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For the last 3-4 months I have been experiencing random system crashes: the screen just hangs and nothing can move. Also I can't ssh into my box.

On some days it doesn't happen at all, and on others it can happen up to 3-4 times. Sometimes It'll hang, I'll immediately restart my machine, and then it'll crash again as soon as the desktop appears.

I have a very strong feeling that it's the Google Chrome browser that is somehow causing the crash, as Chrome is usually running when it happens.

Is there anything I can do to try and diagnose what the issue might be?

I also get occasional ubuntu messages telling me that something has crashed in the background.

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marked as duplicate by AgentCool, Eric Carvalho, user68186, qbi, belacqua May 21 '13 at 16:26

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1 Answer 1

You can check the normal places.

First check /var/log/messages

Next right before a "crash" or right after (if the computer doesn't reboot) Check system monitor and make sure the ram and CPU usage by chrome seems "reasonable"

Third, check free -m and df -h and make sure your have plenty of free space. If you ran out of ram and out of swap or normal hard drive then there's a crash.

Finally in chrome "view background pages" and see if there is anything there that stands out.

If none of that helps start chrome from the command line and see if it says anything.

You may need to install an ssh server if it locks your screen. That way you can still login and get some details and reboot normally.

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I've just checked and I don't have a /var/log/messages. I have 16gb memory and there is always lots free. I do have ssh server but i can't login when it crashes. –  chris-richards May 21 '13 at 13:35
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