n2liquid's sandbox

Um não simplesmente chama GNU de estável

I clicked on Icecat’s “+” button to open up a new tab and Xorg became irresponsive. I hit Ctrl-Alt-F2 to see tty2 and `killall X` like I usually do (I had to do this a bazillion times since I installed this system already), but tty2 just wouldn’t show up.

Eventually, after a couple (many?) minutes passed (I’m not sure how long it took since I was afk having dinner), tty2 was there. I typed my login and pressed Enter. It took a couple more minutes to ask me for a password (CPU was likely still hogged). A entered the password and got into the shell.

Inside the shell I killed X and checked /var/log/Xorg.0.log. It had something along those lines:

[157712.954] (II) evdev: MLK Nortek Activo WL Laser 2.4G: initialized for relative axes.
[157712.954] (WW) evdev: MLK Nortek Activo WL Laser 2.4G: ignoring absolute axes.
[157712.954] (**) MLK Nortek Activo WL Laser 2.4G: (accel) keeping acceleration scheme 1
[157712.954] (**) MLK Nortek Activo WL Laser 2.4G: (accel) acceleration profile 0
[157712.954] (**) MLK Nortek Activo WL Laser 2.4G: (accel) acceleration factor: 2.000
[157712.954] (**) MLK Nortek Activo WL Laser 2.4G: (accel) acceleration threshold: 4
(EE) [mi] EQ overflowing.  Additional events will be discarded until existing events are processed.
(EE)
(EE) Backtrace:
(EE) 0: /usr/bin/X (xorg_backtrace+0x3d) [0x57f67d]
(EE) 1: /usr/bin/X (mieqEnqueue+0x22b) [0x5615bb]
(EE) 2: /usr/bin/X (QueuePointerEvents+0x52) [0x44da82]
(EE) 3: /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/evdev_drv.so (0x7f7d11ddf000+0x57ed) [0x7f7d11de47ed]
(EE) 4: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x73da8) [0x473da8]
(EE) 5: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x9c330) [0x49c330]
(EE) 6: /usr/lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x7f7d16238000+0xf870) [0x7f7d16247870]
(EE) 7: /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (0x7f7d1529a000+0x7a04e) [0x7f7d1531404e]
(EE) 8: /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (__libc_calloc+0xaa) [0x7f7d1531660a]
(EE) 9: /usr/bin/X (EventToXI2+0x6ab) [0x44867b]
(EE) 10: /usr/bin/X (DeliverRawEvent+0x27) [0x4478c7]
(EE) 11: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x11325b) [0x51325b]
(EE) 12: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x1340b6) [0x5340b6]
(EE) 13: /usr/bin/X (mieqProcessDeviceEvent+0x1cd) [0x56199d]
(EE) 14: /usr/bin/X (mieqProcessInputEvents+0xf7) [0x561ab7]
(EE) 15: /usr/bin/X (ProcessInputEvents+0x9) [0x473f09]
(EE) 16: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x37102) [0x437102]
(EE) 17: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x2693a) [0x42693a]
(EE) 18: /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (__libc_start_main+0xf5) [0x7f7d152bbbc5]
(EE) 19: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x26c81) [0x426c81]
(EE)
(EE) [mi] These backtraces from mieqEnqueue may point to a culprit higher up the stack.
(EE) [mi] mieq is *NOT* the cause.  It is a victim.
(EE) [mi] EQ overflow continuing.  100 events have been dropped.
(EE)
(EE) Backtrace:
(EE) 0: /usr/bin/X (xorg_backtrace+0x3d) [0x57f67d]
(EE) 1: /usr/bin/X (QueueKeyboardEvents+0x52) [0x44d452]
(EE) 2: /usr/bin/X (xf86PostKeyboardEvent+0x44) [0x483e84]
(EE) 3: /usr/lib/xorg/modules/input/evdev_drv.so (0x7f7d11ddf000+0x5571) [0x7f7d11de4571]
(EE) 4: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x73da8) [0x473da8]
(EE) 5: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x9c330) [0x49c330]
(EE) 6: /usr/lib/libpthread.so.0 (0x7f7d16238000+0xf870) [0x7f7d16247870]
(EE) 7: /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (0x7f7d1529a000+0x7a04e) [0x7f7d1531404e]
(EE) 8: /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (__libc_calloc+0xaa) [0x7f7d1531660a]
(EE) 9: /usr/bin/X (EventToXI2+0x6ab) [0x44867b]
(EE) 10: /usr/bin/X (DeliverRawEvent+0x27) [0x4478c7]
(EE) 11: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x11325b) [0x51325b]
(EE) 12: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x1340b6) [0x5340b6]
(EE) 13: /usr/bin/X (mieqProcessDeviceEvent+0x1cd) [0x56199d]
(EE) 14: /usr/bin/X (mieqProcessInputEvents+0xf7) [0x561ab7]
(EE) 15: /usr/bin/X (ProcessInputEvents+0x9) [0x473f09]
(EE) 16: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x37102) [0x437102]
(EE) 17: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x2693a) [0x42693a]
(EE) 18: /usr/lib/libc.so.6 (__libc_start_main+0xf5) [0x7f7d152bbbc5]
(EE) 19: /usr/bin/X (0x400000+0x26c81) [0x426c81]
(EE)
[168867.313] [mi] EQ processing has resumed after 103 dropped events.
[168870.925] [mi] This may be caused my a misbehaving driver monopolizing the server’s resources.

So it looks like it was probably my mouse driver’s fault. Yes, that mouse driver.

I copied the logs over to my home directory to use in this post later. Then I tried to switch to tty1 in order to `startx` again, but tty1 never popped up and tty2 was frozen (or the framebuffer was frozen, or something). Pressing Ctrl-Alt-F* again did nothing. I had to force a shutdown by holding down the power button.

Now, maybe I could have recovered my computer from this crash by logging in via SSH and seeing what was still messed up. Probably X wasn’t killed because killall’s default signal is SIGTERM and I haven’t passed the –wait option, so it probably had no effect and I had just jumped to X again.

In any case, none of the above is the point of this blogpost. The point is that a system that can be brought down by a userland program can’t be called stable.

So, GNU on desktops is, by default, simply not stable.

Update (10/11/2013): This happened again yesterday when I left the computer unattended (so it wasn’t even triggered by a user action, it just happened). This time around I ran `killall -9 -w X`, then I looked for an X process and it wasn’t found. Running `killall -9 -w X` again resulted in a “no process found message.”

`top` revealed nothing: all processes were using a normal (close to 0%) amount of CPU. Still, switching to tty1 crashed the whole machine. After a couple minutes tty1 appeared, but as I typed nothing appeared… I could run commands and clear the screen, but I saw neither the output nor what I typed, just the bash prompt. I started X again just to see what happened and it ran OK. tty2 also looked OK. Go figure!

Screenshot from 2013-10-07 05:02:53

The latest in the series of problems trying to be “green” using only GNU-approved software is this. For some reason, addons.mozilla.org detects my IceCat browser as Firefox version 6 (it’s actually GNU IceCat 17; I would think the versions are roughly equivalent).

Clicking the grey “Add to Firefox” button gave me an option to “install the add-on anyway”, which I did. Firebug was then downloaded, but could not be installed because it was not compatible with the browser.

Great

I have a Nortek wireless mouse that will just stop working while I surf the web or just normally use it to… point and click on things in general. I have no idea what causes the failure (dmesg shows nothing, Xorg / evdev logs just say it was “Closed”). It’s most definitely not a hardware problem, since this mouse was in use under Windows for years and this has never happened in that operating system.

Temporary solution: Rebooting the machine always works for me. Yes, the machine, not X. I managed to get it back working without rebooting by unloading and then reloading usbhid (sudo rmmod usbhid && sudo modprobe usbhid; after a couple minutes it was working again). The second time I tried, reloading usbhid didn’t help, so maybe I had done something else after reloading that actually fixed the problem, but I have no idea what it was.

Update (September 26, 2013): Oh, if I switch the USB port after the usbhid reload it works. Switching ports before that did nothing.

Update (October 2, 2013): I have not updated any package or changed any configuration on my system since the last update. However, it’s been a couple days since I had any issues with the mouse. I think the software that made the mouse randomly stop working must itself have stopped working or something 🙂 Another possibility is the amount of bogons I had accumulated over the years must be irradiating fast, and will eventually be completely drained from my body.

Update (October 6, 2013): It happened again today and in the past couple days too. I just unplug / plug again and sometimes have to reload usbhid.

So, I was going to write 2 GNU Drama posts, but I’ve bumped into another problem that prevents me from doing that.

Yesterday I replaced Iceweasel by IceCat, the GNU variant of the rebranded Firefox web browser. I just noticed that it is somehow incapable of adding images to my WordPress posts. When I click the “Add Media” button, nothing happens.

I have triple-checked that LibreJS is not interferring. I have configured it to allow all scripts on this page, and if they weren’t allowed I wouldn’t be using a WYSIWYG editor.

One would think that GNU would be able to at least browse the web without a hassle, since it’s standardized grounds, and everything tends to work (unless you’re using Internet Explorer). One would be terribly wrong.

I woke up today and started my GNU-powered computing apparatus (also known as “Computer”). I fired up XMMS, Iceweasel, and Empathy to log into my AIM account (which I use solely for work).

Empathy could not connect to AIM. This is the first time I’m trying to use it to connect to AIM, and this is GNU, so it was expected not to just work. It just hang in there, “Connecting…”

“Alright,” I said. “I’ll use Pidgin.” And closed Empathy.

So I tried to launch Pidgin from the GNOME shell. The spinning loading indicator with Pidgin’s icon appeared at the top of my shell. I waited patiently. Nothing happened after some 20 seconds, so I gave up. Maybe Pidgin just broke itself last night? It’s never a surprise when stuff stops working from one day to another in the GNU world, at least for me. Apparently I’m just a strong bogon source (only for GNU systems).

Then I decided to launch the Terminal to launch Pidgin from there and see the output. Same thing; Terminal wouldn’t start. Then it struck me; I remembered why I normally don’t choose GNOME: it sometimes fails to launch programs, or takes minutes to launch one. Somtimes, which is probably the most disgusting aspect of this problem.

I first had this disgraceful, mindfucking experience some 6 years ago. I don’t remember what distro I was trying back then, but it was very likely something supposed to be very user-friendly and work “out-of-the-box” (hah! Hahaha, the idea of GNU working out-of-the-box always makes me smile). I wasn’t so brave back then.

I have no idea how to search the web for this, and when I tell my GNU friends about it they say they’ve never experienced it, and they use GNU on a daily basis for many years.

So I’ll just restart X and hope the problem goes away and doesn’t come back to haunt me when I’m not in such a good mood.

Note: This post has no screenshot because obviously I couldn’t launch the screenshot application.

Temporary solution: Restarting X or GNOME seems to work.

GNOME 3 Volume MenuI have installed GNOME 3 here, but only the bare minimum packages. Sound works out-of-the-box (which is awesome!!!), but if I click on Sound Settings, nothing happens. No error messages, no settings dialog.

Resolutiongnome-control-center must be installed in order for that menu item to work. Why it was there if I hadn’t installed it is beyond me. Why no error messages appeared is… totally beyond me.

20130910-030339.jpg

I just installed gnome-desktop and gnome-session from Parabola’s package manager. A couple dependencies were installed, but apparently not all of them. I have no idea which one is missing. Will just install all packages in the “gnome” group.

I have no idea where GNOME 3 stores its logs or where that’s configured.

Resolution: It turns out I forgot to install gnome-shell. I’m sure the error message could’ve told me that much!

Cute bouncing pixels

un.ma.i!

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