View Full Version : How to fix random system crashs when watching videos

16th February 2014, 11:13 PM
VLC-Backend causes total system crash to a black screen and reboot. This happens while watching videos through VLC player or web browser and randomly when watching any video with any player.

In KDE control panel access phonon's settings by selecting mutimedia;
select Audio and Video,
click on the backend tab,
select GStreamer and click prefer
click apply to save changes
log out and then log back in for settings to take effect

For the past month I having very frequent system reboots and crashes while watching videos. I was using the VLC-Backend for KDE's Phonon multimedia framwork. Basically my fedora system has VLC handle all the multimedia, everything from video to audio and this is all done by VLC. There are some issues with the VLC-backend and the VLC player I am avoiding using them for now.

I installed sensors;

sudo yum install lm_sensors
and then checked my system temperatures with

sudo sensors | grep -i temp

my CPU and system thermal temperatures were within acceptable limits:
temp1: +14.2C (high = +70.0C)
temp1: +36.0C (high = +85.0C, hyst = +81.0C)
temp2: +43.0C (high = +85.0C, hyst = +79.0C)
temp3: +32.0C (high = +70.0C, hyst = +68.0C)

But i found some interesting system cpu load values while using the VLC-backend for phonon and then without the VLC -backend (using the Gstreamer backend for phonon). When running an instance of VLC player to watch a video the load on the cpu was about 7%. However without the VLC-backend an instance of VLC has a cpu load at 30% on my system while watching a video, in comparison the load is only 10% or less when using an alternative player like dragon player to watch videos.

The system would do a hard restart from a black screen. I checked some of my system log files but i could not find any "kernel oops" messages or such indicating the system was about the crash. So i assumed that VLC was causing the hardware on my system to overheat and crash the whole system without the kernel being able to log an error. I noticed that in a months worth of time this hard crash would not occur if i left the computer on for a day or two or even played 3d games through wine. The system crash would only occur when watching videos. Because I have put plenty of load on both my GPU and CPU these random crashes while watching videos did not make any sense to me. At first i thought it was my video drivers, so i tested three different drivers Nvidia proprietary, Nvidia akmod, and Nouvea, while watching a video and had teh same hard crash happen every time no matter what video driver i was using.

I finally figured i would switch out the VLC-Backend for the GStreamer backend in phonon settings. Then therafter the switch to GStreamer I have had no more system crashes the past 4 days and counting.