Thanks rsavage. Scouring the various bug systems, EXA options which appear to work around the same issue for ATI users don't seem to work for nouveau users. I am not sure if "Firefox" corruption is really specific to Firefox. Similar issues have been associated in terminal and corrupt menus in KDE and Libre office. This is an interesting read and may be at least partly related to one of these issues. (The title is misleading. See comment 135)https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=47266 As far as how that translates to 3d and AIGLX, no idea. Hence, my previous question.
Good idea. A picture is worth a thousand words. Since I have no idea what words are appropriate, I might spend a day creating a photo montage with logs and hopefully someone there can parse/link what is related and get it to the proper place.
Raising a bug directly with dri/nouveau people or on their mailing list would also be a good idea.
Specific to Unity and OP Seth reported issue.
It would be great if someone could confirm so known issues could be updated. I prefer not to claim things as "known" unless someone else confirms it.
On my FX5200, the exact issue described by Seth can be worked around on the live desktop boot by:
(The TV-1 part is only relevant to a phantom port issue with this FX5200 card. Omit that if just booting "live" yields a screen described by the OP.)
boot: live nouveau.noaccel=1 video=TV-1:d
If anyone is seeing the same in ATI, please test:
boot: live nouveau.noaccel=1
From there, the install can be performed and then one can use Unity 2D.
boot: live radeon.accel=0
It pains me a bit see people going through the trouble of downloading new/different ISO's just to work around a graphics bug. Or worse, abandoning their attempt.
If one is not a Unity 2D fan, they could simply use software manager,apt, or tasksel to install other desktops. IE: Lubuntu, Xubuntu, etc.