Help. Long Post - Live CD boots, then is corrupt and unusable - Lenovo 320 AMD Radeon R7

Hello, I need help. I boot the live CD just fine, until it gets to the desktop, and then it's chaos.

I have a Lenovo laptop, model 320, with an AMD 6-core CPU 7th gen AMD A12-9720P (I think that's the model number), and it's one of those where it also has an ATI Radeon R7 GPU on a couple of the cores or whatever.

I burned a few different XFCE Manjaro live CD ISO's (18.0.4, and some earlier versions in the 17's ) to USB via Rufus in Windows (mbr, gpt, etc), and they all work fine on other machines, so they are burned correctly.

I've changed the bios every different way regarding UEFI and Legacy and secure boot etc.

I've googled and also passed several kernel flags (involving amdgpu etc) when booting the live CD, and none make any difference whatsoever.

Basically what happens in that the live usb boots just fine. But when it finishes booting and loads the desktop, it's a mess.

The wallpaper doesn't load. The tray icons are all corrupt. The start menu is entirely transparent except for its border, anything on a panel doesn't respond to being clicked on, the touchpad sometimes works, any window you start (such as clicking on the installer icon on the desktop) brings up a window where you can only see the border and the contents of the window are transparent.

Also, sometimes you can click on something, which will bring up a clear window, click off to the side on the desktop, and then click back on the clear window and only then will it show the contents of the window. Then you click an icon in the now-visible window, then click again off to the side, then click back to the icon, and one mouse click will have registered. Via this way I was able to turn off XFCE's transparency, but it did nothing.

Screen shot attached. This screen shot doesn't really show all the chaos, just one example of how empty windows appear. Please help. Thanks!

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are you able to open a terminal? if yes, run this

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/use_compositing -s false

or

killall xfwm4

(not sure how well the second one will go over, but it's a live environment so who cares)

disabling compositor may be what you need, for now anyway so you can get it installed. XFWM compositor is not so great anyway, replacing it with compton after installing should work better.

though, it seems something else is also goin on so if your able to get to a terminal, post the output of

inxi -Fxxxza

Would you believe that it took nearly a half hour to type those commands? The xfconf query does nothing. It returns nothing. Same with the killall command.

The inxi command does say a lot, notably driver amdgpu FAILED ati unloaded modesetting alternate fbdev,vesa resolution 1024x768 opengl renderer amd radeon r7 graphics (carriza drm 3.27.0 4.19.28-1-manjaro llvm 7.0.1) v 4.5 mesa 18.3.4 direct render yes.

its a radeon R7 card, but which model? some are Sea Islands, some are Souther Islands, and some are Volcanic Islands (the way amd classifies the cards).

if its southern islands you need to add these kernel parameters from the liveusb grub menu

radeon.si_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1

if it's sea islands

radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.cik_support=1

alternatively you can try forcing radeon to be used instead of amdgpu

radeon.modeset=1 amdgpu.modeset=0

trial and error.

your actual laptop model number would be most useful here.

My most recent attempts of (xfce) rc7 all 'failed' too - often unbootable, but when bootable there was graphical corruption throughout the desktop (menu, notifications, applications, wallpaper/desktop itself, etc - also qt/gtk did not matter).
This was also on an amd gpu .. :thinking: ..
( I know this doesnt help - but just mentioning - here is some inxi )

so it's not just the OP with this issue, whats the full model name of your laptop? (is it a laptop?)

im wondering if it's because it gets classified wrong, depending on which R7 it is, there is 3
https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/AMDGPU#Feature_support

@loomis
from what i can tell, you have a
"lenovo ideapad 320-15ABR" ??

others have this laptop working with linux (not many) but seems the touchpad not working is the most common issue, couldnt find anything on graphical issues

Hello. I previously did pass 2/3rds of those kernel parameters and it did nothing. I will try the other ones in a few minutes.

The laptop is a Lenovo 80XS Ideapad 320 15ABR. The bios says the processor is and AMD A12-9720P Radeon R7, 12 compute cores 4c+8g.

I do not know what kind of "islands" this laptop's GPU chipset is.

inxi -Fxxxz --no-host
.. I think your card can support amdgpu, but I dont know if it is using it or not.

Oddly, I just for the heck of it made a Xubuntu live usb, and it seems to boot perfectly with no issues. Why is this? I would prefer to use Manjaro if at all possible. Also, I passed all the island kernel arguments and nothing made a difference. Thanks.

are you able to open xfce settings with manjaro so you can disable compositing? i gave you this one-liner to do it earlier but i dont think it's correct.

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/use_compositing -s false

i only suggested it because i was under the impression you were not able to open any windows. if you still cant get into settings because of the issue, open a terminal and install compton. IIRC when starting compton the xfwm compositor gets disabled

sudo pacman-mirrors -f8 ; sudo pacman -Syy compton
#now start compton
compton

or you could just use the architect iso to install manjaro and you shouldnt run into these issues

Probably not much help, but I wonder if one of the newer isos might work better? :woman_shrugging:
It would put them on testing but that's easy enough to change.

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maybe it's just me but i've found testing to be every bit as stable as stable itself. trying the latest iso cant hurt. every iso comes with architect on it so if it fails you can still install with architect

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Hello, I thought I had said that yes, but I must have forgotten to say so, I was able, barely, after about 100 mouse clicks, to blindly figure out where the settings and window manager settings and ultimately compositor settings are and turn it off. I also passed the query command to turn it off. No luck. Looking at rc8 later this evening. I can no longer get a terminal open successfully to enter the inxi -Fxxxz --no-host command, but I will try again later or tomorrow. Thanks.

AHA!

18.1.0-rc8 works!

What's different about it, vs 18.0.4?

isn't it obvious, magical pixi dust. :wink:

probably mesa related :man_shrugging: .

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If I install this version, will it update properly? And will I have to set the repositories to "testing?" Thanks

It'll update fine.
It's already on testing.