RHEL 6 for the Clueless: Intel Graphics

Update: The latest version — 6.5 — shows this problem less often than in the past. Using a Netinstall CD I got things to work just fine on a machine with Intel graphics, so this issue has been at least partially resolved.

Original post:

The special situation involving Intel graphics hardware requires a separate explanation. This applies to RHEL 6.x, Scientific Linux 6.x and the soon-to-be-released CentOS 6.x (something like 01 July).

During installation on a computer with Intel video, most often you will have to bypass the graphical installer by selecting the “Install with basic video driver” option. If you do, the installer will do two things you’ll need to consider fixing.

First, it will create an X.org config file (/etc/X11/xorg.conf) calling for the VESA driver. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, but it will limit performance and create a few hassles with your display. Edit this file, which should have only a few lines in it. Look for the deeply indented line starting with Driver and replace “vesa” with “intel”.

Second, it will turn off kernel mode setting (KMS). Again, not a disaster, but you won’t get that nice graphical boot screen. The correction is editing /boot/grub/menu.lst (that’s LST lower case on the end of the file name). Scroll down until you see a deeply indented line which begins with “kernel /boot/vmlinuz...” and stretches quite long. Near the end of that line look for the word nomodeset and delete it. Save the file.

If you fix the KMS issue and not the driver issue, it won’t finish booting on some machines. So fix both and reboot, or fix neither.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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29 Responses to RHEL 6 for the Clueless: Intel Graphics

  1. Jorge Rivera says:

    Excellent!!! Thanks a lot my CentOS 6 intel graphic is working just fine.


  2. Richard Stallman Hallen says:

    thanks man, you’re great.


  3. Svegin Gurov says:

    Excellent solution!


  4. Karlos Newma says:

    Very useful tip — very grateful !!! On my system, the desktop defaulted beyond the bounds supported by the monitor. The following xorg.conf proved helpful while allowing scaling below 1680×1050:

    Section “Device”
    Identifier “IntelCard0”
    Driver “intel”

    Section “Screen”
    Identifier “Screen0”
    Device “IntelCard0”
    DefaultDepth 24
    SubSection “Display”
    Viewport 0 0
    Depth 24
    Modes “1680×1050”


  5. asif says:

    Hi ..I have tried installing RHEL 6.1 from USB pendrive ..using a software called Unetbootin I first made the normal 4gb pendrive into a bootable USB system and its very fast …I get to the screen where I need to select the devices and I choose

    “Basic storage device.” at this point the system shows the round animation of cursor and then the error message comes up…

    I have attached to this post the photo of the error message ..its readable though ..my apologies I took it from a 1.3 mp camera..

    its says STARTING GRAPHICAL INSTALLATION ….BACKTRACE HAS 20 CALLS CALLS ON STACK……………………Anaconda died after receiving signal 6.
    install exited abnormally

    if you can carfully look at the shot its something related to python also ….

    there is nothing such as “use one of the default set ups
    like – desktop with Gnome ” …

    please let me know any more troubleshooting steps ..i have got this far ..may be I can complete the installation since I believe RHEL 6.1 can also be installed on laptop.

    I am not proving anybody wrong its just that i came across the post which mentions that Linux now adays can be installed on almost new compatible hardware …



  6. Ed Hurst says:

    Posting graphics in comments appears to be impossible, because it never showed up anywhere in my controls or in the comment. To be honest, I would have to use a search engine to chase this down. It would require knowing what specific laptop you are using for this experiment. Secondly, I honestly believe if you cannot boot from a CD, you should try to get hold of a USB external CD drive. I know almost nothing about installing from a pendrive.


  7. Pingback: Taming the Beast: CentOS 6.2 and Inspiron 1525 Laptop « Do What's Right

  8. Keith says:

    Much appreciated


  9. Ed Hurst says:

    My pleasure, Keith. Thanks for coming by.


  10. ilhami1 says:

    Thank you for very useful information. I installed using vesa mode and the resolution limited to 1024×768. After I delete “nomodeset” in grub.conf, the screen becomes 1366×768 automagically.


  11. Gerald says:

    Thank you Ed!
    Works with Scientific Linux 6.2.
    Saved the day.


  12. Adam says:

    Thank you much! Searched all over the place, and such a simple fix!


  13. Jieun K says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Hurst, for the tip. Saved me from a lot of hassle! 🙂


  14. Ed Hurst says:

    I’m glad I was able to offer some help to you all.


  15. Gerard says:

    I made both requested changes and now it does not boot.
    I end up with a blank screen. II am using CENTOS 6.2. HELP !


  16. Ed Hurst says:

    If you are sure your graphics chipset is Intel, you may need to research which version you have. There have been some reported problems with some of them and I don’t remember what the fixes might be. You’ll probably need to contact the folks over at the CentOS forum.


  17. Gerard says:

    Is there anyway to reverse what I did ?


  18. Ed Hurst says:

    You can use the installation disk and boot into system recovery. I haven’t done that in ages so I don’t know the exact details, but it will try to mount your Linux partitions and tell you where to find them so you can go and undo those changes.


  19. Darmadhi M says:

    Thank you so much. I never leave a comment, but now I would like to say THANK YOU.


  20. Ed Hurst says:

    Glad I could help.


  21. fair4ever says:

    Really great! I have tested and got through of three days useless googling and troubleshooting…..
    Thanks a lot again


  22. Pingback: Dual Monitor Centos 6 Problem......

  23. IT man says:

    It does not work for me on RHEL 6.3, I have intel 3rd Generation VGA Card!!
    Any recommendations!?


  24. Ed Hurst says:

    I was running the same thing when I wrote this. However, I have read things have changed. I’m afraid I have no answer. I no longer run any of the RHEL clones as my hardware is even newer than the laptop I used for that series of articles. RHEL won’t even boot on my current laptop.


  25. Tadeu says:

    Thanks man!! It works!


    Really tanks!!

    Thank you very much!



  26. Yasir Saad says:

    Wow! I’ve wasted the past two days looking on how to install the Intel Video Graphics Installer, and it’s dependencies. Not to mention the packages that weren’t installed with RHEL 6.4 by default. Such a headache for my brain & skills. But this just fixed everything.

    What can I say!
    Sincerely, Thank you.


  27. Ed Hurst says:

    I no longer remember where I got it, but I simply passed on what someone else said about it. Of course, it worked for me as well.


  28. Frank Nicotera says:

    will not work with 6.6 not xorg.conf file created just xorg.conf. New which may have been created when I tried to rebuild. CentOS 6.6 changed the boot design somewhere to make it supposedly easier but now harder to manipulate.

    I get a high res spinning circle splash screen then it dumps when trying to enter X. I put in nomodeset and it boots in 800×600 BIG mode real hard to see all windows and VCN will not load so remoting in must be done by VNC viewer and not Xrdp which I prefer for many reasons.

    When I don’t boot modify, the splash screen is in perfect high resolution, my dell monitor is 1280×1024 through the splash screen boot but then it drops to black screen.

    If you have information on 6.6 with the new kernel and what I may be able to do to get the monitor to be found by X, it would be great.




  29. Ed Hurst says:

    I wish I could help you, Frank. I am no longer in a position to work with CentOS 6. Could I recommend you visit their forums? That or the forums for Scientific Linux, because both of them are loaded with real technicians. I’m just a hobbyist.


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