The specs of my system is CentOS7 with Cinnamon GUI. I usually work with a server so I almost always have a lot of sessions of ssh -X running. If I try to do anything that will print a lot of data on my terminal my local X server freezes. The terminal does not have to be the one in use that moment and does not even have to be viewable (I am using tabs of terminals).

For more info, changing to tty2 and killing X will restart the login environment. Any other program running is not frozen (for example music playing through youtube will continue to play). Cursor is moving but nothing else can be done.

  • Running many ssh -X commands is not a good idea in the first place. Avoid -X when it isn't strictly needed. Additionally if X was really frozen you wouldn't be able to switch to a tty.
    – kasperd
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


When using a 3D-enabled desktop manager/compositor (ie: gnome-shell), handling many characters is going to be quite heavy for the display driver. Basically, each character is a new small texture which will put high load on the 3D engine and driver.

With such a load, a non-optimal drive can crash/deadlock/slow down, requiring to kill the X session to re-gain access to the display manager.

Can you try using a non-3D window manager (ie: using XFCE rather than GNOME)?

  • Being in a strict environment it is not easy to change GUIs. Wouldn't this be the case if the window was visible? The letters are never really rendered at least as far as I can tell.
    – Georgios Leventis
    Commented Aug 14, 2018 at 11:59

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