White/flickering desktop environments with AMD Raphael (Ryzen 7950x)

Hi there,

I’m completely new to NixOS and wanted to give it a shot on my newly built machine.
It’s built with a Ryzen 7950x and currently I use its IGPU until I bought a new dedicated GPU.

I installed NixOS with the latest graphical installer. After the installation I wasn’t booted into the display manager but landed in the tty instead. I know that the necessary drivers for AMD Raphael came with Linux Kernel 6.0 - therefore I changed to the latest Kernel by adding boot.kernelPackages = pkgs.linuxPackages_latest; to my configuration.nix file.

I also checked for updates with nix-channel --update and rebuild everything with sudo nixos-rebuild switch --upgrade.

After restarting and selecting the newest build I booted into LightDM and was able to login to XFCE. But once I rebooted, XFCE starts flickering white, while LightDM doesn’t. It’s more or less the same with KDE Plasma and Gnome. LightDM is completely fine, but once logged in the screen is completely white and I can only see my cursor (with both DEs). If I open the tty I can see the desktop environment for a split second.

Do I need to add something else to my configuration.nixfile or even to hardware-configuration.nix to make it work? It seems like the IGPU of the Raphael CPU is the culprit. Unfortunately I don’t have a dedicated GPU lying around to test with.


I quickly tried an installation of Arch and I experienced the exact same issues. While researching a little more, I stumbled upon this issue: Flickering or constant solid white screen with kernel >=6.1.4 (#2354) · Issues · drm / amd · GitLab
Someone in the comments suggested to try the kernel parameter amdgpu.sg_display=0, which seems to fix the issue for me.

1 Like

I’m also using AMD 7950x with NixOS, and having the same issue with you.

I think it occurs after I upgrade my BIOS framework of Asus X670E motherboard.

Have you solved your issue already?

Following is my info:

$ neofetch --stdout                                                                                                 
OS: NixOS 23.11.20230603.dd49825 (Tapir) x86_64
Kernel: 6.3.5
Uptime: 33 mins
Packages: 3273 (nix-system), 209 (nix-user)
Shell: zsh 5.9
Resolution: 2560x1600
WM: KWin
Icons: breeze [GTK2/3]
Terminal: /dev/pts/0
CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 7950X (32) @ 4.500GHz
GPU: AMD ATI Raphael
Memory: 2374MiB / 63437MiB

I found that there is a post about the solution: NixOS + AMD Raphael iGPU: Fix for white/flashing Screens and a Guide for Graphical Installation / Bla Bli Blog, will try it later