GUI gradually locks up in FC6
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    26

    GUI gradually locks up in FC6

    Hey gang,

    I'm running FC6 on an IBM NetVista desktop, 2.4GHz P4, 2GB RAM, onboard i810 graphics. This machine was until recently running perfectly under old RedHat 9. I wiped that out in favor of FC6 a few weeks ago. I run yum so I have all the updates. Everything works nicely for a while, but after a period of time, which can vary from as little as 30 minutes after booting to as long as 6 or so hours, the GUI starts misbehaving. I spend most of my time in various gnome-terminals, and the first symptom I usually notice is that they stop refreshing unless prompted by some other event. For instance, I'll type "ls" at the prompt and hit return, and nothing happens. No output appears, prompt does not return. But then, if I hit another key, or even just move the mouse, the output will appear. This happens with anything I do in the gnome-terminal. Even if I just hit return at the prompt, I don't get another prompt unless I move the mouse or press another key. Also, if I use the bash tab-for-filename completion thing causing a system beep, the beep doesn't just beep-- it goes "beeeeeeeeee...." and never stops. The only way I've been able to shut it up when this happens is "rmmod pcspkr".

    Once this starts happening, I also notice that the gnome-clock in the panel stops updating. If I run the 'date' command from the shell, the date is still correct, but the gnome-clock remains frozen at whatever time the problem started occurring. However, if I move the mouse directly over the gnome-clock in the panel, it will then update to the current time. But it then won't update again until I again move the mouse over it.

    Then I notice other similar things-- if I launch something in the GUI that causes the cursor to turn into that little animated spinner, the spinner doesn't animate unless the mouse is moving. If the mouse is not moving, the spinner freezes. If I jiggle the mouse, the spinner animates as long as I'm doing it. At this point though, new windows and such usually won't appear anymore if I try to launch them.

    Once I'm in this bad state, if I try to CTRL-ALT-F1 to get to a console login, the whole display locks up totally. If instead I try to logout or reboot, either from the gnome menu or even by running "reboot" from the command line, nothing happens. I can see the "reboot" command sitting there if I look with ps, but the machine never goes down.

    I can always still ping it from another machine, even in the CTRL-ALT-F1 case when the GUI is totally locked up. I have occasionally been able to ssh into it at that point too, but more usually I can't. The ssh seems to connect (asks for pw), but no shell prompt ever appears.

    So, what have I already tried? I noticed that I had the problem where I got the 586 kernel, so I replaced that with the 686 kernel-- no difference. There is nothing in /var/log/messages or /var/log/Xorg.0.log when this happens. I initially suspected the screensaver, because it often happened right after waking up from that, so I disabled it, which didn't help (I've also disabled suspend). It now happens at random times. I tried changing /etc/X11/xorg.conf to use the vesa driver instead of i810, but then X won't even start (I'm running at 1600x1200 which I guess the vesa driver doesn't support). I changed the BIOS setting to give the onboard graphics 8MB instead of the default of 1MB (didn't help). I've googled my brains out, but haven't managed to turn up any other mention of symptoms like these.

    Anyone out there have any clue?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    madscientist Guest
    The next thing I would try is to use a different desktop environment (or use a window manager). So, maybe try using KDE ("switchdesk kde" at the command line). Do you still get the hanging there? If so, try using IceWM or another window manager. If it's universal, it's an X problem. If it's not, then it's an issue with the desktop environment/window manager. It would be interesting to know which.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    26
    That's a good idea, thanks, I'll try that. Have to install KDE first though, as I've never used it. And since the problem sometimes takes a fair number of hours to appear, it may be a little while before I know, but I'll post a follow-up here when I have a result. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    127
    I'm having similar issues with the gnome desktop. I've turned off the bluetooth support services and the compiz desktop effects. I also made sure the nvidia driver (I'm using a nvidia card) matched the kernel. So far, the desktop has been stable for the short term (<4 hours). Still need to check the long term stability (>8 hours).

    Quote Originally Posted by ulbonado
    Hey gang,

    I'm running FC6 on an IBM NetVista desktop, 2.4GHz P4, 2GB RAM, onboard i810 graphics. This machine was until recently running perfectly under old RedHat 9. I wiped that out in favor of FC6 a few weeks ago. I run yum so I have all the updates. Everything works nicely for a while, but after a period of time, which can vary from as little as 30 minutes after booting to as long as 6 or so hours, the GUI starts misbehaving. I spend most of my time in various gnome-terminals, and the first symptom I usually notice is that they stop refreshing unless prompted by some other event. For instance, I'll type "ls" at the prompt and hit return, and nothing happens. No output appears, prompt does not return. But then, if I hit another key, or even just move the mouse, the output will appear. This happens with anything I do in the gnome-terminal. Even if I just hit return at the prompt, I don't get another prompt unless I move the mouse or press another key. Also, if I use the bash tab-for-filename completion thing causing a system beep, the beep doesn't just beep-- it goes "beeeeeeeeee...." and never stops. The only way I've been able to shut it up when this happens is "rmmod pcspkr".

    Once this starts happening, I also notice that the gnome-clock in the panel stops updating. If I run the 'date' command from the shell, the date is still correct, but the gnome-clock remains frozen at whatever time the problem started occurring. However, if I move the mouse directly over the gnome-clock in the panel, it will then update to the current time. But it then won't update again until I again move the mouse over it.

    Then I notice other similar things-- if I launch something in the GUI that causes the cursor to turn into that little animated spinner, the spinner doesn't animate unless the mouse is moving. If the mouse is not moving, the spinner freezes. If I jiggle the mouse, the spinner animates as long as I'm doing it. At this point though, new windows and such usually won't appear anymore if I try to launch them.

    Once I'm in this bad state, if I try to CTRL-ALT-F1 to get to a console login, the whole display locks up totally. If instead I try to logout or reboot, either from the gnome menu or even by running "reboot" from the command line, nothing happens. I can see the "reboot" command sitting there if I look with ps, but the machine never goes down.

    I can always still ping it from another machine, even in the CTRL-ALT-F1 case when the GUI is totally locked up. I have occasionally been able to ssh into it at that point too, but more usually I can't. The ssh seems to connect (asks for pw), but no shell prompt ever appears.

    So, what have I already tried? I noticed that I had the problem where I got the 586 kernel, so I replaced that with the 686 kernel-- no difference. There is nothing in /var/log/messages or /var/log/Xorg.0.log when this happens. I initially suspected the screensaver, because it often happened right after waking up from that, so I disabled it, which didn't help (I've also disabled suspend). It now happens at random times. I tried changing /etc/X11/xorg.conf to use the vesa driver instead of i810, but then X won't even start (I'm running at 1600x1200 which I guess the vesa driver doesn't support). I changed the BIOS setting to give the onboard graphics 8MB instead of the default of 1MB (didn't help). I've googled my brains out, but haven't managed to turn up any other mention of symptoms like these.

    Anyone out there have any clue?

    Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    26
    Well, so far so good, I've been running KDE for 7 hours today with no problems yet. I suppose I might just keep running it-- t'ain't bad. :-) But it is looking like something in Gnome is the source of the problem.

    I don't know anything about compiz-- how do I turn it off?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    127
    It is the compositing manager which allows the cube style desktop. In Gnome, it is SYSTEM -> PREFERENCES -> DESKTOP EFFECTS. There is a button labeled "Enable Desktop Effects" which is a toggle button (on/off). I have not checked KDE to know if it is available there. Good Luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by ulbonado
    Well, so far so good, I've been running KDE for 7 hours today with no problems yet. I suppose I might just keep running it-- t'ain't bad. :-) But it is looking like something in Gnome is the source of the problem.

    I don't know anything about compiz-- how do I turn it off?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    26
    I meant to leave my KDE session up over the weekend and see how it did, but the power went out Friday night, so I wasn't able to get a result on that. However, the machine rebooted on its own when the power came back, and was sitting at the login screen this morning. I entered my username/pw, and it locked up. I was able to CTRL-ALT-F1 to a text console, but I couldn't log in there either. Again, it took user/pw, and then just hung. On rebooting, it was ok again. So I'm thinking it's not just gnome, as the login screen itself seems to suffer the same problem. Although KDE ran all day for me on Friday without any problems. I guess I'll see how it does today and tonight.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    26
    About two hours later, KDE locked up too. The toolbar became unresponsive first-- couldn't switch virtual desktops, couldn't maximize minimzed windows. It let me CTRL-ALT-F1 once, but when I went back with ALT-F7, I got only the background and window borders, nothing redrew, and now the GUI is totally hung.

    For the first time, it appears that something may have been written to Xorg.0.log when it hung. The timestamp on the file matches the time the GUI hung, but there are no timestamps in the file, so I can't be sure of all of what was written, but the end of the file shows:

    # tail /var/log/Xorg.0.log
    (II) I810(0): Setting refresh with VBE 3 method.
    (II) I810(0): Display plane A is enabled and connected to Pipe A.
    (II) I810(0): Enabling plane A.
    (II) I810(0): Display plane A is now enabled and connected to Pipe A.
    (II) I810(0): PIPEACONF is 0xc0000000
    (WW) I810(0): Correcting plane A stride (1600 -> 2048)
    (II) I810(0): Mode bandwidth is 115 Mpixel/s
    (II) I810(0): maxBandwidth is 640 Mbyte/s, pipe bandwidths are 632 Mbyte/s, 0 Mbyte/s
    (WW) I810(0): Disabling XVideo output because Pipe A is in double-wide mode.
    (II) I810(0): [drm] dma control initialized, using IRQ 185

    I think all of that was there since boot except the last line (in italics). Does that mean anything to anyone?

    TIA.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Georgia
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    127
    The desktop effects in combination with the non-Xen kernel appear to lockup Gnome. The first sign of an impending lockup is the disappearance of the "window" dressing. That is the outer most part of a display window having the "menu, minify, maximize, and close" buttons. Then the desktop refuse to switch between themselves. And finally a freeze of Xwindows with no mouse and no keyboard. The reset button is the only way to unlock the lot. ulbonado, thanks for the tip about the log. I'll have to crash Gnome again and see what the log file has to say about it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    26
    Hey tkoco, since KDE crashed on me as well, I went back to gnome, and following your instructions above I checked and realized-- I had never had the desktop effects on in the first place. I guess they default to off.

    So this problem remains a complete mystery to me, but no matter what I do, the system locks up completely every few hours.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    414
    Can you check in the System Monitor to see if any processes are hogging huge amounts of memory (from the description, it sounds like there's a memory leak in Compiz, the "desktop effects" window manager).

    With desktop-effects turned off, I have a Gnome uptime in the region of weeks (I think I've logged out about 3 times since FC6 was released). I havn't tried with Compiz turned on because my graphics card is too old.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    127
    bryancole, I know the "xen" enabled kernel is very stable with Gnome. (xen and compiz are mutually exclusive) I ran a 40 hour raytrace rendering under the xen enabled kernel + Gnome without a single problem. I'll have to try the non-xen kernel + gnome minus the compiz being enabled. If it can pass the mustard, then I would have to agree that compiz is the problem. I ran gkrellm while rendering to monitor the system. No massive use of memory so far.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    26
    I suspect that tkoco and I are having different problems, since the symptoms are slightly different and I haven't been able to achieve stability no matter what.

    I just tried the xen kernel to see if that would do better, and X won't even start now.

  14. #14
    jinx099 Guest
    tkoco, I get similar problems to you when I use the nvidia drivers (full lockup)

    ulbonado, I get a similar problem to you when I use the nv driver (gradual lock)

    Anyone have a fix yet?

  15. #15
    silvagroup Guest
    This maybe of some help;
    I have been running KDE since FC5. Recently switched to FC6 when FC5 would not boot due to a possible xorg problem. Never figured out what it was, just upgraded to FC6 and things worked out OK. Last week I got brave enough to venture into checking out the latest windows managers, Beryl and Compiz. Tried Beryl first worked for the most part but not everything, but never crashed or never left me stuck. Thought I would try Compiz since it's part of the default (not when I upgraded however, wasn't even installed) and about 45 minutes into installing it the system came to a sudden stop. Had to hard reboot to get back. Logged in OK with out any damage (thank God). Needless to say Compiz is not going to be used anymore, left it turned off after reboot and no more problems again.

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