Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

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Mark_1
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Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by Mark_1 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:54 am

Hi, I have been running mint 18.3 and 19 Cinnamon on this hardware (Asus mobo integrated Intel graphics.) for a while now with no issues until the recent kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44. whereupon I can login but then I just get a grey screen with the cursor but nothing else. I can get the desktop if I login using software rendering mode but I don’t know how to diagnose the problem. For now I used Timeshift to role back to the previous kernel and all is well. I would appreciate some advice, Should I try to sort this issue, is it something I can fix? or do I wait till the next kernel update and see if that fixes it?

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karlchen
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by karlchen » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:33 pm

Hello, Mark_1.

Just 2 remarks from my side:
Mark_1 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:54 am
no issues until the recent kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44.
I assume the kernel version really was 4.15.0-42.45. :wink:
Apart from that: yes, in rare cases a new kernel may bring along a regression, which affects precisely your hardware.
As I do not know anything about your hardware, I cannot comment whether this has been the case here really.
For now I used Timeshift to role back to the previous kernel and all is well.
Returning to the previous kernel was a valid decision.Yet, you do not need to rollback your system with Timeshift just to start up your previous kernel. All it takes is, rebooting, entering the Grub menu at startup and selecting the previous kernel from the Grub menu. Once the machine has started up with the previous kernel, you might uninstall the new kernel 4.15.0-42.45.

Whether you really uninstall it or not depends on whether you want to find out whether the new kernel is really to be blamed for the trouble at boot time. As you have eliminated the suspect, no further forensic analysis can be done.

You would have to permit Update Manager to install the new kernel 4.15.0-42.45 one more time, reboot and find out whether the reported is re-occurs.
This approach may not be to your liking.
So for the moment I would stick with the previous kernel.

What you can do without risking any trouble, however, is: submit an inxi -Fxz report here. Maybe some detail in the inxi report will give a hint why your system and kernel 4.15.0-42.45 do not get along with each other well.

Best regards,
Karl
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gm10
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by gm10 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:43 pm

karlchen wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:33 pm
Mark_1 wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:54 am
no issues until the recent kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44.
I assume the kernel version really was 4.15.0-42.45. :wink:
Depends on your point of view:

Code: Select all

$ apt version linux-generic
4.15.0.42.44
;)

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karlchen
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by karlchen » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:48 pm

Hi, gm10.

I stick with what uname -a displays. :wink:

--Thursday, 06-Dec-2018 21:45--
As I saw just this evening:
The Update Manager displays the Linux kernel header packages group giving 4.15.0-42.44 as their version string.
The same Update Manager displays the Linux kernel generic packages group giving 4.15.0-42.45 as their version string.

Cheers,
Karl
Last edited by karlchen on Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added note on which version strings Update Manager displays when offering the updates for installation
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gm10
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by gm10 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:58 pm

Sure, but Update Manager displays the meta version so there's that. ;)

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karlchen
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by karlchen » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:44 pm

Admitted. But the version string confusion is not what may cause Mark_1's Mint 19 Cinnamon to drop back to software rendering mode, after it has been started up with kernel 4.15.0-42.45.
--
Just occurs to me: my Mint 19 Cinnamon+xfce system has not been upgraded to kernel 4.15.0-42.45, yet. So maybe that system will exhibit the same symptoms, once the upgrade has happened. Or it won't. After all it has gone through several in-place release upgrades, not just a kernel upgrade, and it is still alive.
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by gm10 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:48 pm

karlchen wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:44 pm
Admitted. But the version string confusion is not what may cause Mark_1's Mint 19 Cinnamon to drop back to software rendering mode, after it has been started up with kernel 4.15.0-42.45.
Naturally, but before seeing his inxi we've got nothing else to talk about. <3

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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by Mark_1 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:57 am

Hi Karl, thanks for the quick response and useful info, I now know a little more about Linux than I did yesterday! I’m sorry not to have given the proper info, I have been using Linux for years without the need to ask for too much assistance, but I appreciate your help and I am keen to learn so I will happily re install the kernel and see what breaks, then run inxi -Fxz and post the results.

Thank you, Mark

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karlchen
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by karlchen » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:51 pm

Hello, Mark_1.

We'll be patiently waiting to read your next post, hoping the issue will not have re-appeared.

By the way, just today kernel update 4.15.0-42.45 has been installed on Mint 19 Cinnamon here. The system has been rebooted in order to load the new kernel. And ... Cinnamon has come up normally. No falling back to software rendering mode here.

Below my system specifications:

Code: Select all

karl@unimatrix0 ~ $ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: unimatrix0 Kernel: 4.15.0-42-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 7.3.0 Desktop: Cinnamon 3.8.9 
           Distro: Linux Mint 19 Tara base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic 
Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: N/A model: N/A serial: <filter> BIOS: American Megatrends v: 080015 date: 10/09/2009 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Atom 330 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Bonnell rev: 2 L2 cache: 512 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 bogomips: 12799 
           Speed: 1600 MHz min/max: N/A Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1600 2: 1600 3: 1600 4: 1600 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA ION VGA vendor: ZOTAC driver: nouveau v: kernel bus ID: 03:00.0 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: nouveau unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,vesa resolution: 1280x1024~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: NVAC v: 3.3 Mesa 18.0.5 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: NVIDIA MCP79 High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:08.0 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-42-generic 
Network:   Device-1: NVIDIA MCP79 Ethernet vendor: ZOTAC driver: forcedeth v: kernel port: d080 bus ID: 00:0a.0 
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter vendor: AzureWave AW-NE785 / AW-NE785H 802.11bgn 
           driver: ath9k v: kernel port: ec00 bus ID: 04:00.0 
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 149.05 GiB used: 12.25 GiB (8.2%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: HM160HI size: 149.05 GiB 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 47.12 GiB used: 12.25 GiB (26.0%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda6 
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 5.05 GiB used: 1024 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 85.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nouveau temp: 61 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 203 Uptime: 47m Memory: 1.71 GiB used: 795.1 MiB (45.3%) Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.3.0 
           Shell: bash v: 4.4.19 inxi: 3.0.28 
karl@unimatrix0 ~ $
Best regards,
Karl
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Linux Mint 18.1 64-bit Cinnamon Desktop, Total Commander 9.21a 64-bit
Ubuntu 18.04.1 32-bit Mate Desktop, Total Commander 9.21a 32-bit
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Mark_1
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Re: Mint 19 – grey empty desktop after kernel update to 4.15.0.42.44

Post by Mark_1 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:56 pm

So I re installed the kernel and…. No problems. I restarted several times and its been as good as gold. I then booted up my audio rig which is also running mint 19 but with a low latency kernel. I installed all the updates, restarted, no problems. So far so good, then I updated the Kernel and… no problem! Then, using the method you described I went back to the previous kernel and again all was good. For completeness I reinstalled the new kernel and just like my main rig, all is well. I have restarted a number of times now and everything is working as it should which is good but at the same time a bit annoying because I don’t like mysteries! The only explanation I can find is that having seen me playing with mint 19.1 on a test machine my main rigs thought they were going to be replaced and started to play nicely….or maybe its that Linux karma thing working again, ask for help to solve a problem and its solved!
Many thanks for your constructive help, it is much appreciated

Best regards, Mark

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