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this is my second version of Ubuntu, 11.04 worked really well for me, and I was really excited about 11.10... until I installed it.

I started by using the upgrade button in the upgrade app, but found that the new version was unstable - Firefox would crash every few minutes, I would be logged out very suddenly for no known reason, and so I decided to do a clean format and install, believing that this may fix the problem. Unfortunately, it seems that the problem is with 11.10 itself, as Firefox, Chromium, and various other programs crash for no reason, flash crashes and I still get chucked out of Ubuntu. Is there any way I can make this more stable, or should I just give in and go to 10.04?

In fact, Chromium just crashed while I was typing this up. What can I do?


Hardware: HP Pavilion with a Snapper MoBo, Running BIOS 3.08, with a 2.66GHz Celeron (32-bit), 2GB SDRAM with a GeForce 5200 GFX Card

GPU is running the latest driver, according to the additional drivers app.


Memtest returned a pass without errors, so it appears that the RAM is clean.


I thought I had it cracked - for a few days, everything worked fine, now just about every program is subject to random shut downs, the desktop vanishes a lot, the unity start menu thing disappears all the time when I'm using it and in Gnome, the desktop keeps crashing out - much as Windows explorer might do if it had some problems. I've decided to go back to 10.04 as there doesn't seem to be a way to get back to 11.04. Failing that, it's back to M$ - I don't like it, but at least it works.

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closed as off topic by Marco Ceppi Feb 3 '12 at 1:32

Questions on Ask Ubuntu are expected to relate to Ubuntu within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Can you add your hardware info? Nothing just crashes... – RolandiXor Nov 19 '11 at 15:18
HP Pavilion with a Snapper MoBo, Running BIOS 3.08, with a 2.66GHz Celeron (32-bit, obviously), 2GB SDRAM with a GeForce 5200 GFX Card – Nick Nov 19 '11 at 15:35
add it to your question itself please :) – RolandiXor Nov 19 '11 at 15:44
This question should instead be filed as a bug report, and as such is off-topic, thanks! Instructions here. – James Feb 3 '12 at 1:32

I think you need to do a fresh install of Ubuntu 11.10. Personally I have found 11.10 to be more stable than 11.04. However, 10.04 should be the most stable.

Have you installed the restricted drivers for your graphics card?

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I've got the recommended additional driver - version 173 running for my GPU – Nick Nov 19 '11 at 15:39
Do the fresh install upgrades don't go well sometimes. – Engels Peralta Nov 19 '11 at 16:12
I did go from update to clean format/install with the same problems persisting – Nick Nov 19 '11 at 18:18
Then I do not know. I think you should go back to 10.04. Have you tried the gnome 3 shell? Maybe it is the unity shell which causes the crashes, unlikely but worth a try. Just search for "gnome shell" in the software center. – Hannes Nov 20 '11 at 11:07

Do you dual boot? If so how stable is windows?

If you don't dual boot and you don't mind the hassle I would do a clean install of 10.04 or something. If that is unstable then you may have hardware problems. Checking out your ram is usually a good start

If 10.04 is stable then as suggested have you installed /not installed some drivers?

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I don't dual boot, I cleaned out windows and did a full format/install of 11.10 – Nick Nov 19 '11 at 15:39
In my experience of Windows, RAM problems would usually be system-wide, i.e. I'd get a BSOD, under Ubuntu would it be possible that it would kick me out of particular programs if there were a RAM issue? I upgraded to 2GB recently, and the computer was very happy with the new RAM under 11.04, the trigger for crashes was 11.10 so far as I can see – Nick Nov 19 '11 at 15:43
I had some dodgy ram a while ago, and windows would BSOD but because of the way linux worked only parts of the system would die. So I would start firefox then it would just suddenly close. Pretty much the symptoms you are describing :(. You could run a ram test to rule this out. – cosmorogers Nov 19 '11 at 15:55
cool, sounds worth a try - is there a specific RAM testing app you use, or do you just go through the system testing app? – Nick Nov 19 '11 at 15:57
I use memtest86 (it is installed when you install ubuntu). To run it you will need to reboot and hold down shift to get the GRUB menu to show, then select Memory test (memtest86+). You will need to let it run for a could of hours min so it can test all your rams. If there are problems there will be lots of red scary lines and text all over the place! But you can't use your computer whilst it is running so go watch a film or something :D – cosmorogers Nov 19 '11 at 16:03

My experience (as a IT consultant with almost 10 years of linux experience) with Ubuntu 11.10 is - sadly - the same. I have tried it this month (jan '12) and I had it showing strange behaviour within 1 hour.

I advise the LTS releases of Ubuntu as they prove the most stable of all. In general, the non-LTS ubuntu releases are not for the faint hearted :)

In my case, I went back to Arch Linux. This distribution is for more experienced users but allowing to build your environment of choice (not limited to unity or gnome3) using the pacman package manager.


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