You know exactly what I am talking about. We have all experienced this. You have your system working great. The developers push a new kernel version in the updates. You apply it and reboot. All of a sudden, you are left staring at the command line login screen.
It doesn't have to be this way. This is a problem that could be fixed easily enough. It just hasn't been a priority. Advanced users can easily work through this problem but newbies normally have no idea what happened until it is too late. I propose a couple of fixes. One would prevent it from happening until the user was prepared. The second would allow the system to fall back to the opensource drivers and you would still have a desktop.
I have opened tickets at openFATE for both of these features and will post links to each of them. Please go and give them an Up Vote and comment on them. This will let the developers know that we care about this.
- If proprietary driver fails, system falls back to opensource driver, and user is not left at the command line login.
This will leave the system with a usable desktop and the user can still work normally until he/she has fixed the issue and gotten the new drivers loaded.
- Installed system defaults to Allow_Kernel_Updates=NO
On a fresh install, the system will not allow kernel updates. There would be a file with a flag that the user would have to edit to turn the flag on or off. This would prevent surprise kernel updates bringing down a newbie's system. The file would have all the information needed for the user to prepare for the kernel update and the fact that it would possibly break modules, and leave the system with no desktop. It would contain links to these forums, video card drivers, etc.
A prepared user would not be left in a bind. Over and over, we have seen this happen to new users. They come here in panic mode because they don't know what happened to their system. Many of them just format and reinstall their previous OS, then they come here and post that SUSE SUCKS, and that is the last we ever hear of them. How many new Linux users have we lost this way? How many would we keep, if this never happened to them? It is preventable, but it has to be a priority before the developers will ever fix it.