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[Fixed] Kali Linux Stuck At Black Screen On Boot

Kali Linux is the best Linux distribution for penetration testing. It has almost every tool you need to test your system against hundreds of vulnerabilities.

Recently, I saw a few questions floating around the internet about Kali Linux not being able to boot correctly. To run into the problem, I made a Kali Linux bootable USB and booted it into live mode with the USB. The system stuck on a black screen on boot.

Though I was able to select and boot into the graphical installer.

kali linux boot menu
kali Linux boot menu

I installed Kali Linux using a graphical installer. Everything went okay, but the newly installed Kali won’t continue from the black screen.

After some tests and tinkering with the system, I found out that this is drivers related issue. The default graphics drivers do not support my system hardware.

I also noticed that the issue mostly occurs with modern PCs. I installed kali on my old PC, and it booted without any problems.

Install Graphics drivers

First of all, install Kali Linux using a graphical installer. After the installation has run successfully, reboot your computer, eject the USB drive, and boot from the hard drive.

On the grub menu, select Kali Linux and press [Tab] or [e] to edit the grub settings. Now search for the line that starts with ‘linux‘ and ends with ‘quiet splash’ or ‘splash’.

Found the line? Good. Now add the following parameter to this line. Give a space and type this –

xxxx.modeset=0

Where xxxx = the name of your graphics card.

xxxx value based on your graphics card

nouveau or nvidia for Nvidia cards
radeon for amd/ati cards
i915 for intel based motherboards
r128 for every old ati rage 128 cards

For example, I have Nvidia, so I added the following parameter to the line.

nvidia.modeset=0

After this, press CTRL+X to boot with the added settings. If it works for you, then you’re good. Unfortunately, this step did not work for me.

If the above step did not work for you, no problem. It has brought you to a screen with many lines of commands it executed to start your system. From here, press F3.

It’ll bring you to a terminal asking for your username. Now type the username as ‘root’ and enter the password you set while installing the distro.

We’ll now install the drivers manually. Do not worry; it’s simple. First of all, connect to the internet. If you use a LAN cable to connect to the internet, then skip this step.

Connect to wifi network in Kali Linux command line

There are various command-line tools to connect to a wifi network. For this tutorial, we can use iw. It is quick and easy to use.

Scan available wifi networks –

iw dev device_name scan

Connect to open wifi network –

iw dev device_name connect ssid

Connect to password protected wifi network –

iw dev device_name connect ssid ssid_password

Where ‘ssid’ & ‘ssid_password’ is the wifi name and password, respectively.

device_name is the name of your wireless card set by the operating system. Use iwconfig to find your wifi card name.

For more information on how to connect to wifi using CLI, visit this article on LAU.

Upgrade to a faster Kali Linux repository

You wouldn’t install any package if you did not configure the repository during the Kali Linux installation process.

Visit the following link and get the fastest repository from your location.

Use apt to edit the apt-source file.

apt edit-sources

Execute the above command and select nano to edit the sources file. Delete the Kali repository and add the new repository that you got from the above link.

deb http://kali.download/kali kali-rolling main non-free contrib

In the above line, replace the URL with the URL you got above.

Now update the system.

sudo apt update

Your system should now update pretty fast after adding a repo located near you.

Install graphics drivers

You are now ready to install graphics drivers. In this article, I will only show you to install drivers for Nvidia and AMD. If you are using any other graphics drivers, let me know in the comment section below, including that.

Install Nvidia drivers in Kali Linux

sudo apt install nvidia-drivers-390

If you want to install 418 or 430, simply change it in the above command.

You can also follow a detailed article I have written covering Nvidia drivers installation in Linux.

For installing AMD drivers, please visit the official guide for installing AMD drivers in Linux.

Conclusion

And that’s it. After installing the correct graphics drivers, your Kali Linux installation will boot into graphical mode without any problems.

If you have any problem with any step mentioned above, do not hesitate to drop it in the comment section below. I will reply ASAP.



46 comments

Lasse E. Jensen October 29, 2019 at 12:13 am

I did everything you’ve described, before reading this guide.. Occasionally, I get a hang on my Kali booting. Only way forward is to hard reset the machine and try again..
There’s a flashing “_” in the corner, when it boots.. or when it doesn’t boot, the “_” freezes and the machine doesn’t proceed at all.

Reply
Sohail October 29, 2019 at 2:45 am

If you get the black screen on Kali bootup occasionally, then the issue might not be with graphics drivers. The issue I am trying to resolve in this article happens all the time, not occasionally. Because once Kali has installed and booted up correctly, it means there is no issue with the drivers.

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Vinod Pandey August 28, 2020 at 9:27 am

Hello I got the same error that the Kali Linux stuck in black screen. But when I boot more than 3 or 4 times it get started.And one thing is that when I boot through windows I don’t get that issue please help

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Matt November 7, 2019 at 11:17 pm

Hello – would love your help. I’m stuck on a black screen. Have never been able to boot into live mode or any other mode. It runs through a long list of commands and if this helps the last one is:
—–[ end Kernal panic – not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unkown-block(0,0) ]—-
If I press F3 it does not take me to a terminal. I am able to get into grub settings but no terminal. F3 does nothing for me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am using a brand new Microsoft Surface 3 laptop.

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Sohail November 8, 2019 at 3:35 am

Hi Matt,

You can try this method to boot into command line –

> When you get the grub menu, press ‘e’ and it’ll open boot menu editor
> Now locate the line that starts wth ‘Linux’
> In that line, replace ‘ro’ with ‘rw’ and replace ‘quiet’ with ‘/bin/bash’

Once done, press ctrl + x to boot with the new settings. Now this should boot your system into terminal.

Another method –

If you have grub menu, select ‘Advanced options for Kali linux’ then boot into recovery mode. You’ll be asked to enter you root account credentials, go ahead and provide root password to boot into cli.

Let me know which one works for you.

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rayspear January 25, 2021 at 11:11 am

this error occurs mostly when you disable PAE .if you are using virtual box head over to system then processor and tick the”enable pae”and reboot.or else go to bios and find pae settings and enable

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dewin December 31, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Interesting After upgrade 2019.2 to 2019-4. Internal monitor gone. I installed fresh kali on another disk with new original xfce instead of gnome with fresh installation with nvidia 430 for RTX 2060. still internal monitor is not working but other two external hdmi and mini hdmi is working if Nvidia settled up as x11, grub etc… configuration.

when i remove and change from x11 nvidia to quiet splash, just internal is working.

why i’m installing x11 because of nvidia-settings is not opening if x11 is not settled up… Annoying….

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Martin January 14, 2020 at 8:46 am

Thanks for the info on this article it seems like this is not working for me, as soon as a reach CLI the monitor goes to out of range and I am using a really old opteron, so I kinda know it will be difficult to get Kali running on it, any advise?

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Kali January 20, 2020 at 3:42 pm

How to install drivers of intel hd 4000 graphics driver…please any help will be apriciated

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3e00 January 31, 2020 at 8:16 pm

when I boot the machine it doesn’t send anything to the monitor, it continues to say there is no input, so I’m not sure how to fix this if I can’t even boot up the computer, after a minute of trying to boot it automatically shuts itself down, I can’t even get back to windows 10 because the priority is to boot kali, which it can’t do, even with the usb out it still tries to boot kali, I have a laptop as well that I can reinstall kali onto the usb with and mess with files, I just don’t know which files to change to get the result you did with the grub menu, just wondering if you had any suggestions on where to start.

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Sohail January 31, 2020 at 11:50 pm

Hi,

First of all, make sure you installed kali Linux correctly. It seems like there occurred some kind of error during the installation that could cause this error. So you can try to install it again and see if you get it working or at least it stucks at the black screen on boot. Once you get a black screen, all you need to do is follow this article to fix it.

Secondly, you can get back to your previous OS just by changing boot drive properties from the bios settings(If you did not mess with the previous os files while you’re installing Kali). Let me know if it’s fixed.

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Swarnav March 23, 2020 at 12:14 pm

do this..
when yor r on login screen type alt +ctrl+f3
then connect to internet
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install slim
dpkg-reconfigure slim
then select slim
reboot
now you will get a different login screen
the type f1 and select gnome on xorg
then login
hope it will work for you…

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rujin March 25, 2020 at 5:16 pm

sohail can you please help me with my black screen problem my kali linux does not boot i as you said any of the methods you mention going to boot menu editor did’nt work and my advance boot option didnt work so can you teach me to get rid of this problem

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Sohail March 25, 2020 at 8:03 pm

Hi Rujin,

Did you get any error while trying any of the above method?

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KSR March 29, 2020 at 4:49 pm

Still can’t get any solution for this. I’ll try to give solution if will get such.
So much suffering for that.
If some had any effective way pls let me know.

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Phani Manohar Sai March 31, 2020 at 8:45 pm

I’m not able to configure the network step as it is showing blank screen
I’m using
Kali 2019.4 ISO and WiFi to connect to Internet
Please help me out

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Richard May 27, 2020 at 1:10 am

Hi,
I’m stuck on a Black screen.
If I boot kali linux without gpu(geforce gtx 1050 TI) i can normally boot kali without problems. But if i boot with gpu i got a Black screen. If i boot it with the nvidia.modeset=0 i still get a Blackscreen.
Can you please help me.

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Akash Bhatiya April 7, 2020 at 10:13 am

Hey Sohail,
Thanks a lot and sorry for my English
I installed kali month ago and it worked properly but one day after installing wine when I restart laptop it stucked in black screen it didn’t show user name and password menu. I tried i915.modeset=0 and it works only one time after restart i have to do same thing. I installed drivers (sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel)but it does not work. Please help..

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Parth April 8, 2020 at 6:04 am

Hi Sohail
I have tried all of the above recommendations and even reinstalled kali on my system. Twice now. Still I get stuck on a black screen everytime. I get the login prompt but it disappears in less than 2 seconds before I can type anything. Please help.

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Ernest May 26, 2020 at 1:59 pm

very good , work for after four days of battle and search on the net. i spent less than 2minute to fix this issue. thanks

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Juan May 29, 2020 at 10:49 am

Hi, I was using kali perfectly fine until one day this happened (I probably updated something and I don’t remember, I hadn’t used the VM in a while), and when I enter the grub menu, I can’t find the line that starts with linux and ends with splash or quiet splash, the closest I get is a line which ends in quiet, I tried adding “splash nvidia.modeset=0” and it started booting up with a GUI, but then it got stuck on a black screen. What should I do?

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Al July 5, 2020 at 10:39 am

Man your Kali repository is too fast thanks for mentioning

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Kavit August 7, 2020 at 8:41 am

When it asks username and password I used to give it,it’s correct but no home screen comes so I want to know how will it come

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Sohail August 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Hi Kavit,

If you see login screen, the graphics drivers seem to be working. But your installation may not have completed successfully. You can try to reinstall it.

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Tom December 11, 2020 at 10:30 pm

Do you know how to get the graphics drivers for: Intel GMA 3150

Thank you

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Ben December 13, 2020 at 5:55 am

I added the i915.modeset=o and it fixed my issue. Will I need to do this everytime, or is there a way to add this to the default startup protocol?

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D-Sava December 13, 2020 at 6:00 am

I solved my black screen after login problem with this:

a)ALT+CTRL+F2 for terminal
b)sudo apt-get install update
c)sudo apt-get install upgrade
d)sudo apt-get install dist-upgrade
e)reboot

Works fine for me. Just make sure you have set network to NAT in VM.

Reply
carnage December 26, 2020 at 2:29 am

After countless YouTube videos, blogs and forums i have finally found something that worked,,, The “Install Graphics drivers” step worked flawlessly for me. Thank You SO MUCH!! Definitely gonna bookmark and pin this page!

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n00bs March 7, 2021 at 6:44 pm

if you spent all that time trying to get kali to work only to find that u have no clue how to set a machine boot order or how to install graphics drivers… kali is not for you; get ubuntu with the works. dumb skids.

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Sohail March 11, 2021 at 6:49 pm

At a Debian conference, Linus Torvalds said that he found Debian difficult to install. It may be laughable for some but it’s the truth. If we follow your logic, then Torvalds should not do kernel. I hope you learn something from this example.

Regarding the article, I wrote this article for students, those learning penetration testing. Experts may never ever need to read this article.

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Keith April 13, 2021 at 3:47 pm

I get exactly the same on Ubuntu so maybe thats not for me either

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Suraj March 10, 2021 at 9:17 am

I am sorry, because I know that the black screen behaviour is not a new one and I really searched and read multiple threads about it. But I found fix for my problem here.
Then Start now .
1. Alt+F2 press and show login screen
2. Then type sudo apt update
3. Not installed video drivers in system then type command
Sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-intel
4. Systemctl Start lightdm
Then your login screen showing with gui .
Thanks ????

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Shivam January 21, 2022 at 11:12 am

Hey Suraj,
Thanks for helping me

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amylay April 1, 2021 at 3:58 pm

its work for me, 1st step work for me thank you for very understandable article i see only this article and fix my issue and happy when i see screen

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Sameer sahu August 9, 2021 at 3:24 pm

My kali Linux was working pretty much fine. I just had a little bit of a issue while playing any kind of video, there was a horizontal line bug.
I watched a video and he showed some tweaks to do. Video link : https://youtu.be/IJeX35wbZY4 . After performing these I restarted my laptop and now when I try to boot I just end up with a screen showing lots of [ ok ] messages and doesn’t go beyond that.

I think I may have messed with the GPU drivers that’s why it gui is not loading . Though it is stuck but I automatically connects to my router ….. Any solution for this

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Sohail August 11, 2021 at 3:22 am

Boot into recovery mode and try reinstalling drivers. let me know if it resolves the issuel.

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fahim September 20, 2021 at 7:32 pm

try pressing F12 when the ok messages appear

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Joseph August 31, 2021 at 5:24 pm

Hi, I don’t want to install kali, I only want to boot it live with usb flash drive. When i boot it live, the kali linux logo shows up for about 5 minutes, and then it disappears leaving only a black screen, and it stuck on black screen. So please any help?
hp laptop 15-bs0xx

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Sohail September 3, 2021 at 4:19 am

Check the installation media. Rebuild the bootable USB drive and try with the new USB again.

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fahim September 20, 2021 at 7:28 pm

installing graphics card work for me but i need to do the steps over and over when my pc rebots

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Hammad Rahim October 1, 2021 at 12:42 pm

The first method worked correctly but just one time. I restarted again the same problem occured. I then again used the first method to solve it temporarily. Is there any permanent solution. And also mention how to install intel hd graohics driver or uninstall it. Thank you!

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Sohail October 6, 2021 at 2:58 am

Once you’re into the desktop, install the drivers. Follow this guide if you’ve Nvidia – https://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/how-to-install-latest-nvidia-drivers-in-linux

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Michael January 13, 2022 at 11:13 pm

HI step but I found a problem. After i set nouveau.modeset=0, I shows me terminal with bunch of lines as you said in the guide. But nothing happens when i press f3. I tried all kinds of variations ( like ctrl+f3, alt+f3, also tried it with all the F-keys) but nothing works. I just see the commands and after a while it shows kali dragon logo and thats it. Tho logo is there still even after an hour.

How can I get into the terminal when the f3 key doesn’t work?
Please help

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Shivam January 21, 2022 at 1:10 am

Can you please upload the video tutorial for it.
If already have then please share the link ASAP.!

Reply
emandev April 15, 2022 at 8:15 pm

Followed all steps but I can’t get it to work. I even tried live persistence but it shows blank/black screen after showing the kali-linux boot logo. I even tried recovery mode, still the same. My laptop is HP Pavilion Gaming 15, and I’m trying to install kali-linux on an protable/external hard drive. I even tried parrot os, same result.

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Grasshopper April 22, 2022 at 9:13 pm

Startup menu, press e, Linux line, add rw ok instead of ro, change quiet to quit, and add nomodeset to end of line. F10 and that’s it

Reply

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