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Old 06-13-2002, 07:37 AM   #1
Nelleh
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The case of the crashing Linux!


Its true, I'm on my 4th reboot today already

I'm running a pretty much default installation of redhat 7.2 laptop "build" (ie I checked the laptop box on the installation menu). Though I did download the 4.2.9 kernel from Redhat's update manager on the off chance it made things better (it doesnt)

Whenever I use KDE2 apps (which as a workstation is 99% of the time) I randomly seem to crash, though I rarely seem to encounter problems using 3rd party applications such as Opera, Aethera etc.

Using Konquerer as an explorer application (file browser) does seem to be particularly risky, but it does seem to stem from use of the scroll bars in particular. Randomly this seems to cause a "windows crash" where your mouse works, but everything else is unresponsive (cant switch windows, Caps lock doesnt respond, cant change sessions via ctrl+alt+Fn etc) and I have to power down and restart.

Its a factory standard Dell Latitude and experienced no crashing problems under a certain non opensource OS previously nor for that matter when I had SuSe loaded on it.

Is this a known problem with Red Hat or am I just unlucky?
 
Old 06-13-2002, 01:54 PM   #2
Half_Elf
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Herm very strange.
I don't know the problem, but something is probably miss-configurated... try to update kde first, it seems to be the source of all your problem.
Habitually, when Linux Crash (my own box crash 3 times in 8 month and 2 times because old buggy kde 2.1.1) it's because something is mis-configurated. Update all what you can And make sure your new kernel is properly compilated (good option)
 
Old 06-13-2002, 02:50 PM   #3
sewer_monkey
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Is your laptop OK with Windoze? I had these problems when my RAM was acting screwy. Windoze was bluescreening even before I got a desktop, but RedHat acted like you said (at least it was usable, but acted like Windoze )

Maybe you need to download some service packs for your laptop (like a Compaq service partition, or some BIOS update). Check the manufacturer update. I had a hell of a time installing RedHat on a Compaq desktop, until I went to Compaq's web site and downloaded their damned "service partition" disk.
 
Old 06-13-2002, 04:13 PM   #4
wartstew
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It sounds like it is KDE that is crashing, not Linux. This, unfortunately is normal. KDE is still not very stable, but the KDE people are working real hard on KDE, making large strides every few months, so keep updating your system with the latest KDE.

Since KDE is a memory & processor hog, if you have any trouble in this area, it would sure show up in KDE!
 
Old 06-13-2002, 06:51 PM   #5
sewer_monkey
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Quote:
Originally posted by wartstew
It sounds like it is KDE that is crashing, not Linux. This, unfortunately is normal. KDE is still not very stable, but the KDE people are working real hard on KDE, making large strides every few months, so keep updating your system with the latest KDE.

Since KDE is a memory & processor hog, if you have any trouble in this area, it would sure show up in KDE!
LOL, I can see you don't like KDE.

I dunno, it works fine for me (version 2.x). I agree, however, that it is a memory hog. BTW, which GUI (Window manager/Desktop environment combo) do you prefer?
 
Old 06-13-2002, 07:16 PM   #6
Tinkster
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Re: The case of the crashing Linux!

Quote:
Originally posted by Nelleh
Its true, I'm on my 4th reboot today already
I'm running a pretty much default installation of redhat 7.2 laptop "build" (ie I checked the laptop box on the installation menu). Though I did download the 4.2.9 kernel from Redhat's update manager on the off chance it made things better (it doesnt)
Gidday mate...

Try kernel 2.4.18 instead :) ... 4.2.9 sounds a big ominous ;)
Without knowing your specific model I'd also recommend
trying to recompile the kernel without APM or APIC support,
just for a try... not all chipsets are close to the standard, and
not all manufacturers that use non-standard power-saving
support the free-software world with decent documentation/sample
code ;)

Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 06-13-2002, 10:06 PM   #7
wartstew
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Quote:
Originally posted by sewer_monkey

LOL, I can see you don't like KDE.
Actually I do. It certainly is the kind of product that Linux needs to be accepted by the general public for desktop use. They just need to keep working on it (which they are).

I'm sure I will eventually really love Konquerqer, I guess the newest one (3.x) is really nice. The Koffice apps are getting good too.

But the whole thing is still a bit buggy, and very bloated. They need to find a way to streamline that long "realtime binding" procedure that it has to do at startup too. My computers just don't have the speed (450 Mhz) to run it fast. Therefore I run either Gnome (without Nautilis!!!) with Galeon, or on my old slow laptop, I've just put the fluxbox window manager on it and so far I really like it! I also use Enlighenment which has lots of eye candy and effects without being slow and bloated. I've even got IceWM on a machine.

Of course configuring all these lite-weight Window Managers is a manual file editing affair. To be generally accepted they need to be drag-n-drop/point-n-shoot like MS Windows or MAC OS.

Some day soon, this might be the case. Until then I spend a lot of time on the command line to get things done. Much like I had to do back in the old Windows 3.x days.


Quote:
Originally posted by Tinkster

Try kernel 2.4.18 instead ... 4.2.9 sounds a big ominous
Without knowing your specific model I'd also recommend
trying to recompile the kernel without APM or APIC support,
I'm assuming he meant 2.4.9, which had funky virtual memory behavior, although I didn't think it crashed. (You should upgrade anyway, 2.4.x didn't really get "stable" until 16 or so. The APM/APIC idea is probably a better guess. MS Windows even has trouble with this on a lot of laptops.

However the fact that there are fewer problems when NOT using KDE apps should be a big hint. If Nelleh has not done so already, try not starting KDE at all, (use Gnome or something instead), and see if everything is fine. I've never used that version of Redhat, so I don't know how stable the version of KDE is on it.

Companies like Redhat often end up with "bad" or "strange" (like inventing their own gcc version!), versions of software on their distros because it is more important for them to keep to a production schedule. Debian and Slackware don't yield to this kind of pressure which is why they have a reputation for being more stable. But then again, I've been waiting for Debian Woody to be formally released FOREVER.
 
Old 06-17-2002, 05:19 AM   #8
Nelleh
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Cheers for the info. It does look like it is KDE that is causing the problem, if I leave the machine alone it will happily chug along until the proverbial cows come home. Its only once you want to use it as a desktop that it all comes crashing down.

I will give another windows version a try first, I've look at re-compiling the kernel before, but tbh the interrogation it puts you through put me off, is there a command or file available that lists what settings your kernel is currently compiled with?

At this stage I'll discount a hardware fault on the machine itself, its not moved from my desk in weeks and has had nothing new added to it and has previously run Windows 2k quite happily for a couple of weeks and SuSe linux without displaying similar properties. I moved to Red hat because its what our servers were running and only put it on in place of SuSe in the first place so I could blitz Win2k and save some much needed diskspace (and prove to myself I could actually work without windoze ).
 
Old 06-17-2002, 10:11 AM   #9
wartstew
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nelleh
is there a command or file available that lists what settings your kernel is currently compiled with?
What I've found is that the maker of your distribution usually puts the makefile config for their default kernel in with the kernel source that is included with your distribution. Therefore, just install the kernel source, run "make xconfig" (or "make menuconfig" if you still don't have X running) from the top directory of the source code, and take a look at where things are set.
 
Old 06-17-2002, 11:05 AM   #10
Mik
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Suse places the .config file in the proc filesystem. So whatever kernel you boot with you can always extract the proper config file of the running kernel. I'm not sure if other distributions do the same but I think it's something they should all do.
Anyways if it's there you can extract it with:

zcat /proc/config.gz > .config
 
Old 06-17-2002, 11:40 AM   #11
wartstew
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Slick!

I don't think I've seen this with other distros, but maybe I've missed it.

Did they actually copy the file in the /proc directory? or did they get the kernel to spit this information out like it does all the other information in the /proc directory?
 
Old 06-17-2002, 05:16 PM   #12
Linuxidiot
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hmmm I am on 7.2 customized install and updated a couple of days ago to the 2.4.9-34 kernel build...and i am having the same problem of linux crashing have to do a reboot :-/ it stalled on me bout three times...even windows is stalling not long after i boot...wondering if bad sectors have invaded finally gonna check on that tonight and gonna try reverting to previous kernel 2.4.9-16...i think is what kernel i had before the new kernel build came out....hope thats all it is...but still dun answer windows biatching at me.....gonna try a fresh install of that tonight also *crosses fingers*
 
Old 06-19-2002, 01:31 AM   #13
Half_Elf
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Why don't you try a really new kernel? 2.4.18 or near it.

But if windoze crash too I believe the problem is around your hardware
try removing useless hardware (sound/network card/modem/new ram/anything... I dunno) maybe you will be able to find what exactly create the crash. :/
 
Old 06-19-2002, 01:37 AM   #14
neo77777
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Quote:
Did they actually copy the file in the /proc directory?
It is impossible to physically copy into /proc it is virtual directory - your memory, and yes .config is loaded into memory on system boot up so kernel knows its configuration and it is accessable fast.
 
Old 06-19-2002, 06:20 AM   #15
Nelleh
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Took the rather drastic route of upgrading to Red Hat 7.3 with KDE 3. This does appear to have solved the major problem of the machine locking up all the time, that most of my applications no longer compile properly (maybe they do, but its not an easy upgrade for a relative newcomer, even using Red Hats default "kill it and start again" option) is a possible setback, but considering I'm using it to tinker/learn anyway its not an insurmountable problem, just annoying.

All things considered at the moment it does appear a worthwhile step to take, though the aforementioned problem with compatibility between some applications (Komba is of most note, a well handy widget for the GUI network surfer) does make it a bit of a struggle.
 
  


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