Several problems with booting Ubuntu (blinking cursor, login loop, power off on wake)

smileyhead

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EDIT: I fixed the problems by installing Windows.

I've installed Ubuntu 20.10 on my ASUS X555LB laptop, but booting it up seems very hit and miss.
  1. When powering on, after the ASUS logo, a blinking cursor appears. Sometimes the system advances beyond this point, but most of the time it gets stuck here.
    Spamming Alt + F1 and Alt + F2 seems to help, but it might just be placebo.
  2. If I do get beyond this point, there's the question of ‘will the lock screen appear.’ If it does, that's bad, as I get stuck in a loop where entering my password makes the lock screen reload and ask again. Sometimes, though, I get booted straight to the desktop instead, where a little window will pop up to ask for my password.
    From what I've gathered, this is due to gdm3 not playing nice with my Nvidia GPU, and while switching to lightdm solves the loop, it causes other problems, like a glitchy mouse pointer that changes colour, or the disability to use Win + L to lock the computer (the latter of which the OS will gladly remind me of every time, which definitely isn't annoying at all). Another ‘solution’ is to uninstall the Nvidia drivers on every startup and reinstall them after logon.
  3. Even if I get through all of this, there's still the quirk of sleep mode. Sometimes, when I open the lid to wake the computer from sleep, it'll just power off instantly. No feedback, no nothing, as if it was never in sleep mode in the first place. When I press the power button, it'll power on and the only evidence I have that it indeed was in sleep mode is that I saw the sleep light blinking before I opened the lid. Keep in mind that this doesn't happen 100% of the time, so entering sleep mode on this baby is like Russian roulette.
CPU: Intel Core i5-5200U
GPU: Intel HD Graphics 5500 + Nvidia GeForce 940M
 
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Joom

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This all probably could have been solved by installing the proprietary Nvidia driver. It sounds like X was crashing on boot. You can boot with the "nomodeset" kernel flag to use the fallback VGA driver, which should allow you to get logged in. You can also remove the "quiet" flag to get a verbose boot and see what exactly is going on. Though, you really don't need X to get the driver installed, as hitting Ctrl+Alt+F* allows you to switch to a different TTY where you can login and do everything through the terminal. Also, as a protip, you'd be better off using 20.04. 20.10 just released, so bugs are gonna be a guarantee. Just food for thought if you decide to go back.
 
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smileyhead

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This all probably could have been solved by installing the proprietary Nvidia driver.
That driver seemed to be exactly what caused the problem. I was using the latest proprietary driver.
Also, as a protip, you'd be better off using 20.04. 20.10 just released, so bugs are gonna be a guarantee.
Sadly, that's not the solution, as I had 20.04 for a couple of days before updating and it had exactly the same problems.
Thanks for your help, though. :)
 

Joom

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That driver seemed to be exactly what caused the problem. I was using the latest proprietary driver.
Oh, that makes more sense then. Usually when one has a dual GPU setup, these problems are usually caused by the driver. AMD is the exact same way. I can't get the proprietary driver to install at all. That's fine, though, as Mesa has come really far and now has the support of Valve to make it an actual contender. Nvidia's proprietary driver has always been better than AMD's, but it might be succumbing to the same problem Catalyst had in that AMD just didn't care to keep the development up to par. Nvidia might be moving its way into this camp. Now, the proprietary AMD driver sits on top of the open source one and just extends functionality of Vulkan, but it's totally unnecessary as far as I can tell. I'm able to play games, even through WINE, better than I ever could on Windows. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like you'd get the same experience with the open source Nvidia driver. After installing the driver, did you run the "nvidia-xconfig" command? This generates an Xorg configuration for your setup, which is necessary for a proper boot. If you ever decide to go back, I recommend reading through the Arch Wiki for any problems you may encounter. It's kinda the unofficial Linux bible.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NVIDIA
https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/wiki/Requirements
Sadly, that's not the solution, as I had 20.04 for a couple of days before updating and it had exactly the same problems.
Thanks for your help, though. :)
I just mentioned that as the release after an LTS always has problems, and they don't just apply to drivers. There's been complaints about the Snap Store eating tons of memory in this new release, for example.
 
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