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[Summary: What seems to have been a kernel update caused a couple of things, including internet access, to stop working, and booting older kernels gives me a low graphics mode issue. Reading up on that, I looked for /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf, but found no such file at all, yet Unity does work (without internet, audio or webcam) if I boot the latest kernel 4.4.0-77-generic.]

I've never written here before, and, English is my third language, so I actually feel a bit embarrassed about writing this. There are basically so many things going wrong that I can barely believe it myself. Not that I'm not good enough at reading and writing in English, it's just the "stage fright" of having to participate in a public discussion about something I don't know that much about.

So my problem is, after an update that required me to restart my laptop [added kernel 4.4.0-77-generic and some stuff with the syllable lib, all of that stuff, save for something unicode-related seems to have to do with libreoffice, see log entry below for the specific package names], it wouldn't connect to the internet, and trying with another cable didn't fix it. Clicking on the leftmost icon in the top right corner of the screen gave me a menu whose first item read "no network device available". Then I realised there wasn't any sound either despite the volume somehow having reset itself to 100%. In the audio settings it says "dummy output". Neither speakers nor headphones worked. I have also tried connecting a USB microphone and that doesn't work either. Interestingly, connecting a thumb drive does work. Inserting an SD card into the laptop's SD card slot doesn't. The DVD drive, I'm not sure: it can detect disks but I get an error message saying they can't be mounted even though it actually shows the names of the disks in those messages [edit: it's just complaining about only being able to mount them read-only, which I guess might be reasonable. I obviously can't check whether I get similar messages on 14.04 as that would require somehow running it from another drive]. Taking a closer look at the top of the screen I found there wasn't any Bluetooth icon. The Bluetooth settings say "no Bluetooth adapter found". I'm not really that concerned about the latter as I don't use Bluetooth anyway. Also, I checked the built-in webcam and it doesn't get detected.

To be able to send this question, I'm using the live DVD that I installed Ubuntu from which was 14.04, meaning some websites aren't even working properly as they expect newer versions of Firefox.

I tried rebooting with some older versions of the kernel [4.4.0-75-generic and the previous one: 4.4.0-72-generic] but that just leaves me with a "The system is running in low-graphics mode" message saying "Your screen, graphics card, and input device settings could not be detected correctly. You will need to configure these yourself". Then I told it to "try running with default graphics mode" which just gives me a black screen with a white blinking underscore in the top left corner and it stays so even if I wait five minutes (it usually takes almost a minute to boot). [Also, Ctrl-alt-f1 did nothing.]

In case it helps, I also noticed the icons on the dashbar in the left side got reset to their default size by the update.

Edit: I've looked at other questions about networking issues (as I guess fixing those may make the other ones a bit easier to fix) and did some tests they mentioned: ifconfig output on "updated" system:

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1
          RX packets:1332 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:1332 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1 
          RX bytes:98912 (98.9 KB)  TX bytes:98912 (98.9 KB)

Output with DVD:

eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 30:f9:ed:be:67:db  
          inet addr:192.168.2.100  Bcast:192.168.2.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
          inet6 addr: fe80::32f9:edff:febe:67db/64 Scope:Link
          UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:2514 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:1455 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:3562860 (3.5 MB)  TX bytes:128889 (128.8 KB)

lo        Link encap:Local Loopback  
          inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
          inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
          UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:65536  Metric:1
          RX packets:160 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:160 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:0 
          RX bytes:15050 (15.0 KB)  TX bytes:15050 (15.0 KB)

wlan0     Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 08:3e:8e:c1:f4:77  
          UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
          RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)

lspci output on "updated" system:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port (rev 09)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev c4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation HM76 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Thames [Radeon HD 7550M/7570M/7650M]
01:00.1 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Turks/Whistler HDMI Audio [Radeon HD 6000 Series]
07:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
08:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTS5209 PCI Express Card Reader (rev 01)
09:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 07)

Output with DVD seems to be the same.

sudo lshw -C network output on "updated" system:

  *-network UNCLAIMED
       description: Network controller
       product: AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter
       vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:07:00.0
       version: 01
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: memory:c1200000-c127ffff memory:c1280000-c128ffff
  *-network UNCLAIMED
       description: Ethernet controller
       product: RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
       vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:09:00.0
       version: 07
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: ioport:2000(size=256) memory:c1004000-c1004fff memory:c1000000-c1003fff

Using the DVD, I get this:

  *-network               
       description: Wireless interface
       product: AR9485 Wireless Network Adapter
       vendor: Qualcomm Atheros
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:07:00.0
       logical name: wlan0
       version: 01
       serial: 08:3e:8e:c1:f4:77
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress bus_master cap_list rom ethernet physical wireless
       configuration: broadcast=yes driver=ath9k driverversion=3.13.0-32-generic firmware=N/A latency=0 link=no multicast=yes wireless=IEEE 802.11bgn
       resources: irq:16 memory:c1200000-c127ffff memory:c1500000-c150ffff
  *-network
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
       vendor: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:09:00.0
       logical name: eth0
       version: 07
       serial: 30:f9:ed:be:67:db
       size: 100Mbit/s
       capacity: 1Gbit/s
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress msix vpd bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp mii 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=r8169 driverversion=2.3LK-NAPI duplex=full firmware=rtl8168e-3_0.0.4 03/27/12 ip=192.168.2.100 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=MII speed=100Mbit/s
       resources: irq:43 ioport:2000(size=256) memory:c1004000-c1004fff memory:c1000000-c1003fff

Also, I checked the file /var/log/apt/history.log as suggested below and found this:

Start-Date: 2017-05-03  12:25:23
Commandline: aptdaemon role='role-commit-packages' sender=':1.98'
Install: linux-signed-image-4.4.0-77-generic:amd64 (4.4.0-77.98, automatic), linux-image-4.4.0-77-generic:amd64 (4.4.0-77.98, automatic)
Upgrade: libreoffice-style-breeze:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-math:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-core:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libicu55:amd64 (55.1-7ubuntu0.1, 55.1-7ubuntu0.2), libreoffice-gtk:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-style-human:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-style-galaxy:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-base-core:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-ogltrans:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-impress:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), ure:amd64 (5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-writer:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-common:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), fonts-opensymbol:amd64 (2:102.7+LibO5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 2:102.7+LibO5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-pdfimport:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), uno-libs3:amd64 (5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-gnome:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-calc:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-draw:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2), libreoffice-avmedia-backend-gstreamer:amd64 (1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial1, 1:5.1.6~rc2-0ubuntu1~xenial2)
End-Date: 2017-05-03  12:27:16
  • 1
    It would help (and maybe give yourself a hint) if you looked in /var/log/apt/history.log and edited your question to show exactly what got updated to cause this problem. The entries are listed by date so you can easily find the last update before your problem ocurred. – Organic Marble May 4 '17 at 20:23
  • It looks like there was a kernel update as well as some updates to stuff containing the syllable lib, but that seems to be libreoffice stuff which I highly doubt could cause hardware to not be detected. @OrganicMarble – Characters writing May 7 '17 at 10:28
  • With 4.4.0-77-generic I had the same problem: my lan and wlan adapter were not detected anymore. lspci -nnk did neither show a kernel driver nor a kernel module for both devices. After booting to kernel 4.4.0-75-generic via the grub boot menu it worked again. See also: askubuntu.com/a/911639 – yasd May 7 '17 at 13:34
  • I already tried that and, as I say in the question, it tells me it's running with low graphics mode, and when I then select the default option it gets me a blank screen with a white blinking underscore and stays that way. I tried again today, and I still get that. @yasd Anyway, I notice I hadn't mentioned that the underscore, blinked, so I'll go ahead and add that. – Characters writing May 7 '17 at 16:17
  • Seems like I found a way to get Unity working on 4.4.0-75, albeit with some responsiveness issues. I then updated the system and restarted it. I'm testing everything to make sure it works, but now I think I've got everything working. I'm in the process of testing it right now, and I'll post my findings, hopefully as an answer to my question. – Characters writing May 10 '17 at 17:16
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Attempting to boot older kernel versions got me a "low graphics mode" message and didn't let me get to the desktop or even the terminal, so in the end I read up on how to fix the low graphics mode error, and it mentioned the failsafeX option. So I tried booting the 4.4.0-75 kernel in recovery mode, then chose the failsafeX option, then enable networking, then continue. It worked, but everything seemed somewhat unresponsive (scrolling through a document, for example). It said there were updates available, and the kernel was one of the things that it would update. I accepted the updates and rebooted. It seems to be working now, and it even seems to have restored some configurations that were being ignored (e.g. the dashbar icon size). The responsiveness issues seem to be gone and audio is working and even remembers the volume it was set at before the problems appeared. I also opened Cheese and uncovered the webcam for a moment, and I could see myself, so that seems to be working too. Also, the SD card slot works now. So it looks like the latest kernel update has fixed the problems and I can consider the question answered then.

And thanks for the comments, the first one allowed me to see that it was related to a kernel update and the other one got me to keep trying to get the previous kernel working, which I eventually succeeded at.

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