Random XServer crashes in Ubuntu 16.04

Since a few months ago I have occasional random XServer crashes in my laptop (integrated Intel video card and an AMD Radeon R7) with Ubuntu 16.04 (cinnamon as desktop environment), kicking me out of my session. They only seem to happen when I have an external monitor connected, but I see no pattern aside from that. After searching on the net multiple times I have seen similar errors but no solution has worked for me:

  • Update XServer and the related driver packages.
  • Update mesa drivers.
  • Create XServer configuration files for each GPU, testing with different settings.

Problem still happens at random intervals. I have also read some info pointing towards the intel driver as the culprit, which I’m using, and suggesting using modesetting instead. Problem is, the laptop performs horribly with modesetting, taking up to 250% CPU just to watch a YouTube video.

Aside from upgrading to a more recent distro, for which I don’t have time right now, does anyone have any suggestions?

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Author: Jorge López Fernández