13 Jul 2003 forrest   » (Journeyer)

Flaky Linux

Damn! My linux box is hosing up, and it's hard to know where the problem actually is. I am running Debian "unstable", but I've run unstable for many years, and I've never had this sort of problem.

Sometimes, when I've been away from my computer for a long time, it just locks up -- the screensaver is frozen, the keyboard and mouse unresponsive. I can ping it from another machine, and sometimes (not always) I'm able to ssh into it, but I haven't been able to do anything but reboot to get my mouse/keyboard/screen back.

I have an LCD screen which sometimes shifts to the left, and then I have to do all sorts of finagling to get it to render correctly. Recently I got a KVM switchbox, and it seems that switching that will usually correct the problem. That's the first of my difficulties, but there's more ...

I used to run fvwm, but now I'm running the GNOME desktop because this screen-shifting problem is much worse when I use fvwm. But fvwm never locked up on me the way I just described, but GNOME does.

I think it's probably got something to do with the fact I have an SMP box; this is the first one I've had and the first time I've had these sorts of major problems. Hell, a recent flavor of MS Windows wouldn't have any of these problems! Why oh why am I suddenly having these problems, when I've been running rock-solid GNU/Linux boxen since 1995?

I'm embarrassed to think of the impression a non-Linux person might get when they see my machine flaking out.

Kind of makes this not-so-minor annoyance pale in comparison.

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