Gnome hangs / freezes randomly

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Gnome hangs / freezes randomly

Postby NoPane » 2005-09-05 23:23

I'm using sarge stable with a 2.6.8 kernel, running on a P4. Gnome runs fine for a while, but every now and again the panel stops responding and everything grinds to a halt.

Applications that are running can still be used, but it's impossible to bring hidden windows to the front without closing the applications on top. Restarting X (ctrl-alt-bs) doesn't help - I can't get back into gnome, although I can run a KDE session...

I was convinced that it was my old ati card, so I've replaced it with a new one (and also got their drivers going) but nothing has improved. While Gnome is behaving then the system works fine.

I realise no-one can solve this straight away, but where do I start looking for clues? /var/log/messages doesn't seem to have anything useful in it. Niether does XFree86.log.
Dmesg seems to be happy enough. Some posts made suggestions about /etc/hosts having to be right (which I've done) although one nagging doubt is that I have IPV6 enabled (which I don't need, but don't know how to disable).

Any pointers greatly appreciated.
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Postby Harold » 2005-09-06 05:09

This is just a shot in the dark with no guarantees. Earlier this year, I started having random freezes and eventually realised that they occurred only when Firefox was active. This is on a computer running Debian kernel 2.6.11, Xfce, and a video card with an ATI 9200 chipset. I tried lots of things, none of which worked. Then I saw a post announcing that x.org had been moved into unstable. I followed the upgrade instructions, the upgrade went smoothly, and my problem disappeared. I try to avoid pulling packages from unstable or suggesting to other people that they pull packages from there, but this time it worked for me. YMMV.
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Postby NoPane » 2005-09-06 20:35

Thanks again Harold. Each time Gnome has frozen, I have been running Firefox - and I too have an ati 9200 series card. I''m keeping away from firefox for a while, and see if the freezes go away - if they do then I'll try out X.org. So far so good ...
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Postby mikedub » 2005-12-20 02:54

This might be a bit of a bump, but I'm having the same problem.

I get freezing with both gnome and kde. It seems to happen while I'm doing something graphical (resizing windows, a screensaver starts, etc). I'd think it was a hardware problem if that pc hadn't run Win98 and Starcraft several times without incident before I installed debian.

When a freeze occurs the keyboard and mouse become useless (num lock light won't even come on), but I can log in remotely, so the pc itself isn't frozen.

It's an onboad video card (nVidia Corporation NV5 [Aladdin TNT2]), but I think firefox has been running during my freezings as well (though when isn't firefox running?).
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Postby NoPane » 2005-12-20 11:26

My problems went away when I stopped using Firefox, so I took the advice to change over to X.org. Since then Firefox has run with no problems at all. I would recommend that you give it a go.
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Re: Gnome hangs / freezes randomly

Postby radoslaww » 2006-01-17 21:17

I had simmiliar problem, but with different versions of X software in debian: Xfree86, XOrg 6.8 and 6.9. The problem was coused by not set up loopback interface - it was left unconfigured after system boot. It happend after some upgrade of testing (eatch) and still existed after upgrading to unstable. Adding one line to /etc/network/interfaces:

auto lo

or setting the loopback interface manually with:

ifconfig lo 127.0.0.1 netmask 255.255.255.0

removes the problem.

Regards
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