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My computer displays a black screen on waking from suspend/hibernate.

This problem was present on 14.04, but was solved when I changed to a proprietary driver (NVIDIA). I recently wiped my Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and installed Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), and faced the same old problem, however, this time it was not solved by changing the driver.

I tried the fixes given in the following pages but to no avail:

  1. Blank screen after suspend/hibernate on 14.04
  2. Laptop Screen Black After Suspend
  3. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2220085
  4. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/1283938

I am using an HP Pavilion 15 Notebook, with NVIDIA GEFORCE Graphics card.

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  • My shows some light but don't respond. Similar problem for Asus R558U. Nvidia driver. Apr 23, 2017 at 12:21
  • I was looking for the solution for this. I upgraded to 17.1 but no solution. Now, in 17.1, I see when I lock screen and it goes to suspend then it can wakeup correctly. So, try in older version as well as workaround. Otherwise, it was very painful to reboot system earlier. Now, just lock before you leave your system. Apr 25, 2017 at 17:13
  • Send the output of sudo lshw -C video. Can you go to tty1 (ctrl+alt+F1)? If so check the output of dmesg look for error messages on syslog, and Xorg.0.log on /var/log/. Jul 7, 2017 at 21:50

1 Answer 1

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If you don't have enough space on your swap partition, you might get a black screen when you awaken your system from hibernation. The black screen used to happen to me, until I decided to sacrifice the necessary hard drive space for Suspend-to-Disk (hibernation).

Your swap partition needs to be at least as big as your RAM size.

This is covered in the The Official Ubuntu Swap FAQ:

Hibernation (suspend-to-disk) The hibernation feature (suspend-to-disk) writes out the contents of RAM to the swap partition before turning off the machine. Therefore, your swap partition should be at least as big as your RAM size. The hibernation implementation currently used in Ubuntu, swsusp, needs a swap or suspend partition. It cannot use a swap file on an active file system.

Here's a table of example swap partitions, relative to RAM size, taken from The Official Ubuntu Swap FAQ. They recommend a swap partition a little bigger then your RAM.

(last 3 columns denote swap space)

        RAM(MB) No hibernation  With Hibernation  Maximum
         256     256              512               512
         512     512             1024              1024
        1024    1024             2048              2048

        RAM(GB) No hibernation  With Hibernation  Maximum
          1      1                2                   2
          2      1                3                   4
          3      2                5                   6
          4      2                6                   8
          5      2                7                  10
          6      2                8                  12
          8      3               11                  16
         12      3               15                  24
         16      4               20                  32
         24      5               29                  48
         32      6               38                  64
         64      8               72                 128
        128     11              139                 256

If you don't have enough swap space, then Suspend-to-Disk will not work.

Click this link to learn how to increase your swap space.

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  • Sounds plausible, but my laptop hibernates and wakes just fine with 8GB ram and 2GB swap. Also, swap is not temp, but is used as an extension of ram for program memory. Swap is not to be cleared at hibernation. My black screen problem is at another pc with 32G ram and 4G swap, that wakes up OK, I can log in from another pc using ssh, but it wakes up with a black screen.
    – Roland
    Sep 5, 2018 at 20:55

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