Zorin OS 16, Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 - Unusable without safe graphics

Hi folks, I'm having an issue with a great custom-made machine I ordered from Tuxedo Computers. I'm also asking for their support, but given that Zorin isn't "officially supported" for them, I might not get a lot of help. The computer did come with Ubuntu 20.04 which had no issues, so I'm sure this can work, I'm just not sure how, yet.

The computer is the InfinityBook Pro 14 - Gen6. The cpu/display/graphics option is Intel Core i7-11370H | Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96EUs). Yes, it's quite new, but again, Ubuntu 20.04 works fine without safe graphics enabled.

The problem I have (which also happened with the live usb) is that without safe graphics, the screen turns black every time I move my mouse cursor. Quite challenging to do things, as you can imagine, but at least I can still use my keyboard to open the terminal, change the /etc/default/grub to remove/add nomodeset, reboot, and try something else.

The "problem" with safe graphics, is that I can't change my screen's brightness, there are no animations, and I can't use fractional scaling (even if I end up deciding not to use it, but no matter what I choose, it only goes from 100% to 200%).

At this point, I've tried the usually recommended "install the OEM kernel," "enable/disable secure boot," and "install different drivers". Right now I'm at a point where I might need some more specific or targeted directions. Here's the current output of some commands:

$ uname -r
5.11.0-38-generic
$ sudo lshw -c video                                                                                                                                                            ~
  *-display UNCLAIMED       
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Intel Corporation
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       version: 01
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list
       configuration: latency=0
       resources: iomemory:600-5ff iomemory:400-3ff memory:601c000000-601cffffff memory:4000000000-400fffffff ioport:3000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff memory:4010000000-4016ffffff memory:4020000000-40ffffffff
$ inxi -G                                                                                                                                                                       ~
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel driver: N/A 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.11 driver: fbdev unloaded: modesetting,vesa resolution: 2880x1800~91Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: llvmpipe (LLVM 12.0.0 256 bits) v: 4.5 Mesa 21.0.3

Now, in that last one, I can see no driver used. I've had that set to i915 before (in some iteration of my attempts), but with the same problems.

I also tried some hw-probe stuff, and got this: Intel TigerLake-LP GT2 [Iris Xe Graphics] of which you can see some other distributions also supporting it.

I've seen similar issues in a few places, but no resolution helped. Some examples in this forum are Zorin 16 support for Iris Xe Graphics and Ultrawide resolution + Intel Xe Graphics

The latest OEM kernel I've tried, which didn't work, was linux-image-5.14.0-1005-oem (I think that one didn't even show the screen when I stopped moving my mouse cursor).

Let me know what else can I provide to help figure out what might be so different between Zorin and Ubuntu here, to help me out.

Meanwhile I'll also reach to Zorin support directly.

Thank you!

If it worked on Ubuntu 20.04, but not Zorin 16; I wonder if it is the kernel. You might roll back to the Ubuntu 20.04 kernel and see if that helps:

Be sure that you are booting into the 5.8 kernel after logging in with uname -r

sudo apt install linux-headers-5.8.0-63-generic linux-modules-5.8.0-63-generic linux-modules-extra-5.8.0-63-generic linux-image-5.8.0-63-generic

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Thank you so much, @Aravisian ! I got an answer from Zorin support right about the same time as you, and that was the solution!

I don't quite get why a more recent kernel doesn't work, but I suppose that's why LTS kernels exist as well.

In short, here's what I did:

sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-headers-5.8.0-63-generic linux-modules-5.8.0-63-generic linux-modules-extra-5.8.0-63-generic linux-image-5.8.0-63-generic linux-generic

Then I removed nomodeset from /etc/default/grub, ran sudo update-grub, rebooted, pressed Esc, chose advanced settings, chose the 5.8 kernel, and all was fine!

I then removed the other more recent kernel I had:

sudo apt remove linux-headers-5.11.0-38-generic linux-image-5.11.0-38-generic linux-modules-extra-5.11.0-38-generic

For reference, the output in the commands above, now:

$ uname -r
5.8.0-63-generic
$ sudo lshw -c video
 *-display                 
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Intel Corporation
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       logical name: /dev/fb0
       version: 01
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom fb
       configuration: depth=32 driver=i915 latency=0 mode=2880x1800 visual=truecolor xres=2880 yres=1800
       resources: iomemory:600-5ff iomemory:400-3ff irq:153 memory:601c000000-601cffffff memory:4000000000-400fffffff ioport:3000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff memory:4010000000-4016ffffff memory:4020000000-40ffffffff
$ inxi -G
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel driver: i915 v: kernel 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.11 driver: fbdev unloaded: modesetting,vesa resolution: 2880x1800~90Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel Xe Graphics (TGL GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 21.0.3

Thanks again!

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