According to a report by Phoronix, a new Linux kernel – version 5.19.12, is reportedly damaging laptop displays. Anyone with a Intel-based laptop is at risk, and should not install Linux kernel 5.19.12.
The issue is related to a graphics driver bug that causes undesired power sequencing delays in the display itself, which can physically harm the LCD panels found on Intel-based laptops. According to user reports, the issue causes white flashes to display on screen.
This is one of the very few times we’ve ever seen a software update – not related to overclocking, have the power to damage a computer component physically. This issue effects all Intel-based notebooks where the integrated display is wired directly to the integrated graphics.
This means all Nvidia Optimus laptops, and some potential Intel + Radeon combined laptops (though we effectively never see those) are at risk as well – since the iGP is driving the primary display even while the discrete GPU is active.
The only exception to this, is if the notebook in question can disable Nvidia Optimus entirely or the internal display is not hooked up to an Intel integrated graphics solution at all. Such laptops are rare, but they do exist. Thankfully, this only applies with Intel graphics solutions, and means all AMD-based notebooks with AMD CPUs or APUs are not affected.
The Fix Is Already Here
Fortunately, the Linux community has already released a new kernel that reverts all the problematic issues found in the graphics driver back to what they were in previous kernel updates.
This new kernel is known as 5.19.13, and has already been released for everyone to use. However, chances are that most users will have to wait for their respected Linux distros to roll out the kernel update before the mainstream users get a chance to use it.