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#1 2019-08-29 20:58:03

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

[pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

First, I don’t know where to post this issue exactly...


Well then, since about a week, all of a sudden and after a couple of hours uptime my desktop often freezes. Means, there’s no response to key strokes, and while cursor movements look normal, clicks are without effect, except for expanding menus. I can’t leave my current workspace, yet the bars and panels display all stuff as usual. At least I can often save a focused open file and quit its running program. The symptom even occurs when system usage is low. The only thing I can do is a cold reboot.

File system (btrfs) and physical memory (2GB) checks exit without any errors.

I still can’t determine which service or app is the culprit, but I believe the trouble started with the usage of thunderbird lately, as it is always open when the freezing appears. Maybe it’s the size of the mailboxes (~880MB due to baobab or gdmap)? TB works without probs on my 64Bit Arch box though.

Any ideas?

Last edited by cx (2019-10-08 20:55:17)

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#2 2019-08-30 05:58:06

andreas_baumann
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From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 817
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Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

How much memory do you have on this machine?

Can you check with 'top' or so how much memory thunderbird is consuming?
(use 'top', press 'M' then you get a sorted list of processes by memory. VIRT
means virtual memory usage, RES means residental memory usage, so the
memory not paged out).

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#3 2019-08-30 09:40:37

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

cx wrote:

physical memory (2GB)

or 1.84GiB according to htop

MEM: 11.9%
VIRT: 903M
RES: 224M
SHR: 118M

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#4 2019-08-30 09:43:15

andreas_baumann
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From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 817
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Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Mmh. That's enough memory. What window manager are you using?

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#5 2019-08-30 09:46:15

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

XFCE with XMonad.


Hoping to post a screenie for the showroom soon btw.

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#6 2019-08-30 10:00:57

andreas_baumann
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From: Zurich, Switzerland
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Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Yeah XFCE also felt a little bit choppy to me, but mainly during startup. I didn't encountered freezes..

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#7 2019-08-30 10:07:22

andreas_baumann
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From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 817
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Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Could it be graphic card related? Like some hardware acceleration missing?
Wha's your graphic card (use lspci, lswh)?

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#8 2019-08-30 10:35:38

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

I just can’t imagine it’s XFCE itself. I’ve been using this for many years on i686, even when Arch officially supported both 32 and 64Bit.

So you mean it’s the packages again?
At least the freezings use to happen since then.

I rather think it’s thunderbird being active for a longer time. After exiting xscreensaver, I’m now going to run TB as the only active desktop program today (next to a single vte running htop on the same workspace) and see what happens. Are there any specific logs to look for?


andreas_baumann wrote:

Could it be graphic card related? Like some hardware acceleration missing?
Wha's your graphic card (use lspci, lswh)?

GPU: Mobility Radeon Xpress 200M
Kernel driver: radeon
Kernel module: radeon

Using mesa drivers, and glx-gears is close to 60 FPS. Looks appropriate and IMO not hardware related.

Last edited by cx (2019-08-30 10:44:05)

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#9 2019-08-30 10:47:45

andreas_baumann
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From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 817
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Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

I would look at the systemd journal when it is happening, and /var/log/Xorg.0.log.
What also comes to my mind is that thunderbird still had a link dependency for icu63, so maybe
something triggers a crash this way (for instance a symlink from /usr/lib/libicu.so.63 to libicu.so.64).

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#10 2019-08-30 11:07:34

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

I see.

Could you please specify? Currently I have both icu (v. 64.2-1.0) and icu63 (v. 63.2-1) installed. But when looking for files there’s no /usr/lib/libicu.so.63 or /usr/lib/libicu.so.64; just longer names like libicu{data,i18n,io,test, tu,uc}.so.6xxx.

Besides, I now also enabled hardware acceleration in TB, if this helps ...

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#11 2019-08-30 11:15:01

andreas_baumann
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From: Zurich, Switzerland
Registered: 2017-08-10
Posts: 817
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Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Ok, as you had icu63 and icu64 in parallel, I don't think this is the cause.. (was just an idea).
The full name would be /usr/lib/libicuuc.so.64.2, etc.

Pardon for me asking: what's "TB"?

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#12 2019-08-30 11:16:54

cx
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Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

TB = thunderbird

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#13 2019-08-30 15:31:02

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 462

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

You say the only thing you can do is reboot, yet menus still seem to be opening as expected.  Do keyboard shortcuts like alt+tab really not work? And the only situations I've had where I canlt alt+F2 to a different namespace are when even the pointers frozen, so I'd expect you can still do that.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#14 2019-08-30 18:32:30

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Well, actually I said "cold reboot": pressing the "power(off)" button until the machine is off, and pressing it again to power on.

And there is really not a single key response, so impossible to change ttys.
Showing a menu is by mouse click, and that’s all. I can’t start anything.

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#15 2019-08-31 13:38:42

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Meanwhile I don’t think it must be thunderbird!

At least it can’t be started since after an uptime for about 5 hours I find the desktop being frozen again.
The display of bar (polybar) and systray (xfce4-panel) is still intact, so I see date, time, and weather are working, as well as the embedded mpd frontend (playing music), while the processor is at 22–25 % and memory at 17 %, and no swap. Despite that I am currently only composing simple text in mousepad, the keyboard is unresponsive (like for hotkeys). Also clicking items from the XFCE menu has no effect. – So the only way to escape is again pressing the power button.


And therefore I have another idea.
If I remember correctly, when there’s a freezing also mpd is running or was running. Further, since the latest big update with XFCE and stuff, I’ve got trouble with pulseaudio. For now, pulseaudio has lost control of "master" and only got a dummy output which can’t be changed. I can only manually select the Ati sound card (e.g. via alsamixer) and increase the very low sound. Stopping, restarting, disabling and reenabling pulseaudio or mpd services doesn’ŧ help. – Could this be the cause for such inconsistence?


So I’m now going to kill this session, reboot and hope to find something interesting by journalctl.

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#16 2019-08-31 15:11:07

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

During the last session (see above), finally even mousepad got frozen.


In the following session, the desktop froze pretty early (while mpd is running), but yet I was able to open a termninal to get an output (manually typed excerpt):

$ sudo journalctl | grep pulseaudio
...
((new session:))

Aug 30 11:21:33 ... pulseaudio[928] E: [pulseaudio] ltdl-bind-now.c: Modul »/usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/module-alsa-card.so« konnte nicht geladen werden: /usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/libalsa-util.so: undefinded symbol: pa_alsa_ucm_device_update_available
Aug 30 11:21:33 ... pulseaudio[928] E: [pulseaudio] module c: Failed to open module "module-alsa-card"

((new session:))

Aug 31 02:07:00 ... pulseaudio[928] E: [pulseaudio] ltdl-bind-now.c: Modul »/usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/module-alsa-card.so« konnte nicht geladen werden: /usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/libalsa-util.so: undefinded symbol: pa_alsa_ucm_device_update_available
Aug 31 02:07:00 ... pulseaudio[928] E: [pulseaudio] module c: Failed to open module "module-alsa-card"
Aug 31 02:07:00 ... systemd[713]: pulseaudio.service: Succeeded.
Aug 31 02:07:02 ... systemd[713]: pulseaudio.socket: Succeeded.

((pulseaudio automatically started though I pressed "Stop" before, probably the systemd calls for pulseaudio above were the last ones, persisting several reboots))

((new session:))

Aug 31 09:33:10 ... pulseaudio[739] E: [pulseaudio] ltdl-bind-now.c: Modul »/usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/module-alsa-card.so« konnte nicht geladen werden: /usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/libalsa-util.so: undefinded symbol: pa_alsa_ucm_device_update_available
Aug 31 09:33:10 ... pulseaudio[739] E: [pulseaudio] module c: Failed to open module "module-alsa-card"

((new session:))

Aug 31 15:41:50 ... pulseaudio[739] E: [pulseaudio] ltdl-bind-now.c: Modul »/usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/module-alsa-card.so« konnte nicht geladen werden: /usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/libalsa-util.so: undefinded symbol: pa_alsa_ucm_device_update_available
Aug 31 15:41:50 ... pulseaudio[739] E: [pulseaudio] module c: Failed to open module "module-alsa-card"

((current session:))

Aug 31 15:53:25 ... pulseaudio[563] E: [pulseaudio] ltdl-bind-now.c: Modul »/usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/module-alsa-card.so« konnte nicht geladen werden: /usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/libalsa-util.so: undefinded symbol: pa_alsa_ucm_device_update_available
Aug 31 15:53:25 ... pulseaudio[563] E: [pulseaudio] module c: Failed to open module "module-alsa-card"
$ sudo journalctl | grep " E: "
((continuously from Jul 28 to Aug 16:))

... pulseaudio[...] E: [alsa-sink-ATI IXP AC97] alsa-sink.c: Error opening PCM device front:0: Das Gerät oder die Ressource ist belegt 
((i.e. "device or resource busy", which I think is normal, when only an mpd, but not pa itself is stopped))

((continuously from Aug 16 22:45:18 until now:))

... pulseaudio[...] E: [pulseaudio] ltdl-bind-now.c: Modul »/usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/module-alsa-card.so« konnte nicht geladen werden: /usr/lib/pulse-12.2/modules/libalsa-util.so: undefinded symbol: pa_alsa_ucm_device_update_available
... pulseaudio[...] E: [pulseaudio] module c: Failed to open module "module-alsa-card"

And these are the only errors caught by this grep.

Hence as the above errors changed right after the big (pentium4) update and the freezes also began at that time when audio was probably on, a correlation now seems apparent. – I just wouldn’t expect it so severe, so I wanted to discuss the pulseaudio issue later.

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#17 2019-08-31 15:45:28

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 462

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

FWIW, pulseaudio issues are mostly being caught in this thread: https://bbs.archlinux32.org/viewtopic.php?id=2791

Finding old threads on this server isn't as easy as it could be, since for people reporting problems it's rarely clear whether they should be posting in Installation, Upgrades or Kernel, so I had to search them all to find this.

I've no experience of this pulseaudio problem making my system flakey though.  My 32-bit system generally gets about 14 hours of runtime daily. It just means I can't use vlc and having to pass -ao alsa to mplayer to make it work.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#18 2019-08-31 19:08:30

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

levi wrote:

FWIW, pulseaudio issues are mostly being caught in this thread: https://bbs.archlinux32.org/viewtopic.php?id=2791

Thanks for pointing to this one! Now the case looks pretty familiar, though mine is even worse.


levi wrote:

Finding old threads on this server isn't as easy as it could be, since for people reporting problems it's rarely clear whether they should be posting in Installation, Upgrades or Kernel, so I had to search them all to find this.

Yeah, I would like to propose you/the staff to open a couple of additional subforums similar to the official ones for getting things better sorted out. – I mean, discussing desktop issues is definitely something different than Arch installation problems.


levi wrote:

I've no experience of this pulseaudio problem making my system flakey though. My 32-bit system generally gets about 14 hours of runtime daily. It just means I can't use vlc and having to pass -ao alsa to mplayer to make it work.

I’ve just made a quick work by uninstalling and dropping pulseaudio until its infamous version 12.99 is out.

I am now simply running alsa, so let’s see if that already helps ...

Last edited by cx (2019-08-31 20:19:07)

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#19 2019-08-31 20:27:44

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 462

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

cx wrote:

Yeah, I yet wanted to propose you to open a couple of additional subforums similar to the official ones for getting things better sorted out. – I mean, discussing desktop issues is definitely something different than Arch installation problems.

Woah, they have a lot of subforums!  I don't know how it really works there, but surely that makes it even harder to guess where to put your bug reports?

cx wrote:
levi wrote:

I've no experience of this pulseaudio problem making my system flakey though. My 32-bit system generally gets about 14 hours of runtime daily. It just means I can't use vlc and having to pass -ao alsa to mplayer to make it work.

I’ve just made a quick work by uninstalling and dropping pulseaudio until its infamous version 12.99 is out.

I am now simply running alsa, so let’s see if that already helps ...

Let us know how you get on.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#20 2019-08-31 22:01:12

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

levi wrote:

Woah, they have a lot of subforums!  I don't know how it really works there, but surely that makes it even harder to guess where to put your bug reports?

If the categories are clearly defined it’s always of great help!


levi wrote:

Let us know how you get on.

Of course, will do.

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#21 2019-09-01 20:36:17

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

The problem still persists~

Once after plugging off the fuse cable for using the battery. Then just an hour ago while working in Gimp.

And I can’t find warnings and errors in the journal (except for the old ones). What the heck..?!
I suspected memory leaks, but there aren’t.

Some more ideas what to inspect?

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#22 2019-09-01 21:14:12

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 462

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

If you can get to a working terminal after it's burped, it's usually worth running dmesg in case something managed to get into the kernel logs without being able to get into the systemd log.  But beyond that the only thing I can really suggest is unplugging your radeon card and using built-in graphics, although someone would need to advise the best way to do that; I'm not sure what packages you'd need to switch in.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#23 2019-09-01 21:31:44

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Well, the radeon card is built-in, since the machine is an old ThinkPad.

And I only have access to a terminal after the next (re)boot, so dmesg is no option, sorry.

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#24 2019-09-01 21:42:17

levi
Moderator
From: Yorkshire, UK
Registered: 2018-06-16
Posts: 462

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

Do you perhaps have another machine around you could use to ssh into this one?  Then after it's frozen you can see if you've still for ssh access to init a dmesg.  Although thus far it is sounding as if it's a kernel crash, which is always very difficult to debug.


Architecture: pentium4, Testing repos: Yes, Hardware: EeePC 901+2GB RAM+OS half on the SD card.

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#25 2019-09-02 07:38:26

cx
Member
Registered: 2019-08-17
Posts: 60

Re: [pending] Desktop freezing occasionally (pentium4)

OK, that’s worth a try. And yet I have my other Linux box, and a switch where both are connected to each other, as I’ve plans to set up a home network anyway. I am nearly unexperienced with that topic though, and I’ll teach myself following Arch’s OpenSSH Wiki and maybe others. – Will I need a domain for this?

For now I’m off to work and left the pentium4 running on X and mpd, but switched back to another tty, on which I will later perform another dmesg (if it won’t be frozen). So let’s see what happens.

Meanwhile I edited the thread’s topic btw.

Last edited by cx (2019-09-02 20:30:41)

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