I use Linux Mint 16 64-bit Cinnamon. I've just deployed it on two computers and (again) suffer from spontaneous freezing of the graphics terminal. Fortunately the rest of the system seems to be running OK, and I can switch to another virtual terminal and do stuff to diagnose the problem.

Logs (syslog, Xorg.0.log, mdm/:0.log) don't reveal anything except for AIGLX: Suspending AIGLX clients for VT switch which is normal when you switch to another virtual terminal. Unfortunately, this log entry never gets coupled with the entry that tells it is resuming...


  • Freezing happen spontaneously, ca once per 8 hours. So far I cannot find anything that can correlate with the freezing event.
  • No screen update under the graphical terminal.
  • I can still switch between virtual terminals with Alt+Ctrl+Fx
  • All applications still work; music plays, and I can still interact with running applications, like VirtualBox (if it is currently running). I didn't test xdotool and wmctrl
  • Mouse cursor icon is visible and you can control it with the mouse. Clicks are ignored.
  • Mouse cursor icon changes while hovering under different zones of windows drawn on the screen, just like it would if the system was working normally.
  • It looks like the keyboard is ignored too; except for Ctrl+Alt+Backspace (if a correct script is loaded which intercepts this key combination). Ctrl+Alt+T (to display terminal), Alt + F2 (to show "Run command..." dialog) are ignored.

The problem is concerning only the Linux Mint 16 (I never experienced anything like that on Linux Mint 15). I am able to reproduce these symptoms on two computers: desktop PC with ASUS 990FX motherboard, and on ASUS N56VZ notebook. The previous installation of Linux Mint 16 on the notebook was free from the problem. Unfortunately I decided to expand the hard drive and reinstalled the system. I still posses the HDD with the previous installation, so I can theoretically I can do some form of diff between them. But both installations should be the same - the only thing I really changed was a bigger hard drive, but unless you use some form automation (like Puppet), you are never able to install two systems identically.

Edit: This specific problem seems to be related to the event of desktop change.

It can be reproduced by:

  1. Install the Linux Mint 16 with Cinnamon 2.0 64 bit
  2. Install a program that changes wallpaper (tested on variety, and wallch) and set it to start changing wallpaper as the background task.
  3. Wait for background to change several times. The bug doesn't kick in on the first background change, you need to wait a moment.
  4. On the .xsession.errors you will see something like that.
  • Why is mdm relevant? Do you get these crashes in the mdm screen as well? Have you checked .xsession-errors? Do both machines use the same graphics driver? Which one? What kind of graphics card?
    – terdon
    Feb 14, 2014 at 13:24
  • @terdon It may well be that the real culprit is something else. mdm/Cinnamon is the only application that I can point to, because the only thing that doesn't work is screen update. And restarting mdm helps, so it is my only lead for the moment. Feb 14, 2014 at 19:40
  • OK, could you please answer my other questions? Especially ~/.xsession-errors.
    – terdon
    Feb 14, 2014 at 19:41
  • @terdon There is no file ~/.xsession-errors. Notebook has dual graphics: Intel HD4000? (driver i915) and rarely used GK107M [GeForce GT 650M] (via optirun/primusrun). The desktop uses NVidia GeForce GTX 550Ti with binary ("recommended") driver . Feb 14, 2014 at 19:50
  • @terdon I've got another freeze. This time on desktop. And there ARE .xsession_errors pastebin.com/Q3vxsCX1 Feb 14, 2014 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


Did you try this with different boot versions of the Petra installer? I used both Gnome version and LTE when I was having a similar issue booting over network/USB. I thought for sure it was a script going wrong somewhere and wasted countless hours on it. I later discovered it was a hardware controller malfunction by running Sandra diagnostics. If you run the MDM configuration script and everything comes off clean then your charging down the wrong path.

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