Recently I have bveen experiencing some strange behavior from a machine. Occasionally X just locks up for a short time 3-5 minutes. Then resumes normal behavior.

AFAICT while X locks up, the rest of the system is working fine. I can ssh in and out. Background processes keep running. Etc.

ATM the only clues that I have seem to be that the lockups seem to predominantly happen while using firefox, though I can't say for sure that the lockups always happen in firefox, and the reason for firefox's predominance may be something as simple as the fact that firefox is the graphics intensive program I spend most of my time in. I spend more time in emacs, but emacs isn't exactly stressing X.

I am also experiencing another problem with totem ( which I am not looking to fix ATM ) that after a while totem locks up. I have to kill it. When I restart the audio is fine, but no video, and the screen is unresponsive. It seems like the freezing doesn't happen till after The first totem lockup. Again I don't know if this is symptomatic or just know if this is symptomatic or just a coincident.

I suspect that it may have something to do with the Gobject or dbus subsystem.

In any case, at the moment I am bereft of qualtiy information about the cause of the lockup. Right now my main concern is that I do not have serious information about what is happwning during the lockup. Hopefully someone can give some suggestions on how to collect data on the lockup.

  • Have a look at ~/.xsession-errors. – terdon Oct 8 '13 at 22:51
  • Have you tried Alt-Ctrl-F2 to get a VT, logging in, and running top? – cjm Oct 8 '13 at 23:01
  • @cjm, the Alt-Ctrl-Fn keys are frozen too. IOW, no response immediately when I press them. Though after X unlocks the terminal responds to any keyspressed before. – Mouse.The.Lucky.Dog Oct 9 '13 at 2:51
  • you can get to VTx with chvt x, which has to be run by root usually. You can do this remotely over ssh. Check /var/log/Xorg.*.log* as well for any problems the X server might report. – peterph Oct 9 '13 at 8:51

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