Author Topic: Freezing with dual-monitor setup  (Read 2719 times)

Offline fox

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Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« on: May 24, 2016, 01:10:22 pm »
This is a new version of an old problem, one I now have with Ubuntu 16.04. The dual-monitor setup is on an iMac, so the internal monitor is one and a Dell 2005FPW is the other. I'm running the Nouveau driver, having switched from a Nvidia driver after having more freezing problems. The freezes are rare now. The latest occurred when watching a youtube video on full screen mode in Firefox, with it running on my internal monitor. Suddenly the picture went black, yet the sound from the youtube monitor was still running. I don't know if the problem is specifically related to a youtube video or not, but I reran it in fullscreen and got the freeze again. When I rebooted and reran the video in regular mode, I had no problem, nor did I have the problem in theatre mode. Ironically, when I googled the problem, it was noted to occur in Chrome on an older version of Ubuntu. However, when I tried it in Chromium, I didn't get the freeze so it must be related to some combination of the dual-monitor setup, Ubuntu 16.04, the Nouveau driver and Firefox. Suggestions?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 01:50:39 pm by fox »
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 02:45:34 pm »
Does it only occur when you do fullscreen of Youtube videos or will it happen if you fullscreen other videos, in the default media player, for example? It could be related to Flash. You could try forcing html 5 mode by going to https://www.youtube.com/html5 . This will use html 5 whenever possible.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 04:23:13 pm »
I made some more tests. First of all, with only the internal monitor enabled, I got the same freeze, so it isn't the second monitor by itself. Next I installed VLC player and played a video fullscreen. This worked OK with or without the second monitor enabled - no freezes. Next thing I did was to install an HTML5 add-on to Firefox and ran the same youtube video fullscreen. It seemed to work this time. However, when I then rebooted and added the second monitor, it froze again. Go figure. So again, some combination of Nouveau driver, dual-monitor, Firefox and Ubuntu 16.04..
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 02:12:02 pm »
I still haven't been able to resolve the problem for that video with dual monitor enabled, but as a result of the regular freezes, I decided to install Ubuntu 16.04 from scratch on my office iMac. I reinstalled everything; didn't even keep my home folder just to make sure there wasn't a config problem there. So far it seems to be better, and the dual monitor starts up properly and it wakes up OK as well. But that video still freezes my system.

The freezes I experienced since upgrading to 16.04 are completely new; I never had such a thing happen on any other Linux installation or on any other computer. No way to recover either, except for a hard restart. I did some Google searching and found a few posts with the same problem using Ubuntu 16.04 or 15.10. (I never had this happen with 15.10.) The solution for several was to go back to an older kernel, and I am prepared to do that if necessary. I also saw mention of a new Nvidia driver released a few days ago (361.45) that supposedly solves screen tear problems with the older driver. It doesn't yet show up in my Additional Drivers app. I downloaded it but haven't tried it yet. If the nouveau driver works without any further problems, I'm not going to mess with it.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2016, 02:30:51 pm »
After a harrowing hour in which I tried various forms of the nvidia driver with and without the second monitor, I appear to have solved the problem of the youtube video, and hopefully, the problem with freezing. The newest nvidia driver (361.45.11) caused me not to be able to boot at all, but I was able to recover with the help of an older kernel. (Don't understand that, but go figure.) The oldest nvidia driver available (304) also caused problems; couldn't see the second monitor at all. Eventually, what seems to have worked was purging and reinstalling the current kernel (4.4.0-22) and installing the nvidia 340 driver, configured without creating an xorg.conf files. Crossing my fingers for no more freezes.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 02:18:24 pm »
With the current setup, I haven't had any freezes in the last two days, but prior to that I froze on the same youtube video run full screen in Firefox. I can live with that; if I want to run a full screen youtube video either do it in Chromium or do it with only one monitor going.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 03:36:34 pm »
I'm back to getting regular freezes; I had two today. In one or both cases, LibreOffice Write was running. (Definitely running in the first case.) This time I pulled syslog and kernlog files from the times around the two crashes and have posted them here. The 14:47 crash has fewer entries, and I noted that it refers to nouveau and and "engine fault on channel 2 ....". The earlier logs also refer to nouveau and a bind error, a libreoffice-writer message repeated 7 times, and a gnome-session out of memory (see entries at 13:54:09 , 13:54:39 and 13:53:58, all together in log). The nouveau message is strange because I'm using a Nvidia, not Nouveau driver. And I have plenty of RAM on this iMac (8 gb) and can't image how I could be running out of memory. Does this mean anything to any of you?
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2016, 05:32:36 pm »
Just a thought - have you run memtest on your RAM?
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Offline buster

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2016, 06:30:02 pm »
#1. I agree with Jason. Memory check can't do any harm.
#2. I assume you installed the 64 bit and not the 32 bit Ubuntu (or what ever)
#3. Had a maybe related problem with a dual monitor setup with an Ubuntu derivative system. When I detached the extra monitor, the laptop computer switched to the screen resolution of the disconnected monitor, rather than stay where it was! Rude behavior! Which would indicate a problem with the OS, not my computer. Easy to correct, but annoying. Maybe it's an Ubuntu problem. (Or a ...?.... problem.)
#4. Is each resolution the natural resolution for each screen? Not sure this should make a difference either way. But easy to check.
#5. Does the same setup work well when stressed (Several windows open etc) with a Mac OS or a Microsoft OS?

Best if luck Doctor Mike.

Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2016, 07:45:10 pm »
#1. I agree with Jason. Memory check can't do any harm.
#2. I assume you installed the 64 bit and not the 32 bit Ubuntu (or what ever)
#3. Had a maybe related problem with a dual monitor setup with an Ubuntu derivative system. When I detached the extra monitor, the laptop computer switched to the screen resolution of the disconnected monitor, rather than stay where it was! Rude behavior! Which would indicate a problem with the OS, not my computer. Easy to correct, but annoying. Maybe it's an Ubuntu problem. (Or a ...?.... problem.)
#4. Is each resolution the natural resolution for each screen? Not sure this should make a difference either way. But easy to check.
#5. Does the same setup work well when stressed (Several windows open etc) with a Mac OS or a Microsoft OS?
...
#1. I will do memcheck at work tomorrow; I hadn't done that.
#2. 64 bit
#3.
#4. Nvidia driver sets the correct resolution for both after initially flipping around at startup. Internal monitor is 1920 x 1080; external is 1680 x 1050.
#5. I haven't noticed any difference in the frequency of freezing when more or less apps are running. But generally I only run 2 or 3 apps at a time.

I'm getting pretty fed up with this. I've never had such a problem before and although I don't lose work, it's very annoying. Next move if I can't resolve this will be to install Ubuntu 14.04 on a new partition and see if I still get it in that.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2016, 07:47:32 pm by fox »
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Offline buster

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2016, 09:49:21 pm »
"#5. I haven't noticed any difference in the frequency of freezing when more or less apps are running. But generally I only run 2 or 3 apps at a time."

But does it happen with Apple or Microsoft ever? That's a way to distinguish between a hardware and a specific Linux problem.

Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2016, 11:02:28 pm »
Not with MacOSX and I don't run Windows on this computer except in a virtual machine.
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 05:30:06 pm »
I am now fairly certain that libreOffice is part of the problem. I had several freezes while running LibreOffice Write today. Syslogs are showing messages with:

(soffice:5337): Gdk-WARNING **: gdk_window_set_icon_list: icons too large
(soffice:5337): WARNING **: Unknown event notification 36

Googling these error messages takes me to several threads and bug reports on LibreOffice 5 with such messages. Running LibreOffice from a terminal gives me the "icons too large" message. But again, I only get these freezes on my iMac, making me further suspect that the second monitor has something to do with this. But I did try removing the Nvidia driver and reinstalling the Nouveau driver. I still got the freezes. I'll continue to research this on Monday.
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Offline Jason Wallwork

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2016, 08:54:17 pm »
Be careful with this line of thought, though. I know from my limited programming and previous years of compiling C programs that warnings aren't error messages. They warn something *might* be wrong or the programmer *might* be doing something they shouldn't but of themselves, they don't necessarily indicate faults. I know these are terminal warnings but I believe the principle still applies.

But if you still think LibreOffice is the problem, can you remove it for a few days or a week to see if you still have crashes?
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Offline fox

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Re: Freezing with dual-monitor setup
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2016, 07:18:18 am »
You make a good point, Jason, and if I start LibreOffice from a terminal on a home computer, I also get the icon warning. However, the error messages I posted were part of the last syslog entries before the iMac froze.

Presumably,  I don't have to remove LibreOffice to test the problem, I just don't have to use it. That I can do. I was testing Kingsoft's WPS and Softmaker Office a few days ago to compare their MS format translations and usability. WPS actually is the best of the three for rendering presentations correctly as well as track changes, but it doesn't use open document formats. I was sticking with LibreOffice because it's the only one of the three that's open source, but I will be using WPS next week to see if that prevents the crashes. Also, I haven't forgotten the suggestion to test my memory. Unfortunately, the memtest option doesn't appear on the refind menu I need to run multiple OSes on my macs. So I'll have to run it by booting from a usb stick, which I will try next week.
Ubuntu 18.04 and Pop!_OS on 2011 iMac
Linux Mint Cinnamon 19 on "late 2015" 5k iMac
Ubuntu 18.04 (Unity, Gnome) and Arch on Dell XPS 13