Context: Just finished dd'ing the Kali Linux image onto an SD card using the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B which was running Ubuntu Mate. I ejected the SD card and replaced it with the Ubuntu one. I plugged it in, it did not boot. I removed that one and re-inserted the Ubuntu SD card. The Pi did not boot. The red LED flashes, and the monitor reads:

No Signal 

My monitor is older, and uses VGA. I use a female-to-female HDMI to VGA adapter to connect the two. My Pi has done this before; it will refuse to boot until I plug it into another monitor, and then plug it into the original monitor.

Why won't it display on my monitor?

  • 1
    "The red LED flashes" -> If you mean in a steady, constant rhythm, I think that is indicative of an insufficient power supply. The one you are using maybe borderline, leading you to make false correspondences ("it will refuse to boot until I plug it into another monitor, and then plug it into the original monitor").
    – goldilocks
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 14:49

3 Answers 3


The most likely reason that you must use an external monitor first is to tell the Pi that hdmi is in use and it composite video as after it decides which output to use on boot, it will never use the alternate video out. This may also be occurring because the female to female Hdmi to vga adapter that you are using may not be telling the Pi that a device is plugged in, because the hdmi protocol has its own method to determine weather a monitor is plugged in or not, and certain HDMI to vga adapters do not follow proper hdmi specification in an attempt to save on costs. Furthermore your problem may be caused by the power draw from your vga adapter, please indicate if it uses external power or if it is drawing from the Pi. To attempt to force the Pi to use hdmi please enter hdmi_force_hotplug=1 and locate a line that reads like this :sdtv_mode=0 (the number doesn't matter) and ensure that it is commented out with a hashtag, example: #sdtv_mode=0 if the line is not present then do not worry as you do not want it to be present hence the commenting out. Be sure to make these edits to your config.txt file. To prevent your Pi from using composite output. This file may be located by inserting the micro sd card into a computer and editing config.txt


would be the connector, HDMI is digital signal and VGA is analogic, there are monitors with DVI connector, you can get an HDMI to DVI connector, that way you wont have issues because both connectors are digital.

it happened to me months ago when i wanted to connect my ps4 to PC monitor, it did not work with HDMI to VGA connector i had to get some HDMI to DVI.


For better results, connect the Raspberry Pi using an ethernet cable to a PC. Access it using Tight VNC Server. Reference: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/remote-access/vnc/

  • Cleyopas, welcome to the RPi corner of StackExchange. While your answer may be correct, it does little to explain why it is so. Which is honestly the most important part of the answer.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 16:40

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