Random GUI Glitches and Freezes

asked 2016-04-30 09:48:06 -0500

zelphir gravatar image

updated 2016-04-30 19:34:37 -0500

In the last two days I had many seemingly random GUI freezes in my Fedora 22. At first I thought them to be related to the Vivaldi browser and switched to Firefox, which is also installed. But the freezes continued, so I assumed it was about flash videos on youtube. I installed an addon to always use the HTML 5 version on youtube. Still freezes continued. I downloaded the latest NVidia driver then and reinstalled that one (was already installed in that exact version), but even on run level 3 while finishing the installation of the nvidia drivers, I got the same graphic glitches I notices before I the GUI freezes. I'll try to describe the phenomenon:

  1. random pixels rush over the screen, disappear again or not and stay on it
  2. mouse pointer shortly freezes then unfreezes again
  3. then more random pixels and flickering occurs
  4. until finally the whole GUI is frozen
  5. I can still hear sounds from videos etc.

Sometimes I could log out with some key combination I tried: ctrl+alt+k or ctrl+shift+k or ctrl+shift+alt+k I just tried them all because I don't really know which one is correct. But when I logged in again, it took even less time for the issue to reappear and then I couldn't do anything at all, except pressing the reset button on my computer.

When I was on runlevel 3 installing the nvidia driver, I assume it cannot have been the drivers fault, as I started the system after doing: systemctl set-default multi-user.target and only had a terminal, no GUI. However instead of random pixels, I then for random characters on my screen, colored and in areas of the screen / terminal, where I didn't even get with the input of the terminal.

For now my system runs, but I cannot be sure if this doesn't happen again randomly at some point. I've build up some distrust to my Fedora 22 distro and I'd like to know how I can see any error messages or something for this phenomenon and if others have the same issues.

I already took a look at journalctl -e to see if anything nvidia stands out. Because usually nvidia is the problem if there is any problem on linux ... but so far I didn't see any error in there, that could cause these issues.

Note, that it only happened the last two days. I did also do dnf update, so maybe it's related to the updates 2 or 3 days ago (today: 30th of April 2016)?

Further Details

  • I have a Nvidia GeForce 9800 GTX.
  • Q6600 CPU
  • Fedora 22
  • 4GB RAM
  • uname -a gives: Linux localhost.localdomain 4.4.6-201.fc22.x86_64 #1 SMP Wed Mar 30 18:30:16 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

For more info just ask, don't know what else could be interesting for resolving the issue.


dmesg | grep error

[   44.898539] traps ...
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I'd try to downgrade all recently updated packages and reboot. If the problem still persists, it is either a hardware or a configuration issue. If it is gone, just update all packages one-by-one and reboot, this should help you figure out which package is causing this issue.

Btw: try journalctl -b or something like that or dmesg. journalctl -e is limited to errors/warnings.

genodeftest gravatar imagegenodeftest ( 2016-04-30 12:44:17 -0500 )edit

I don't know how to downgrade single packages and I don't want to risk causing it again. journalctl -b doesn't go to the end of the file and I'd have to scroll a few hours to get there. I'll add the output of dmesg | grep error to the question.

zelphir gravatar imagezelphir ( 2016-04-30 19:33:43 -0500 )edit