Few days ago my workstation, Fedora Linux 29, experienced an hard reboot due to a power failure. Now I am experiencing random "freezes" when using Gnome.

So, I can log-in correctly and start working as usual, but after some time (30-60 minutes) the system hangs: the mouse can still move around, but the GUI is simply frozen. I can switch to a virtual terminal (Ctrl+Alt+F3, for example), and I can input my username, but I cannot log in.

When I write user and password, the "last login" message is displayed, but the bash prompt is never shown. The same also happens when using SSH: the system is definitely not entirely locked, because I can connect, but when I try to run a shell, I get the Last Login message, but I never see the prompt.

What is interesting is that I can definitely run some commands via ssh, for example

ssh user@machine echo "Foo"

will actually show Foo on the client, so I can restart/halt the machine, but I basically cannot have a shell in it. I cannot run top via ssh, but ps works and apparently there are no processes wasting CPU or RAM.

The system works very well if I don't use the GUI (Gnome, actually, I did not experiment with other DE yet), and in fact it's few days that I am working completely in the terminal.

Right now I am installing XFCE to see if it hangs as well (trying to isolate GNOME), but I am not really aware of how to find a solution. What could hang my system?

EDIT I experienced the phenomena also when in the virtual console: the system slowed down sensibly, but was reactive to inputs.

I used a live distro to check the FS with fsck and filesystems are apparently clean. Also, smart monitoring tools report no errors after a short test.

  • End of the day, all are process, I think your UI process was stuck you can get more details in logs, if you are able to login to console, try to restart gnome/kde/xfce. Without logs we can't say much now. – asktyagi May 27 at 13:24
  • I suspect there are issues at FS level: I just launched a dnf install command and it suddenly became very, very slow. My system is now very slow even when launching simple programs, like ls - even in console. – The Data Scientician May 27 at 13:32
  • The question is rather broad without some investigation and trial and error on your part. These issues are not easy to investigate. Most of the time video cards, faulty RAM, disk or the lack of resources are the culprit, but as example I once tracked down random bi-weekly lockups to a WiFi chipset of inferior quality with electrical problems by design. – Rui F Ribeiro May 27 at 13:38
  • I can investigate, but I am not really sure what to investigate and how. How do I tell apart, say, an hard drive issue from a RAM issue? – The Data Scientician May 27 at 13:45

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