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Old 04-27-2005, 06:50 AM   #1
anton_w
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: cornwall. england
Distribution: debian, slackware
Posts: 23

Rep: Reputation: 15
black screen of death every tine i log out as root!


hi there,

I have debian sarge installed, on the whole it is stable, runs for days without any issues, but when i log out as root, and after confirming logout, the screen turns black and the mouse pointer freezes, the only way to recover the system is by turning off the power.

this only happens when logging out as root, logging out as a user works without a problem.

any ideas on how to overcome this problem, or any suggestions about which logfiles to look at to get me on the right path to solving this problem? i'm aware that it is not a good idea to log in as root, however i will be happier, and also understand linux better when i can fix this.
any helpful suggestions are much appreciated.
thanks,
anton.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 07:22 AM   #2
Ygrex
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Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Russia (St.Petersburg)
Distribution: Debian
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Have u recompiled kernel? Precompiled kernel provided by distro are not good.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 07:41 AM   #3
anton_w
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: cornwall. england
Distribution: debian, slackware
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
thanks for your reply,

no, i used net install, everything is still basically as it arrived, dos'ent seem to be a hardware problem either, my guess is it could be connected somehow to kde, but that is just a guess, really i do not have a clue where to begin.

anton
 
Old 04-27-2005, 07:50 AM   #4
DeusExLinux
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Registered: May 2004
Location: Tampa, Fl
Distribution: Arch
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It's either KDE or your X server... I really don't think it would be an issue with the Kernel. I've actually used quite a few stock kernels, and aside from tending to be a litle bloated and not supporting cpu throttling for my laptop, they have always been quite good. After all, all they really do is add patches (and too many distros these days are coming without the full kernel-source or even kernel-headers).

Do you use XOrg or XFree86? Can you post the config files?
 
Old 04-27-2005, 08:13 AM   #5
anton_w
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: cornwall. england
Distribution: debian, slackware
Posts: 23

Original Poster
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im using xfree86, not sure which config file would prove helpful, anyway here is the file XF86Config-4, this is the only config file i have edited, the 1024x768 were added by me.

# XF86Config-4 (XFree86 X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the XF86Config-4 manual page.
# (Type "man XF86Config-4" at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xfree86 package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xfree86
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following commands as root:
#
# cp /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.custom
# md5sum /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 >/var/lib/xfree86/XF86Config-4.md5sum
# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86

Section "Files"
FontPath "unix/:7100" # local font server
# if the local font server has problems, we can fall back on these
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/CID"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
EndSection

Section "Module"
Load "GLcore"
Load "bitmap"
Load "dbe"
Load "ddc"
Load "dri"
Load "extmod"
Load "freetype"
Load "glx"
Load "int10"
Load "record"
Load "speedo"
Load "type1"
Load "vbe"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Driver "keyboard"
Option "CoreKeyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xfree86"
Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
Option "XkbLayout" "us"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "CorePointer"
Option "Device" "/dev/psaux"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Generic Mouse"
Driver "mouse"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "true"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "Generic Video Card"
Driver "vesa"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "PHILIPS 150SPHL"
HorizSync 30-61
VertRefresh 56-75
Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Device "Generic Video Card"
Monitor "PHILIPS 150SPHL"
DefaultDepth 24
SubSection "Display"
Depth 1
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 4
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
SubSection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "Default Screen"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
InputDevice "Generic Mouse"
EndSection

Section "DRI"
Mode 0666
EndSection
 
Old 04-27-2005, 10:09 AM   #6
Genesee
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Distribution: Slackware
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when you get a black screen, can you switch to a console using ctrl-alt-F1 (or F2, F3, etc.)? are you using a login manager (KDM, XDM, etc)? if so, does logout work if you run at runlevel 3 (non-gui login) instead?
 
Old 04-27-2005, 11:23 AM   #7
anton_w
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: cornwall. england
Distribution: debian, slackware
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Smile

when the screen is blank, ctrl-alt-f1/f2/f3, ctrl-alt-del, ctrl-alt-backspace dosent have any effect.

the login magager is gnome desktop manager, my default gui is kde, strangely i tried logging in to gnome as root, and was able to log out ok, this does narrow down the problem i think.

one change i made to the default install was to check the box in gdm that allows me to log in as root, however logging in has never been a problem either with kde or gnome.

the next thing i tried was to login to a failsafe session, both as root and user, and got the message "cannot find xterm to start a failsafe session" hmm, dont quite understand this,

as i'm able to logout as root after using gnome(which i never use) does this mean the problem is with kde?

could the problem be somehow connected with gdm? and if so is it easy to replace gdm with kdm, or simply a text login screen?

thanks,
anton.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 12:22 PM   #8
Genesee
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Distribution: Slackware
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Rep: Reputation: 30
hmmm. sounds like it may be related to either logging out of kde, or redisplaying the GDM screen upon logout from kde.

maybe you can narrow it further by not using GDM/KDM/XDM - you can change the runlevel by editing /etc/inittab - the runlevel line should be close to the top, maybe the first line of the file - change "5" to "3" - that will make init use runlevel 3, (ie, not start a login manager automatically). then you can login and start X with "startx" - if the kde logout still fails you'll know that's the culprit.

note, there may be some debian-specific way to do things, like setting the window manager/DE run when startx is used? you should be able to select by listing it in .xinitrc, but check with the debian forum on that... same for using KDM instead of GDM, which should be trivial, but may have a debian-specific "right" way to do it

Last edited by Genesee; 04-27-2005 at 12:25 PM.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 01:36 PM   #9
anton_w
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: cornwall. england
Distribution: debian, slackware
Posts: 23

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Talking

thanks for your quick and precise reply,

as you recommended i changed the default runlevel to 3 ,in /etc/inittab, logged in as root, then logged out again, without a problem, will try again just to make sure

btw it was on runlevel 2? anyway it seems to be working ok.

thanks again for your help,

anton.
 
Old 04-27-2005, 02:25 PM   #10
Genesee
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 927

Rep: Reputation: 30
good to hear. I'm not sure what services/daemons etc. are run in runlevel 2 in Debian - it will vary by distro, and of course you can customize it however you like... anyway, maybe try using KDM or XDM, if you have them installed, or GDM in runlevel 5 instead?

I can't remember how to switch login managers in debian (in Slackware it's just a matter of commenting a couple of lines) - I remember something about using /etc/alternatives? err.... I'll leave it for a knowlegeable Debian user
 
  


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