Essentially; as I understand it; at boot there is some race condition in the nouveau driver that causes a kernel panic. Luckily for me, it only happens roughly 80% of boots, so I can eventually get to a desktop.
There is a post on the Arch Forums concerning the same issue: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=226854
And a kernel patch available: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=101184
Which appears to have been merged into the kernel at 4.11.5-1: https://patchwork.kernel.org/patch/9782401/
The Debian forum post was solved by replacing nouveau with the non-free nvidia driver, which I would really prefer not to do as a)non-free and b)it doesn't play well with my particular hardware for some reason.
I'm looking for advice on how to proceed. I could try applying the kernel patch but I've never tried anything like that and it doesn't seem simple, looking at tutorials etc. I think my best bet is to go back to using kernel 4.9.0-2 (which is in my grub menu and works), and wait for Debian to catch up to 4.11.5-1.
Are there any issues I can expect with booting to an earlier kernel version?
I know this is a hard question to answer, but how long would it take for Testing to pull in that fix? Weeks/months/years? (I was happily running Stretch, will probably jump to Buster now that Stretch has become stable)
Any other information or advice is much appreciated.
My current system information:
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Linux james-pc 4.9.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.30-2+deb9u1 (2017-06-18) x86_64 GNU/Linux
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No LSB modules are available. Distributor ID: Debian Description: Debian GNU/Linux 9.0 (stretch) Release: 9.0 Codename: stretch