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Ubuntu Suspend Won’t Wake Up: My Quest

Ubuntu Suspend Won’t Wake Up: My Quest

I freely admit that I’m a relatively new Ubuntu user. Still, I managed to set up my system with a Windows 7 and Ubuntu dual boot without using the Windows installer Wubi. The setup process was a bit more involved than I had hoped, yet I navigated through it like a champ and overcame every obstacle. Except one…

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Failed Attempts
Ubuntu 12.10 simply refused to wake up after suspending the system. I combed through forums, websites, and help files. I felt as though I tried every fix out there, yet success still eluded me. Here are some of the things I tried

  1. Swap file. When I first installed Ubuntu, I did not set up a swap file or partition. Even after getting my swap in order, Suspend still doesn’t work.
  2. Removing removables. Some people have reported that SD cards, CD’s in the disk drive, or even USB peripherals have affected suspending Ubuntu. I made sure I had nothing of the sort attached – even my USB mouse, yet still nothing worked.
  3. Keyboard commands. I tried control-alt with every F-key hoping to wake the system up. I also tried control-alt-delete and about every other key combination possible.
  4. Tried the command “sudo pm-suspend –quirk-radeon-off” as suggested in one forum. Didn’t help.
  5. Tried this code: Didn’t work.
  6. Ran all software updates. I was prompted many times to update various components of Ubuntu, which I always did. Each time I ran an update, I’d test out suspension to see if it were somehow fixed, yet it never was.
I finally found success by merely changing from the open source video driver to a proprietary one. That’s it.  By the time I tried it, I was resigned to the idea that it probably wouldn’t work, so you can imagine my surprise when my system woke up from suspension for the first time ever. Below is a screen shot of the driver I chose.

Surprisingly, this fixed my problem with Ubuntu waking up from Suspend.

I quite enjoy Ubuntu, but problems such as this are unacceptable. During my quest to solve the problem, I found discussions by people having this problem over 4 years ago. It seems unfathomable that something as simple as closing a laptop could be a such an issue for an OS, and that years later the issue still exists.  Fortunately for me, I can look past this problem and enjoy the OS without such distractions.

Have you had problems with Suspend not waking up in Ubuntu? Let us hear your problems and hopefully your fixes in the comments below.

The fix above is not without its own small issue, and I have no idea how widespread this is. Whenever I resume from a suspend, the one of my USB ports stops working. In my case, it’s the USB on which my mouse is attached. I simply move the mouse to another port and it works. It’s a slight annoyance, but not nearly as bad as being unable to wake a suspended system.

Update II – 13.04
After installing Ubuntu 13.04, some issues remain. If I use one of the drivers shown in the screen shot above, I will see a watermark in the lower right corner of the screen which reads “AMD Unsupported Hardware.” Switching to the open source driver removes this watermark. It should also note that suspend doesn’t seem to work on my laptop with Ubuntu 13.04. When I shut the lid, the fans and lights stay on, yet I’m prompted for my password upon opening it up.

Article updated April 26, 2013

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