gnome frozen

Ian Malone ibmalone at
Sun Mar 24 10:36:21 UTC 2013

On 24 March 2013 03:47, Richard Vickery <richard.vickeryrv at> wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM, Ian Malone <ibmalone at> wrote:
>> On 22 March 2013 15:05, Patrick Dupre <pdupre at> wrote:
>> > Hello,
>> >
>> > In average, once a day my gnome session freezes. Only one option,
>> > open a text session and try to kill the gnome-session!
>> >
>> > Any idea how to debug this?
>> >
>> Run top and see what's going on. Should help answer the 'not enough
>> resources' question. If gnome is using 100% CPU something is wrong. If
>> something else is then it's probably an application run amok. See if
>> dmesg shows anything unusual in recent events after a freeze.
> How would I recognise a freeze and the events after such?

A freeze isn't a specific techinical problem. Currently my desktop
freezes very occassionally for a short time, and has nothing to do
with insufficient system resources. Afterwards I'll see something like
this in dmesg
[15523.867808] ata3: EH in SWNCQ mode,QC:qc_active 0x7 sactive 0x7
[15523.867822] ata3: SWNCQ:qc_active 0x1 defer_bits 0x6 last_issue_tag 0x0
  dhfis 0x1 dmafis 0x1 sdbfis 0x0
[15523.867834] ata3: ATA_REG 0x40 ERR_REG 0x0
[15523.867840] ata3: tag : dhfis dmafis sdbfis sactive
[15523.867846] ata3: tag 0x0: 1 1 0 1
[15523.867868] ata3.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x7 SErr 0x0 action 0x6 frozen
[15523.867876] ata3.00: failed command: WRITE FPDMA QUEUED
[15523.867891] ata3.00: cmd 61/08:00:80:6b:c3/00:00:1d:00:00/40 tag 0
ncq 4096 out
(before anyone asks, BZ #917826)

dmesg reports things in chronological order and with a timestamp, so
if there's a recent event connected to the freeze it's fairly apparent
from the jump in timestamps after startup and login events. If the
problem is an application hogging resources then top will help find
it. If neither of these provide any useful information then
/var/log/messages contains a bit more information than dmesg and can
be worth checking. If none of those show anything suspicious, or at
least associated in timing, then the desktop itself is the top suspect


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