Lenovo X201 + Ubuntu 17.04 == Graphic glitches + crashes

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Issue

I Made the upgrade from Ubuntu 16.10 to 17.04 (desktop) this week on my personal machine at home a Lenovo X201 and immediately saw some strange graphic behaviors like some windows not able to be displayed on top of others (Chromium + Terminator for example), or some screen flickering or worse the screen going completely black with a reboot as the only solution.

I also had the following errors constantly popping inside syslog:

Jul 24 20:16:01 thinkpad kernel: [ 1372.627026] [drm:intel_cpu_fifo_underrun_irq_handler [i915]] *ERROR* CPU pipe A FIFO underrun
Jul 24 20:16:01 thinkpad kernel: [ 1372.627105] [drm:intel_pch_fifo_underrun_irq_handler [i915]] *ERROR* PCH transcoder A FIFO underrun

right after the upgrade the following kernel was installed: ‘4.10.0-28-generic’, and according to various bug reports this issue is related to the i915 video driver and some 4.xx kernels.

Solution

For now the only solution that I found was to manually update the kernel to the 4.12 version.

I did that by manually downloading it from http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/v4.12/ Of course that’s not ideal as I’ll have to now maintain the kernel upgrades lifecycle by myself as this version is not included inside Ubuntu 17.04. I’ll dig deeper later into this issue and keep this post updated.

Romain

Refs