I performed the most recent kernel update on my Dell 5290 2-in-1 earlier today. But moments after I plug it into its docking station, the screen flickers, blanks and freezes. The only item left on the screen is the mouse pointer, and it is stuck.

If I leave the tablet not plugged in, it runs just fine. It seems to be the docking station that triggers the freeze.

That said, I can log into the tablet via ssh even with the screen frozen. So the system is still running. But if I try to reboot the tablet via the reboot command, nothing appears to happen. sudo reboot -f will reboot the system, while sudo reboot will not.

Any ideas where I should start looking to identify this problem?

  • 1
    What happens if you hold Shift while booting and within GRUB select the old kernel from before you updated? – Kristopher Ives Jan 29 '19 at 8:41
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    It took me a while, but I finally got it to boot to 4.15.0-43-generic. This kernel is not freezing. I'll run it all night to be sure, but it's survived much longer than 4.15.0-44-generic has ever lasted on my tablet. – Ryan Budney Jan 29 '19 at 8:49
  • I've escalated the question to a bug report: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1813795 – Ryan Budney Jan 29 '19 at 16:44
  • Although it's possibly unrelated, I've been having problems with my desktop computer and this new kernel, as well. Getting strange wifi cut-outs. It's telling me my printer isn't accepting jobs. And it's starting to refuse basic file operations -- getting errors with the copy operation. – Ryan Budney Jan 29 '19 at 20:34

This problem has been solved in 4.15.0-45-generic. Running these commands can fix the issue:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Same story here, using a XPS 15 99560 and a TB16 dock.

The only solution found for now is to revert to 4.15.0-43, using the Advanced boot options in GRUB.

Link to the kernel changelog. Link to the launchpad discussion where you can follow the evolution.

EDIT : fixed in 4.15.0-45

* External monitors does not work anymore 4.15.0-44 (LP: #1813663)
    - SAUCE: Revert "drm/i915/dp: Send DPCD ON for MST before phy_up"
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    I confirm GRUB -> Advanced options -> booting with kernel 4.15.0.-43 got things back to work as before. – Gondy Jan 30 '19 at 14:38

This kinda happens also to me, with my Surface Pro 3, when I boot it attached to the docking station.

I can boot the device, but as soon as I log in, I get a kernel bug NULL pointer deference error. Which turns the display black and locks up all input. Network is still working though.

If I boot the device and login without docking station, it works. I can attach the docking station afterwards.

I've reported my issue here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1813796

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