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computer freezes when using X (Radeon)
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multix
Apprentice
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Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 216
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:00 pm    Post subject: computer freezes when using X (Radeon) Reply with quote

Hi,

I have a ThinkPad R52 with an ATI card:
Code:

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] RV370/M22 [Mobility Radeon X300]


I think the system is fairly stable: I compiled gentoo, even big stuff like gcc, clang... or even firefox without issues.
I can run X11 with a simple windowmaker and xterm without problems, performance is decent (scrolling, moving windows, etc).

However, randomly using X I noticed a total system freeze (not just X, the system stopped responding also to a remote ssh session to it).

Apparently, certain apps, like Firefox or GNUstep apps can cause a freeze after a bit of use, usually by resizing a window a couple of times.
Plain windowmaker and xterm seem to run for hours though.

I am suspect that it is cause by cairo / pixman which those apps use, but still, it shouldn't cause a freeze: something is wrong.
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multix
Apprentice
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Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 216
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some updates: The freeze can happen also with other applications, even with just XTerms and WindowMaker, it is juts less frequent.

I had a great improvement in stability by disabling glamor, that is, I added "-glamor" to USE flags and recompiled.

Although i still got freezes, these went from locking up every 10 minutes, to twice per day or even less sometimes.

The handbook says glamor is not recommended for 300 series of radeon, but since it was enabled by default, I didn't think it would cause actual harm.

I can't say the problem is solved, but at least improved.
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Logicien
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Joined: 16 Sep 2005
Posts: 1375
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

to try to resolv this problem, I would first disable any powersaving on the laptop, put the processor frequency scaling in performance policy and disable PCIe Aspm. Than I would check in dmesg what's the kernel say about the radeon, drm, KMS and framebuffer supports, including the firmware files. I would check the Gentoo /var/log/Xorg.0.log at the time of the freeze too (from a live Linux if needed).

Some parameters can be pass to radeon on the kernel side and on Xorg side. I would force the use of EXA accelerated method in Xorg configuration. The Thinkpads laptops have some specific packages for them in the Portage tree. Use them can help.

Note that a complete freeze may or may not be related to Xorg even if it's occur during an Xorg session. The cause(s) can be single or multiples. You can try to check if the freeze occur in a live session with a stable binary Linux distribution and use the Fglrx proprietary drivers with Gentoo as examples of tests to reduce the number of possible causes.
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Pegasus87
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Joined: 09 Sep 2004
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

it seems that I have the some problem on my system. My graphic card is an R9 270X and my desktop is the live variant of KDE 5 combined with systemd and kernel 4.0.5. I'm using the open source ati driver xf86-video-ati in version 7.5.0, also xorg-server 1.17.4 and mesa 11.0.4. Glamor is enabled (I also tried without glamor but there is no obvious change for the stability) and the display manager is SDDM.

The behaviour is the same as described above... sometimes I can work for hours but the I want to resize a firefox window and freez...
I connected through ssh to the freezed machine and there seems to be no problem. X is still running, no errors in xorg.0.log and journalctl also gives no information to me.

Restarting SDDM with systemctl has no effect for the first 3-5 minutes, but then the display switches back to systemd console and tries to restart sddm (and X I think) what is no successful in every case. Only rebooting solves the problem.

Any ideas?

Using the latest fglrx didn't worked for me, no login screen is shown and the kernel logs a lot tainted kernel errors...
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Logicien
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Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With Xorg Fglrx module, you cannot use the i915 (Intel) framebuffer support in the Linux kernel. If you boot in Bios mode, you can use Vesafb or Uvesafb. If you boot in Efi mode, you can use Efifb. Of course, a reboot is needed.

With Firefox, try to disable some extensions specially the Adobe Flash if it is activated. You can disable the hardware acceleration in Firefox and in the Adobe Flash configuration too.

The Adobe Flash extension have always be a master of systems freezes.
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