Operating System Specific Workarounds/Debian

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Debian-Specific Issues and Workarounds


Blank VGA


The required open-source (libre) video driver module ("ast") is not included in the installer package

Upstream Bug Report



Root cause found, solution provided, upstream not responding


Debian can be installed via the serial console, then switched to VGA mode after installation (i.e. after the ASpeed driver module is available to the kernel). The following instructions assume you have SSH shell access to the BMC:

  • Install
  1. With system power off, SSH to the BMC
  2. Run 'obmc-console-client' on the BMC to attach the current SSH shell to the serial console
  3. Attach the Debian install media
  4. Power on the system
  5. When the Petitboot screen appears, select the Debian install option you want and press 'e' to edit
  6. Highlight the "Boot arguments" field and append "console=hvc0" after "quiet". Ensure there is at least one space between "quiet" and "console=hvc0".
  7. Highlight OK and press Enter
  8. Ensure the previously-selected Debian install option is still selected, then press Enter
  9. Install Debian normally
  • Switch from serial to VGA text console
  1. Edit /etc/initramfs-tools/modules and append "ast" to it
  2. As root, run update-initramfs -u -k all
  3. Edit /etc/default/grub and change the "console=hvc0" string to "console=tty0"
  4. As root, run update-grub
  5. Reboot

Blank output on GPU after blacklisting AST


There appears to be an oversight in Debian wherein when the firmware-amd-graphics package is installed initramfs is not updated automatically to include the amdgpu module and the GPU firmware.


  • Manually load amdgpu into initramfs
  1. Append amdgpu to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules
  2. As root, run update-initramfs -u
  3. Edit /etc/default/grub and change GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX= to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="modprobe.blacklist=ast video=offb:off console=tty0"
  4. Run update-grub as root
  5. Shutdown
  6. With BMC power disconnected, ascertain that the J10109 jumper is set as disabled before booting again