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AMD Ryzen 3000 causes boot problems for some newer Linux distros

AMD Ryzen 3000 series

Just last week AMD launched its latest Ryzen 3000 series of CPUs. The third-generation Ryzen chips are the first to be based on 7nm technology, but there is a problem for users of some Linux-based systems.

For distributions based on newer versions of the Linux kernel, an issue renders systems unable to boot. Some users have managed to patch the systemd component with an older version to allow successful booting, but a BIOS update from AMD is what’s needed.

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While the boot problem was noticed by many users, it was Michael Larabel writing for Phoronix that highlight the issue. In his review of the AMD Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X he said that the chips “offer incredible Linux performance but with a big caveat”. He ran into problem with various Linux distros, as he explains:

While Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and older Linux distributions boot Zen 2, to date I have not been able to successfully boot the likes of Ubuntu 19.04, Manjaro Linux, and Fedora Workstation 31. On all newer Linux distributions I’ve tried on two different systems built around the Ryzen 7 3700X and Ryzen 9 3900X, each time early in the boot process as soon as trying to start systemd services, all systemd services fail to start.

He goes on to write:

I’ve confirmed with AMD they do have an open issue surrounding “5.0.9” (the stock kernel of Ubuntu 19.04) but as of writing hadn’t shed any light into the issue. AMD has said their testing has been mostly focused on Ubuntu 18.04 given its LTS status. I’ve also confirmed the same behavior with some other Windows reviewers who occasionally dabble with Linux.

This is not the only problem with the chip. Another issue means that Destiny 2 cannot run, causing frustration for gamers.

AMD is aware of both issues and is working to address them. In a statement the company said:

AMD has identified the root cause and implemented a BIOS fix for an issue impacting the ability to run certain Linux distributions and Destiny 2 on Ryzen 3000 processors. We have distributed an updated BIOS to our motherboard partners, and we expect consumers to have access to the new BIOS over the coming days.

Image credit: gualtiero boffi/Shutterstock


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