Issues I had when upgrading to 16.04 and how I fixed it (kinda)
Oh noez! Dah computa iz broken! /o\
Two days ago, I decided to test the “automagical” upgrade from Ubuntu for my 14.04 LTS. It has been a while since I did that (using a completely automated tool to upgrade a distro on one of my machines), and thought that “well, Ubuntu has made such strides in user friendlyness in the last years, nothing can possibly go wrong w/ new gear, right?”. Alas, it looks like it’s still pretty difficult to achieve (at least on laptops).
At first, the machine booted up perfectly, all was dandy, I got to play with new features, I was happy. Then, sadly, I got a little more grumpy seeing some much more serious issues.
My screen kept randomly flickering (at first you think you’ll get used to it, but you definitely don’t), and the somewhat efficient power management seemed lost… For my day-to-day machine that I carry around everywhere, that’s a bit of a problem :-/
After some googling, it turns out that the issue could be related to 2 different things :
- 4.4.x kernels seem to have slight issues w/ some i915 features
- AMD has not yet published updated drivers for the version of X 16.04 is shipped with
What to do with not much time? / What I ended up doing
To try and solve this rather quickly, and from what I saw in the articles I read, I had 3 options remaining :
- Upgrade my kernel to the most recent version (one that claims that onboard graphics flickering issues are gone, ideally)
- Reinstall a 16.04 “from scratch” (i.e: not through the upgrade procedure)
- Reinstall a 14.04
4.2.0-36 is the key (well, at least mine ;)
The first option did not do me any good (flickers remained).
And I did not really want to sit through possibly 2 fresh installs (and I hate to blindly reinstall in general),
so I figured I could inspect the already available kernels on my machine and
try to boot on an older one. I found a
and tried it out. A day has passed, and no flicker has occurred,
machine is able to hibernate … I even got the screen dimming shortcuts working =)
A word about Grub default entry and how to change it
As of now, I used http://askubuntu.com/questions/216398/set-older-kernel-as-default-grub-entry to make the right kernel version to boot on the default one so I don’t have to fiddle w/ Grub each time I reboot. Not perfect but it kinda is enough for the time I can spare.
Some word on the
file edit. The
line looks like this before running
With the first identifier being the one of the submenu itself (“Advanced options”) and the second one, the one for my target menu item that boots my kernel in that submenu.
Long story short
It seems that the kernel shipped w/ the last Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has some issues w/ laptops at the moment (at least those w/ an i915 chip or the AMD Radeon R7 : http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2321874). That might be a thing to consider before upgrading.
Some more context
My machine is a recent HP ZBook (I’d say early 2016), everything worked quite decently on a 14.04 LTS,
and my latest findings tend to point to the radeon support, so I’ll have to give it a shot once updated drivers are released.