Bug#655404: firmware-linux-nonfree Radeon R300-family problem
I recently tried to install a couple distributions on a Fujitsu Amilo M
1420 laptop. Kubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16 and PCLinuxOS KDE 2011 all crashed
either during install or when booting the installed system. Debian
Squeeze installed fine. Until I installed the firmware-linux-nonfree
package to get rid of the missing microcode error message from xorg. If
firmware-linux-nonfree is installed under Wheezy the system won't boot
properly. In Squeeze it is still possible to remove the
firmware-linux-nonfree package and reboot, but you first have to stop
the error messages spamming the console. X11 won't work at all. Trying
to use it will lock the machine.
This problem could be related to the Xorg-Radeon driver as well as a
hardware bug in either the ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 PRO (RV350) chip
generally, of this particular laptop or even this very machine.
Nonetheless, removing or not installing firmware-linux-nonfree is my
current workaround. The graphics still work fine.