Workaround for the Intel i915 "black screen" Linux boot problem.

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Recently, a number of people have experienced the "black screen of death" boot issue with Linux, based on some problems with integrated Intel video chips. The problem was allegedly resolved but it's managed to crop up again.

If you've been running into that, and have no problem building and booting a new kernel from the source, here's a simple patch you can apply to the source that appears to solve the problem:

--- a/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/intel_opregion.c
+++ b/drivers/gpu/drm/i915/intel_opregion.c
@@ -150,6 +150,8 @@ static u32 asle_set_backlight(struct drm_device *dev, u32 bclp)
        struct opregion_asle *asle = dev_priv->opregion.asle;
        u32 max;
 
+return ASLE_BACKLIGHT_FAILED; // rday
+
        if (!(bclp & ASLE_BCLP_VALID))
                return ASLE_BACKLIGHT_FAILED;
 

I won't pretend I understand *why* it works, only that it fixed things for me. I isolated this workaround based on advice I was given on the Intel freedesktop mailing list, so it's obvious that the problem is related to backlighting but, beyond that, I won't claim any further information.

If it resolves the problem for you, go for it.

Comments

i915 patch

which kernel version should be patched with this?

It's hard to say

The simple answer is, test the kernel and if it doesn't have a problem, don't patch it. This bug has been intermittent so it's hard to say which *exact* version needs to be patched.

Two scenarios for the black screen of death

Hi, Thank you for providing the patch.

I have built kernel 2.6.38-2 mainline using the .config of http://elrepo.org/linux/kernel/el5/x86_64/RPMS/kernel-ml-2.6.38-2.el5.el... and made sure no missing direct dependencies are there for anything that is i915 || acpi related.

However, when booting my custom kernel, I get a black screen once the entire boot process has finished. This happens whether my kernel option is i915.modeset=0 || i915.modeset=1.

The point is the black screens are different in behaviour:

a- i915.modeset=0 >> keyboard and touchpad totally hang and caps lock lid keeps blinking. Laptop is dead! I have to shutdown using power button.

b- i915.modeset=1 >> keyboard and touchpad working fine, I can even hear the system has brought gdm to login, and I can actually login blindly. But I am getting a black screen indeed.

My question, which black screen does the patch fix ?

I will be trying your patch and feeding you back, but till then do you think any configurations in xorg.conf or somewhere else can help mitigate the issue when KMS is set to default = Yes ?

P.S. I am using a lenovo G560 as described in:
http://egyptlaptop.com/lenovo-g560-clone-2.html

Thanks again. Test in progress...

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