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Re: Debian 11 freezes on Dell Latitude e6520

On Sun, Dec 26, 2021 at 11:47:27AM +0100, Miguel Ortiz Lombardía wrote:
> Hi,
> I have been using Debian on a Dell Latitude e6520 for ten years now.
> At present, it runs without problem an up-to-date Debian 10 system.
> From the beginning, before upgrading to any new release, I tried its
> live image. This strategy has always successfully allowed upgrading
> without stress. Sometimes I would do an upgrade, sometimes a clean new
> installation. The latter one was the case for Debian 10.
> Now, since Debian 11 was released earlier this year, I've been testing
> its behaviour on the machine. Unfortunately, even with the latest live
> image, including non-free firmware, the test is not passed. The
> computer boots well and the graphical interface (I tried my usual
> xfce, but also mate) appears neat and working. However, after a few
> moments varying from few seconds to no more than a couple of minutes,
> the system freezes completely. Impossible to open a console, there is
> no answer at all, only physical shutdown is possible.

Hi Mol,

How much memory? What graphics? If you have the Nvidia NV620 and 4GB
it's probably best _not_ to use the live disk - it takes a large amount
of memory to get the live CD to boot and if nouveau is not the ideal
driver then you do get lockups and similar.

If you are currently using the non-free drivers on Debian 10, then you
could, potentially just upgrade to Debian 11 on the same hardware. I do
find it easier to install a bare minimum text only system if feasible _then_
install the non-free drivers but that may not be possible for you.

All the very best, as ever,

Andy Cater

> I have searched for other people having similar problems and found a
> forum where someone described the same issue with the Manjaro distro:
> https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?s=6d5881750b8f3ceb6a12708b3a7683c9&p=6287384#post6287384
> Unfortunately, the only advice given is to switch to another
> distribution (AntiX is mentioned) I would prefer to stay on Debian, but
> it's true that when support and security updates will arrive to an end
> for Debian 10, I will need to move anyway to a different distro if this
> problem is not solved.
> Incidentally, I must say that I'm also unable to run Tails on this
> machine since a few releases ago, for what looks as precisely the same
> problem.
> I wonder if this trouble could result from the upgrading of the kernel
> to version 5.x? Or from the newest versions of Xorg or the nouveau
> driver? By the way, I thought that the non-free nvidia module and not
> nouveau would be used in the live images with non-free firmware. 

Nvidia non-free modules really need to be built per machine: nouveau
is a good compromise.

> The only debugging step I have managed to take during the few seconds
> where the system is running is capturing in a file, on another USB
> stick, the output of:
> # sudo dmesg -wH
> I have compared it with the results of the same command on my normally
> running Debian 10. But my capacities to extract from there any useful
> information are too limited. I hesitate to send those longs files to
> the list.
> Any clues would be welcomed.
> Cheers,
> -- mol

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