I am starting a new thread after one called "Debian 9 XFCE fresh install, nothing but wallpaper after login", because I misidentified the issue I was facing at first, as being related to the installation process, and, as it turns out it is more of a nvidia driver issue.

I already made a few attempts to get the drivers to work, and I will describe what I observed here hoping someone will be able to make sense of it.

To sum it up, after installing debian 9 on my Asus zenbook ux501 I was logging into a frozen system displaying a wallpaper, with no commands available at all. Once in while I would be able to log in into a normal Xfce session, and could not figure out why, but, when I could, the "lspci" command would just hang with no output as well as any attempt to install bumblebee, or nvidia drivers.

My grapic card is Nvidia geforce gtx 960m, with Intel i7 processor.

The InstallingDebianOn page about my laptop allowed me to boot reliably into a functioning system by changing the grub settings as follows:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet acpi_osi=! acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=native"

Now, I can run lspci which outputs:

lspci -k | grep -iEA5 'vga|3d|display'

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 530 (rev 06) Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. HD Graphics 530 Kernel driver in use: i915 Kernel modules: i915 00:04.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Skylake Processor Thermal Subsystem (rev 07) Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Skylake Processor Thermal Subsystem -- 01:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GM107M [GeForce GTX 960M] (rev a2) Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. GM107M [GeForce GTX 960M] Kernel driver in use: nouveau Kernel modules: nouveau 02:00.0 Unassigned class [ff00]: Alcor Micro Device 6621 Subsystem: Alcor Micro Device 6621 -- 3d:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd NVMe SSD Controller (rev 01) Subsystem: Samsung Electronics Co Ltd NVMe SSD Controller Kernel driver in use: nvme Kernel modules: nvme

It also allowed me to successfully follow all the steps described in this tutorial about how to make optimus work on debian up untill the last command that just hangs for ever:

service bumblebeed restart

Also note that the first check for nouveau drivers yields expected results, but the second about vga_switcheroo does not output anything..

sudo modprobe -r nouveau sudo modprobe -r vga_switcheroo

A forced reboot gets me to a black screen with a block a error messages that I cannot remember as it was a few days ago, but no command available, I could not find any way to interact with the system. So I did a new clean install..

I do not understand much about "acpi" settings in the grub configuration, but the installation instructions for installing bumblebee on Debian I followed has a troubleshooting section where they recommend a different grub configuration for acpi_backlight with "=vendor" instead of the "=native" I previously set in order to be able to boot into the xfce session.

Is the problem here? Should I update the grub configuration , and reboot instead of issuing "service bumblebeed restart" ?

I had also previously tried this debian guide with no success. However, it was before finding out the tips about the grub config that fixed my log in primary issue.. Should I try it again?

1 Answer 1


Grub has nothing to do with graphics at that point of the boot process. If it is failing after login most likely the problem is on the display manager (which I highly doubt), the Xorg-server for some reason or Xfce. I've had that problem before and the problem lied in the nvidia drivers. Some (maybe all) desktop environments use openGL rendering for graphics.

To troubleshoot this I'd recommend installing a simple window manager like awesome and check if the problem persists in this window manager as well. If the problem persists I'd recommend you check the log files for Xorg located in /var/log/Xorg.0.log and look for the string (EE) which means error in Xorg log files.

If reading the errors doesn't help then post the log file here so we can try to help.


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