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Old 06-16-2007, 05:55 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Distribution: Slackware, RHEL, CentOS
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X keeps crashing

I installed Feisty Dawn 64bit running on an Acer laptop with a Radeon Xpress 200M. I'm running Gnome with Compiz, I haven't changed anything other than the background, theme, etc. Every so often, X will stop responding. I have to hit ctl-alt-F2 and log in and manually kill Xorg. When I do, it automatically restarts, GDM comes up, and I can log in and start working again. I checked out my /var/log/syslog and here's the error:

Jun 16 14:02:12 mcbuntu gconfd (mcd-5400): Received signal 15, shutting down cleanly
Jun 16 14:02:12 mcbuntu gconfd (mcd-5400): Exiting
Jun 16 14:02:12 mcbuntu gdm[4936]: gdm_slave_xioerror_handler: Fatal X error - Restarting :0
Jun 16 14:02:15 mcbuntu kernel: [ 1583.640345] [fglrx] PCIe has already been initialized. Reinitializing ...
Jun 16 14:02:33 mcbuntu gconfd (mcd-7575): starting (version, pid 7575 user 'mcd'

A lot of people seem to have this problem, but I can't find any suggestions on how to solve it. People seem to think it's a bug with Firefox, and I was using Firefox, then I used Galeon for a while, now I'm using Epiphany. It usually happens when I'm using a browser, but it has also happened when no browser is open, so I don't think it's related to the browser. Sometimes it will happen 3 times in 10 minutes, sometimes I can use the computer for hours or even days without any problem.

Any thoughts?

PS. I'm using the fglrx driver
Old 06-17-2007, 03:46 AM   #2
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Location: Chilliwack,BC.Canada
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compiz is really buggy on ubuntu, does it do that when compiz is not running?
Old 06-17-2007, 04:52 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Greece
Distribution: Debian sid
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Well, fglrx is by itself a disaster! I am not surprised that it freezes X... A friend of mine gets a kernel panic when playing games with fglrx!

Try to remove compiz or update XGL using the latest CVS version. You may also want to use beryl instead (although that will probably _not_ solve your problem).

PS: The moral is... do NOT buy an ATI/AMD GPU for use with linux until AMD releases open source drivers for these GPUs.
Old 06-17-2007, 08:50 AM   #4
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Registered: Apr 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Distribution: Kubuntu 8.10 Intrepid & KDE 4
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I have an ATI x200 graphics card as well, compiz may run much better with this fix. It's a modded and patched fglrx driver which provides 3D (Direct Rendering For Google Earth capability)and stability for X : .Hope this works for you.
Old 06-24-2007, 11:37 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I guess things have gotten slightly better, but they're still buggy and strange.

First of all, I followed BluesKaj's guide to patching the fglrx module, but I can't tell if its using that module now. I can't find it in lsmod, nor does "dmesg | grep fglrx" yield anything. But I didn't get any errors and I certainly saw the module being built, etc. When I try to modprobe fglrx nothing happens - no error or anything. When I do an insmod fglrx I get this error: "insmod: can't read 'fglrx': No such file or directory".

So all in all it's very strange. The thing is, I think I did get it running at least for a little while, because the colors on my screen looked a little different, and I'm pretty sure the resolution was changed. Although I went to System -> Preferences -> Screen Resolution then and later when things changed back, and both times it said the resolution was 1280x800 - I have my Session start up an instance of Aterm with specific geometry settings, and I had to go in and change the size of the window it opened because suddenly it was taking less window space. That's when I went in to check the resolution, but it still said 1280x800.

Anyway, I had to restart Xorg after a while and when it came back up it was back to the old look. The fonts were bigger, the Aterm window was too big for it's space suddenly, and the colors were back to the old colors.

Ok, so that's that part. The original problem is still around too, though I have new information. A lot of the time, it's not X crashing, but just the mouse that stops working. Applications will stop responding, but I can still use my keyboard shortcuts to change to a different workspace, or close a window, or switch between applications. And what's really bizzare is that I can always type in my Aterm window. I usually can't type in the other applications open (I use firefox, epiphany, evolution, rhythmbox, and kopete on a regular basis) but I CAN in Aterm. Weird huh?

And finally, it seems like there are different things that happen, because there are three distinct sets of symptoms. Sometimes I can identify which application is causing the problem and simply terminate it either with a keyboard shortcut or with Aterm. As soon as the process is dead everything starts working again. Other times when I terminate the process (firefox-bin, lets say) Xorg will crash and reload by itself. And sometimes, very very rarely (maybe once every two days), Xorg will freeze or crash entirely. In other words I can't use keyboard shortcuts to do anything except switch to a different console and kill Xorg.

So this is very frustration, needless to say, but at least I feel like I'm making a little bit of progress. I guess at the moment I'd really like to get fglrx working properly and stably and then troubleshoot the mouse issue from there.

How can I tell what happened to the module I built? What should I start looking at, if the module isn't listed in lsmod and modprobe doesn't give me any errors, but doesn't load the module either?


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