Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

So my computer has lately started freezing completely when I run some programs that, in the past, would work great.

What I am unsure about however, is what logs that are available to me that could help me track down the issue after a reboot?


share|improve this question
First run said software in the Terminal, and see what it throws, – Uri Herrera Jan 6 '12 at 8:02

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted



If you are running gnome, then you can check the logs using "gnome-system-log" tool, type


in the run dialog.

and check the syslog in the left hand side.

if you want to check the log using terminal,

then do,

tail -f /var/log/syslog
share|improve this answer

"my computer has lately started freezing completely when I run some programs"

What are those programs? The answer to your question is heavily depend on those "some programs" Anyway, check


/var/log/kern.log Optionally you can use dmesg command to view kernel messages to check if something is wrong during boot process.

share|improve this answer

If the whole machine is locking up, off the top of my head, these are the likely causes:

  • Overheating. You don't need logs to determine this, but fingers :)
  • GPU lockup. Is it an OpenGL (3D) application, and you don't normally run those? While locked up you should be able to ssh into it from another machine.
  • Thrashing. Does the hard drive light go on steadily when it locks up? Something is using too much RAM.
  • Other hardware problem. Run a memtest and/or another OS...
share|improve this answer

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.