Bug#883980: base-files: After updating to 9.3, Screen Sporadically Goes Blank

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Bug#883980: base-files: After updating to 9.3, Screen Sporadically Goes Blank

Hanlyu Sarang
Package: base-files
Version: 9.9+deb9u3
Severity: important

Dear Maintainer,

I upgraded to Debian 9.3 today, using aptitude update/aptitude upgrade, then
rebooted the computer. Everything seemed to be OK.

But then, when using Chromium on Youtube, the entire screen would go Blank
(actually Black) whenever I moved the mouse and it was over the playing video.
When I switched to Terminatior to fire up report-bug, I noticed also that when
I type a character on the command line (bash), the screen also goes black.

When the screen goes black, it happens for about 1 second, then returns to
normal. No flashing or funny noises. The screen goes black for a second, then
comes back on, normal brightness.

I have been using Debian 9, and upgrading periodically, for the past 3-4
months. This has never happed before. I have not made any changes to the
hardware.

I am running a Toshiba Satellite, recent model with Intel I5 processor (and
integrated graphics, no graphics card).

I am not certain if base-files is the correct place to file this report, but
base-files was one of the packages downloaded when I upgraded to 9.3.

Thank you.



-- System Information:
Debian Release: 9.3
  APT prefers stable-updates
  APT policy: (500, 'stable-updates'), (500, 'stable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 4.9.0-4-amd64 (SMP w/4 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8), LANGUAGE=en_US.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: systemd (via /run/systemd/system)

Versions of packages base-files depends on:
ii  gawk [awk]  1:4.1.4+dfsg-1
ii  mawk [awk]  1.3.3-17+b3

base-files recommends no packages.

base-files suggests no packages.

-- no debconf information

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Bug#883980: base-files: After updating to 9.3, Screen Sporadically Goes Blank

Gerard M. Vignes
On Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:45:33 -0600 Hanlyu Sarang
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Package: base-files
> Version: 9.9+deb9u3
> Severity: important
>
> Dear Maintainer,
>
> I upgraded to Debian 9.3 today, using aptitude update/aptitude upgrade, then
> rebooted the computer. Everything seemed to be OK.

I am including additional information, as 3 text file attachments, from
running diagnostics on my system. Output from running:
cat /proc/cpuinfo
dpkg --get-selections
lspci | egrep -i 'vga|2d|3d'



cat_proc_cpuinfo.txt (5K) Download Attachment
dpkg_get_selections.txt (128K) Download Attachment
lspci_egrep_i_vga_2d_3d.txt (110 bytes) Download Attachment
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Bug#883980: base-files: After updating to 9.3, Screen Sporadically Goes Blank

Santiago Vila
In reply to this post by Hanlyu Sarang
reassign 883980 chromium,linux
thanks

On Sat, Dec 09, 2017 at 05:45:33PM -0600, Hanlyu Sarang wrote:

> Package: base-files
> Version: 9.9+deb9u3
> Severity: important
>
> Dear Maintainer,
>
> I upgraded to Debian 9.3 today, using aptitude update/aptitude upgrade, then
> rebooted the computer. Everything seemed to be OK.
>
> But then, when using Chromium on Youtube, the entire screen would go Blank
> (actually Black) whenever I moved the mouse and it was over the playing video.
> When I switched to Terminatior to fire up report-bug, I noticed also that when
> I type a character on the command line (bash), the screen also goes black.
>
> When the screen goes black, it happens for about 1 second, then returns to
> normal. No flashing or funny noises. The screen goes black for a second, then
> comes back on, normal brightness.
>
> I have been using Debian 9, and upgrading periodically, for the past 3-4
> months. This has never happed before. I have not made any changes to the
> hardware.
>
> I am running a Toshiba Satellite, recent model with Intel I5 processor (and
> integrated graphics, no graphics card).
>
> I am not certain if base-files is the correct place to file this report, but
> base-files was one of the packages downloaded when I upgraded to 9.3.

This is very unlikely a problem with base-files, as the only change for
the point release is to raise /etc/debian_version from 9.2 to 9.3 (so
that the exact point release is shown in bug reports like this one).

So I am reassigning this to chromium and the kernel.

However, please be ready to provide the chromium and kernel maintainers
with additional info as they ask, because this could be a bug in other
packages too.

[ I would bet this has something to do with the kernel. To be sure
  try installing the kernel in Debian 9.2 (from snapshot.debian.org) and
  see if the problem disappears when using the old kernel ].

Thanks.

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Bug#883980: Steps to Duplicate Problem

Gerard M. Vignes
In reply to this post by Hanlyu Sarang
After a clean reboot, I began experimenting to find repeatable steps to
duplicate the problem.

I have the following programs running across 9 workspaces (which are
always running on my machine): Chromium & gPHPEdit, Web (Ephiphany) &
Geany, and Terminator (running a split screen). The problem does not
manifest itself yet.

I open a Terminal running Screen plus Files (Nautilus) plus Document
Viewer (Evince). Then the problem begins to manifest itself, and it
grows worse as I experiment.

FIRST MANIFESTATION: I open a youtube video in Chromium and it begins
playing. When I move my mouse pointer from the surrounding page across
the embedded video, or back again, the screen goes black for 1 second.
This manifestation is not sporadic. It happens almost every single time,
provided the above conditions are met.

SECOND MANIFESTATION: When I type something in Terminator, the screen
goes black for 1 second. This manifestation is sporadic. It happens from
time to time, provided the above conditions are met.

THIRD MANIFESTATION: When I open Software, and I type a term in the
Search field, the screen goes black for 1 second. This manifestation is
sporadic. I happens only sometimes.

FOURTH MANIFESTATION: When I type into Bash running in Terminal, the
screen goes black for 1 second. This manifestation is sporadic. I
happens only sometimes.

OBSERVATION: As I experiment and open additional copies of Document
Viewer (Evince), the problem seems to get much worse. The screen goes
black for longer periods of time, and when it returns, it is frequently
scrambled up, goes black again, and then returns to normal.

NOTE: I have 8GB of RAM. I have been routinely doing these activities
and much more for the past 4 months, with no problems. I do not believe
that I am near to maxing out memory. This problem appeared with the
upgrade to Debian 9.3.

I am looking into how I can downgrade the kernel without causing further
problems. This is my only, my primary work machine. I cannot afford to
screw it up. I don't have a second computer to experiment with. Sorry.

I am happy to help with any reasonable troubleshooting steps. Thanks.

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Bug#883980: Fifth Manifestation

Gerard M. Vignes
In reply to this post by Hanlyu Sarang
I was using the latest, built-in version of Firefox ESR 52.5.2 (64-bit),
and I noticed that I got the same, consistent problem as with Chromium.

When I move the mouse cursor between surrounding page and embedded video
(either direction), the screen goes black for 1 second. This behavior is
identical to what I experience in Chromium.

This is the list of applications for which I have seen this problem so far:
Chromium
Terminator
Terminal running Bash
Software
Firefox ESR

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Bug#883980: Experimenting with 4.9.0-4-amd64 and 4.9.0-3-amd64

Gerard M. Vignes
In reply to this post by Hanlyu Sarang
Without installing, updating or removing any software, I am
experimenting with kernels 4.9.0-4-amd64 and 4.9.0-3-amd64.

When I applied the Debian 9.3 upgrade, it installed a new kernel and
retained the older kernel. I can select the newer or older kernel using
the advanced boot menu.

When I boot with the newer 4.9.0-4-amd64 kernel, I experience the
problem with screen going black for 1 second. This happens sporadically,
but often enough to disrupt normal workstation activities.

When I boot with the older 4.9.0-3-amd64 kernel, I am not able to
duplicate the problem.

I only discovered how to boot between old and new kernels last night, so
I am going to continue booting on the older 4.9.0-3-amd64 kernel until a
new kernel is released. I will post to this bug report again ONLY IF I
discover that the problem occurs using the older 4.9.0-3-amd64 kernel.

I believe that the Debian 9.3 upgrade and/or newer 4.9.0-4-amd64 kernel
introduced a problem that causes my screen to sporadically go black for
1 second. The general conditions to duplicate this problem are outlined
in my previous posts to this bug report. The simple diagnostics about my
machine, which I provided as attachments, are also available in previous
posts.

Thank you.

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Bug#883980: security information -- dsa-4073-1 linux

Gerard M. Vignes
In reply to this post by Hanlyu Sarang
I installed "security information -- dsa-4073-1 linux" and rebooted into
the 4.9.0-4-amd64 kernel. The screen-blacking problem still exists, but
now it is accented by longer periods when the screen goes haywire.

All I have to do to create the problem now is to (1) start Terminator,
(2) make it full-screen, (3) split it into two horizontal windows and
(4) use the arrow keys to scroll bash history. The screen goes crazy, as
if it were being drawn in all the wrong places. The screen rapidly snaps
between various renderings, most of them incorrect, where parts of the
screen are in the wrong places. After jumping between dozens of bad
screen renderings, the screen goes black for a second. When the screen
lights up again, sometimes it is normal and sometimes the crazy behavior
repeats. All I have to do is type into the terminal or use the arrow
keys to trigger the crazy screen behavior, although it still occurs
somewhat sporadically.

I am back working in the 4.9.0-3-amd64 kernel. No problems.