Until this morning I had xubuntu 16.04 with kernel vers. 4.6.0 running without any problems on my Lenovo ThinkPad X1 (3rd generation). Because the system didn't stop nagging me to upgrade to 18.04 I did just that using the "software updater tool". I already did this some times, never with any problems at all.

After the release upgrade had finished and booting into the new kernel (4.15) the system seemed completely unresponsive. I couldn't click or do anything. But when I changed to tty1 by hitting STRGALTF1 I saw the login prompt and after that the shell is continously spilled with ^@ symbols. When I hit some keys here, the symbols sometimes change for a time and I am not able to get back to tty7 (where my desktop manager runs).

Now when I boot into the old kernel (4.6.0) I have the same behavior, and when I then go to tty1 I get the ^@ again but at least I can change back to tty7 and everything works "normal" … uuh well, sometimes I can't right-click things, sometimes things take unusually long, sometimes windows that I click don't get a focus and stuff like that. But at least it works, so I am able to post here.

During the release upgrade I was asked two times if I would keep the old configuration or if I want the maintainers version. That was with "unattended-upgrades" and "network-manager" and both times I hit "maintainers version" which I think might have resulted in this problem (not sure!).

I had a fully configured and running wwan interface with SIM card and everything which I had configured not to be enabled on start-up but only if I say so. This configuration has gone. To make sure that it isn't the wwan interface I installed tlp and did wwan off. This seems to have worked, but the strange behavior persists.

I also noticed that during the upgrade there where some warnings related to light-dm but they were to fast to read them. Yet another thing that I noticed was that the GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX which I had to modify in some way a few years back when I installed the system was also gone, it is now only GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="". I searched the well-known sites dealing with ubuntu on thinkpad (including this site) but found nothing helpful. I can't find any site dealing with this problem I have, e.g. when I search "^@" google asks me to make sure that all words are written correctly.

To be clear, everything else seems to work, volume- and brightness keys, touchpad and so on, but only when I boot into kernel 4.6.0, open tty1 and let the symbols roll and then change back to my GUI on tty7.

I'm not sure what to try next, has anyone maybe a clue? Right now I'm again not able to focus other windows (e.g. the terminal emulator), I can only do so with ALTTAB. When I started to write this post it still worked. I would be grateful to get some help!

Update I just tried a

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade && sudo apt-get install -f

– to no avail.

Also, man pages don't work anymore, they are completely empty, e.g. man ls: empty man ls page

I also did a

grep -ai "error" /var/log/syslog
Jun 12 16:24:32 denkbrett lircd-0.10.0[1155]: Error: Cannot glob /sys/class/rc/rc0/input[0-9]*/event[0-9]*

I disabled lircd like this:

sudo systemctl stop lircd.socket lircd.service
sudo systemctl disable lircd.socket lircd.service

Again, to no avail. I can't seem to find any other errors in the syslog. Am I missing something?


This issue could be solved by

purging lirc which constantly fired the error mentioned in my question:

sudo apt-get remove --purge lirc
sudo apt-get autoremove

and re-installing lightdm which gave a lot of warnings during the release upgrade

 sudo apt install --reinstall lightdm

After a reboot everything was fine.

Regarding the empty man pages I followed another post here and re-installed groff:

 sudo apt-get --reinstall install groff groff-base

I think that lirc caused the tty to be messed up with ^@. But I'm still not sure, so if anyone has a clue I'd be interested to hear. Thanks for your attention!

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