Crashes almost every day on two machines, three distros and four WMs/DEs

tabz

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Hi all,

I come here hoping to find out what's going wrong with my PC. It crashes almost every day, unpredictably (not obviously load-related) and the only symptoms are repeating one to two seconds of audio if music or a video was playing and a total freeze requiring a reboot. This has happened on my 2016 MacBook Pro which was running Arch, my PC when it had an i5 4590 and a Ryzen 5 3600X on Arch, Manjaro and Linux Mint. The fact that it's happened on two very different machines with three different distros and four different window managers/desktop environments (i3, sway, xfce and cinnamon) means that it must be something I'm installing or doing, right?

I have tried changing browsers but it happens when using either firefox or brave. It happens when using either wayland or X and I reinstalled Arch yesterday and made it fairly minimal to see if I could avoid the issue but unfortunately it crashed today. I have kept a log of everything I've done since reinstalling Arch, which is below:
1. Installed xorg-server and xorg-xinit.
2. Installed git, i3-gaps and fish.
4. Cloned my dotfiles repo, installed stow and unstowed my fish, vim, X, terminator and i3 configs.
5. Installed firefox and logged in.
6. Installed xf86-video-amdgpu.
7. Installed i3status, terminator and dmenu.
8. Installed netutils, xorg-xinput, vim and neovim.
9. Installed steam, along with the other packages needed as per the Arch wiki page.
10. Installed font-awesome.
11. Installed yay and megasync, then uninstalled megasync after downloading some files I wanted.
12. Installed nfs-utils and mounted my NAS.
13. Installed and set-up timeshift for backups.

Surely nothing in that list could be causing the crashes? The only thing that has been constant across all of my linux machines and installations is firefox (even if I tried using Brave instead to see if having firefox open was the issue), steam, vim, git and using fish as my shell.

Below is a log I have kept of some of the latest crashes:
1. 30/03/22 11:33 - 2 brave windows open with youtube playing a video. USB drive mounted and LycheeSlicer open.
2. 30/03/22 15:22 - Brave with youtube video paused, tab with spotify paused. Cura slicer open.
4. 01/04/22 00:24 - Firefox with spotify pause. Cura slicer open.
5. 06/04/22 10:35 - Firefox with youtube playing and terminal open.
6. (skipped some during this period as they were identical)
7. 15/04/22 10:21 - Firefox with proxmox open. Vim open in a terminal.
8. (more crahes in near-identical situations)
9. 19/04/22 22:03 - Firefox with youtube video playing, vim open in a terminal.

Below is a list of all of the packages (not including those in base and base-devel) I have installed since yesterday:
amd-ucode
dmenu
efibootmgr
firefox
fish
git
grub
i3-gaps
i3status
inetutils
linux
linux-firmware
neovim
networkmanager
nfs-utils
stow
terminator
ttf-font-awesome
ttf-liberation
vim
wqy-zenhei
xf86-video-amdgpu
xorg-server
xorg-xinit
xorg-xinput

Does anyone know what could be wrong? I really don't want to have to reboot my computer at least once a day and I'm at my wits end as to what the issue could be.

I can attach any logs or config files needed. Thank you!
 


KGIII

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It wasn't until recently that I saw this work with Firefox - but it traditionally works with Chromium (including Chrome) based browsers. In your browser preferences, disable hardware acceleration. Restart the browser after making the change. I've now seen it work with Firefox as well.

Give it a shot. Worst case, you can undo the changes easily enough.

Also, given what I read, you may need to also be patient as it can take a while to diagnose something like this. But, I'd definitely start with HA in the browser - especially as 'an open browser' was a factor in each case.
 

Alexzee

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Aside from your Mac what are the spec's of your other pc?
I don't use Proxmox so not sure if that would cause any problems, sorry.

It may not be something that you have installed or are doing. It may be a hardware issue. Power Supply?
Have a look at the dmesg log.

FWIW. a friend of mine has a similar issue with Firefox causing a complete lock up and the only thing that solves it is a reboot. This is on a custom built 64-bit desktop running Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.2-
My friend said when Firefox locks up/freezes there is a Firefox extension trying to install.
I haven't yet been able to find out what is causing this.

Sorry mate that you are at your wits end, I know how it feels.

Try running Firefox from the terminal and see if it returns any errors.
 
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tabz

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It wasn't until recently that I saw this work with Firefox - but it traditionally works with Chromium (including Chrome) based browsers. In your browser preferences, disable hardware acceleration. Restart the browser after making the change. I've now seen it work with Firefox as well.

Give it a shot. Worst case, you can undo the changes easily enough.

Also, given what I read, you may need to also be patient as it can take a while to diagnose something like this. But, I'd definitely start with HA in the browser - especially as 'an open browser' was a factor in each case.
Thanks for the idea KGII, I hadn't thought that could be an issue. Do you know why it could be causing issues?

I disabled it last night just after your reply and I haven't had a crash since, with firefox open the whole time I've been using it, so it's promising!
 
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tabz

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Aside from your Mac what are the spec's of your other pc?
I don't use Proxmox so not sure if that would cause any problems, sorry.

It may not be something that you have installed or are doing. It may be a hardware issue. Power Supply?
Have a look at the dmesg log.

FWIW. a friend of mine has a similar issue with Firefox causing a complete lock up and the only thing that solves it is a reboot. This is on a custom built 64-bit desktop running Linux Mint Cinnamon 20.2-
My friend said when Firefox locks up/freezes there is a Firefox extension trying to install.
I haven't yet been able to find out what is causing this.

Sorry mate that you are at your wits end, I know how it feels.

Try running Firefox from the terminal and see if it returns any errors.
So the specs of my PC at the moment are Ryzen 5 3600X, 16GB DDR4, AMD RX580 with two SATA SSDs, an NVMe SSD and a HDD plugged in. This has been happening across two CPUs, GPUs and power supplies though so I'm *hoping* none of those are causing the issue.

My firefox extensions are another constant across all of the machines I've been having issues with, so those are worth a look at too. Good shout.

Is the dmesg log persistent across boots? If so then I could have a look at it after a reboot to look for something suspect.
 

KGIII

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Thanks for the idea KGII, I hadn't thought that could be an issue. Do you know why it could be causing issues?

I disabled it last night just after your reply and I haven't had a crash since, with firefox open the whole time I've been using it, so it's promising!

Well, sadly the state of browser hardware acceleration (HA from here on out) is abysmal in Linux - and it's not really the fault of Linux but from the browser makers. I recently read that there was the start of HA in Chromium - but the last official word I heard was that not only did Google not plan on adding HA capabilities to Chrome/Chromium, they were still leaving it enabled by default.

Now, normally this doesn't cause any problems. People think it's working as designed - but it just means that it's not so buggy on their hardware that it causes crashes.

Also, HA for Firefox might actually work on some hardware. Might... But, when it doesn't, again, it normally doesn't show any symptoms. It's just some hardware where this manifests. I've not done any empirical studies of which hardware does what, but I use it as a good general diagnostic step. It solves the issue with alarming frequency.
 

Alexzee

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So the specs of my PC at the moment are Ryzen 5 3600X, 16GB DDR4, AMD RX580 with two SATA SSDs, an NVMe SSD and a HDD plugged in. This has been happening across two CPUs, GPUs and power supplies though so I'm *hoping* none of those are causing the issue.

My firefox extensions are another constant across all of the machines I've been having issues with, so those are worth a look at too. Good shout.

Is the dmesg log persistent across boots? If so then I could have a look at it after a reboot to look for something suspect.
I have the same CPU that you do and I've only had one unexplained crash in Debian in 3 years.

The dmesg log is consistent with boots, yes-
In other words if you booted and it locks up or freezes and you have to reboot and run dmesg it will give you warnings and errors that pertained to the boot before hand.

IF you continue to have issues with Firefox open the terminal and type "firefox" and hit Enter and see if it returns any errors.
 

Alexzee

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I've been reading through this Google search of Firefox freezing in Linux Mint.

Long story short, I've found 2 things that have consistently been mentioned to solve the freezing with FF in Linux Mint.
A BIOS update <and or> installing a higher version of the kernel fixed it for some folks.
***I wouldn't do either unless you absolutely have to as a last resort.***
 
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tabz

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After turning off hardware acceleration in the browser I managed to go a couple of days without a crash, but it started again and has already crashed three times today. One time I started playing a video on YouTube and it crashed immediately... Other times there's been no audio or video playing and it crashed while editing a file in vim.

I don't see anything suspect in the dmesg log file that I've attached. Any more ideas? Running firefox from the terminal seems to launch it in the background so I'm not sure I'll see any error output there (no warnings or errors appear immediately after running).

Do you think it could be something to do with my shell, neovim or vim config? That is another constant across environments.
 

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Alexzee

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Maybe the RAM is bad/ memory leaks?

Try running Memtest overnight and see if it passes all instances.

I looked up the ACPI Warning that I saw in your dmesg log.

Code:
] ACPI Warning: SystemIO range 0x0000000000000B00-0x0000000000000B08 conflicts with OpRegion 0x0000000000000B00-0x0000000000000B0F (\GSA1.SMBI) (20211217/utaddress-204)

It may be related to a acpi driver see here:

A BIOS or kernel update may help.

Did this whole thing start after an update?
 
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SlowCoder

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Maybe the RAM is bad/ memory leaks?

Try running Memtest overnight and see if it passes all instances.

Oh, and one last thought, could the power supply be on it's way out?
2 different machines, which reduces the likelihood of hardware failure, otherwise I would have mentioned this as well. But still possible he's just got bad luck with hardware.
 

Alexzee

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2 different machines, which reduces the likelihood of hardware failure, otherwise I would have mentioned this as well. But still possible he's just got bad luck with hardware.
Maybe a driver issue?

More reading said that acpi errors are very common:-
 

tonyalbers

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I was actually leaning towards a power instability issue, but since one of the machines is a laptop that can probably be ruled out. Do you use cabled networking on both machines? I've seen servers lock up/freeze because of noise in the network caused by either bad transformers for lighting or electric motors starting/stopping. H/F noise from i.e. a broken ignition system on a petrol(gasonline)-powered car or lawnmover can also affect a standard cabled network. Stuff like this might cause a buffer overflow in a driver, and that might lead to a crash.

But, as one of the others mention: memory error is quite plausible.
 
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