Well, I’m pleased to say that Lubuntu 16.04, the Long Term Support version of the Linux-based OS installed perfectly on my Dell Mini 9 netbook, with no sign of any screen corruption that I had previously experienced with version 17.10. However, I did avoid the option to download updated software during the installation process; this turned out to be a good move, as we shall see later.
Ethernet connection was immediate and automatic as soon as the cable was plugged in.
Next step was to get WiFi networking to function, turned out to be relatively painless, just went into the Software Updater, found the drivers tab and selected the Broadcomm wireless driver, then selected Update. Took about 10 minutes, but then it was a simple matter to Add a new network connection, supply SSID and password, and it instantly connected.
Final step was to install software updates, so I went ahead and installed everything. It looked to have worked OK, but on rebooting, I had the same screen corruption as I had seen with version 17.10. Clearly something in the updates had broken the screen driver, and I suspected the later kernel was the problem. So, back to square 1 – reinstalled 16.04, set up WiFi as before, but this time, went into the details of the updates that were on offer and unchecked everything that had the word ‘kernel’ in. Installed the rest of the updates and hey presto, everything worked.
I’ll be copying this to the Lubuntu forums as a bug report; however I now have a usable netbook again so worth the aggro.