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#1 2021-04-05 00:29:17

Micronaut
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Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Well, I had thought the problem was with XFCE, but now I'm seeing the exact same problem I had on other systems running Ascii and XFCE, but this time with a newly installed Beowulf with Cinnamon on an HP 15-f272wm. When clicking on a menu, something goes off the rails and freezes the desktop solid. It's not predictable, the system might work for hours with no apparent problems. But when it hits, it's permanent. There is no option but the hard power switch. When Gkrellm was visible on the other systems at the moment of freezing, I could see the process/thread count skyrocket. So there is something running out of control, probably in the menuing system, when this happens. In this case my running Gkrellm was covered so I can't say for certain. But now I know it's not just XFCE. It's apparently deeper in the system than the desktop.

This is more than just a bit frustrating. Windows 10 will soon (within 2 years) be the only thing available in the 'consumer' field, and it is not usable. If Linux is going to become buggy as hell, I'm either going to have to run obsolete and dangerously vulnerable versions of Windows, or I'm going to be unable to use computers.

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#2 2021-04-05 09:51:06

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,594  
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Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Have you checked the logs?

What is your graphics hardware and driver?

lspci -k | grep -iA2 'vga\|display\|3d'

If it's an Intel integrated card then try removing the xserver-xorg-video-intel package. X's builtin modesetting DDX driver is less buggy and may help.

Have you installed the CPU microcode package? Intel Haswell CPUs in particular are completely broken unless the µcode fixes are applied and many other processors have similar problems.


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#3 2021-04-05 16:33:41

chris2be8
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Registered: 2018-08-11
Posts: 115  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Does ctrl-alt-f1 get you to a console when it's hung?

Does it respond to ping from another system?

Can you log on via ssh from another system and set top running before a hang? Even if that is frozen the last screenful should give you an idea which task(s) were flooding the system.

Chris

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#4 2021-04-05 17:46:17

MLEvD
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Registered: 2021-02-14
Posts: 87  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Log out and log in in software rendering mode, if it doesn't happen here, you know it's a graphics driver problem, my guess would be.

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#5 2021-04-05 19:13:19

Micronaut
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Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

lspci -k | grep -iA2 'vga\|display\|3d'

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display (rev 0e)
    Subsystem: Hewlett-Packard Company Atom Processor Z36xxx/Z37xxx Series Graphics & Display

Apparently the Atom architecture has been embedded in certain Pentium lines to serve as video controller...

aptitude search microcode
i A amd64-microcode                 - Processor microcode firmware for AMD CPUs
i A intel-microcode                 - Processor microcode firmware for Intel CPU
p   microcode.ctl                   - Intel IA32/IA64 CPU Microcode Utility

Now why would both AMD and Intel microcode be installed?

Also, how would I go about removing the xserver-xorg-video-intel part of X?
And how would I put it BACK if that turns out to be worse?

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#6 2021-04-05 19:16:31

Micronaut
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Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

I'll have to try Ctrl-Alt-F1 if it happens again. I hadn't heard of that hot-key combination. I think it was Ctrl-Alt-Backspace that forces a desktop environment to quit? I didn't think to try that at the time, but will remember it next time along with Ctrl-Alt-F1....

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#7 2021-04-05 19:21:44

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,594  
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Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

how would I go about removing the xserver-xorg-video-intel part of X?

# apt purge xserver-xorg-video-intel
Micronaut wrote:

how would I put it BACK if that turns out to be worse?

# apt install xserver-xorg-video-intel

EDIT: or just keep the package installed and create a file at /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/00-modesetting.conf with this content:

Section "Device"
   Identifier "Intel Graphics"
   Driver "modesetting"
EndSection

Remove the file to revert to the Intel DDX driver.

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2021-04-05 19:24:03)


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#8 2021-04-05 19:50:03

steve_v
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Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 73  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

I'll have to try Ctrl-Alt-F1 if it happens again. I hadn't heard of that hot-key combination.

On key combos, it might also be worth enabling magic sysrq (IIRC it's restricted by default), if all else fails that usually gets you a console (or at least a memory dump) so you can see what's going on.

But yeah, I'm with HoaS, I recon it's probably a video driver problem.


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#9 2021-04-05 22:50:50

Micronaut
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Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

There is no xorg.conf.d directory under X11, though at least the X11 directory exists! Have the workings of X changed in the latest release, or should I create that directory? I guess I could just go ahead and use the uninstall.

Yes, the video drivers seems to be the problem. When I saw something like this on a desktop with a nVidia-based video card using Devuan and XFCE a couple years ago, I gave up on Devuan and tried MX Linux. And it had the same problem... sad But when I installed the proprietary nVidia driver in MX, the problems went away. Now, this problem has something to do with Intel "HD Graphics" rather than an nVidia card, and the driver is apparently already the Intel driver? They published the source and Linux distros can just build it into their default config? So I'm at a loss how to 'fix' the problem this time. All I can do for now is try disabling the Intel part of X, I guess.

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#10 2021-04-06 04:28:15

steve_v
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Registered: 2018-01-11
Posts: 73  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

I'm at a loss how to 'fix' the problem

You and everyone else, unless you can gather more information on what is actually going wrong. Hence the suggestion to check logs and system responsiveness outside the GUI by dropping to a console or connecting over SSH when this happens.


Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. Four times is Official GNOME Policy.

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#11 2021-04-06 06:41:38

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,594  
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Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

create that directory

^ This. Or read the xorg.conf man page to find out where else you can place the file for it to be read.

Micronaut wrote:

When I saw something like this on a desktop with a nVidia-based video card using Devuan and XFCE a couple years ago, I gave up on Devuan and tried MX Linux. And it had the same problem... sad

Some NVIDIA cards require non-free firmware to work properly with the nouveau drivers.

Micronaut wrote:

Now, this problem has something to do with Intel "HD Graphics" rather than an nVidia card, and the driver is apparently already the Intel driver? They published the source and Linux distros can just build it into their default config?

The Intel DDX driver (xserver-xorg-video-intel) hasn't been updated properly in a long time and is known to be buggy, which is why the package information recommends to use the modesetting driver instead.

EDIT: does the lspci -k command show a kernel driver in use line for the video card? You haven't included it in your post but it should show i915.

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2021-04-06 06:44:22)


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#12 2021-04-06 16:47:28

chris2be8
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Registered: 2018-08-11
Posts: 115  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

I'll have to try Ctrl-Alt-F1 if it happens again. I hadn't heard of that hot-key combination. I think it was Ctrl-Alt-Backspace that forces a desktop environment to quit? I didn't think to try that at the time, but will remember it next time along with Ctrl-Alt-F1....

There are a number of text consoles, accessed by ctrl-alt-F1, ctrl-alt-F2, etc. ctrl-alt-F7 should take you back to the GUI if that's working (it might be some other combination such as ctrl-alt-F6 so it's worth testing before you need it in anger).

And did the logs show anything from the last time it happened? Although I've had systems lock up or suddenly reboot with nothing interesting in the logs before the messages from the system coming back up.

Chris

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#13 2021-04-07 01:46:41

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Yes, the driver listed is i915. Besides video, that Atom processor is acting as subsystem for most of the motherboard, PCI controller, audio, USB and various other functions seem to have been assigned to at least an Atom processor. I wonder how many there are and whether they are embedded in the CPU or the motherboard chip-set?

The logs aren't very large yet, since this is such a new system, but I really don't know what to look for. Grep for "Warning"? Or "Error"? Or something else?

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#14 2021-04-07 13:56:05

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,594  
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Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

The logs aren't very large yet, since this is such a new system, but I really don't know what to look for. Grep for "Warning"? Or "Error"? Or something else?

Upload them to a pastebin service and share the link here, I'll have a look at them.

Did you try the modesetting driver yet?


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#15 2021-04-07 23:23:34

Micronaut
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Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Yes, I used the remove option rather than create the directory. No noticeable difference yet, but it took hours of continuous use for the bug to hit the first time. It might be something like the Windows problem that occurs when you Alt-tab between windows many, many, many times. (Like when copying things from a web browser to a local editor.) Eventually, the system gets confused and starts scrambling the windows. This has been a thing with MS Windows all the way back to 95/98 days when it was still a shell on MS-DOS. It might take another long session to see for sure if this fixes the problem.

I also tried removing the intel driver on a different laptop. Granted, this one hasn't had the bug, but I thought it might have better performance using the modesetting driver if that one is updated more often. Instead, it didn't even boot to the desktop! It stopped at the command prompt and I had to re-install the intel driver to get the desktop back. Here's the thing -- it is also using the i915 driver??? But the kernel driver is apparently not the same thing as the video driver. It's a Gateway laptop from ~2011, five years older than the HP. And it's running Devuan Ascii with XFCE. The modesetting driver apparently doesn't recognize the video subsystem.

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 09)
    Subsystem: Acer Incorporated [ALI] 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
    Kernel driver in use: i915
    Kernel modules: i915

Which logs shall I put on pastebin?

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#16 2021-04-27 02:08:00

Micronaut
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Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

It happened again. Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and Ctrl-Alt-F1/F2/etc had no effect. This time, the pointer was moving across the desktop when it froze, too. Not on a menu. So my guess that something in the menuing system was the cause seems to be wrong. It's got to be deep in the video driver stack.

One thing that was different this time, thought, is that I had just downloaded updates and a couple of them were related to X. Dunno what the fixes were supposed to be. Maybe someone with better knowledge of where to look up recent patches can check on that. Since I had not rebooted/restarted X, that is probably a potential source of problems.

So, I did restart it after having to use the hard power switch, and fiddled with it a bit. Had also just installed Chromium, which does not complain about the missing keyring with Cinnamon, since the keyring is present. smile It was nice to use another open source browser for a bit.

Since this happened yesterday, I'm sure some of the logs will be archived and new ones started when I boot it again. Which logs shall I post to pastebin for an analysis?

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#17 2021-04-27 07:42:32

Dutch_Master
Member
Registered: 2018-05-31
Posts: 188  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

I had a similar issue on Mate recently. Solved it by reinstalling ASCII and nuking stray Beowulf config files as well as remaining folders of packages once in use, but no more.

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#18 2021-04-27 19:17:34

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Gack... I'd hate to have to go back to the old version. It's only getting patches until next summer, isn't it?

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#19 2021-04-27 22:08:18

Dutch_Master
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Registered: 2018-05-31
Posts: 188  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Guess so. But that doesn't mean it's therefore inherently unsafe/dangerous/unusable after that time. I've been running the last pre-systemd Debian for years after it made the change to systemd as default init system. Only in 2015 did I make the switch to Funtoo (couldn't get Gentoo to work and the Funtoo guide was so inclusive even I could successfully complete it tongue ) and after I found Devuan I stuck with it for a while wink

As long as you keep your wits about and don't do stupid things, like browsing unsafe websites and stuff, ASCII will work just fine. But in time you'll notice stuff does get outdated and no longer supported and websites may no longer work as you'd expect, or at all. But this is Linux: grab the source of your $browser, configure, compile, build and install it and you're done. wink  It's a pity Beowulf is such a PITA, but the underlying issues are not the fault of the Devuan dev's but lay with Debian or perhaps elsewhere upstream.

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#20 2021-04-28 16:10:09

Head_on_a_Stick
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From: London
Registered: 2019-03-24
Posts: 1,594  
Website

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

Micronaut wrote:

Which logs shall I post to pastebin for an analysis?

The X.Org log, /var/log/messages & /var/log/syslog.


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#21 2021-05-07 22:44:44

Micronaut
Member
Registered: 2019-07-04
Posts: 111  

Re: Hard freeze on Cinnamon desktop

I sent the links to dropbox copies of those logs in private email. Did you get it?

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