Continuing adventures in Ubuntu

Volume 2, Issue 12; 01 May 2018

Turns out the problem had nothing to do with Ubuntu 18.04. Unfortunately, I’m still having issues, but they’re more of the expected sort.

A few days ago, I complained that Ubuntu 18.04 didn’t work on my laptop.

I can’t really stick with 17.04 indefinitely, so I decided to explore installing Debian instead. I grabbed the latest Debian Stable ISO and stuck it on my USB stick. Right off the top, the Debian installer noticed that I’d used UNetbootin to make the USB stick and warned me off using it.


So I went back and put the Ubuntu ISO on the stick with a straight up dd. And it all installed without a hitch. I got everything spun up and it all seemed to work just fine…except for the usual laptop issues with display drivers. Sigh.

The Nouveau drivers don’t seem to handle multiple external monitors very well. The Nvidia drivers come in about 87 flavors. The “384” flavor works fine on 17.04, but on 18.04, that’s just a transitory package that installs “390”. Going to the graphics-drivers PPA gets me “396”. Neither of those recover from suspend correctly. They both produce a weird patina of static:

Fuzzy screen

I did a little poking around on the web, but didn’t find any obvious way to get the “384” drivers for 18.04. I suppose I could ignore the bug (it can be “fixed” by updating the background), but having a display driver mess up the display doesn’t instill confidence.

I could give up on one of the external monitors and go with the Nouveau drivers, I guess. But ☹.

I could throw in the towel and replace the laptop; it’s a somewhat aging ThinkPad and it will need to be replaced “soon”. I’d be tempted to get a MacBook Pro, except that the current models all seem to suck. (I have no interest in Touch-Id. The Touchbar seems to be pretty universally regarded as a mistake. And I’m very leary of a laptop with keyboard issues. I’ll trade a little thicker, a little heavier for a decent keyboard, a bigger battery, and at least 32G of memory in a “pro” laptop, thank you very much.)

Not sure what I’ll do, but I guess I’m taking 17.04 on the road next week.