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Old 10-12-2003, 12:32 AM   #1
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Registered: Jul 2003
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Question RedHat 9 freezes every time I walk away.

(Kind of long but I really need help) I have only been using linux for a few days, and so far it seems a lot better than Windows in almost every aspect. Faster, better hardware support, better interface and so on. However I have a huge problem. Whenever I leave it on its own for whatever reason (downloading large file, doing something else, whatever), it freezes and I can't do anything. The first time this happened I had left while I was downloading a very large file and I locked the screen and it eventually went to screen saver. I came back a few hours later and the screen saver had frozen in mid animation. I tried shaking the mouse and nothing happened. I starting hitting keys and hit control+alt+delete and still nothing. i tried turning the monitor off and then back on but still it was frozen. It wasn't on standby or anything similar so I just hit the power button and it went off. I restarted and everything was fine. I restarted my download and left the computer on its own again, this time allowing it to go to screen saver on its own. I came back maybe 15 minutes later and the screen saver was going with no problems. I came back about an hour later and the screen similar to a screen I once saw about 7 years ago running Windows 95 when it crashed: a bunch of random colored bars. I tried everything I did before
and still nothing, so I restarted and and came here. I posted here once before when I wanted to get drivers for a wireless network card a few months ago but I gave up on that and just remembered the site for when I finally got a wired connection. So does anyone know what the problem is? Have I done something wrong or do I have to babysit Linux (I can leave Windows 98 or XP running for months without touching it and have nothing worse than fixable RAM leaks, so I assume I have done something stupid as Linux can't possibly have this bad of a problem on its own).
Old 10-12-2003, 04:07 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1
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Unhappy Something similar in MDK 9.1


something similar I'm suffering with Mandrake 9.1. My problem is even worse. Just when I'am usign my computer (laptop) and randomly in time, screen turns off and nothing can do to bring it up. I tried pressing CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE in order to shutdown KDE but it didn't work.
I supposed I could be because of APM, but I don't have that software installed.
Pursuing to detect the cause I have written a silly shell script that logs all processes running on my system every 30 seconds.
I don't know exactly if it is because ot that script or not but the fact is that I'm surfing the web for more that 4 hours without interruption. This was unthinkable days before.

One thing is crystal clear, in Linux everything has a solution, it is a question of perseverance.

Best regards,
Old 10-12-2003, 08:16 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: Madrid
Distribution: RHEL, Kubuntu, Solaris, TRU64
Posts: 382

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well, after suffering over a year of these kind of 'hangs' (with RHat 8 & MDK 9.1) on my laptop, and testing all kind of APCI, APIC and APM combinations, I upgraded to kernel 2.6.0 (the test kernel released by Linus), and NO MORE HANGS AT ALL.

These some to confirm to me that kernel version 2.4.XX has never got a real stable condition. (I've also had these problems in my work as sysadm for lots of unix & linux boxes).

So, the problem for me is:
1.- All actual distros use kernel 2.4.
2.- Linux is right now gaining BIG momentum. (desktop & server).
3.- Lots of roumors like "but my linux also hangs like windows..."
4.- All the stability myth gained with kernel version 2.2 could be lost.
5.- Distros should freeze until kernel 2.6.0 is released as production-ready.

I've really found (within different hardware and use) that kernel 2.6.0, which is an "experimental" version is 1000 times more stable that any 2.4.XX version.

So, stay calm. Linux power is just awakening again. It was just some two bad years (but in the worst moment !!!).

Last edited by pablob; 10-12-2003 at 08:18 AM.
Old 10-12-2003, 10:25 AM   #4
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Registered: Oct 2003
Location: The UK
Distribution: Redhat Linux Version 9
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I have had a similar problem after leaving a screen saver for too long. However, it only happens on screensavers that put a high demand on the processor, such as any of the 3D ones. I find that my keyboard lights are flashing and nothing I do will recover the system. I think my processor could be overheating to cause this though. Does it still crash if you use the blank screen screensaver?

Old 10-12-2003, 10:52 AM   #5
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Distribution: Ubuntu
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Has the whole system crashed - i.e. is the keyboard unresponsive (check this by pressing the CAPSLOCK key. If the light goes on and off the keyboard is this responding), or is it just the X server (the GUI).

If your keyboard still works you can get into a console by pressing CTRL+ALT+F1.

Log in and kill the offending processes.
To check which processes are running type "ps ax" which gives a list of all processes.

Kill the process by typing "kill [PID]" . You might need to log in as super user (su) if you don't own the process.
PID is the number in the first column that you get when typing "ps ax"

If you can't figure out which process is causing the trouble, then use thre command "killall X" which kills the X server completely. RH9 automatically restarts x. Don't know about other distros. Otherwise you might have to run startx (or is it xstart - I don't know. I'm a bit of an intermediatary newbie here).


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