Upgrading to Debian Buster

First impressions

I've been running Debian systems at home for about 3+ years.

I really like the distribution for the package availability and quality.

Buster(Debian 10) comes with kernel 4.19, which is a long term release(LTS) kernel.

On kernel.org, it's said to be supported until December 2020.

As is the case with kernel 3.16(used in Jessie) and 4.9(used in Stretch), I assume the support date will be adjusted to be in line with Buster's End of Life date.

Xfce, the desktop environment I use, is still on 4.12 in this release. 4.14 has been released recently but it didn't make into buster.

There's also a newer libreoffice release(

Firefox-ESR, Thunderbird(60 ESR to 69 ESR) and Chromium will be upgraded with newer versions with time.

There's also keepassxc in this release, which I've just started using since keepassx's last release was in 2016/02.

Issues and workarounds

Xfce4 with i915 Intel igpu

I want to leave a link to https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=929834 and a comment on that bug report as I've run into this issue on a laptop with Intel gpu.


Section "Device"
  Identifier "Intel Graphics"
  Driver "intel"

I'll have to add this file/templating task to my playbooks from now on for this release.

Update: Finally added this a couple days ago.

GPU passthrough issues with amdgpu and rx 480 card

For some reason, the same vfio setup I've used in Stretch stopped working after upgrading.

At first, I thought the issue was withe Windows 10 virtual machine I've migrated from the previous install.

It didn't even occur to me to check the lspci -nnk output.

I'd start the VM, but libvirtd/virt-manager would hang and panic the kernel when trying to reboot.

At anyrate, lspci -nnk output looked like this:

02:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere [Radeon RX 470/480] [1002:67df] (rev c7)
        Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Radeon RX 480 [1002:0b37]
        Kernel driver in use: amdgpu
        Kernel modules: amdgpu
02:00.1 Audio device [0403]: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] [1002:aaf0]
        Subsystem: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] [1002:aaf0]
        Kernel driver in use: vfio-pci
        Kernel modules: snd_hda_intel

Amdgpu kernel module would grab the graphics controller, but not the sound card.

What I needed was that vfio-pci would grab the entire card(02:00.0 and 02:00.1).

After digging around with searches Google and Reddit, I've found a possible workaround.

As a reference, I've based my configs for Stretch on the pages from https://scottlinux.com/ and the Arch linux wiki.

For Buster, I've needed to add to my conf file in /etc/modprobe.d/vfio.conf:

softdep amdgpu pre: vfio-pci

so now it looks like this:

#Make vfio-pci a pre-dependency of the usual video modules
softdep amdgpu pre: vfio-pci
# rx 480
options vfio-pci ids=1002:67df,1002:aaf0

High IO delay with LUKS encrypted drives

I've noticed serious UI freezes when downloading larger files over a gigabit lan.

My mouse pointer would stop responding to movements for several seconds.

Here are two screenshots I made while downloading a larger file with firefox on my lan:



I have no workaround for this issue, I just reinstalled my desktop without LUKS.