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Thread: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

  1. #1
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    Default Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    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.

    1. 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.
      https://features.opensuse.org/308936
    2. 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.
      https://features.opensuse.org/308935


    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.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    Wilson_Phillips, thank you for posting this. I have already voted on both, and commented on one. We need all the votes and comments we can get. We need to make some noise here.
    ______________________________________________________________________________________
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    Thanks Jon. You are correct. We do need to make some noise on this.

    Issue number 308936 could take a lot of work and might not be seen until 12.0 if ever, but if we get enough votes and comments on it, it could eventually be done.

    Issue number 308935 is an easy fix and if we vote it up and comment on it, it could be implemented in 11.3 and we would be able to say that we made a difference.

    These are fixable issues, but the devs always just overlook this problem because it is not that hard to work around it. For a newbie however, this is a deal breaker. We need to change the way we look at simple problems and remember that for the newbie, it might not be simple. The last thing we need is for our new inexperienced users to get frustrated and leave. Most newbies have never even used the command line in Windows, but they get a kernel update and they are dumped to the command line with an unusable system. This is not acceptable. It is preventable.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    I fully agree. While, so far, not having had this issue I did spend some time yesterday making sound work again after a kernel update. I am still new enough not to have worked out how to do that from the command line so I went into the Yast Gui and updated the sound packages I found already installed.

    If this had been an issue that dumped me on the command line with no access to the desktop I would have had to spend a lot of hours trying to get myself out of the problem.

    I know enough to get myself into trouble but not enough to get myself out of the trouble I make for myself so I don't need help getting into trouble from the system.
    So I followed the links and added a vote. Hopefully, one day, this will be solved.

  5. #5
    palladium NNTP User

    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    thank you Wilson for kicking this off...i've voted both of your ideas
    UP, and urge all to do likewise..

    good show!

    --
    palladium

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    I feel both suggestions are smart, and have up'd both in openFATE.

    For a very long time now, I've often considered kernel updates to be in their own special category. I never quite understood why they are frequently included with other, minor bug fix updates - the kernel is the heart of any given Linux system after all.

    Perhaps adding a new YaST module under the Software heading, titled "Kernel Updates" would accommodate your suggestion of providing a place to provide information regarding kernel updates and whether to enable or disable them. It could also provide a way of checking for only kernel updates and updating from within the module.

    Essentially it boils down to separating kernel updates from the rest of the available system updates, so only users who have gone through a process to educate them about the Why's and wherefore's, and know they want the update, will get it.

    This new YaST module could even be taken further to allow more advanced users to install multiple kernels and manage them all from one location.
    Last edited by srschifano; 03-Feb-2010 at 09:57. Reason: Additional thought
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    After reading the comments on openFATE, some folks need convincing that this is actually an issue. This has been the problem all along. The devs look at it as the user reloading their drivers being a simple thing to do, so it has never been a priority to fix. They just don't see it from a newbie's point of view.

    We need more comments on both topics to convince them of the need. Go and make your voices heard. Here is your chance to make a difference!
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  8. #8
    palladium NNTP User

    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    Wilson Phillips wrote:
    > After reading the comments on openFATE, some folks need convincing that
    > this is actually an issue.


    i think i've thought of a potential solution of how to change their
    mind (since they won't come to the forum and see for themselves):

    we here just stop answering 'black screen' questions and instead tell
    everyone with that problem to send an email to

    opensuse+subscribe@opensuse.org

    or

    opensuse-kernel+subscribe@opensuse.org

    and ask there..

    the developers will quite soon understand the magnitude of the problem..

    and, i wanna see how THEY answer:
    "Okay, but how do i open a terminal and what is a root anyway?

    --
    palladium

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    Voted on both as well. I'm too much in the "new kernel-new driver install" routine. Sometimes don't even remember I reinstalled it. No good.

    The only way to get there is to convince the devs of the problem, indeed. Has this been pointed out as merely an annoyance or has it been made clear that this means loosing users? I cannot see it isn't. There may have been other barriers to be taken first, but this is an issue that should have high priority IMHO.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Video Drivers Fail due to Kernel Updates

    Is it about losing users? You bet it is. That is my whole point. The devs just say that we should all be able to work through the problem because it is simple and common. It is not simple but they are right about it being common.
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