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After I upgraded my Pi 3B+ from Stretch to Buster, the X Server does not come up again.

I cannot access the desktop/window manager.

As the machine is just for remote logins, the first symptom is that I cannot login via VNC.

VNC would connect, but then state "Cannot currently show the desktop". So the Pi boots, but something is wrong with the display.

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    By the way, everyone will tell you that you shouldn't Upgrade from Stretch to Buster on raspberry pi - I have a pi, an original 256MB pi B, that has upgraded from wheezy->jessie->stretch->buster ... upgraded, never a fresh install (though I did have to mess around with partitions when the boot partition grew) - if you know what you are doing, upgrading is always possible :p – Jaromanda X Jul 16 at 6:53
  • Actually, no. Rather, everyone will tell you to post the error/warning messages you got during the upgrade. It's quite unlikely that you've lost the X server after a 100% successful upgrade. – Dmitry Grigoryev Jul 19 at 15:15
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After enabling ssh, I could figure out that the xserver did not start.

startx said "no screens found".

So I tried out all the ways to config the pi in headless mode Editing the config.txt for fixed hdmi modes (see here), fiddeling with raspi-config, updating the firmware - nothing worked.

Eventuall a look into the Xorg.0.log (in /var/log/) showed this: "Failed to load module 'fbturbo'". With that info I stumbled upon this post. (I copy the essential information from there)

My root cause was, that I forgot to update the: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list from stretch to buster

After replacing 'stretch' in the raspi.list, sudo apt update reported an additional ~ 200 packages that could be upgraded. sudo apt full-upgrade completed without error.

But still no X server, still no display found in the Xorg.0.log , still the "Failed to load module 'fbturbo'" error.

Tried sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-fbturbo but no success. Looking around with apt-cache I can see the currently install module is xorg-video-abi-24 and the demanded xorg-video-abi-23 does not exist for buster.

Downloaded the package here and installed it manually. startx still did not work

Eventually found the solution here : Remove the fbturbo driver with

sudo mv /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-fbturbo.conf ~

startx brings up the desktop... finally.

I do not know of the consequences kicking out the driver, but at least the desktop was back up and I could connect with VNC again.

BTW: On the same thread somebody mentions that one can get the fbturbo working with this tutorial, but I did not try (yet).

Sorry for going so much into the details - but I hope a rather long description helps someone who has the same issue as I did. (and makes it easier to find this issue on google)

Cheers

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  • This hopefully goes without saying, but when you are able to please mark this answer as correct. – Darth Vader Jul 16 at 9:45

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