How to Boot Ubuntu in Failsafe Graphics Mode

Written by scott cimarusti
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How to Boot Ubuntu in Failsafe Graphics Mode
Booting to Safe Graphics Mode can be useful in running Ubuntu Linux on computers with older video cards. (Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Many computer users are exploring open source alternatives to commercial software. For example, Canonical's Ubuntu Linux is a relatively user-friendly distribution of the Linux operating system. Linux continues to gain popularity, especially on older computer systems with slower processors and not as much memory, and Ubuntu has lower minimum hardware system requirements. While more recent versions of Ubuntu are programmed to boot to a safe graphics mode by default on older computers with outdated graphics cards, it is still helpful to know how to boot to "Safe Graphics Mode."

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Insert the Ubuntu installation disc into your computer.

  2. 2

    Restart your computer and change the boot options to boot from the installation disc instead of the hard disk. This step usually requires pressing a specific key shortly after the system powers up. The key to change the boot order will vary depending on the computer's manufacturer.

  3. 3

    Press the "F4" key when the Ubuntu menu starts.

  4. 4

    Press the up or down arrow keys to select "Safe graphics mode."

  5. 5

    Proceed with booting to Ubuntu or the installation of Ubuntu.

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