How To Fix ‘The System Running In Low Graphics Mode’ Error (Linux)


“Your System running in low graphics mode.” Yeah, you have been served son! Today was one of those dark days for me. I was feeling tired after a few hours on the computer configuring some stuff – particularly LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl) tools. I did this because I am planning to create some APIs for a project! So, I just let my laptop go to sleep and when I came back it was OFF. What the heck? I asked myself and tried turning it ON to the shock of my eyes. This is what surprised me;

system running in low graphics mode How To Fix The System Running In Low Graphics Mode Error (Linux)

system running in low graphics mode

Whenever I clicked the OK button to see what was next, the mouse disappeared and even using the tab key didn’t help because the choices given didn’t work at all. You can imagine how many unspeakable words I said here.

Instead of hitting my head on the wall 12 times, I fired up my other laptop and searched on Google for similar instances. I knew I was not alone here – Google the hell out of it. By the way, I needed another computer to do that because I couldn’t get anything done with this one. If you run into this issue, do not panic. Follow these steps:

Before you even do this, you should know that you have a Graphics problem and these guidelines will help you fix that. You can find more information by doing a simple search. That is, if this post does not help you solve your problem. Sometimes, you might have to do a fresh install of your Ubuntu!

In order to arrive at the Terminal from the above screen, Start your computer while  pressing these buttons: CTRL + ALT + F1 and then enter your username and password before moving on.

The System Running In Low Graphics Mode – Solution

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sudo apt-get update
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Then run this on your terminal when that is done:

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sudo apt-get -d install --reinstall gdm
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Follow that with the following line on your terminal:

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sudo apt-get remove --purge gdm
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Before you restart the machine, run this next line:

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sudo apt-get install gdm
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When prompted here, select GDM (This by the way is a Graphics Manager)

Finally, reboot this bad boy and you will be on your way to happy dancing;

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sudo reboot
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You can find more information by visiting the Ubuntu forums.

That should do it for you. If you found this post helpful, do not hesitate to share it with others online.

You know, if life gives you a bug, you can either eat it for lunch or let it bite you in the face. I would rather you ate it.

Good luck and have a great week!

See you soon because that is a wrap!


19 thoughts on “How To Fix ‘The System Running In Low Graphics Mode’ Error (Linux)

  1. After struggling to fix the graphics problem for nearly 12 hours, at the time I nearly decided to take a rest from it i decided to carefully implement the above steps and the problem was solved straight away.

    • Your computer username and password; if you have used the terminal before, your name is always there and looks something like this :username@computerName – so you want the first part and the password that you set when you first set up your computer or the password you use when you use sudo to install stuff. Let me know how it goes.

      • i completed every single step stated above and it went pretty well but screen remained black after all this process.

  2. I have a HP laptop with AMD RADEON graphics card. I’m trying to install ubuntu 13.10 x64 on it. But when I choose ‘try ubuntu’ option at beginning of installation, it says ‘your system is running in low graphics mode’.
    So, I don’t have any option of installation at al. Please suggest what can I do?

  3. Hello…I can’t even try ubuntu in my laptop. After pressing try ubuntu button, it shows that message. I think your steps are only applicable when it is installed in hard drive, not from live cd. Please say something for the case of live cd

    • You should be able to boot your Ubuntu from your cd then go to the terminal; this is however contingent on whether the OS is installed or not – regardless of where. Beyond that, I have not tried that scenario myself so I am not familiar with it.

  4. Thanks, you rock! I started trying the various solutions in an askubuntu thread (try recovery mode, too many files on the computer, etc.) and finally tried these steps and it worked like a charm.

    I’m on an HP Pavilion laptop dv6000 series, Ubuntu 12.04.

  5. I thought it’d done it, but after reboot, and putting in user name and password, it comes up with a *username*system product name: $
    prompt.

    so not sure what to do now!
    Sorry, total noob with Ubuntu, I’m trying to fix my husbands puter after it had this graphics issue.

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