So, recently I had installed LMDE x64, installed all the updates, and was booted into the new kernel. I installed the latest AMD driver for the GPU from here, and rebooted like it said. All was fine on reboot, and I noticed the system was running cooler than without the driver (my main modivation for even bothering with this driver). I thought it had something to do with "hybrid graphics" or something, where it could be using my apparently built-in Intel graphics along with the AMD graphics to balance performance I guess. This curiosity (now regretted) led me to see what would happen if I chose the "Use Intel Graphics" option under the super-user AMD Catalyst Control Center. I rebooted like it said, and during the boot, after the screen of text had cleared and it was supposed to load the graphics, I only saw a flickering cursor in the top-left of the screen (it wasn't "blinking", but rather "flickering", as in fading in and out randomly). I pressed the power button on my laptop, and then I saw text saying "Sending Kill Signal..." etc like a normal shutdown, except it was flashing on and off, and then the computer shut down.
I tried booting to a recovery console and executed 'aticonfig --initial' to see if I could get the original settings back. Nope. I then tried 'aticonfig --uninstall', which let me boot afterwards, but then after reinstalling the driver and rebooting immediately after, I was greeted with the same flickering cursor.
Now I'm doing a full reinstall as I type this.
So this probably has something to do with Xorg? Something to note is that I did do the following to make my touchpad taps activate faster (don't know if this could have caused it):
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sudo mkdir /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d
sudo cp /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf
gksudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf
and put in the line: Option "FastTaps" "1"
I did this before installing the driver.
Anybody have any idea what's going on here? I guess I can survive with strictly only choosing "AMD Graphics" in the Catalyst options, but it would be nice to try Intel graphics for lower power consumption.