Node with integrated graphics stops working if not plugged into a monitor

I’ve got a small home network of a variety of computers (an old 2014-ish macbook with a damaged screen, a 2012 mac mini and a newer lenovo thinkcenter), all have integrated graphics cards.

On initial install using the ISO from Proxmox, rebooting the hosts without a graphics output connected (eg, a monitor, or having the macbook lid open) wasn’t a problem, however, I’ve disabled the subscription repos and the systems have all updated automatically. I’ve discovered that if I now reboot a node, it stops working mid-boot. Also, if I boot with the monitor connected it works right up until I disconnect the monitor.

If I ping a node without a monitor connected, it starts the boot process, I eventually see 5-7 successful pings, and then it stops responding. If I then try again with a monitor connected, it boots successfully, and I can then see the log files, the last few lines are as follows:

Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd: Started systemd-journald.service - Journal Service.
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 dmeventd[343]: Monitoring thin pool pve-data-tpool.
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd[1]: Finished systemd-remount-fs.service - Remount Root and Kernel File Systems.
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd[1]: systemd-firstboot.service - First Boot Wizard was skipped because of an unmet condition check (ConditionFirstBoot=yes).
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd[1]: Starting systemd-journal-flush.service - Flush Journal to Persistent Storage...
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd[1]: systemd-pstore.service - Platform Persistent Storage Archival was skipped because of an unmet condition check (ConditionDirectoryNotEmpty=/sys/fs/pstore).
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd[1]: Starting systemd-random-seed.service - Load/Save Random Seed...
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd[1]: Starting systemd-sysusers.service - Create System Users...
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 kernel: EXT4-fs (dm-1): re-mounted 1d5ae3bb-c96f-4691-adfd-06a300eff21a r/w. Quota mode: none.
Feb 27 21:23:07 pmox1 systemd-journald[335]: Time spent on flushing to /var/log/journal/0cf8bbe51c4b418b98d08962082cc50e is 19.290ms for 1047 entries.
-- Reboot --
Feb 27 21:24:11 pmox1 kernel: Linux version 6.5.13-1-pve (build@proxmox) (gcc (Debian 12.2.0-14) 12.2.0, GNU ld (GNU Binutils for Debian) 2.40) #1 SMP PREEMPT_DYNAMIC PMX 6.5.13-1 (2024-02-05T13:50Z) ()
Feb 27 21:24:11 pmox1 kernel: Command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-6.5.13-1-pve root=/dev/mapper/pve-root ro quiet

I did try and update the kernel command line by changing /etc/default/grub and using grub-install but that doesn’t seem to have done updated (I added ‘nomodeset’).

Any clues on where to look next to fix this?

Many thanks

Replying to myself as I think I’ve found the solution(s).

Firstly, the ‘nomodeset’ option I’d added to the /etc/default/grub file wasn’t added because I’d run the wrong grub command. I needed to use ‘update-grub’ rather than ‘grub-install’. I have also uncommented the ‘GRUB_TERMINAL=console’ line. Doing this caused the Lenovo ThinkCentre and Mac Mini to reboot correctly and remain active.

The Macbook (with the dead screen) issue was due to the systemd’s logind.conf needing telling to ignore the fact that the lid was closed (which it is, the unit powers up when plugged in and it doesn’t need it). Setting the following in there has stopped it booting up and then instantly hibernating:


With those changes done, I’ve 3 happy nodes again that I’m confident will reboot correctly.

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