Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

i installed 11.04 (my first experience with ubuntu, please go easy on me..) only a few days ago after Vista crashed on my computer. i installed flash and all the correct plug-ins as far as i can tell because the videos begin playing just fine. but when watching youtube videos one after another, or an episode on hulu or anything, without fail after around 15 minutes (the first time; every following time i turn the computer back on afterwards takes less time to shut down) spontaneously i see a black screen with grey writing that i can barely read before it just shuts down. this happens in Firefox and Chromium. please help, this is so frustrating.

share|improve this question
Please paste the contents of your /var/log/kern.log . – Amith KK Jul 18 '11 at 3:38
it wouldn't paste because there are too many characters, so i uploaded the log to tiny upload here:…. hopefully that's helpful? thanks so much for taking a look at it. – Davana Jul 18 '11 at 19:49

It will be very difficult to say what might be wrong. You have not mentioned any thing about the H/W you are using. Desktop PC or laptop, Graphics card etc.

One cause of the shutdown might be over heating. Playing videos using Flash is a quite processor intensive work. Normally playing video heats up the CPU more quickly. One thing you can do is check the CUP temperature while you are watching Hulu.

Install lmsensors : sudo apt-get install lm_sensors Check the temp: sensors

If you see your cpu temp is shooting up high while playing the Hulu, indicates you have some problem with your cooling system. Check it out, let us know so that we can debug the issue further.

share|improve this answer
sorry about that, it's a dell inspiron 1525 laptop. i started a video and it shut down just now after 5 minutes, so i left it for a few seconds then booted it back up and checked the temp right away per your was at +83*C with +85*C being "crit". It's slowly cooling down now as I'm writing this, now it's +65*C, etc. it does appear to be the cooling system. i would have had no idea how to check that otherwise, thanks so much for that tip! what should i do now? i already have an external fan plugged into the USB that i've been using, but clearly it doesn't seem to help. – Davana Jul 18 '11 at 20:19
It seems that your sensors are malfunctioning – Amith KK Jul 19 '11 at 11:29
Your sensors maybe malfunctioning seeing [ 721.394227] CPU0: Core temperature above threshold, cpu clock throttled (total events = 208) – Amith KK Jul 19 '11 at 11:31
okay, so is that more of a hardware problem than an ubuntu problem? should i ask Dell instead? – Davana Jul 19 '11 at 15:21
Yep @Davana (P.S does it work in windows?) – Amith KK Jul 21 '11 at 12:59

Hold up - maybe the sensors are right. Is your laptop full of dust or does it have a broken fan? I am amazed at how much junk can get in the fans and make them not able to cool down the system like they should. Do you have a can of air to clean out at least some of the dust? (if your system is clean as a whistle, then sorry for the rant....) Bob from Arlington

share|improve this answer
it was full of dust. i unscrewed the bottom of the laptop to get to the fan and cleaned out a chunk of dust that was blocking the fan, and it's been fine and hasn't overheated since! – Davana Apr 3 '12 at 22:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.