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#1 2021-09-15 01:35:22

emmemm11
Member
Registered: 2021-09-15
Posts: 2

XFCE instability (GUI freeze)

Hi all,

First of all, I like XFCE best of all the Linux GUIs, and really appreciate all the work that the developers put into it.

However... I experience random lockups/freezes. I'll be doing something benign like seeking a video in VLC, or following a link in Firefox, when it just locks up, can't move any windows, alt-tab does nothing, sometimes the cursor freezes. The question is not if it will lock up, but when. It doesn't happen often, but is annoying when it does - one time it happened when I was giving a presentation over Zoom, when I started showing a video with VLC.

Most times I can get a console with Ctrl-Alt-F3 (it may take a while) and from there 'sudo service lightdm restart' and it will get the GUI going again, but it logs me off and closes any applications I may have open, losing any changes I may have not saved.

I'm running XFCE 4.14 an four separate computers (details below):
- a Lenovo T61p (laptop) running MX Linux
- a Lenovo T510 (laptop) running Xubuntu
- a HP Z420 (desktop) running Ubuntu Studio
- a homebuilt desktop; MSI P55-GD65 mobo, MSI Nvidia graphics card, running Ubuntu Studio.

All of these have all OS patches installed. Yesterday on the Z420 it did it to me twice while I was going through a video in VLC and going to links in Firefox, which is what pushed me over the edge to register here and ask for help.

I have the Nvidia driver installed on the Z420 and the T510, but specifically have not installed it on the T61 MX system just to see if that is the problem. In fact, the MX system is even worse when it locks up - I can't get a console, and even ssh'ing in and 'sudo service lightdm restart' has no effect. I can't even reboot the system with 'sudo reboot' or shut it down with 'sudo poweroff'; I have to hold down the power button.

My questions:
- Is there a better way of kicking XFCE in the butt and restarting it when it locks up, without logging me off?
- Is there any information I can collect to help the developers, assuming I can get a console with Ctrl-Alt-F3 when it locks up?
- Do people just put up with this instability? Since I experience it on four separate computers, hard to believe that it is hardware related.

Here is output of "inxi -Fxxxrz" for all my systems. If you need more info please ask:

Lenovo T61p running MX:

System:    Host: mxt61 Kernel: 4.19.0-17-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 8.3.0 Console: N/A 
           dm: LightDM 1.26.0 Distro: MX-19.4_x64 patito feo November 11  2020 
           base: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster) 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 64608VU v: ThinkPad T61p serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 10 
           serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 64608VU serial: <filter> BIOS: LENOVO v: 7LETA9WW (2.09 ) date: 12/27/2007 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 43.4 Wh condition: 47.6/84.2 Wh (57%) volts: 12.5/10.8 
           model: Panasonic 92P1133 type: Li-ion serial: <filter> status: Charging 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core2 Duo T7700 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Core Merom rev: B 
           L2 cache: 4096 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 9576 
           Speed: 798 MHz min/max: 800/2401 MHz boost: enabled Core speeds (MHz): 1: 798 2: 798 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA G84GLM [Quadro FX 570M] vendor: Lenovo ThinkPad T61p driver: nouveau v: kernel 
           bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 10de:040c 
           Display: server: X.org 1.20.4 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa tty: 112x44 
           Message: Advanced graphics data unavailable in console. Try -G --display 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 82801H HD Audio vendor: Lenovo ThinkPad T61/R61 driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:284b 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.19.0-17-amd64 
Network:   Device-1: Intel 82566MM Gigabit Network vendor: Lenovo ThinkPad T61/R61 driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k 
           port: 1840 bus ID: 00:19.0 chip ID: 8086:1049 
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Intel PRO/Wireless 4965 AG or AGN [Kedron] Network driver: iwl4965 v: in-tree: 
           port: 2000 bus ID: 03:00.0 chip ID: 8086:4230 
           IF: wlan0 state: down mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 149.05 GiB used: 40.36 GiB (27.1%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Seagate model: ST9160821AS size: 149.05 GiB speed: 1.5 Gb/s 
           serial: <filter> rev: E scheme: MBR 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 24.15 GiB used: 7.51 GiB (31.1%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda1 
           ID-2: /home size: 9.99 GiB used: 1.29 GiB (12.9%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda5 
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 4.13 GiB used: 64.2 MiB (1.5%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 69.0 C mobo: 52.0 C gpu: nouveau temp: 60 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): fan-1: 0 
Repos:     No active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list 
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian-stable-updates.list 
           1: deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-updates main contrib non-free
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list 
           1: deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster main contrib non-free
           2: deb http://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib non-free
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mx.list 
           1: deb http://mirrors.rit.edu/mxlinux/mx-packages/mx/repo/ buster main non-free
           No active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/various.list 
Info:      Processes: 285 Uptime: 17d 20h 47m Memory: 2.92 GiB used: 1.71 GiB (58.5%) Init: SysVinit v: 2.93 
           runlevel: 5 default: 5 Compilers: gcc: 8.3.0 alt: 8 Shell: bash v: 5.0.3 inxi: 3.0.36 

Lenovo T510 running Xubuntu:

System:    Kernel: 5.8.0-63-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: N/A Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 tk: Gtk 3.24.13 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 4313CTO v: ThinkPad T510 serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 10 
           serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 4313CTO serial: <filter> BIOS: LENOVO v: 6MET81WW (1.41 ) date: 10/26/2010 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 45.6 Wh condition: 46.7/47.5 Wh (98%) volts: 11.9/10.8 model: LGC 42T4911 
           type: Li-ion serial: <filter> status: Unknown 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5 M 560 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Nehalem rev: 5 
           L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 21280 
           Speed: 1447 MHz min/max: 1199/2667 MHz boost: enabled Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1267 2: 1273 3: 1249 
           4: 1427 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218M [NVS 3100M] vendor: Lenovo driver: nvidia v: 340.108 bus ID: 01:00.0 
           chip ID: 10de:0a6c 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.9 driver: nvidia resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz, 1600x1200~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: NVS 3100M/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.108 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 5 Series/3400 Series High Definition Audio vendor: Lenovo driver: snd_hda_intel 
           v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:3b56 
           Device-2: NVIDIA High Definition Audio vendor: Lenovo driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 01:00.1 chip ID: 10de:0be3 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.8.0-63-generic 
Network:   Device-1: Intel 82577LM Gigabit Network vendor: Lenovo driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: 1820 
           bus ID: 00:19.0 chip ID: 8086:10ea 
           IF: enp0s25 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Intel Centrino Wireless-N 1000 [Condor Peak] driver: iwlwifi v: kernel port: 2000 
           bus ID: 03:00.0 chip ID: 8086:0084 
           IF: wlp3s0 state: down mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 465.76 GiB used: 45.55 GiB (9.8%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Toshiba model: MQ01ABD050 size: 465.76 GiB speed: 3.0 Gb/s 
           rotation: 5400 rpm serial: <filter> rev: 1U scheme: MBR 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 29.81 GiB used: 7.72 GiB (25.9%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda1 
           ID-2: /home size: 7.85 GiB used: 1.23 GiB (15.7%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda5 
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 8.56 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 33.0 C mobo: 0.0 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): cpu: 0 
Repos:     Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list 
           1: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted
           2: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates main restricted
           3: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal universe
           4: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates universe
           5: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal multiverse
           6: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates multiverse
           7: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-backports main restricted universe multiverse
           8: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security main restricted
           9: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security universe
           10: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security multiverse
Info:      Processes: 326 Uptime: 15h 53m Memory: 7.64 GiB used: 1.03 GiB (13.5%) Init: systemd v: 245 
           runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 9.3.0 alt: 9 Shell: bash v: 5.0.17 running in: xfce4-terminal 
           inxi: 3.0.38 

HP Z420 running Ubuntu Studio:

System:    Kernel: 5.4.0-74-lowlatency x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 9.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 
           tk: Gtk 3.24.13 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 
           Distro: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) 
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: Hewlett-Packard product: HP Z420 Workstation v: N/A serial: <filter> 
           Chassis: type: 6 serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: Hewlett-Packard model: 1589 v: 0.00 serial: <filter> UEFI [Legacy]: Hewlett-Packard 
           v: J61 v03.94 date: 07/10/2018 
CPU:       Topology: Quad Core model: Intel Xeon E5-1607 0 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Sandy Bridge rev: 7 
           L2 cache: 10.0 MiB 
           flags: avx lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 23942 
           Speed: 1197 MHz min/max: 1200/3000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1197 2: 1197 3: 1197 4: 1197 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA G98 [Quadro NVS 295] driver: nvidia v: 340.108 bus ID: 05:00.0 
           chip ID: 10de:06fd 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.9 driver: nvidia unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,nouveau,vesa 
           resolution: 1680x1050~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Quadro NVS 295/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.108 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel C600/X79 series High Definition Audio vendor: Hewlett-Packard 
           driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:1d20 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.0-74-lowlatency 
Network:   Device-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k 
           port: e040 bus ID: 00:19.0 chip ID: 8086:1502 
           IF: eno1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 2.79 TiB used: 389.44 GiB (13.6%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: SanDisk model: SDSSDP064G size: 58.69 GiB speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> 
           scheme: MBR 
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Western Digital model: WD10EZEX-00WN4A0 size: 931.51 GiB speed: 6.0 Gb/s 
           rotation: 7200 rpm serial: <filter> rev: 1A01 scheme: MBR 
           ID-3: /dev/sdc vendor: Western Digital model: WD10EZEX-00WN4A0 size: 931.51 GiB speed: 3.0 Gb/s 
           rotation: 7200 rpm serial: <filter> rev: 1A01 scheme: MBR 
           ID-4: /dev/sdd vendor: Western Digital model: WD10EZEX-00WN4A0 size: 931.51 GiB speed: 3.0 Gb/s 
           rotation: 7200 rpm serial: <filter> rev: 1A01 scheme: MBR 
RAID:      Supported md-raid types: linear multipath raid0 raid1 raid6 raid5 raid4 raid10 
           Device-1: md1 type: mdraid status: active Components: online: sdc2~c1 sdd2~c0 
           Info: raid: mirror blocks: 966389376 report: 2/2 UU chunk size: N/A super blocks: 1.2 
           Device-2: md0 type: mdraid status: active Components: online: sdc1~c1 sdd1~c0 
           Info: raid: mirror blocks: 10230784 report: 2/2 UU chunk size: N/A super blocks: 1.2 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 29.48 GiB used: 11.21 GiB (38.0%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 
           ID-2: /home size: 7.62 GiB used: 488.2 MiB (6.3%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sdb8 
           ID-3: /var size: 9.75 GiB used: 2.70 GiB (27.6%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sdb6 
           ID-4: swap-1 size: 15.79 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sdb10 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 32.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nvidia temp: 60 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Repos:     Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list 
           1: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted
           2: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates main restricted
           3: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal universe
           4: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates universe
           5: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal multiverse
           6: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates multiverse
           7: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-backports main restricted universe multiverse
           8: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security main restricted
           9: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security universe
           10: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security multiverse
Info:      Processes: 317 Uptime: 1h 26m Memory: 15.56 GiB used: 1.12 GiB (7.2%) Init: systemd v: 245 
           runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 9.3.0 alt: 9 Shell: bash v: 5.0.17 running in: xfce4-terminal 
           inxi: 3.0.38 

Homebuilt MSI mobo running Ubuntu Studio:

System:    Kernel: 5.4.0-72-lowlatency x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 9.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 
           tk: Gtk 3.24.13 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.30.0 
           Distro: Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) 
Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: MICRO-STAR model: P55-GD65 (MS-7583) v: 1.0 serial: <filter> 
           BIOS: American Megatrends v: 1.6 date: 12/28/2009 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i3 540 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Nehalem rev: 5 
           L2 cache: 4096 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 24593 
           Speed: 1470 MHz min/max: 1200/3067 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1423 2: 1378 3: 1408 4: 1370 
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 8400 GS Rev. 3] vendor: eVga.com. driver: nvidia v: 340.108 
           bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 10de:10c3 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.9 driver: nvidia unloaded: fbdev,modesetting,nouveau,vesa 
           resolution: 1680x1050~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: GeForce 8400GS/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.108 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 5 Series/3400 Series High Definition Audio vendor: Micro-Star MSI 
           driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:3b56 
           Device-2: NVIDIA High Definition Audio vendor: eVga.com. driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 01:00.1 chip ID: 10de:0be3 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.0-72-lowlatency 
Network:   Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet driver: r8169 v: kernel 
           port: c800 bus ID: 02:00.0 chip ID: 10ec:8168 
           IF: enp2s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet vendor: Micro-Star MSI 
           driver: r8169 v: kernel port: d800 bus ID: 03:00.0 chip ID: 10ec:8168 
           IF: enp3s0 state: down mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 298.09 GiB used: 71.39 GiB (23.9%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Hitachi model: HTS545032B9A302 size: 298.09 GiB speed: 3.0 Gb/s 
           rotation: 5400 rpm serial: <filter> rev: C60Y scheme: MBR 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 28.71 GiB used: 12.10 GiB (42.1%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2 
           ID-2: /home size: 4.17 GiB used: 314.0 MiB (7.4%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5 
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 8.01 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 33.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nvidia temp: 45 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Repos:     Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list 
           1: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal main restricted
           2: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates main restricted
           3: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal universe
           4: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates universe
           5: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal multiverse
           6: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-updates multiverse
           7: deb http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ focal-backports main restricted universe multiverse
           8: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security main restricted
           9: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security universe
           10: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal-security multiverse
Info:      Processes: 236 Uptime: 3m Memory: 7.77 GiB used: 714.6 MiB (9.0%) Init: systemd v: 245 
           runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 9.3.0 alt: 9 Shell: bash v: 5.0.17 running in: xfce4-terminal 
           inxi: 3.0.38 

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#2 2021-09-15 02:00:16

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 8,020

Re: XFCE instability (GUI freeze)

This is really strange. Xfce is pretty stable, so that you have this happening of 4 different machines is really odd. The only commonality between those 4 systems based on what you've posted is that you are using nvidia cards.

Are you able to provide the journal log files for a time when a lock up happens? Perhaps starting 1 minute before the time of the lockup until the time it is resolved. Perhaps there is something there can identify the cause. An easy way to get this would be to restart when a lockup happens and then post back the results of:

sudo journalctl -b1 --no-pager

You might also have some luck with the ~/.xsession-errors file - especially if its Xfce (or an X Windows element) that is locking up the system.

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#3 2021-09-15 17:40:23

CwF
Member
Registered: 2018-01-28
Posts: 161

Re: XFCE instability (GUI freeze)

ToZ wrote:

The only commonality between those 4 systems based on what you've posted is that you are using nvidia cards.

and VLC!
I would check if you can get your desired functionality with mpv.

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#4 2021-09-16 17:14:28

emmemm11
Member
Registered: 2021-09-15
Posts: 2

Re: XFCE instability (GUI freeze)

ToZ: thanks for the suggestion; when this happens again I will gather the output and post. However: '-b1' gets the information from the first time I booted the system after installation, wouldn't plain '-b' be more appropriate?

CwF: Searching "linux VLC lockup" or similar I found a forum post somewhere suggesting that in VLC I set "Video Settings" -> "Output" -> "X11 video output (XCB)" and did so months ago.
Is 'mpv' an alternate video player? I already have "parole" but it doesn't have the functionality of VLC.

Today an xubuntu update trashed the video on the T510 (forced to 640x480 resolution), so I had to uninstall the Nvidia driver and revert to nouveau. I'll see if I run into lockups with this.

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#5 2021-09-16 19:21:38

CwF
Member
Registered: 2018-01-28
Posts: 161

Re: XFCE instability (GUI freeze)

emmemm11 wrote:

Is 'mpv' an alternate video player?

Yes. It can be manually tweaked, and needs to be. It is my impression it can do all vlc can, just not out of the box.

I built a multituner dvb box with nouveau and mpv. I'm years out on any opinion on the current state of vlc and/or nvidia, but stability is why. At the same time I determined amdgpu(SI) has a few issues, radeon was best. Everything changes, so...

If you take the time to setup mpv, make your own setup and lua scripts, I do think it is a tighter and more stable solution.

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#6 2021-09-16 23:11:28

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 8,020

Re: XFCE instability (GUI freeze)

emmemm11 wrote:

ToZ: thanks for the suggestion; when this happens again I will gather the output and post. However: '-b1' gets the information from the first time I booted the system after installation, wouldn't plain '-b' be more appropriate?

Yes, you are correct. Apologies for the wrong info.

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