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I have an Arch laptop where sometimes (daily and more) I experience freezes that start with software slowing down and then slowly extends to the whole system until it's unusable and I have to alt+prt+(REISUB). Sometimes RE is enough and I can restart lightdm from another session. I was wondering how to properly understand what is going on. If this is RAM being used up, is there an overlay I can keep as these freezes are not very predictable? I don't believe logs would be helpful for this. And if it is RAM, is there no better way for linux to handle this...

  • If it is something hogging RAM (and that may be the first hypothesis) at some point the linux kernel will decide to kill one process to reclaim some RAM, and this will be recorded in logfiles. See and search about the "OOM Killer". OOM=Out Of Memory. Otherwise you are not giving a lot of details... Distribution version ? Kernel version ? Hardware used and specifically RAM availale ? What applications run on it? Etc. – Patrick Mevzek Aug 30 at 22:28
  • It seems like it does not do this, even waiting long enough. And sysreq-F should do the same, but it doesn't seem to work at all. I didn't give information because I was not looking for a solution to the freeze, but to understand how to treat it. I am on Antergos 5.2.11 on a ux430un with an i7 8550u and 8 GB of RAM. Applications vary, mostly it's using firefox + something like matlab, inkscape or so. – VirtualFlyer Aug 30 at 23:52
  • "but to understand how to treat it." you first need to understand where it does come from. If you have absolutely nothing in your logfiles, you need first to put in place some monitoring. PS: please update your post with all the relevant extra information on software/hardware, do not put that in comments, people will overlook it and in your post it will make your question better as more detailed. – Patrick Mevzek Aug 31 at 0:03
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you can try a script like

while [ true ]; do
    ps aux >~/ps-`date`.log
    sleep 1
done

to catch processes which eats your memory.

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