[sf-lug] Pointers for how to track down source of system hang

Mark K. Zanfardino mark at zanfardinoconsulting.com
Thu Jan 31 14:07:49 PST 2008


I can say unequivocally that I *am* using the proprietary nvidia 
driver.  This is to provide the 3D support that Compiz requires.  I can 
certainly try running the system without it installed for some period of 

As to the gap time between faults, I can only give a rough estimate, as 
it's variable.  Some times the system hangs multiple time in one day 
with a gap time ranging from < an hour to > 4+ hours.  However, other 
times the system remains stable for several days.

As of today I've gone back to running without Compiz but have re-enabled 
the audio (it's a necessity for some of the development work I'm doing) 
and thus far it's remained stable, but that's no indication of whether 
or not it will remain so.

As an aside, it has at times remained very stable over as long as a week 
or more with both Compiz running and the sound driver installed, which 
makes me think it's going to be something else.  The key for me is to be 
sure I'm checking all relevant logs and that I have all possible logging 
enabled.  I've stated the four (4) files I'm aware of, but would love 
feedback on other sources of information.

I'd really like to know if there is someway to verify my empirical finds 
through log files.  If for instance I consistently find some anomaly 
after a crash I could check it against on-going logging for when the 
system appears stable.  Can I enable additional system logging?  Are 
there other log files I should be looking at?  Is there a way to capture 
on a continuous basis the current memory utilization (I'm kinda reaching 
on this one)?  Anything else I can look at?

I'm still relatively new to Linux and as such I don't know if there are 
more places I can be looking for clues.  God knows what I have is far 
more than I could have expected were I to attempt to troubleshoot a 
similar issue with windows!



Kristian Erik Hermansen wrote:
> On Jan 31, 2008 11:29 AM, Mark K. Zanfardino
> <mark at zanfardinoconsulting.com> wrote:
>> I've tried to identify any anomaly (as far as I can ascertain) in these
>> files around the time of the hang.  The only thing I've ever found that
>> stands out is a reference to my audio driver (snd-hda-intel).  In an
>> attempt to resolve whether or not it the audio driver causing the
>> problem I've removed the file snd-hda-intel.ko from
>> /lib/modules/2.6.22-14-generic/ubuntu/media/snd-hda-intel (I've kept a
>> copy) and rebooted.
> Can you ensure that you are not using the proprietary nvidia driver?
> Do the same with ensuring that module is not involved, use the "nv"
> driver instead, and see how far that gets you.  What is the gap-time
> between faults, generally?  Is it cpu/disk/time driven?

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