Lately my desktop has been freezing solid and needing to be hard reset [power off/on]. While frozen the cursor will move but nothing else happens. I have tried a number of ways to reset or get information about this condition without a hard reset. I have tried the set of commands which are referred to as “raising the elephant”. This sometimes works without the need to power off the computer. But sometimes it doesn't. I am running Ubuntu 18.04.1.

I have an output from the hwinfo command here. And below is the output from the lshw -c video command.

       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: GK208B [GeForce GT 710]
       vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:01:00.0
       version: a1
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=nouveau latency=0
       resources: irq:27 memory:fd000000-fdffffff memory:f0000000-f7ffffff memory:f8000000-f9ffffff ioport:e000(size=128) memory:c0000-dffff

This latter because I believe that this may be a video driver problem.

What I would like are some suggestions for things, such as commands to try or logs to look at, that can be done after a hard reset to help debug this problem.

  • Have you tried the Nvidia driver? – ajgringo619 Nov 14 '19 at 19:17

I've had this problem quite a few times.

One thing I've done, assuming your keyboard still works, is go to my console (Ctrl-Alt-F12), kill the server and restart it. In most cases, something in the X server go bonanza and it stops displaying things. I've had that happens a lot in 16.04 (but I upgraded many times since like 10.04 or so... instead of a brand new install—for my 18.04 install, it's brand new).

The one thing I noticed toward the last year or so of 16.04, I would get the screen to freeze, go to the console, maybe kill my browsers and come back (from the console, you do Alt-F7 and it comes back to X-Windows) and things would work again. In my case, this was probably due to a bad loop taking too long for the rendering to happen or too much RAM being used.

Also on that version, for this to work better, I made it so that my system would boot in the console. Otherwise the X server will fight you in various ways when you attempt to kill it.

If you have the problem quite a bit, it's going to be a pain, though...

Now, if the keyboard still works, the Ctrl-Alt-Del is better than a hard Power Off. It will at least try to unmount your hard drives cleanly.

P.S. For Ubuntu specific questions, you may want to consider using askubuntu instead.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.