At the start of 2021, I bought two RPi 4 with 4GB of memory for a project. I already own 4 PI (2 OSMC, 1 Samba File Server/Deluge and a Volumio PI. The Volumio never worked. Neither did the HiFiberry sound HAT.
My initial intention was to connect the two Pi4 via an HDMI to DVI converter to 2 different computer monitors.
Brief recap of problems. After buying 3 different micro HDMI to HDMI cables, several DVI/HDMI converters, VGA/HDMI converters, HDMI splitters, new HDMI cables et al I gave up on this project. Nothing ever worked on either monitor, in either PI on any HDMI port. The monitors both work fine on my Intel/ubuntu desktop (DVI to DVI, and HDMI to VGA). Each new converter cable plug etc had to be imported online from China, meaning this failed project took about two months elapsed.
An unfortunate learning experience here is that the micro HDMI ports on the PI are very flimsy, and with all of the plugging/unplugging, both micro HDMI ports on one PI are irreparably damaged and the PI can now only be used headless.
My two modern (2019) SONY TV both have HDMI input so I’ve tried testing with them instead.
I’ve got Raspbian to boot on both PI4, and also on my older PIs.
When booting the Raspbian SD on my older PI3 and Pi2, the desktop GUI started perfectly, automatically filling the whole TV screen. However, on the combination that was my goal (Pi4 to my big TV), it took over 2 whole days of messing with config.txt HDMI parameters to get a full screen (temple) GUI displayed.
This precious SD card of Raspbian will boot on the both Pi4, allow SSH access, and give me a GUI on the PI4 with working micro HDMI ports.
However, according to various Internet sites, my project needs Ubuntu 18.04 32 bit. Raspbian isn’t supported.
I’ve tried creating Ubuntu Core 18.04 using the Raspberry Imager. This will boot, but the password isn’t ubuntu/ubuntu or pi/raspberry so I cannot get access over SSH. The initial PI screen comes up on my TV, disappears after 2 seconds and leaves a black screen. So I have no way of accessing the system. I have noticed that the SD system created by the imager does not contain many of the config files Ubuntu says it needs. I’m surprised it starts at all.
When I create an SD card via download of Ubuntu 18.04.5.. armhf..raspi3 and Etcher, Ubuntu will not boot at all on the headless Pi4. The green ACT light flashes 1 second, and then stays off. The system remains invisible to my router, arp-a and cannot be pinged.
At first I thought it was ubunto didn’t want to boot headless, but the SD card will boot OK on a Pi3 with and without my small TV attached. FWIW Ive tried 3 different SD cards(8Gb, 16GB and 32GB). Same result on all. I also use Raspberry original power supplies, after an APC UPS/Voltage regulator.
As noted earlier, Raspbian will boot on this system however, and I can SSH in. As both micro HDMI ports are broken , clearly no display on the TV.
I have reflashed the EEprom as suggested via the PI imager.
When I try and boot Ubuntu 18.04 on the system with working HDMI, I can SSH in over ubuntu/ubuntu, the TV screen tells me the HDMI port is connected to a raspberry, but also there is NO video signal and the screen remains black except for the title line.
It’s now over 3 months since I started on what I thought would be a five minute job, and am still nowhere near getting a working Ubuntu system (keyboard, mouse, screen) on a PI4.
I suspect what I need to do now is the ubuntu equivalent of editing the Raspbian config.txt to get HDMI video working. Does anybody have any idea of how to achieve this? Either via SSH or by editing a file on the SD card?
I’m running out of ideas now, apart from junking the PI4, buying an Intel nuc and trying to remember what my original project was (for which I’ve written several thousand lines of code)
Below is my Raspbian config.txt file
# For more options and information see
# Some settings may impact device functionality. See link above for details
# uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default "safe" mode
# uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible
# and your display can output without overscan
# uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console
# goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border
# uncomment to force a console size. By default it will be display's size minus
# uncomment if hdmi display is not detected and composite is being output
# uncomment to force a specific HDMI mode (this will force VGA)
# uncomment to force a HDMI mode rather than DVI. This can make audio work in
# DMT (computer monitor) modes
# uncomment to increase signal to HDMI, if you have interference, blanking, or
# no display
# uncomment for composite PAL
#uncomment to overclock the arm. 700 MHz is the default.
# Uncomment some or all of these to enable the optional hardware interfaces
# Uncomment this to enable infrared communication.
# Additional overlays and parameters are documented /boot/overlays/README
# Enable audio (loads snd_bcm2835)
# Enable DRM VC4 V3D driver on top of the dispmanx display stack