

    https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...Optimus-laptop

    To install Nvidia drivers again. You should succeed in running Kali with the dedicated graphic card now after you have followed the guide.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by chaopac; 2017-06-17 at 16:02.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Disable Nvidia graphic card from the boot settings. Then your PC will run on Intel HD graphics. After booting into kali follow the instructions here: https://forums.kali.org/showthread.p...Optimus-laptop

    After installation enable Nvidia graphic card again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    2017-Jun
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    My machine BIOS have no settings to change the graphic cards options, as I have tried to look through them.

    The advanced tab of my BIOS have the following options:

    Intel speedstep: enabled
    Virtualization: enabled
    Vt for direct i/o: enabled
    Integrated NIC: enabled
    Usb emulation: enabled
    Usb powershare: enabled
    Usb wake suoport: disabled
    Sata operation: ata
    Adapter warnings: enabled
    Function key behavior: multimedia key

    Intel software guard extentions: disabled
    Bios recovery from hard drive: enabled
    Usb debug: disabled
    Auto os recovery threshold: 2
    Battery charge configuration: adaptive
    Advanced battery charge mode: disabled

    In the other tabs of BIOS, which is Main, Security, Boot and Exit I do not see an option for the graphic cards either.

    Google searches pertaining my particular machine also have not yeilded any results.

    But thank you very much for your help.

  4. #4
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    If you manage to boot into grub menu you will be able to open grub parameter file by pressing 'e'.There you have to replace quiet keyword with quiet nomodeset splash. This will prevent Nvidia video settings to load early. Then boot kali and follow that link.

    If quiet keyword is not written then write that line at the 3rd position just below where insmod is written.
    Last edited by _defalt; 2017-06-13 at 08:48.

  5. #5
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    2017-Jun
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    Hi defalt,

    I tried but when I went to get the BusID of my Nvidia graphic card with the command:

    nvidia-xconfig --query-gpu-info | grep 'BusID : ' | cut -d ' ' -f6

    I was greeted with the error:

    ERROR: Unable to query GPU information.

    Given that the BusID of my graphic cards were already listed at the outcome of the command:

    lspci | grep -E "VGA|3D"

    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 530 (rev 06)
    02:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM107M [GeForce GTX 960M] (rev a2)

    I guess the BusID is the number at the front, then I change my BusID in the xorg.conf file to be "PCI:2:0:0"

    After finishing the final steps, I then proceed to reboot the machine. However, on boot it is stuck at the screen with a bunch of green [OK] with information next to them. The final entry to the boot where it is stuck at is:

    [OK] Started User manager for UID 131

    So I don't know why it refuses to boot pass this point. If you have any idea please enlighten me

    Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to help me. I appreciate it a lot. Hope you have a nice day.

    PS: just tried to reboot the machine again while I was writing this reply, now the boot is stuck at:

    [OK] Started Hostname service.

    I tried to reboot again, and it is stuck at a different line. Another reboot, and it is the UID line again. After about 10 reboots or so, stopping at the UID line is the most often but it can sometimes stop at other lines too.

    PS 2: I saw a flash of a line that has the beginning as a red [FAILED] sign, video-record the boot sequence and I could read it as:

    [FAILED] Failed to start Load Kernel Modules.

    This line is at the very top of the boot, directly under:

    /dev/sda7: clean, 339700/8855552 files, 2879709/35415552 blocks

  6. #6
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    If you can open terminal you can install Nvidia drivers following that link.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    2017-Jun
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    Thank you so much for such a quick reply.

    I think I should clarify myself. I know the way I write is very confusing and it is a mess to read altogether. sorry about that. :P

    What I mean is, I actually have completed the steps in the guide that you shown me. After completing it that is when I got stuck at the boot.

    In my previous post, the first part is me explaining what I did slightly different from the guide. Due to the errors I get when I run the commands that the guide specified, I have to improvised the information to fill in the latter commands.

    I hope this clears things up. I have been trying to google my problem here, but no luck so far. But finger crossed.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
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    I just read the entirety of the guide, and I realized the author did include a section for stuck at boot scenarios. My fault I didn't see it earlier. However the guide's author only suggestion is undo everything in the guide. So I guess I will have to look for other solutions then.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaopac View Post
    I just read the entirety of the guide, and I realized the author did include a section for stuck at boot scenarios. My fault I didn't see it earlier. However the guide's author only suggestion is undo everything in the guide. So I guess I will have to look for other solutions then.
    That person is the only person on forums who came up with the correct solution to install Nvidia drivers. Before his post lot of people tried to look for other solutions but failed. Follow that guide whatever the way it says. If you don't remember what changes you have made till now, just reinstall kali and follow the link. Why do you think undo everything is not a good idea if it takes you to the fix of this problem?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    2017-Jun
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    Apologies. Indeed you were right.

    After following the steps to install the Nvidia drivers, I got stuck at boot. Following the guide to remove all Nvidia driver:

    Code:
    apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
    rm -rf /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    
    rm -rf /usr/share/gdm/greeter/autostart/optimus.desktop
    rm -rf /etc/xdg/autostart/optimus.desktop
    This forces the machine to use the Intel driver to boot. After reboot, I was able to log into the system without the need for

    Code:
    quiet nomodeset splash
    or

    Code:
    acpi=off
    in GRUB settings. So basically that fixed the problem of the machine freezing at boot.

    Now after removing all Nvidia components, I tried to followed the steps to reinstall the Nvidia drivers again, and then I succeeded. I was able to run Kali with the dedicated graphic card.

    Now I will move on to trying to install Bumblebee for my machine.

    Thank you very much for all of your help defalt. I appreciate it.

    I will now update the first post with my solution. After that please any moderator close the thread.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaopac View Post
    After that please any moderator close the thread.
    Threads are never closed and deleted for such reasons no matter how correct the solution is given. This is not a help and support portal site. People with similar problem will reach this thread later to seek for better solutions.

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