Hibernate & Suspend Resolved | Ubuntu Gutsy-nVidia-Dell Vostro

“Caution! This is a lengthy post and not intended for casual reading. You can only appreciate this if you’ve faced the issue.”

At last, I am able to hibernate and resume my system successfully, which has been bothering for quite some time now. Just before writing this post, I hibernated and resumed my system for a whopping 15 times in a row!

Before I explain what worked for me here’s what I have:

  • Nvidia GeForce 8400M GS (Note this)
  • Dell Vostro 1500
  • Ubuntu(7.1) Gutsy Gibbon

The Problem:

For me, suspend always worked but on hibernating the system the screen goes black, with a blinking text cursor in the upper left corner and then the screen turns off but the power LED is still lit and the fan remains active till I press the power button to forcibly shut the system.

The Cause:

While there could be numerous reasons for hibernate/suspend not working, mine was attributed to the graphics card driver settings and the way the power management software dealt with the state while hibernating/resuming. After going through numerous forums, wikis and blogs hunting for the solution, I can safely say that 90% of the hibernate/suspend issues are attributed to the same.

The Solution:

Since I didn’t find the solution to the hibernate problem at a single place, it came out of a lot of trial and error. According to me, it makes sense to understand a couple of things before trying out the solution.

  • Suspend Vs. Hibernate:
      • Suspend: The computer goes into the lowest possible power saving mode stopping any calculations or actions being performed. However it does maintain the data on the RAM and therefore resumes quickly from where it left at the press of a button.
      • Hibernate: Hibernate is also called ‘Suspend to Disk’. On hibernating, the state of the computer is first persisted on the hard disk and then the devices are turned off. On restarting, once the devices are switched on, the state is restored into the RAM from the disk.

      This suspend is a power saving mode while hibernate is a power sleep mode.

  • Power Management
      • Advanced Power Management (APM) : APM is the raw power management and works directly with the BIOS of the computer. While it sounds good but the disadvantage is that BIOS manages and functions without any understanding of the operating system. This is definitely not what we want.
      • Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI): Now this is what makes life easy and gives us a lot of flexibility to play around with the settings. ACPI is an open industry specification and provides an abstraction layer between the OS and the platform hardware and firmware. Thus it works collaboratively with the OS and the BIOS and provides better control over power management.

Now enough of theory, let’s get onto some practicals:

If you haven’t changed the default settings, Ubuntu Gutsy would most likely be using ACPI. Here’s how I proceeded:

  1. Browse Ubuntu and other forums which you would have already done by now.
  2. Try to hibernate(I know it doesn’t work.) But when you resume look into System>Administration>System Log. It may give an indication of the issue.
  3. Configure AGP
      • On a terminal type: sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf and add the following under the “Device” section:

Option “NvAGP” “1”

4. Prevent the OS from loading the default agpgart and the AGP driver for the chipset by adding the following in the blacklisted modules(type sudo gedit /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist on a terminal)

blacklist intel_agp
blacklist agpgart

5. Modify ACPI settings

On a terminal type: sudo gedit /etc/default/acpi-support and ensure the following:






6. Finally if you’re using compiz (desktop-effects) in conjunction with NVIDIA binary drivers, make sure your “Sync to VBLANK” option in “Advanced Desktop Effects Settings > General > Display settings” is *disabled*. You can set this option to false by running:

gconftool --set /apps/compiz/general/screen0/options/sync_to_vblank 0 --type bool

This is just a compilation of information gathered through various forums/websites. Hopefully hibernate should work well by playing around with the settings as explained above. If it doesn’t, I can just say Good Luck! Keep trying! And please post anything which helped to get your Vostro hibernate 🙂

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Amit Srivastava

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 90 comments
Massimiliano - October 8, 2009

Great. It works on my HP dv3550el with Debian Squeeze

patrick - October 14, 2009

Working now as well, Vostro 1400, Ubuntu 9.04.
Thanks great post.

Fabio Napodano - October 17, 2009

it worked on my Acer 5920G hybernating Ubuntu 9.04. Thanks a lot!

Rieuk - October 18, 2009

Thanks man, works on Fujitsu 4215 with Ubuntu Hardy Heron, Intel integrated graphics.

However on hibernate it says “serial, kbd etc failed” but still hibernates.

Grenny - November 2, 2009

Thanks a bunch. Works on an Alienware w/ Karmic.

hadi - December 5, 2009

i had resume from hibernation problem before .
now resume works on my dell studio xps 1340 , ubuntu 9.10 64 bit
nvidia g210m , intel p9600 2.66 ghz, 128 GB SSD .

thanks , much appreciated .

Eric - January 19, 2010

Fantastic – been looking for that solution for years. Very many thanks.
Used on MSI FX5200 graphics card with Karmic – will now try my Sony laptop

jan - February 1, 2010

xorg driver worked out of the box but nvidia binary driver had a black screen on resume.
Super, now resume works with the binary driver as well.

nVidia Corporation NV20 [GeForce3 Ti 500]

thank you! fantastic howto!

wrtcedar - February 2, 2010

Worked nicely for me on a Dell Dimension 8300 with an FX 5500 card, running Linux Mint 8 (Karmic).

To elaborate on Peufel’s useful note (since I missed it), after you change the blacklist file (now called blacklist.conf), you’ll need to run:

sudo update-initramfs -u

before rebooting and testing suspend.

joe - February 7, 2010

Works for:
Dell Latitude D800
GeForce FX Go5200
Kubuntu Karmic (9.10)

Note: on the acpi-support file, I left the SAVE_VBE_STATE line to its default
of ‘mem’.

Works perfectly. Even WiFi re-connects on resume.
I can shut my lid again without shutting down!
Many, many thanks!!

Jim Pivarski - February 13, 2010

Mario Berges on 06.14.08 at 5:09 am
> Sweet! It worked well.
> Nice post.
> Specs:
> Dell Latitude D630
> nVidia Quadro NVS 135M
> Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04

Just to show how weird these things are, I have exactly the same specifications as quoted above (all three), but it didn’t help at all.

I’m running a fresh Ubuntu 8.04 installation out-of-the-box, with and without the update-manager update. Before I reinstalled (old Ubuntu 8.04 installation, updated incrementally as they became available), I never had any problems with waking up from sleep. I wish I hadn’t reinstalled!

— Jim

Marnix A. van Ammers - June 10, 2010

Fantastic! This worked on my Sun w2100z workstation with Nvidia FX3000 graphics card running Ubuntu 10.04 . Thanks a billion!

rlf - August 23, 2010

Works great with Ubuntu 10.04, Asus K8N and Geforce 7600!

Ubuntu, Asus A8V, Nvidia GeForce: niente sospensione su disco? | NIBBLE - August 24, 2010

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Marco V. Principato - August 24, 2010

Amit, you’re great! By following your suggestions I have fixed the problem: I’m using an ASUS A8V with Athlon 64/3500 and a Nvidia GeForce AGP video card.
It was almost impossible to see it correctly suspending, now it WORKS, and you deserve a great pat on the back.
Here is the (italian, sorry) post where I explain that the solution has come from you: http://nibble.it/?p=4003.
Thanks a lot!

Eric - October 19, 2010

Well was great on 10.04 but seems to have failed on 10.10 (Meerkat) – still trying to figure out why

Morteza Milani - October 22, 2010

Thank you for your how-to article.
I did everything you said, but Still suspend doesn’t work. I don’t know what’s wrong with it that I can do hibernation without problem. but when it comes to suspension everything goes wrong. I read the log file and I found out that graphic device can’t be suspended ( it is Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT ). I installed the driver but nothing changed. may you suggest a solution? I am running Ubuntu 10.10 amd 64 under HP Pavilion dv5 1299ee.

Gabriel - October 28, 2010

It doesn’t help on 10.10, as it was just pointed out. In fact, s2disk doesn’t recognise my swap. I think this might be one of the big problems here…

AC - October 29, 2010

This sort of works on a Dell Inspiron 5160 – but, when resuming from suspend or hibernate, the fan comes on full blast, and stays there until I reboot (or sometimes, reboot twice).

AC - November 4, 2010

Follow-up – Inspiron 5160 fan starts going full-blast after resuming from suspend or hibernate (in a low-cpu usage environment, and cold cpu temp) – **until** I start a resource-intensive program (Stellarium) and run it for a minute or so, and the CPU temperature increases. When I exit Stellarium, the system fan drops back to its normal idle speed.

Weird, but usable.

Hi - November 8, 2010

Hi I am new to Ubuntu and i am not good at computers.
my ubuntu does not have System Log but System Monitor and System Test.
Could you please explain me like I am a 3 yrs old ?
I opened the terminal and type
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
and a new tap opened xorg.conf(/etc/x11)-gedit. On the new tap , I put

“NvAGP” “1″

and nothing happened. I am stuck on Step #3 because i don’t know how to follow your instruction..
It believe that once i finish those steps, hibernate/suspend (compaq) will work.
please let me know , thanks.

B - November 12, 2010

Seems people have been getting this to work with 10.04, but I am unable to because the kernel (2.6.32-25) tells me this when trying to use NvAGP:

NVRM: not using NVAGP, kernel was compiled with GART_IOMMU support!!

Seems I don’t have a choice.

Also odd is the lack of any module that has “agp” in the name. lsmod | grep agp returns nothing.

This is an a8v machine running 10.04 amd64.

I’ll try some more kernel options, and update the bios, but it looks like if the kernel was not compiled with GART_IOMMU support, it would work.

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j woolf - February 1, 2011

I’m adding this comment late in the game, but, just in case anyone else has an older machine, it works on

Dell Latitude D800
NVIDIA GeForce4 4200
Ubuntu 10.10

Wonderful. Many many thanks! You solved a major headache on a old machine I just got my hands on

maia - March 18, 2011

thanks a lot!

This solved my suspend problem on my old Dell Inspiron 8600 with an nvidia graphics card.

Kiran - April 2, 2011

So 3 years later Ubuntu still has this issue? Hmm.

This solved my display going to sleep and never waking back up on a Asus P4S8000-X with a nVidia Geforce FX5200, and 10.10. Now it appears the signal to the display is just turned off, and the display itself is going to sleep, vs being put into sleep mode as before. Whatever works. 🙂

Meoiswa - May 20, 2011

Thanks a lot! Used the ACPI and compiz tips at the end to make my ASUS N53JF not black-screen (with pointer) after hibernation.

Waffinishasty - June 12, 2011

just read the topic. Amazing job.

ktmom - June 12, 2011

Thanks. Fixed the resume issue on my Zotac MAG mythbuntu frontend.

Sasha - July 6, 2011

THANK YOU! This has been the #1 problem I have had with my otherwise fantastic Linux laptop (purchased for $60 and used as my daily do everything business laptop for three years now).

I realized what the problem was when hibernate started working when i accidently disabled the nvidia drivers.

I was considering doing without them – much as I love compiz, hibernate is a HUGE feature for me.

Now it is working 100%! YAYYAY!!!!

WARNING: Please note that your browser may change the ” signs to ″ signs.

I copied and pasted the following into xorg.conf:

Option “NvAGP” “1″

But it broke X. I had to change it to:

Option “NvAGP” “1”

See the difference? Subtle but important 🙁

Then it worked perfectly on my AMD64 Compaq R3000 running a Geforce4 440 Go 64M. =-D


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goularta - August 6, 2012

Thank very much !!
this problem was really bugging me !
But now SOLVED !!!!!!!

Nnaranjo - September 21, 2012

Thank you Amit,
I had blank screen after resume from suspend but now your solution worked for me, now I resume XBMC in 5 seconds.! I use Compaq HP D325 /integrated NVIDIA GeForce4 MX-440 and nvidia 96.4 drivers, XBMCbuntu Eden 11 (Hibernate still not working)
Thanks again!

Thanks again.

Carmine - November 1, 2012

Very descriptive article, I liked that a lot. Will there be a
part 2?

C.P.Man - May 14, 2014

This is wonderful, my Ubuntu 12’s suspend problem is fixed using information in this article. Thank you very much indeed!!
My Dell Dimension 8300 PC had not been used actively for some time, but with Ubuntu 12, it has given it a new lease of life, and with this suspend issue resolved now, I can use this old PC more regularly!!

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