I used OpenSuse for several years now. One of the things I utmost liked with this distribution was the way Plasma/KDE issues where handled: from time to time it may happens that the panel briefly disappear and a messagebox opens-up telling me that Plasma desktop has crashed and has been restarted, also proposing to send debugging data to development teams if I like to.
Now for a few months I've switched to a Fedora-based distribution (Qubes OS, based on Fedora 20). It seems that this distribution does not offer this behavior by default, since:
- I never saw this messagebox anymore,
- But I got my desktop completely freezed several times (screen and keyboard frozen, sound and mouse pointer OK), having to brutally shut-down my computer, crossing my finger that loosing all ongoing work will be the only side-effect of such a brutal shutdown.
A dozen of years ago, when I was student, my University was also using Fedora for our hands-on exercices. At that time, facing similar freeze I found the solution to connect remotely through SSH and kill the desktop manager so it gets automatically restarted, unlocking the graphical environment.
Sadly, due to the specific design of Qubes OS¹, this quick-and-dirty SSH solution will not work here. However, I guess that OpenSuse's messagebox tool may do a similar thing in a proper way: implement some kind of watch dog detecting when Plasma/KDE does not respond, then kill and restart it.
So what I'm wondering is: is this tool a specific feature of OpenSUSE², or is there some package I should install or some configuration I should change to enable this behavior on my current installation?
Desktop freezes are particularly frustrating, even-more when I know that the application themselves are most probably still working fine and that a simple restart of the Plasma process would just get everything back to normal...
¹: In Qubes OS the network connectivity is isolated in a Xen domain and KDE is in a networkless Dom0. For security reasons, Qubes OS is precisely designed to avoid reaching the user interface from the network...
²: By the past (if it's not still the case) OpenSUSE used to have an internally heavily modified KDE, allowing them to be the first distribution to propose a stable KDE4, so I fear that this tool is just a part of these sweets...