Linux Mint "Super Freezes"

KGIII

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In my experience (indeed, even one of my 'best' answers on the Linux/Unix StackExchange) this is symptomatic of them having hardware acceleration enabled. Experience tells me that this is the problem in tons and tons of cases. This is precisely why I asked the questions I asked.

The thing is, hardware acceleration doesn't work on Linux and Google has no current plans (last time I looked, a few months ago) to make it work. Why it's there and why it's enabled is completely beyond me, but it is and it's enabled by default.

Most of the time, it's harmless. Other times, it causes strange bugs - including freezing and rebooting the system, high CPU or RAM usage, the device getting hot, media not playing, and things like that.

If you don't know how to do this, it's Settings > Advanced > System > "Use hardware acceleration when available". It looks like this:

Selection_014.png


So, with that said, I'd like to get some feedback from the OP. Toggle the setting, restart the browser, and see if the problem persists. If you're still facing issues we can move on to new things. I'd also like to avoid overwhelming the OP who is decidedly, in their own words, "not a techie".

Also, if OP has a modern Mint (which Xfce is), it's 64 bit. I should probably mention that, as they were concerned their system wasn't 64 bit. If your system isn't 64 bit, a 64 bit OS wouldn't install in the first place. So, we can safely eliminate that as an issue.
 


Lord Boltar

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To me this means that ati.radeon is loaded and being used what is unloaded is modesetting.fbdev and vesa. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Though he may benefit from a different driver not sure haven't delt much with ATI or Radeon drivers.
One way to tell is to use this command in a terminal
Code:
lsmod
Yep you're right I got that backwards - must be my dyslexic day - :eek:
 

Fanboi

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Why it's there and why it's enabled is completely beyond me, but it is and it's enabled by default.

Most of the time, it's harmless. Other times, it causes strange bugs - including freezing and rebooting the system, high CPU or RAM usage, the device getting hot, media not playing, and things like that.
AMA Session:
Q: "Why is it there?"
Devs: "For the future when--"
Q: "Why is it there now and why is it enabled by default?"
Devs: "Um... Because... Well actually... Actually did you know there's a new version out and we've added a mobile web app feature so you can browse the web from your PC as if it's on your phone. It's a great feature!"

I'd also like to avoid overwhelming the OP who is decidedly, in their own words, "not a techie".

Also, if OP has a modern Mint (which Xfce is), it's 64 bit. I should probably mention that, as they were concerned their system wasn't 64 bit. If your system isn't 64 bit, a 64 bit OS wouldn't install in the first place. So, we can safely eliminate that as an issue.
You're right about the latest ver. Can't believe they dropped 32bit. That said, OP may be running 19 (an LTS). Agree about not overloading OP, I wasn't trying to, that's why I directed my post at everyone else. Guess that wasn't as obvious as I thought, lol. "James and the Giant Problem with Communications and Other Personality Flaws" -- by Roald Dahl... Nah, would never work for kids...'cept for my insane "differently sane" childhood self.
 
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js10

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So, with that said, I'd like to get some feedback from the OP. Toggle the setting, restart the browser, and see if the problem persists. If you're still facing issues we can move on to new things. I'd also like to avoid overwhelming the OP who is decidedly, in their own words, "not a techie".

I'm so glad you wrote that! Thank you very much to everybody who replied, but as I'm going through them all now, I have to admit that I'm not trying to get a bit overwhelmed. But, yes, the most actionable thing I've seen here is definitely the toggling of the Hardware Acceleration feature. So much so that I've already taken care of it. And, yes, it was set to "on," so I obviously changed it. Will it do anything? I guess only time will tell. As I've said above, it's not like something I could just prompt to replicate this behavior -- it just kind of happens on its own after some amount of use. But at least I feel like I did SOMETHING. Any thoughts? Thanks again to everyone.
 

KGIII

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Will it do anything?

Nope, nothing harmful. It wasn't doing anything to begin with, except causing bugs.

All you can do now is wait - and use your device. Time will tell. Chances are very good that it solves your problem.

If it keeps freezing, return and let us know.

If you go a couple of days without freezing, return and let us know. (The reason for this is to let the people coming after you see that the solution worked for you.)
 

KGIII

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That said, OP may be running 19 (an LTS).

Not with Xfce, I'm pretty sure. That wasn't until 20, when 32 bit was dropped.

There's some chance that they did it themselves, but they're 'not a techie'.

Devs: "For the future when--"

From what I've read (and I've answered this question a hundred times and looked it up at least 20% of those times), not only does it not work they have no plans to make it work.

Yeah, I'm baffled. I've just come to accept that the devs are probably lazy or don't want to modify that section of the code. It's enabled in Windows by default - where it actually can work. It's supposed to do things like offload your streaming video to the GPU or use CPU flags to optimize playback, I'm pretty sure.

I have no idea why those things don't work in Linux. Not a clue...

From what I've observed, it doesn't actually cause any harm in the vast majority of cases. So, maybe they just don't care enough to switch it to the off position by default.
 

brickwizard

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just spotted this one

yes its a driver error, he needs the x-org ati drivers in the mint software manager,
my first move would be go to the software manage search x-org drivers, if they are marked as installed, I would uninstall and re-install, alternatively go to menu, all, scroll down to additional drivers, open and let that take a look, if it comes up with the x-org drivers then tick the use this driver box and exit,
and yes in a small number of cases I have come across switching off acceleration sometimes works

Bwiz
 

Fanboi

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Not with Xfce, I'm pretty sure.
19 XFCE Edition: https://linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=258
And with 19.3, we waved goodbye to 32-bit forever, doesn't look like a 32bit community version is likely. But there'll always be AntiX and pure Debian, the former easy to spin into a faux-Mint knockoff. Light bulb.



From what I've read (and I've answered this question a hundred times and looked it up at least 20% of those times), not only does it not work they have no plans to make it work.

Yeah, I'm baffled. I've just come to accept that the devs are probably lazy or don't want to modify that section of the code. It's enabled in Windows by default - where it actually can work. It's supposed to do things like offload your streaming video to the GPU or use CPU flags to optimize playback, I'm pretty sure.
You'rd probably right about the laziness, lol. Easier to maintain code base. What I don't get is a simple #ifdef __linux__ could set it disabled and remove the enable option without actually changing any other part of the codebase :shrugs:
IDK much about the CPU optimisations, but I think it's coz I heard years back plans for modern CPUs have x264/265 decoding optimisations built-in, so they probably have added them like the AES optimisations for encryption back then. Haven't kept up to speed much.

I have no idea why those things don't work in Linux. Not a clue...
IDK either when video acceleration works great in MPV which uses ffmpeg as a backend IIRC. Maybe it's a WebGL thing (instead of video being rendered by the system in the browder, it's rendered by the browser, eg: H.264 plugin??) which is out of my sphere of comprehension, lol.
 

Fanboi

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just spotted this one

yes its a driver error, he needs the x-org ati drivers in the mint software manager,
my first move would be go to the software manage search x-org drivers, if they are marked as installed, I would uninstall and re-install, alternatively go to menu, all, scroll down to additional drivers, open and let that take a look, if it comes up with the x-org drivers then tick the use this driver box and exit,
and yes in a small number of cases I have come across switching off acceleration sometimes works

Bwiz
I thought xserver-xorg-video-all provided all, incl ati, though. Isn't it default in a regular install? Oh well.
 

brickwizard

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I thought xserver-xorg-video-all provided all, incl ati,
na.. if you try in your distros software manager you will find it as its own entity,
 

KGIII

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And with 19.3, we waved goodbye to 32-bit forever, doesn't look like a 32bit community version is likely.

Nice! Though, at the end of the day, I don't think it will matter much. Odds are good that the problem is resolved - but the odds aren't 100%, so we shall have to wait and see.

Either way, we're in hold mode until the OP lets us know if they're still freezing. Please see post #21. Let's not overwhelm the OP.
 

Fanboi

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na.. if you try in your distros software manager you will find it as its own entity,
Hm? Odd, xserver-xorg-video-all is in Debian, so maybe it's only in Mint's Debian Edition then (it's a meta with OSS drivers for all GPUs as deps). Haven't played with Ubuntu-based Mint in a while.
 
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js10

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Nope, nothing harmful. It wasn't doing anything to begin with, except causing bugs.

Right, I wasn't even really referring to the possibility of it doing anything harmful -- I certainly have no reason to believe that's the case. What I meant is simply whether or not it will solve the problem. If it crashes again, I'll know that that wasn't the problem and more work needs to be done. That said, I'll also need to try that SysRq strategy mentioned above and see if that helps.
 

KGIII

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I'll also need to try that SysRq strategy mentioned above and see if that helps.

A handy way to remember it (it's probably in the article) is it's BUSIER backwards. That's how I used to remember it. These days, I just know it's REISUB. It's not busy, it's busier. It doesn't always work. If the computer is so locked that it won't accept further inputs, it won't work.

And, yeah, let us know if it's still freezing. Then, there's a ton of stuff in the thread that you can go through and try. There's some good ideas in there.

Some bonus content, if you ever want to know if your computer is completely frozen, press the shift-lock/caps lock key. That's not just a switch on the keyboard (usually) but is actually a signal sent to the computer. The computer has to respond to the input for the light to come on the keyboard. It's a small signal that takes little CPU time to process. (I'm not sure how true this is today, I haven't tested it in ages. It should still be true.) Anyhow, if the light comes on the computer isn't completely frozen. It may still be in an unusable state, but it's not completely frozen.
 
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js10

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Okay, unfortunately I have to revive this thread already. Something a bit different this time. The taskbar suddenly stopped working! Anything that was minimized could not be restored. Even the green Mint icon at the bottom-left didn't respond at all when I clicked on it. I could still type on whatever pages were up on my screen, but, again, once they were minimized, they couldn't be restored.

No, it's not a traditional "freeze" per se (and perhaps this should be a separate thread -- I don't know), but the bottom line is still that it stopped working, had to be rebooted manually, and data was lost. So, pretty close to the same thing as far as I'm concerned. Is this a scenario you've heard of before, and, if so, what do you think in indicates?

PS. In case anyone is wondering how a novice like me even installed Linux, I hired a guy on Fiverr to do it remotely. I remember that there were several starts and stops and it took him a few hours (the timezone situation was also difficult as he was on the other side of the world), but he did get it done and for a while it was really smooth sailing. I'm just worried that this installation is slowly starting to get corrupted or something.
 

Condobloke

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How old is your install of Linux Mint xfce ?

Have you , at any time, taken snapshots via Timeshift?

Or do you have any sort of backup?
 

KGIII

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That sounds like a different problem. We usually do one thread per problem, as a general rule. It sounds like the freezing issue has been solved by changing the hardware acceleration settings. Usually, when HA borks things up, it's a complete system freeze and not something partial like you're seeing here.

So, that's the good news...

PS. In case anyone is wondering how a novice like me even installed Linux, I hired a guy on Fiverr to do it remotely. I remember that there were several starts and stops and it took him a few hours (the timezone situation was also difficult as he was on the other side of the world), but he did get it done and for a while it was really smooth sailing. I'm just worried that this installation is slowly starting to get corrupted or something.

Hmm... I'm wondering if they screwed something up.

I also find this extremely concerning. I definitely don't trust the motivations of someone who was the cheapest person you could get to do your install.

At this point - I'm really reluctant, but you may as well do a clean installation. Before you scoff - it's REALLY easy to install Linux these days. It's even easier if you have multiple devices and can check online if/when you get stuck or have questions.

I kinda want a list of your running processes, but any malicious actor could just as easily hide those.
 

wizardfromoz

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Before I invest the time with the chrooting option, I want to get some order to this saga.

I'm going to move the Thread to Linux Mint, and then carve off from it where the part involving the subject title finishes, and start a new thread in the OP's name (that's you, Jordan) dealing with the updates and upgrades issue.

At my cursory inspection, that point where we go off at a tangent is somewhere around #25 on page 2, but I am mindful of what the OP has said subsequently about the cursor freezing as a hand, and the taskbar not functioning.

This may take me a day or so to best rationalise what goes where, and so I am locking this Thread in the meantime.

Thank you all.

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

wizardfromoz

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