Only every other boot succeeds with Ubuntu 18.04 on Thinkpad X60 (with every other boot in between ending in blank screen)

(Just helping Google out here.)

This seemingly weird issue of cold boot and every other boot thereafter failing (with successful boots in between) is mediated by Grub’s recordfail functionality: after a failed boot, the next boot is forced into linux_gfx_mode=text (see /boot/grub/grub.cfg), which then results in a successful boot.

The core issue is the failing boot, which in the case of Thinkpad X60 is probably LP #1724639 (although the report and comments are all over the place, making the report pretty useless).

To work around it, add GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=text to /etc/default/grub and run sudo update-grub.

This forces Grub to always boot in text mode, which is less pretty ofc, but at least it doesn’t hang.

Xorg ServerLayout identifier

From the “Serverflags” (note the miscapitalisation) Section in man Xorg.conf:

Option DefaultServerLayout layout-id
This specifies the default ServerLayout section to use in the absence of the -layout command line option.

From man Xorg: “By default the first Layout section is used.”

The table of Contents lists no “Layout” section, only ServerLayout (and, again, inconsistently titles it “Serverlayout”).

Make of this crap what you will.