Remember the big Ubuntu 10.04 Freeze back in 2010?

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My Ubuntu computer has begun to freeze out of nothing. It has been happing since I installed Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. I am not the only one: A Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Random Freeze / Hang-up Ubuntu Forum thread has since 10th May 2010 gained 881 entries (August 2010 count) and the Ubuntu 10.04 random freezes Launchbad thread reaches 165.

Keyboard, mouse, screen and Ctrl+Alt+Backspace freezes and only a hardware reset seems to be available for getting me back. The frequency is around once a day or more often. It is not possible to reproduce. There is nothing to look for /var/log/kern.log, /var/log/messages or /var/log/syslog. The upgrade to 10.04.1 did not fix it. It has been happening with Linux 2.6.32-24-generic kernel and previous versions. It is happening on an older Dell laptop which I recently installed with 10.04. I have another Acer Aspire One with Ubuntu 10.04 that does not have the problem. It was originally installed with 9.10. I doesn’t seem to be tied to a specific use of an application. “System > Admin > System Testing” does not led to any useful crash or information.

There have been loads of suggestions on the Internet for why this is happing:

  1. Bad RAM. But it worked before?
  2. The new ext4 file system. And, yes my file sytem ext4 (see with df -T). Before it was ext3. So what do I do?
  3. Nvidia driver. Well the graphics card is Intel 945GM/GMS/GME, 943/940GML.
  4. 64 bit issue. No, I am running 32 bit.
  5. Compiz with all its flashy effects. Perhaps.
  6. ACPI. Perhaps. databubble suggests “noapic nolapic acpi=off” as kernel parameters during boot. When I introduce “acpi=off” my mouse doesn’t show up in X… Wow what a bug.
  7. Etc.

In the process you learn about Alt+SysRq+REISUB, i.e., “busier” backwards. This will actually reboot the freezed computer. As bugfix users suggest going to Debian and PCLinuxOS. One user writes: “After 4 years of Ubuntu and 3 months of random freezing I’ve migrated to PCLinuxOS.”

I am presently limping in Ubuntu 8.04 and looking on Debian. This is a show-stopper for Ubuntu.

(Typos corrected 4th September 2010)

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4 thoughts on “Remember the big Ubuntu 10.04 Freeze back in 2010?

    chappy said:
    September 29, 2010 at 12:00 am

    yup been through my own minny hell!

    Walter said:
    October 14, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Same Here, I was hoping the 10.10 upgrade would solve the Issue, but it re-occurred within 10 minutes of a fresh installation.

    john said:
    October 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    I just cured my random mouse freeze in 10.04.1 with the kernel options:acpi_skip_timer_override nohz=offNote: disabling irqbalance did not work in my case, but the above is working 100% on my 10.04.1 and also my 10.10 install which started doing it as well.

    Adam said:
    November 1, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    I have a similar problem, except it is either (1) random freezes during install (15%, 23%, 35% and "running dpkg". After over 10 install attempts, only one worked, but the running system won’t log in fully, it gets kicked back out to login screen instantly.(I didn’t upgrade from 9.04 until now)-Adam

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