Every time I try to start a specific program (Mathematica), my Ubuntu session crashes and I get thrown back to login screen. I want to find out 1) what is it exactly that crashes (probably X) and 2) find the error log produced by this crash.

I tried looking at .xsession-errors file, but the file is huge and I don't know how to find what I'm looking for from there. It would be ideal if I could somehow make X output its error log to another file temporarily or something.

EDIT: The relevant error log was found from /var/log/syslog which says: "gnome-session[3679]: Gdk-WARNING: gnome-session: Fatal IO error 11 (Resource temporarily unavailable) on X server :0.#012". This is possibly related to this bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/nvidia-graphics-drivers/+bug/999191 .

  • How are you launching mathematica? Have you tried from the command line? Try something like mathematica 2> error.log to capture errors. – terdon Nov 27 '13 at 14:04
  • Already tried this. No output was produced. Thanks anyway. – Echows Nov 27 '13 at 14:26
  • I don't know if they deal with troubleshooting of this sort, but there is a stack exchange site dedicated to mathematica: Mathematica. Might be worth checking out. – terdon Nov 27 '13 at 14:53
  • “gnome-session: Fatal IO error 11” only says that the X server crashed and therefore gnome-session lost contact with it. The important part for diagnosis is why X crashed; there may be a relevant log message a few lines further up (e.g. it's the “segfault at … error 7 in nvidia_drv.so” line in the Ubuntu bug you link to). – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Nov 27 '13 at 22:50

You can use tail -f to observe the log while you are running the program (Mathematica) and just see what was happening when the program crashed.

tail -f /path_to_the_log_file &

Start this command in a separate terminal and watch the output there.

  • Thanks for suggestion, but it seems that nothing is written to ~/.xsession-errors when the crash happens. – Echows Nov 27 '13 at 10:05
  • OK, then perhaps you should try some other log files. There is a list of log files in Ubuntu cyberciti.biz/faq/ubuntu-linux-gnome-system-log-viewer – coffeMug Nov 27 '13 at 10:12
  • /var/log/messages could be the appropriate one. – coffeMug Nov 27 '13 at 10:13
  • It looks like /var/log/messages doesn't exist anymore in Ubuntu, but I tried /var/log/Xorg.0.log, but nothing is written in there either during the crash. – Echows Nov 27 '13 at 10:32
  • 1
    @Echows /var/log/messages seems to have been merged into /var/log/syslog in Ubuntu. – terdon Nov 27 '13 at 14:03

I had the same behavior on my machine and it was related to the NVIDIA display driver for my GTX 580. After installing the latest version of the display driver, the issue disappeared.

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