JETSON TK1 Black screen

When I booted my TK1 out of the box, the x server came up black screen with the cursor in the upper left corner. I can CNTL-ALT-F1 to a full scree terminal. When I upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 I have the same problem. How do I get the Ubuntu desktop? I did ‘sudo do-release-upgrade’ to upgrade. Any help would be appreciated.


Release upgrade will destroy the NVIDIA hardware access (or most likely). You will need to flash again after that.

Often the system is working fine other than video configuration. What is the exact video cable type, including any adapters?

It wasn’t working right before I upgraded, that was the only reason why I upgraded. I am using a standard COTS hdmi cable and 1080p monitor. The cable and monitor work on other embedded boards, so there is not problem there. I do see the console fine, so there are some graphics.


This was probably a case of video configuration, but do-release-upgrade will break things beyond just GUI. After a flash, post what you get from:

sudo -s
<b>cat `find /sys -type f -name '*edid*'`</b>

This will tell us what the monitor is presenting as its specs to the video system.

I guess I am confused, I updated using the instructions from the Nvidia TK1 web page. What instructions do I follow to flash the correct kernel and what binary do I use?


Jeff Collins

The Jetson and Driver package instructions for flash are correct, it’s the ‘sudo do-release-upgrade’ which will break things. I think some people have experimented with this, but mostly you can expect an upgrade through non-NVIDIA tools to break the system (or at least to not guarantee it works…Ubuntu servers do not have knowledge of direct hardware accelerated access of a Jetson). This is the URL for things to download and flash:

You can flash directly from command line using the driver package and sample rootfs, or you can use JetPack (which serves as a front end to the driver+rootfs along with other package and configuration setup).

The edid search command listed in the prior post will answer what configuration data the Jetson actually received, but it won’t matter if the NVIDIA drivers were overwritten by the Nouveau drivers.

I was able to flash it with JetPack, and now all is good. I was able to get my demo code running.