[SOLVED] black screen of death

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Soul Singin'
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[SOLVED] black screen of death

#1 Post by Soul Singin' »

EDIT:. My original post wrongly diagnosed the problem. And all of my other posts wrongly diagnosed the problem too. Ultimately, I gave up and reinstalled Debian.

But then we solved it. L_V and p.H helped me realize that it was a hardware issue. A big thank you to them. Their help was priceless.

And a big thank you to: Head_on_a_Stick, sickpig, GarryRicketson, golinux, debiman and Wheelerof4te for all of their help and support too.

Thank you!
- Soul Singin'

--------------------

ORIGINAL POST:

I recently upgraded from Wheezy to Stretch (making a very brief visit to Jessie along the way). After the upgrade, I began experiencing black screens of death at seemingly random times. The crashes would render the keyboard and mouse useless. And I could not login through SSH either. Lacking an alternative, I had to cycle the power.

I searched through the log files (many times), but I could never find any trace of the error that cause that catastrophic crash. (Perhaps I was not looking in the right location??)

The only clue to diagnosis was that the crashes would occur more often after editing my GTK configurations with LXAppearance (and on one occasion while editing them with LXAppearance). Removing the ".gtkrc" files stopped the crashing, so I did what any good Debian user would do: I created them with LXAppearance one more time ... and got a black screen of death.

In frustration, I finally did what any sane human being would do. I ran:

Code: Select all

rm -rf ~/.gtkrc-2.0 ~/.config/gtk-3.0/  ~/.config/lx*  ~/.config/libfm/  ~/.config/pcmanfm/

And for good measure, I also ran:

Code: Select all

apt-get purge --autoremove $(dpkg -l lx* | grep ^ii | awk '{print $2}')

Since then, I have not experienced any black screens of death.

Nonetheless, I would be curious to know what GTK configuration was causing those crashes. And I wonder if the inability to login via SSH provides a clue: The GTK crash would cause the Network Manager applet to crash, which would prevent me from connecting over the network.

Below are two of the ".gtkrc" files that LXAppearance generated. The crashes occurred regardless of which theme, icons or cursors was selected.

~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

Code: Select all

[Settings]
gtk-font-name=Sans 10
gtk-theme-name=Clearlooks-Phenix
gtk-icon-theme-name=default.kde4
gtk-fallback-icon-theme=Tango
gtk-toolbar-style=GTK_TOOLBAR_BOTH_HORIZ
gtk-menu-images=1
gtk-button-images=1
gtk-cursor-theme-size=18
gtk-toolbar-icon-size=GTK_ICON_SIZE_LARGE_TOOLBAR
gtk-enable-event-sounds=1
gtk-enable-input-feedback-sounds=1
gtk-xft-antialias=1
gtk-xft-hinting=1
gtk-xft-hintstyle=hintslight
gtk-xft-rgba=rgb
gtk-cursor-theme-name=oxy-obsidian
~/.gtkrc-2.0

Code: Select all

# DO NOT EDIT! This file will be overwritten by LXAppearance.
# Any customization should be done in ~/.gtkrc-2.0.mine instead.

include "/home/soul/.gtkrc-2.0.mine"
gtk-theme-name="Clearlooks-Phenix"
gtk-icon-theme-name="default.kde4"
gtk-font-name="Sans 10"
gtk-cursor-theme-name="oxy-obsidian"
gtk-cursor-theme-size=18
gtk-toolbar-style=GTK_TOOLBAR_BOTH_HORIZ
gtk-toolbar-icon-size=GTK_ICON_SIZE_LARGE_TOOLBAR
gtk-button-images=1
gtk-menu-images=1
gtk-enable-event-sounds=1
gtk-enable-input-feedback-sounds=1
gtk-xft-antialias=1
gtk-xft-hinting=1
gtk-xft-hintstyle="hintslight"
gtk-xft-rgba="rgb"
Please leave a reply if you have experienced a similar issue. I would like to know what caused all of those crashes.

Thanks in advance,
- Soul Singin'
.
Last edited by Soul Singin' on 2019-05-21 03:50, edited 12 times in total.

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Head_on_a_Stick
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#2 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

Well those configuration files cause no problems on my box but then I don't have that theme or icon set so perhaps that is not surprising :)

What is your graphics card & which drivers are you using?

Which desktop environment (or window manager) are you using? Have you tried to reproduce this with other desktops?

And finally, is there anything relevant in ~/.xsession-errors, the Xorg log or the systemd journal?
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Soul Singin'
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#3 Post by Soul Singin' »

Hi Head_on_a_Stick! Thanks for your response.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:What is your graphics card & which drivers are you using?
I'm running a Dell Inspiron vintage 2011. It has an Intel i915 chip, so I'm using the i915 driver from the xserver-xorg-video-intel package.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Which desktop environment (or window manager) are you using? Have you tried to reproduce this with other desktops?
The problem occurred on both IceWM and LXDE. I did not install any other desktops.

Off topic ... I had a love affair with KDE back in the 3.5 days (when Debian Etch was the hot new toy). I reluctantly upgraded to KDE4 and found it tolerable. But no more. Given the choice between KDE's Plasma Desktop and IceWM, I chose IceWM.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:And finally, is there anything relevant in ~/.xsession-errors, the Xorg log ...
Nothing. That's what is so frustrating. I found nothing in ~/.xsession-errors, /var/log/Xorg.0.log, /var/log/syslog or /var/log/messages.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:... or the systemd journal?
Would I have a systemd log if I'm still using System V for my init system? If so, where would it be?

For what it's worth, I did not install systemd when I upgraded from Wheezy. Instead, I rebuilt the dbus, network-manager, policykit-1 and udisks2 source packages with the patches from no-systemd. Then, when the crashes began occurring, I thought that the problem might be the lack of systemd, so I installed the systemd package and replaced the packages that I built with the stock Debian packages. But the crashes continued.

Any thoughts? Thanks again for your response.
.

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Head_on_a_Stick
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#4 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

Soul Singin' wrote:Would I have a systemd log if I'm still using System V for my init system? If so, where would it be?
I don't think so, which is a shame as the logging facilities are a major upgrade compared to sysvinit.
Any thoughts?
The systemd-shim is now unmaintained and it looks like your "nosystemd" custom packages have b0rked you box — time to switch to systemd, perhaps?

EDIT: or use OpenBSD, Alpine Linux, Parabola GNU/Linux-Libre or Devuan instead :mrgreen:
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Soul Singin'
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#5 Post by Soul Singin' »

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
Soul Singin' wrote:Would I have a systemd log if I'm still using System V for my init system? If so, where would it be?
I don't think so, which is a shame as the logging facilities are a major upgrade compared to sysvinit.
Hmm ... worthy of consideration.
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
Soul Singin' wrote:Any thoughts?
The systemd-shim is now unmaintained and it looks like your "nosystemd" custom packages have b0rked you box — time to switch to systemd, perhaps?
Why is this systemd thing so important? It didn't even exist a few years ago and now everything depends on it. I will install it if I must, but why does everything depend on systemd?
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Devuan
Brilliant idea. Instead of working within Debian to achieve our goals, let's fork the whole thing. Let's spend our valuable time and resources duplicating all of Debian's work. Brilliant idea. :roll:


Right now, my system is running fine. Let's see what happens. Another possibility is that my system still has some leftover GTK configurations from Lenny, Squeeze, Wheezy and Jessie that are not interacting well with the XCB. Or maybe XCB is not properly handling the old GTK apps?

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again for your help! :)
.

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golinux
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#6 Post by golinux »

Soul Singin' wrote:
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:Devuan
Brilliant idea. Instead of working within Debian to achieve our goals, let's fork the whole thing. Let's spend our valuable time and resources duplicating all of Debian's work. Brilliant idea. :roll:
The GR debate and vote made it quite clear that working within Debian would be impossible.

This from Franco Lanza in December in 2014 just after the fork was announced:
We are at this point (doing a fork) cause we are tired to fight,
we just want to have the ideal distro for us.

There is nothing against the debian in this, the opposite, many debian
developers suggest many time "if you don't like how debian is going with
systemd, fork it!". So, we just follow this suggestion.

We are not interested in war, or in fight with debian. We just think
that the actual direction where debian is going isn't anymore the same
as we want to follow, so, we fork to create a path that better fits our
needs.

If we will succeed in creating something valuable and debian will get
back something for us, we are happy to contribute back with them in a
fully collaborative manner.
You might also want to read the Devuan Declaration to Fork which concludes with thoughts from Debian developer Roger Leigh.
May the FORK be with you!

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Soul Singin'
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#7 Post by Soul Singin' »

golinux wrote:You might also want to read the Devuan Declaration to Fork which concludes with thoughts from Debian developer Roger Leigh.
Interesting read. Thanks! :)

In the meantime, I got another black screen of death (this time while working with GIMP), so I ran:

Code: Select all

apt-get install systemd-sysv 
apt-get purge --autoremove systemd-shim
If this computer does not crash after making systemd my init system, then I will know that the "GNOME project agenda" has "taken over Debian" ... (to use the words of Roger Leigh).

I'll keep you posted. Thanks.
.

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golinux
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#8 Post by golinux »

@Soul Singin' . . . Here's another interesting read that explains a LOT.
May the FORK be with you!

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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#9 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

Soul Singin' wrote:Why is this systemd thing so important?
It is a genuine and concerted effort by the major players in the Linux ecosystem to unify the typically fragmented user space and create a cohesive set of tools to control the operating system that are all maintained by the same team, just as is seen in real UNIX® operating systems.
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debiman
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#10 Post by debiman »

Soul Singin' wrote:In frustration, I finally did what any sane human being would do. I ran:

Code: Select all

rm -rf ~/.gtkrc-2.0 ~/.config/gtk-3.0/  ~/.config/lx*  ~/.config/libfm/  ~/.config/pcmanfm/

And for good measure, I also ran:

Code: Select all

apt-get purge --autoremove $(dpkg -l lx* | grep ^ii | awk '{print $2}')

Since then, I have not experienced any black screens of death.
that's not my definition of sanity, but since it seems to have helped i won't argue.
~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

Code: Select all

[Settings]
gtk-theme-name=Clearlooks-Phenix
~/.gtkrc-2.0

Code: Select all

include "/home/soul/.gtkrc-2.0.mine"
gtk-theme-name="Clearlooks-Phenix"
this rings a fain t bell - i know that some themes using one of the older gtk engines (might have been clearlooks) used to crash lxappearance and maybe also other gtk applications - if one of them was the desktop manager this might indeed result in a black screen.
if you care to troubleshoot, find which engine(s) the currently chosen theme uses:

Code: Select all

grep -r engine /path/to/theme
and play with that.

also look at the include.

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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#11 Post by Head_on_a_Stick »

^ The OP tried other themes with the same result.

The login session is broken, IMO.
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#12 Post by golinux »

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
Soul Singin' wrote:Why is this systemd thing so important?
It is a genuine and concerted effort by the major players in the Linux ecosystem to unify the typically fragmented user space and create a cohesive set of tools to control the operating system that are all maintained by the same team, just as is seen in real UNIX® operating systems.
Sounds like a monopoly to me.
To quote from Christopher Barry's Open Letter to the Linux World:
OneLinux == zero-choice
May the FORK be with you!

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Soul Singin'
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Re: ".gtkrc" files by LXAppearance cause black screen of dea

#13 Post by Soul Singin' »

My computer has been crash-free since I installed systemd-sysv, so I reinstalled LXAppearance and chose a nice theme for myself. Feeling adventurous, I'm playing with GTK applications now too. And the computer has not crashed, so I'm going to mark this thread "solved."

Thank you for helping me solve this issue so quickly!

Soul Singin' wrote:Why is this systemd thing so important?
Head_on_a_Stick wrote:It is a genuine and concerted effort by the major players in the Linux ecosystem to unify the typically fragmented user space and create a cohesive set of tools to control the operating system that are all maintained by the same team, just as is seen in real UNIX® operating systems.
golinux wrote:OneLinux == zero-choice
I agree with both of you. I like cohesive tools and I like choice too.

I have no training in computer science, so I cannot compare init systems. But I can compare intentions. The developers of this bit of software had very good intentions and I appreciate those good intentions, but ... I had a perfectly good init system and their good intentions ruined it. Maybe systemd is the better system, but -- before I abandon the tools that I am familiar with -- I want to have a choice.


Thank you all for your help and for your conversation! :)
.


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Re: [SOLVED] GTK requires systemd-sysv, (black screen of dea

#15 Post by Soul Singin' »

This nasty bug reappeared again after installing gpgsm. Removing the package removed the bug.

On one of the occasions when the black screen of death appeared, a script that I wrote was creating a few hundred text files. That gave me an opportunity to perform a diagnostic: Wait long enough for the script to complete, then reboot the computer and see if the script kept running.

It did not keep running. The black screen of death stopped that script just like it stopped everything else on the machine. And that may be the reason why I cannot find anything about the crash in my logfiles. The corruption occurs at such a deep level that no log is even written.

But why would gpgsm cause systemd to crash?
.

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Re: [SOLVED] GTK requires systemd-sysv, (black screen of dea

#16 Post by GarryRicketson »

Since you give Zero details, such as the version of the package, and the version of Debian , Who can guess ? Not me,... but a quick search , does show some bugs listed for this package, if it is the unstable verison
https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgrepo ... t=unstable
I did not look at the other Debian versions, nor check the bug reports on them, since it is rather futile, not knowing the version you are using:
https://packages.debian.org/sid/gpgsm
You can look at them your self though.

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Re: [SOLVED] GTK requires systemd-sysv, (black screen of dea

#17 Post by sickpig »

GarryRicketson wrote:Since you give Zero details, such as the version of the package, and the version of Debian , Who can guess ?
he has already provided every pertinent detail if only you can comprehend

@Soul Singin' big fan of your 'how to package' 'how to' thread, thank you. Am sure other stalwarts who have already posted to this thread know what they are talking about and will be able to help you.

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Re: [SOLVED] GTK requires systemd-sysv, (black screen of dea

#18 Post by GarryRicketson »

Oh no, I really do feel bad, and need to apologize, last night it was late, and I did not notice this was the second page, so what I saw was interpreted as the first post,...
Now I do see everything is on the previous page:
http://forums.debian.net/viewtopic.php? ... 93#p678714
My sincere apology, hope it is accepted

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Re: [SOLVED] GTK requires systemd-sysv, (black screen of dea

#19 Post by GarryRicketson »

Again, my apology, yes the details are in the very first post.
Soul Singin' wrote:EDIT:. The original post wrongly diagnoses the problem. The real issue is that GTK requires systemd to be the init system. Violations are punishable by black screen of death.

UPDATE:. This nasty bug reappeared after installing gpgsm. Removing the package removed the bug.

---------

I recently upgraded from Wheezy to Stretch (making a very brief visit to Jessie along the way). After the upgrade, I began experiencing black screens of death at seemingly random times. The crashes would render the keyboard and mouse useless. And I could not login through SSH either. Lacking an alternative, I had to cycle the power.

I searched through the log files (many times), but I could never find any trace of the error that cause that catastrophic crash. (Perhaps I was not looking in the right location??)

The only clue to diagnosis was that the crashes would occur more often after editing my GTK configurations with LXAppearance (and on one occasion while editing them with LXAppearance). Removing the ".gtkrc" files stopped the crashing, so I did what any good Debian user would do: I created them with LXAppearance one more time ... and got a black screen of death.

In frustration, I finally did what any sane human being would do. I ran:

Code: Select all

rm -rf ~/.gtkrc-2.0 ~/.config/gtk-3.0/  ~/.config/lx*  ~/.config/libfm/  ~/.config/pcmanfm/

And for good measure, I also ran:

Code: Select all

apt-get purge --autoremove $(dpkg -l lx* | grep ^ii | awk '{print $2}')

Since then, I have not experienced any black screens of death.

Nonetheless, I would be curious to know what GTK configuration was causing those crashes. And I wonder if the inability to login via SSH provides a clue: The GTK crash would cause the Network Manager applet to crash, which would prevent me from connecting over the network.

Below are two of the ".gtkrc" files that LXAppearance generated. The crashes occurred regardless of which theme, icons or cursors was selected.

~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

Code: Select all

[Settings]
gtk-font-name=Sans 10
gtk-theme-name=Clearlooks-Phenix
gtk-icon-theme-name=default.kde4
gtk-fallback-icon-theme=Tango
gtk-toolbar-style=GTK_TOOLBAR_BOTH_HORIZ
gtk-menu-images=1
gtk-button-images=1
gtk-cursor-theme-size=18
gtk-toolbar-icon-size=GTK_ICON_SIZE_LARGE_TOOLBAR
gtk-enable-event-sounds=1
gtk-enable-input-feedback-sounds=1
gtk-xft-antialias=1
gtk-xft-hinting=1
gtk-xft-hintstyle=hintslight
gtk-xft-rgba=rgb
gtk-cursor-theme-name=oxy-obsidian
~/.gtkrc-2.0

Code: Select all

# DO NOT EDIT! This file will be overwritten by LXAppearance.
# Any customization should be done in ~/.gtkrc-2.0.mine instead.

include "/home/soul/.gtkrc-2.0.mine"
gtk-theme-name="Clearlooks-Phenix"
gtk-icon-theme-name="default.kde4"
gtk-font-name="Sans 10"
gtk-cursor-theme-name="oxy-obsidian"
gtk-cursor-theme-size=18
gtk-toolbar-style=GTK_TOOLBAR_BOTH_HORIZ
gtk-toolbar-icon-size=GTK_ICON_SIZE_LARGE_TOOLBAR
gtk-button-images=1
gtk-menu-images=1
gtk-enable-event-sounds=1
gtk-enable-input-feedback-sounds=1
gtk-xft-antialias=1
gtk-xft-hinting=1
gtk-xft-hintstyle="hintslight"
gtk-xft-rgba="rgb"
Please leave a reply if you have experienced a similar issue. I would like to know what caused all of those crashes.

Thanks in advance,
- Soul Singin'
.

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Soul Singin'
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Re: [SOLVED] GTK requires systemd-sysv, (black screen of dea

#20 Post by Soul Singin' »

GarryRicketson wrote:Oh no, I really do feel bad, and need to apologize,
GarryRicketson wrote:My sincere apology, hope it is accepted
Apology accepted, but none was necessary. I laughed at myself. (I really did). You put a big smile on my face this morning. . :D
sickpig wrote: @Soul Singin' big fan of your 'how to package' 'how to' thread, thank you.
Thank you! I'm happy to help. I'm glad you found it useful.

The date of that HowTo just surpised me: 9 May 2009. Ten years ago! . :shock:
sickpig wrote:every pertinent detail
In terms of software, this all happened in Debian Stretch, but what may be more relevant is the fact that this computer is almost as old as that HowTo. Back when I installed Debian Lenny on it, a computer with 8GB of RAM was a beast of a machine. Today, that's standard.

Low-level software that's relatively new (like systemd) was designed with newer hardware in mind. When it was in development, it was tested on newer hardware.

But I still love this machine! . :D
.

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