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When I connect a 4k monitor to any video output of my laptop running debian sid, the computer freezes and a fan starts spinning. This only happens if I have gnome running. If I am on a terminal, the 4k-screen works just fine. Monitors with smaller resolution work.

It used to work fine until recently and I tried a lot with using older version of xserver-xorg and older kernels etc, but no luck. It is the same behavior for different users and it still crashes (as soon as gdm3 login screen starts) when the monitor is connected from the start.

When the screen freezes, I can't use the keyboard anymore, so debugging is hard. However, I can connect via ssh to the machine. Then htop shows a gnome shell running at 100% cpu. I can then disconnect the monitor and restart gnome.

What could be the problem? Where to look for error logs?

I am running Gnome 3.28.0 on a 4.15.0-2-amd64 x86_64 kernel with Debian GNU/Linux buster/sid

Graphics:  Card: Intel HD Graphics 620
       Display Server: wayland (X.Org 1.19.6 )
       drivers: modesetting,fbdev,ati,vesa,vmware,radeon,nouveau,amdgpu
       Resolution: 2560x1440@59.91hz
       OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 620 (Kaby Lake GT2)
       version: 4.5 Mesa 17.3.7

lspci output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v6/7th Gen Core 
Processor Host Bridge/DRAM Registers (rev 02)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 620 (rev 02)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP USB 3.0 xHCI Controller (rev 21)
00:14.2 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Thermal subsystem (rev 21)
00:15.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Serial IO I2C Controller #0 (rev 21)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP CSME HECI #1 (rev 21)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PCI Express Root Port (rev f1)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PCI Express Root Port (rev f1)
00:1d.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PCI Express Root Port #9 (rev f1)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP LPC Controller (rev 21)
00:1f.2 Memory controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PMC (rev 21)
00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio (rev 21)
00:1f.4 SMBus: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP SMBus (rev 21)
00:1f.6 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation Ethernet Connection (4) I219-V (rev 21)
3a:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 8265 / 8275 (rev 78)
3c:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Lenovo Device 0004
0

This seems to be a gnome-shell bug: https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/mutter/issues/93

A workaround can be found here:

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1777831

Try disabling the #WaylandEnable=false line in /etc/gdm3/deamon.conf

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