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Thread: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

  1. #1
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    Default Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Repurposed Mac Mini with Leap 15.2, connected via HDMI to Denon AVR connected to Panasonic Plasma TV. Grub menu appears fine, initial loading looks good, then black screen until login screen appears with readable fonts but blur glassy background trashed. Once I login it becomes okay when KDE Plasma takes over. This happens on restart most of the time but not always.
    Optional Kernel Command Line Parameter follows:
    Code:
    resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-APPLE_HDD_HTS547550A9E384_J2250050HW332D-part5 nosplash verbose showopts
    I previously removed
    Code:
    splash=silent
    from the beginning of the line. The
    Code:
    nosplash verbose showopts
    is something I normally add to installs.
    I'm also seeing an issue with the audio output reverting to the built-in analog output, instead of retaining the HDMI output setting I make in PAVU control. This also seems to happen most of the time on restart but not always. I'm not sure if this is related so I'm mentioning it.
    Please let me know if you need additional information. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Splash is an option, so nosplash is equivalent to "". AFAIK, verbose is not a valid boot option either, so also equivalent to "". My cmdlines say nothing about splashing or verbosity, and produce copious txt messages on vtty1 during boot.

    Are you using disk encryption? If not, try via zypper or yast either removing plymouth, which I never let install in the first place; or disabling plymouth, to first test whether it helps, with one of the following appended after resume=blahblah...:
    • noplymouth
    • plymouth=0
    • plymouth.enable=0


    I haven't upgraded my iMac from 15.1 to 15.2 yet, since I'm content with it as is.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
    Primary: 15.1, TW, 15.2 & 13.1 on Haswell w/ RAID
    Secondary: eComStation (OS/2)&15.1 on i965P/Radeon
    Tertiary: TW,15.2,15.1,Fedora,Debian,more on Kaby Lake,iQ45,iQ43,iG41,iG3X,i965G,AMD,NVidia&&&

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    Splash is an option, so nosplash is equivalent to "". AFAIK, verbose is not a valid boot option either, so also equivalent to "". My cmdlines say nothing about splashing or verbosity, and produce copious txt messages on vtty1 during boot.

    Are you using disk encryption? If not, try via zypper or yast either removing plymouth, which I never let install in the first place; or disabling plymouth, to first test whether it helps, with one of the following appended after resume=blahblah...:
    • noplymouth
    • plymouth=0
    • plymouth.enable=0


    I haven't upgraded my iMac from 15.1 to 15.2 yet, since I'm content with it as is.
    Thanks so much for the quick reply. Adding that plymouth=0 as an option seems to have done the trick.This is the first time I ran a Linux machine to my AVR/TV. Thanks for the suggestions on the unneeded options as well. I originally used those years ago, probably around OpenSUSE 11 or so. I'll move on to figuring out the audio output issue now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Looks like I spoke too soon. I'm still encountering complete inconsistency during the boot process.
    As mentioned previously, this is a mid-2011 Mac Mini (2.5). When I looked up the specs on the graphics I found the following per Apple:
    AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics processor with 256MB of GDDR5 memory
    My kernel options for grub2 now read as follows
    Code:
    resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-APPLE_HDD_HTS547550A9E384_J2250050HW332D-part5 plymouth=0 radeon.audio=1 showopts
    Graphics are always okay at boot menu and initial loading screen, I then see a green flash on the text (I've seen this on other HDMI connected systems), and after that It will either continue with showing the loading screen or it will go black. If it goes black that means the login screen will show distorted colors and affected but still readable text. This will eventually recover once KDE Plasma takes over. If, on the other hand, the loading screens are all normal then the login screen will also be normal and all is well.

    The default audio output situation is similar in its inconsistency. One time it will show the proper HDMI output, but more likely it will revert to the internal sound card (muted).

    Nothing I have tried has changed this behavior. I also have the internal sound card currently unconfigured but that didn't help with the audio issue.

    I didn't notice these problems when I was connected to a standard computer monitor, other than the green flash noted above..

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    If this was a PC rather than a Mac my suggestion would be to first try reseating the graphics card, and if no help, try another card, because your description of distorted colors sounds suspicously like failing graphics card or its video RAM. I suspect on a mini that the GPU and video RAM are non-replaceable motherboard components. Last Feb. a friend brought me his 27" 2011 iMac to try to fix, but I was unable to without an expensive Radeon 6970M graphics card replacement that neither of us considered worth pursuing.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
    Primary: 15.1, TW, 15.2 & 13.1 on Haswell w/ RAID
    Secondary: eComStation (OS/2)&15.1 on i965P/Radeon
    Tertiary: TW,15.2,15.1,Fedora,Debian,more on Kaby Lake,iQ45,iQ43,iG41,iG3X,i965G,AMD,NVidia&&&

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    If this was a PC rather than a Mac my suggestion would be to first try reseating the graphics card, and if no help, try another card, because your description of distorted colors sounds suspicously like failing graphics card or its video RAM. I suspect on a mini that the GPU and video RAM are non-replaceable motherboard components. Last Feb. a friend brought me his 27" 2011 iMac to try to fix, but I was unable to without an expensive Radeon 6970M graphics card replacement that neither of us considered worth pursuing.
    I can't see an impending hardware failure being the cause. I base that on the fact that KDE Plasma loads flawlessly every time.I have tried various changes such as no graphics during boot, unchecking probe foreign OS, and even resetting NVRAM among others. It either boots okay or it doesn't.. I get to a usable login screen either way and once KDE Plasma takes over things are good. I'm going to leave the last kernel parameter options as follows and live with it.
    Code:
    resume=/dev/disk/by-id/ata-APPLE_HDD_HTS547550A9E384_J2250050HW332D-part5 video=HDMI-A-1:1280x720@60:D showopts
    Thanks for your help though, I appreciate it. I'm going to open a separate issue on why I can get Pulse Audio to accept HDMI as default output device and quit reverting to the internal sound card.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    One thing I did want to correct. I misremembered the model and graphics info. The system is actually a mid-2011 Mac Mini (2.3). So it does not have the AMD Radeon graphics. It instead has Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor with 288MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory. Doesn't change the display issues during boot, just wanted to correct it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    3000 means Sandy Bridge. When SB first came out there was a lot of forum activity about various problems. You may be candidate for a DDX switch, from Intel to Modesetting or vice versa. Look at the first post in my primer for the meanings and switch process. It wouldn't hurt to spend a night running memtest86 either, since the system RAM is shared with graphics and subject to possible eventual failure.
    Reg. Linux User #211409 *** multibooting since 1992
    Primary: 15.1, TW, 15.2 & 13.1 on Haswell w/ RAID
    Secondary: eComStation (OS/2)&15.1 on i965P/Radeon
    Tertiary: TW,15.2,15.1,Fedora,Debian,more on Kaby Lake,iQ45,iQ43,iG41,iG3X,i965G,AMD,NVidia&&&

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    3000 means Sandy Bridge. When SB first came out there was a lot of forum activity about various problems. You may be candidate for a DDX switch, from Intel to Modesetting or vice versa. Look at the first post in my primer for the meanings and switch process. It wouldn't hurt to spend a night running memtest86 either, since the system RAM is shared with graphics and subject to possible eventual failure.
    Thanks! I will definitely look into all of these items. All of these things contribute to my knowledge of Linux, and I have learned plenty from reading on this forum, as well as other locations on the web. I saw something about the nomodeset kernel option parameter and wondered about it. I was working on something else at the time so I just put it in memory (my own, not the computer). Your Sandy Bridge problem mention is intriguing as well. I also read through some info about the 2.5 version of the Mac Mini from mid-2011 having issues with the lead-free solder used on the AMD Radeon on-board graphics chip, which thankfully is not the one I have. As far as memory, I do know for sure that I upgraded from 2 GB to 8 GB several years ago. So the memtest86 may be a good starting point in my troubleshooting. I'll update this thread when I have results. Thanks again for all of your assistance!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Mid-2011 Mac Mini (single OS)

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmazda View Post
    3000 means Sandy Bridge. When SB first came out there was a lot of forum activity about various problems. You may be candidate for a DDX switch, from Intel to Modesetting or vice versa. Look at the first post in my primer for the meanings and switch process. It wouldn't hurt to spend a night running memtest86 either, since the system RAM is shared with graphics and subject to possible eventual failure.
    I got the memtest86 configured on USB and tested booting with it and all is good. I haven't run the actual default test yet.

    Potentially more important, I read through the first post in your primer and checked to see what I actually have installed. The only two xf86-video-* packages I show installed are "xf86-video-fbdev" and "xf86-video-vesa", the latter of which states it is a generic driver. The "xf86-video-intel" package is NOT installed, and it states that it is for Intel integrated video cards. That seems strange to me but I hope you can offer an opinion.

    KInfoCenter indicates i915 chipset.

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