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Old 05-21-2003, 07:17 AM   #1
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Registered: May 2003
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Red face strange xfree hang issue - gentoo 1.4r5 w/ 2.4.20 kernel

Hello All,

So far, my gentoo experience has been a bit rocky! I've been impressed with the portage system (FreeBSD background), and have been looking very forward to a full day of work using kde -- but have never been able to pull it off! I'm having some really frustrating problems... maybe you can help?

AMD AthlonXP 1800+
1024 MB RAM
240 HD (100/100/40 - ATA100) (On a High-Point controller, but not in a RAID)
SD Live! (Using Creative Driver)

nVidia GeForce2 Ultra 64 DDR
3Dfx Banshee
3Dfx Voodoo 3

Resolution: 1280x1024x3

/dev/input/mice - zAxisMapping for 4 & 5
microsoft natural pro keyboard

Gentoo 1.4r4/5
XFree86 4.3.0 (Ximania mode)
KDE 3.1.1a


Ok... so the issues:

So far I've done the following to try and narrow the problem down... actually, first: the problem... After either a short time, a long time, or a medium time... my X session will start to deteriorate so-to-speak. Not so much visual anomolies - although there are some (because the hung windows no longer redraw). One by one, and sometimes a few at a time - each window goes zombie in appearance and functionality... but it doesnt always show as such in top/ps.

I've been able to all but remove kde of guilt... I have the issue in straight old xdm... as well as in kdm... and I dont want to go to gnome. I came to Linux for KDE for goodness sake

Some strange "properties" of this "hang" problem is - if I am able to open up another konsole or xterm - I will either a) not get a prompt... ever b) not get one for a while or c) get one right away.... but then after I do or don't get a prompt - certain commands will hang... but wont hang the actual terminal "window" meaning... I'll type "top" or "w" or even "ls" ... and it will just sit there like a politician.... but xMMS will keep streaming from just fine... with the equalizer moving even (but was not open during all crashes).

Someone in another forum suggested I run top and see what process was inevitably eating all my CPU and/or RAM - as such providing a clear culprit and a sane <b>immediate</b> solution... well, aside from the fact that once the glitch "triggers" I can't run "top" ... I started top when I started my X session... and left it open. Eventually, I clicked on the "K" start button - and that hung the K toolbar... and didn't show the K start menu.... and it also hung my emerge process for "evolution" (portage "build" reflex)... but gaim was still ok... so I opened an IM to myself, and clicked on one of the file menus...... and it too hung, taking all of gaim with it. And then I moved one of my mozilla windows, and all my mozilla processes hung. Or maybe I just looked at it wierd and it hung... each is possible it seems. Anyway - my open "top" window did _not_ show any rogue processes. gaim and mozilla were kicking it with xmms at pretty much 0 CPU usage... and the highest CPU usage was from X... and nothing to major... like 6-15 at max. I tried killing defunct processes, but only some would die - and those that did only died selectively... killall -9 (or TERM) mozilla-bin would kill 4 of 6 mozilla-bin processes... and killall or kill on anything else didnt work either...

On top of all that - I noticed that 98% of the time, when my system hangs - my HD light is on perpetually... no matter how long I let it think... it never wants to stop thinking. So, in the red glow of my HD LED, I sit there pondering my existence... when I remember that my dmesg output says that idebus is being assumed to be 33, and that I should explicitly set it if it is otherwise.... well it's ATA100! so should I add idebus=100 to my grub.conf kernel line? is that all that's needed for that? will that magically fix the other problem? Do smirfs really exist?

Some stuff I've done to try and solve this...

... I stopped using the "nvidia" driver for my GeForce, and went back to "nv" and disabled "glx" as well..... no beans
... I disabled AGP (fairly sure I did at least)... no beans
... I went down a nVidia-kernel driver version... no beans... but it *does* look crappier... so thats progress I guess... I recompiled my damn kernel with acpi support .. frame buffer support... then i took it out... uh... yeah...

Getting really frustrated with this! Help me out here if you can!
Old 05-21-2003, 07:18 AM   #2
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Registered: May 2003
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I was able to get IDE fixed.. Added VIA IDE support for my controller.... no beans! Still hangs...

I tried commenting out Load "dri" ... and adding Option "NoAccel" to both TDFX cards...

I'm also unable to login from remote locations. I authenticate fine - but after that it seems unable to load my shell (bash).... and if I login locally, I am able to login completely - but no matter my command, it hangs and i can not regain the console.

tried some more stuff... I was able to get to the point where I could alt-ctrl-f1 through f6 into terminals... i could log in, but I couldnt run anything... example:

mybox /# ping

Control-C doesnt kill the process... so if I go to each alt-ctrl key and login and type one command... I run out of command consoles and my whole system just sits there calculating pi out to 314234532453452345 digits.
Old 05-23-2003, 04:36 AM   #3
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Still struggling with this problem... does <b>anyone</b> have any ideas?
Old 11-08-2003, 12:42 AM   #4
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Registered: May 2002
Distribution: Slackware 8.0 & Gentoo 1.4
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Hum, I've been using gentoo for quite sometime now, and I have not experienced such problems.

So here are a couple of questions that might help you in quest for the culprit.

1) What is your HighPoint controller: Is it an onboard wanabbe raid thingy?
Is it a add-in PCI card?

2)Did you tweak any of the settings of the harddrive with hdparm?
(-X=66, 67 for example (ata 66, 100 I think, check doc)

3)Did you examine carefully the output of dmesg and your logs (/var/log/messages probably)

4)Can you try plugging your Hdds on your onboard controller (make sure to make backup entry in your grub or lilo entry, so you dont screw up your boot)

5)Hum... thats all I can think off right now.

6)You started from what stage?
Old 01-19-2004, 09:26 PM   #5
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Distribution: Redhat9, Ubuntu7.10, Arch64, Ubuntu10.04
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I have a similar problem (I have a DFI motherboard and an ATI R128 graphic card). My X window will suddenly hang after I use it for a few minutes, sometimes half an hour. I wonder if this is a hardware problem? Problem with the AGP slot or the AGP card?

Last edited by liaohaohui; 01-19-2004 at 09:35 PM.


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