Let me start by listing all my specs:
: Dell Inspiron 15-5565
: 7th Generation AMD A9-9400 with integrated Radeon R5 graphics :: 5 compute cores 2c+3g x 2 :: 98e4 (rev c6)
: 2 x 4GB DDR4 2400 (8GB)
: 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
Original Shipped OS
: Windows 10 Home Edition
: Fedora 25
: AMD Stoney
: Gnome 3.22.2
I purchased this laptop and had it shipped, and the day I received it I didn't hesitate to wipe Windows and install a distro of Linux. I started with Sabayon Linux, since that's what I had been using for the last 4 or 5 years on previous machines. But the OS would randomly freeze (sometimes soon after start-up, sometimes an hour later, but not as a result of any consistent behaviour or action I could detect), and if it happened to be freezing during an initial system update (which was very likely), I had to deal with corruption. I re-installed Sabayon multiple times until I got fed up and decided it might be time to explore a different distro. So I went with Fedora thinking it might have better out-of-box hardware support for this laptop then a lot of other distros.
With Sabayon, I figured the issue was likely related to the radeon driver, since the system froze without there being a problem with resource allocation, like some kind of segmentation fault, or something. And the only way to restart the machine when that happens is to power cycle it (hold down power button until it forces the machine to shut down). But I didn't look into it too much because I bought this laptop to catch up on software programming work that I have to do on a major time crunch, so I don't have time to struggle to make Linux work on my hardware. Hence switching distros to try to find better luck getting a working-out-of-box experience.
I installed Fedora 25 using the standard Fedora Media Writer method and a USB stick. The system is secure-boot-disabled, UEFI-enabled, and Legacy-disabled. Fedora 25 installed without issues, and I used it for the first 2 hours before I encountered my first freeze. For a minute I figured I was in the clear, but while Fedora 25 is freezing way less frequently than Sabayon was, I've still had to re-install once when it froze during an initial system update and corrupted the root partition. Just like with Sabayon, the freezes are seemingly random and unrelated to resource consumption, although it does seem to be more likely when I'm running Firefox or running a DNF command (otherwise, it can go quite a while before it freezes). So instead of re-installing or switching distros, I'm now trying to get to the bottom of what's happening and figure out the solution, since I'm not confident that any Linux distro will be free from this problem (let me know if you can suggest another distro that you think will work with my hardware out of box). Here are the errors I have dug out of my 'journalctl -xb' output (the very first one being the only one that displays during boot-up):
My Attempted Solutions So Far
[Firmware Bug]: cpu 0, invalid threshold interrupt offset 1 for bank 4, block 0 (MSR00000413=0xd000000001000000)
tpm_crb MSFT0101:00: can't request region for resource [mem 0xdfbba000-0xdfbbdfff]
tpm_crb: probe of MSFT0101:00 failed with error -16
sp5100_tco: I/O address 0x0cd6 already in use
dactylion avahi-daemon: chroot.c: open() failed: No such file or directory
dactylion avahi-daemon: Failed to open /etc/resolv.conf: Invalid argument
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:56:23-924-3' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:29:06-924-3' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:56:40-924-0' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:56:23-924-1' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:02:33-924-4' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:00:02-924-1' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:08:42-924-4' is not a problem directory
dactylion abrtd: '/var/spool/abrt/oops-2017-04-17-21:56:23-924-0' is not a problem directory
dactylion systemd: firstname.lastname@example.org: Failed at step PAM spawning /usr/lib/systemd/systemd: Operation not permitted
dactylion systemd: email@example.com: Failed at step PAM spawning /usr/lib/systemd/systemd: Operation not permitted
dactylion spice-vdagent: Cannot access vdagent virtio channel /dev/virtio-ports/com.redhat.spice.0
dactylion gnome-settings-: Theme parsing error: gtk-dark.css:597:14: not a number
dactylion gnome-settings-: Theme parsing error: gtk-dark.css:597:14: Expected a string.
dactlyion dnf: Error: Failed to synchronize cache for repo 'updates'
dactylion systemd: dnf-makecache.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
dactylion systemd: Failed to start dnf makecache.
dactylion anacron: Can't find sendmail at /usr/sbin/sendmail, not mailing output
My first attempt at a solution was to find AMD's proprietary Linux driver from their website and install it manually. I found the following driver:
AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.12 Proprietary Linux x86 Display Driver (supports AMD Radeon R5 M200 Series). My specific Radeon R5 is a 98e4 (rev c6), but I couldn't find anywhere which M### series of Radeon R5 that corresponded to. Of the drivers I found, this one seemed to be the closest, so I downloaded and gave it a try. The only problem is that it refuses to proceed with installation when it finds that it doesn't support the current XServer:
error: Detected X Server version 'XServer 1.19.3_64a' is not supported. Supported versions are X.Org 6.9 or later, up to XServer 1.10 (default:v2:x86_64:lib:XServer 1.19.3_64a:none:4.10.9-200.fc25.x86_64:)
Installation will not proceed.
Removing temporary directory: fglrx-install.pOPG8d
Of course, I take this moment to become enraged at AMD for not offering up-to-date support, and the corporate climate that is responsible for those trends. I seriously have to either heavily downgrade XServer, write my own driver (which I'm not going to do), or find a tweak or patch for the native Fedora radeon driver that will solve the freezing. It turns out that graphics drivers aren't my area of expertise, and I have no prior experience even manually installing XServer, let alone downgrading so heavily. I'm not exactly a Linux noob, but the idea of downgrading XServer doesn't terribly excite me because it'll probably be a huge dependencies mess.
In any case, I'm raising these issues to the Fedora community because I need advice on the best way to approach this problem. I'm looking for a permanent and effective solution, even if it isn't the most elegant or graceful. I'd prefer the solution that gets me back to working on my software sooner rather than later.
So if you're aware of an unofficial driver that works much better for my specific card, or if you can show me the AMD driver I missed from their website that is more up-to-date, or if you can educate me on the proper way to downgrade XServer, or if you have any patches or tweaks, please let me know.