LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

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LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby mark1mint on Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:55 pm

Well not much to add ;) LMDE was working reasonably smooth on my computer up to update pack 5 (well there was an issue with the 3.2.0-3 kernel which caused an higher system load,solved by booting on the previous 3.2.0-2 kernel,and some annoyances with Compiz outlined here http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=219&t=119179,but no freezes or crashes ),then a couple of days ago I went for the update pack 6.
It went apparently OK,no warnings or hangs during the update,three packages were removed (calibre,linux-sound-base and usb-imagewriter - actually can't figure out why calibre had to be removed,however I don't think it's the cause of the issue ),all the new packages were installed and there was no indication to reboot,so I just turned the computer off.
Today I try to boot in LMDE,and a warning pops out about a missing login theme I had installed,nothing major so I click OK and go ahead,the system boots and the interface is frozen:I can't type in a terminal,can't move or resize windows,somehow after a while I manage to issue the compiz --replace & command in a terminal,which usually so far has done the trick when the window manager misbehaves,and nothing changes,I'm forced to switch to a console and restart the system,only to get stuck in the same exact dead end.
If I boot on the old kernel,things still work as before,although I haven't done extensive tests yet to check everything.
The only thing that I can think of,is that the update was done whilst using the previous kernel 3.2.0-2 as noted at the beginning of the post,not the 3.2.0-3 kernel featured in UP5.
What now :?: Any suggestions/ideas on what may be going on here? Is my LMDE install broken or it's just a window manager issue ?
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby zerozero on Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:36 pm

from the topic you linked i see that you have an amd card; first thing i would do is check if the drivers are installed and working
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby mark1mint on Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:16 pm

There's definitely a problem (as expected) with the ATI driver:

fglrxinfo
Code: Select all
Error: unable to open display (null)


apt-cache policy fglrx
Code: Select all
fglrx:
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: (none)


but at the same time

dpkg --get-selections|grep fglrx
Code: Select all
fglrx-atieventsd                                install
fglrx-control                                   install
fglrx-driver                                    install
fglrx-glx-ia32                                  install
fglrx-modules-dkms                              install
glx-alternative-fglrx                           install
libfglrx:amd64                                  install
libfglrx-amdxvba1:amd64                         install
libfglrx-ia32                                   install
libgl1-fglrx-glx:amd64                          install


dpkg --list|grep *fglrx*
Code: Select all
ii  fglrx-atieventsd                              1:12-6+point-1               
ii  fglrx-control                                 1:12-6+point-1               
ii  fglrx-driver                                  1:12-6+point-1               
ii  fglrx-glx-ia32                                1:12-6+point-1               
ii  fglrx-modules-dkms                            1:12-6+point-1               
ii  glx-alternative-fglrx                         0.2.2                         
ii  libfglrx:amd64                                1:12-6+point-1               
ii  libfglrx-amdxvba1:amd64                       1:12-6+point-1               
ii  libfglrx-ia32                                 1:12-6+point-1 


Something is clearly out of whack here,the ATI driver is installed according to some commands and not installed according to others,what gives?
I don't recall a new ATI driver being included among the new packages (if memory serves),which looks kinda strange considering that ATI has released some updates from the version currently in the repo,but then I don't recall any notice about the driver being actually removed during the update,and in fact if booting on the old 3.2.0-2 kernel *apparently* things still work,at least as they used to work before the update.
So maybe there's a conflict between the ATI driver installed and the new 3.2.0-4 kernel ?
Any other ideas on what the issue may be here ?
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby zerozero on Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:48 pm

well, i have no experience with fglrx (so take my words here with a grain of salt) but
- up6 brought a new kernel;
- the 12-6+point-1 fglrx that you see in some of your outputs is the same from up5 http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=187&t=109005&p=629240&hilit=fglrx#p629240
- if this was nvidia i would say that you would have to rebuild/reinstall the drivers against the new kernel (even more because there wasn't a driver update in the meantime) being fglrx i have no idea what are the correct procedures :shock:
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby mark1mint on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:24 am

Sounds like I'm in for an interesting time:the link you provided highlights some serious issues with the ATI/fglrx driver,I was thinking already about reinstalling,but maybe this won't change anything,as the driver *is* actually installed and still works if booting on the older kernels 3.2.0-2 and 3.2.0-3 .
Recompiling OTOH is challenging enough in Ubuntu (I've done it a few times already),in Debian is a major challenge which I haven't tackled yet.

Widening now the scope of this thread,this is exactly what I don't get about the current update pack mechanism:you wait for a long time for an update,using outdated packages in the meanwhile,then finally an update which is supposed to be safe and thoroughly tested comes and breaks something,and a fix is now to be waited for long or you have to take matters in your own hands and dig into the system to find a solution.Please keep in mind I'm not trying to bash LMDE,I like the idea of this Debian-based experimental distro,it's just IMHO not exactly what is intended to be (still),as it doesn't update fast enough to be really a rolling release,meaning that breakages will take a lot of time to be eventually fixed,and neither is stable/reliable enough for everyday use.
If there was an issue with the fglrx driver,why not make it clear in the release notes-if instead that wasn't caught while testing the update pack,than this system actually doesn't work as expected,it's just slowing down the updating/testing process without adding any stability.
Of course I may be misunderstanding or overlooking something here,but as of now I'm not convinced that this updating system fits this distro .
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby zerozero on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:54 am

the problem is not with lmde's upgrade paths (or debian's upgrade paths for that matter), the problem is amd and its linux support (or lackoff) but in this situation i believe that the fix is actually easy:
- the drivers are installed
- they work with the older kernels
- you got a new kernel with up6
- you have to re-install the drivers for the new kernel (sorry i have no idea how that is done with amd)
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby mark1mint on Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:06 am

OK,at this point there's nothing left to do but trying to reinstall the driver on the latest kernel included in UP6 and hope for the best-since I can't use the graphic interface I guess I'll have to do this in a console,right ?

Just for the sake of understanding what may be going on here,if the driver to be reinstalled is the one I'm actually using with the previous kernels (BTW,luckily everything works as before with these ) which is version 1:12-6+point-1 and the proprietary Linux driver currently available on the AMD site is 12.10,I don't think we can blame AMD this time for this issue I'm experiencing.I can't believe I'm taking the side of an hardware vendor ;),but if the UP6 has actually not recognized/broken/incorrectly reinstalled the existent graphic card driver (not sure what exactly happened) without giving me any notice,I don't think it's AMD's fault.
If OTOH it was deemed necessary to reinstall the driver after installing UP6,that IMHO should have been clearly pointed at in the release notes,it's not like I'm using an obscure or obsolete graphic card,if such an issue exists I'd rather like to be informed before than find out at the next reboot.Considering that something related to ATI drivers issues has been outlined in the release notes for the previous update packs,maybe this one is not a known issue or I've just come across some weird bug.
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Re: LMDE now freezes after boot following UP6

Postby zerozero on Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:23 am

mark1mint wrote:Just for the sake of understanding what may be going on here
with the risk of going off-topic but trying to explain this:
1- closed source drivers (as nvidia and amd) are not part of debian proper (they come from non-free) so ultimately it's either up to the maintainer or the vendor the responsibility to ensure that they work and that they are updated when needed; nvidia is doing this fairly well (but with flaws: i could go through my post history and show you a couple situations when happened to me exactly what is happening to you now >> for the record i have a very standard, well supported nvidia card)
2- as you saw in up5 there was no amd drivers in testing (due to several reasons) and mint backported the drivers available at that time from sid (this needs to be highlighted because it's the first time a graphic driver stack is backported in mint's history afaik)

hope you get this sorted out :D
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