Thank you so much for this idea! I was able to resolve these issues by installing the newest v3.9-raring kernel and then making a couple of changes to to /etc/default/grub.
Originally Posted by Temüjin
Installing the mainline kernel
You can install a new kernel without overwriting your old one. Often newer kernels will have fixes that aren't in the older one provided by the distribution.
Point your browser at http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa...e/v3.9-raring/. You'll need to download 3 files from here. Two are deb package files containing the kernel headers and kernel image for your architecture, respectively (in my case amd64 for a x86_64 cpu). The other one is architecture independent headers. If you follow these instructions be sure to download the files for the right architecture for your machine.
At this time v3.9-raring is the newest mainline kernel tested with raring so that is what I used, but others can be found at http://kernel.ubuntu.com/~kernel-ppa/mainline/.
First download the three debs. You can either download with your browser or pull them down with wget at the terminal:
Once they are downloaded, put the three files in a directory by themselves, cd to that directory in your terminal and install them with dpkg. For example:
Testing the kernel
sudo dpkg -i *.deb
# update the bootloader to know that the new kernel is installed
At this point you could reboot and test the kernel. It might just work. On the other hand, like in my case, it might need additional kernel parameters to work correctly. The basics have been discussed elsewhere.
I changed the following two lines in /etc/default/grub to read as follows:
Then be sure to run to install these settings to the bootloader.
GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="modeset=0 acpi_osi=linux vesafb.nonsense=1"
Reboot into grub and select your new kernel and press enter. Hopefully it works. If not, you may have to tweak some of the settings.
Note: Other have apparently had luck using just "acpi_osi=" in case the above doesn't work. If you have the same computer as me hopefully the above works fine.
The 3.9.0 kernel works perfectly so far AND there is the added bonus of it fixing another bug that was causing the radeon driver to spam /var/log/syslog with 5 warnings or so per second.
I intend to file a bug report for my kernel issues. The few times I was able to boot 3.8.0 without the "nomodeset" kernel parameter the system was extremely unstable and would often lock up completely while loading up lightdm, while logging in, or shortly after logging in. Most of the time it locked up before that, or I just got a black screen and had no idea what was going on. The 3.9.0 kernel seems to not have such issues, at least not with the kernel parameters I am using now.