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In February 2018, AMD began selling a new range of APUs that appeared to offer an unprecedented level of performance (especially in graphics) at the lowest end of the market. However, users have had difficulty getting Ubuntu and other Linux distributions to run on them since they were first tested. Are there now fixes and workarounds that make it possible to purchase an AMD APU system with confidence that it will be possible to use Ubuntu on it?

  • You have made a very vague question/statement, without any personal problem you might have encountered and needed resolved. In my own experience, the AMD APU builds I recently put together (2200g, 2400g, 3400g) all had initial issues, even with Windows 10. It was often resolved with a BIOS update or by using the specific driver that the motherboard manufacturer provided. I feel this belongs on a personal blog and not on a stackexchange site. – G Trawo Apr 18 at 20:14
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    Thank for the feedback! I could buy a computer APU, find it doesn't work and then ask "How do I get Ubuntu to run on this APU?", but I would much rather find the answer before I spend any money. Directly asking "how well it run?" was ruled out as opinion-based, so I have tried to reconsider the issue in a more Stack Exchange way. If you resolved it with a BIOS update or a specific driver, please tell us what they are! Many people have this issue – Matthew Apr 18 at 20:26
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Summary

No, it is not possible to be confident that Ubuntu will run on AMD APUs. Some users have stable systems, but others are not able to get Ubuntu to boot to a graphical desktop at all, while many have frequent unexplained crashes. This situation seems unlikely to change in the near future.

Scope and Definitions

An APU is an Accelerated Processing Unit, AMD's term for a chip that combines both a CPU and an integrated GPU in a single package.

This answer concerns the following APUs, which all use Vega graphics:

  • Raven Ridge: AMD's 2018 line of APUs, including chips named Athlon 2x0GE or 3000G and Ryzen 2x00G, 2x00GE, 2x00H or 2x00U.
  • Picasso: AMD's 2019 line of APUs, including chips named Athlon 300GE or 300U, and Ryzen 3x00G, 3x00GE, 3x50H or 3x00U.
  • Renoir: AMD's 2020 line of APUs, initially including chips named Ryzen 4x00H or 4x00U.

Raven Ridge Stability

In August 2019, Michael Larabel of Phoronix reported that using Linux with Raven Ridge chips "at times yielded an experience like Russian roulette". He did not have a stable Ubuntu 19.04 system on the 2200G and 2400G at that time, 18 months after launch, though he reported that the situation was much improved.

Larabel later noticed that users of Linux kernels 5.2 and 5.3 (in Ubuntu 19.10) had an issue where AMD APUs would frequently trigger reboots.

In November 2019, Larabel reported that Linux 5.4 would include further stability fixes for Raven Ridge. This kernel version will be included in Ubuntu 20.04.

Raven Ridge Workarounds

If using kernel version 5.3, provided in Ubuntu 19.10, it may be possible to avoid reboots by using the AMDGPU kernel setting amdgpu.noretry=0 (Larabel).

Picasso Stability

In August 2019, Michael Larabel of Phoronix reported that the 3400G was stable on Ubuntu 19.04 with Linux kernel 5.3. This kernel version is also used in Ubuntu 18.04.4.

In September 2019, Mike W said in an Askubuntu question that he was unable to boot to a graphical desktop using Manjaro 18.1.0 (which uses the 4.19 LTS kernel).

In April 2020, Rodney in Vancouver answered this question by stating that the 3200G was stable on Ubuntu 18.04.

Other issues

Larabel reported in January 2020 that Raven Ridge chips sometimes added clicking noises to their audio output, but AMD had patched this for a future kernel update (probably in Ubuntu 20.10).

(This answer is still incomplete and being edited)

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    As of kernel v5.7, it is possible to get a working system on Renoir. You'll have to use a mainline kernel (e.g. using ubuntu-mainline-kernel.sh), or build one. You may need to install it from the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + F2 for tty2) if, after OS install, the GUI fails but the system does boot. – Walf Jul 10 at 1:13
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I have Ubuntu 18.04 running on a Ryzen 3200g on a new install and it seems to run fine but I have IMMOU error on boot and it thinks I have a Ryzen Raven Ridge Vega 4 gpu. I am still looking into the problem. It is a new system with B450m Aorus motherboard. I still have to do a bios update, I am using F41 that came on the Ryzen 3000 ready board.

Edit I am using the Vega intigrated graphics. I just dl and played CS:GO from steam, works great! I built an Entertainment system for Movies, Music and games, with the PC SILENT at all times! Ubuntu 18.04.01, Dl Apr 8

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    Thank you for adding more evidence! I have some questions to try to understand why you succeeded where others failed. Are you using the 3200G's graphics or a separate graphics card? Do you watch videos or play games? Are you on 18.04.0 or a later point-version, please? BTW others have the IMMOU error and I hope to describe a workaround. – Matthew Apr 18 at 20:11

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