Screen Freezes / system becomes unresponsive

Hi Gang,

What a wonderful linux distribution! I have installed the latest version of Ubuntu Mate 15.10 on a little Acer v3-112p (c1aq). I added a Samsung SSD to the mix, and with Mate, the little laptop shines.

However, I’m having a problem with Mate in that the screen freezes randomly after a few minutes of use. The keyboard and mouse (USB bluetooth Microsoft 4000) stop working. And the system becomes unresponsive… The only thing to do is hold the power button and reboot. The system is a pretty plain install. I added chrome and hangouts from the welcome screen.

I have used Linux off and on over the years, so I know a little bit… but not enough to nip this one. I have done some searching through forums, but haven’t found anything so far as a “fix”. So thought I’d ask here. Does anyone have ideas of where to look? Things to try? etc.

Thanks so much!

Let’s see if you can identify anything in the logs:

  • System Log: /var/log/syslog or /var/log/syslog1
  • Kernel Log: /var/log/kern.log
  • X (Display Server) Log: /var/log/Xorg.0.log

X can be a culprit of locking up both the display and input, pressing CTRL+ALT+Backspace is known as “X zapping” which completely kills it and takes you back to the login screen. I’m not sure if this is enabled by default.

Do you have an AMD or NVIDIA graphics card too? If it is a problem with the X server (display) locking itself up, then the proprietary drivers in Additional Drivers may help.

A little tip: Even if the system looks like it’s locked up, you can use the magic SysRq key to perform a clean restart.

Alt+SysRq+B performs an immediate reboot. For a “clean” reboot, wait a few seconds with the combination: reisub

This article has more details, it’ll also determine if it’s completely locked up the hardware, or the kernel is still running:

There is an non-free video driver that may help.

Have you looked to see if additional drivers are offered in software sources? Software sources is located in your menu or you can bring it up with a terminal command.