Buster: random X freezes when opening settings windows

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Buster: random X freezes when opening settings windows

Postby noober1983 » 2020-06-10 20:31

Hi all.

I run Debian Buster (testing) on an Asus TP201SA (full output of inxi -Fx here). I've been having trouble with strange, apparently random and nearly impossible to diagnose X-session freezes. I run XFCE 4.14. The freezes are just of X, because I can change to a login terminal and kill the session there. The mouse is responsive during these freezes, and I can execute commands via Alt+F2+command, and they run, but the screen is frozen and unchanging.

I followed the instructions here (which are for Ubuntu, but mutatis mutandis) and I got the output of dmesg, the Xorg.0.log file and the output of cat /sys/kernel/debug/dri/0/i915_error_state5; I cannot seem to find any hint of X/xfdesktop/xfwm/xfce error in those files. I have noticed, however -several times-, the following sort of errors on `.xsession-errors`: `xfwm4: Fatal IO error 4 (Interrupted system call) on X server :0.0.` A search on that error got me to this question on SE], but it remains unanswered; other results suggest that it is an issue of drivers missing; whenever I upgrade that laptop I get many warnings of missing firmwaare after the initramfs building stage:
Code: Select all
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/icl_dmc_ver1_09.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/tgl_dmc_ver2_04.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/skl_huc_2.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/bxt_huc_2.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/kbl_huc_4.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/glk_huc_4.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/kbl_huc_4.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/cml_huc_4.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/cml_guc_33.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/icl_huc_9.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/ehl_huc_9.0.0.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/ehl_guc_33.0.4.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/tgl_huc_7.0.3.bin for module i915
    W: Possible missing firmware /lib/firmware/i915/tgl_guc_35.2.0.bin for module i915


I get these warnings as well in this laptop (specs), also running Buster+XFCE, but here these X freezes don't happen.

I've noticed that these crashes usually happen under two non-exclusive conditions:
    1. Running a settings window (`xfce4-appearance-settings`, `xfwm4-settings`, the Settings dialog of TeXstudio (which is Qt, not gtk), etc.).

    2. Running Firefox and load a "heavy" page, such as Facebook.
Anything else I can do without trouble; even having Rhythmbox playing while using GIMP causes no such freezes.

I almost always have the following running: a terminal window with 3 tabs and an instance of qpdfview with at least 3 PDF files open. As I said at the beginning, I can switch to a login terminal and sometimes killing the running instances of `xfwm4` or `xfdesktop` unfreeze the screen, but not always; I usually have to reboot. If I don't do any of the 2 things in the list above, I can work without these annoying freezes, but sometimes it is unavoidable to do at least one (opening a link or reconfiguring TeXstudio, for instance).

I'd really appreciate any ideas on how to properly diagnose what causes these freezes, because I'm lost at trying to figure them out. Thanks!
noober1983
 
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Re: Buster: random X freezes when opening settings windows

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-06-11 09:26

I'm not downloading any of those files but you could try installing the firmware (if your hardware actually needs it) or try the Intel DDX driver (if you're not already using it, if you are already using it then try the modesetting DDX driver instead).

Also check the systemd journal for relevant errors.
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Re: Buster: random X freezes when opening settings windows

Postby noober1983 » 2020-06-11 15:47

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:I'm not downloading any of those files but you could try installing the firmware (if your hardware actually needs it) or try the Intel DDX driver (if you're not already using it, if you are already using it then try the modesetting DDX driver instead).

Also check the systemd journal for relevant errors.


I already downloaded the firmware from here, extracted to the appropriate location, ran update-initramfs -u and rebooted; just a few minutes into my session I ran qpdfview and the session froze.

I will give the DDX driver a try, but please help me understand something: if I have a lot of warnings about possible missing firmware and only one of those binary files corresponds to my actual graphics card, how do I find out which one it is?

Thanks!
Quid non intellegas aut tace aut disce.
noober1983
 
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Location: MX

Re: Buster: random X freezes when opening settings windows

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2020-06-11 21:22

noober1983 wrote:if I have a lot of warnings about possible missing firmware and only one of those binary files corresponds to my actual graphics card, how do I find out which one it is?

Code: Select all
# dmesg | grep firmware
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