As stated, when playing avi video files with vlc video player (no matter - fullscreen or windowed) after some time (10 to 30 minutes, seems to be somehow tied to screen dim):

  • picture on screen freezes
  • keyboard hangs
    • cant turn off numlock
    • ctrl+alt+whatever not working
  • sometimes I can move mouse, but it cannot interact with ubuntu top panel.
  • pressing power button has no effect
  • audio remains playing as normal (till the end of movie)

So that's not a kernel hang, and not an app hang... but UI + USB input freeze! THE Only way to continue look movie is to press reset button.

Browsing works well, no Chrome crashes, in-browser youtube could show videos for hours. There is enough memory, less than 20% used. none of 2GB swap used. Movie files are always in RAM (/mnt/tmp/somefile.mkv, on tmpfs), RAM was checked several times, memtest ok, Chrome tabs has NOT crashed even once!


  • CPU: i7 920
  • RAM: 48 gigs ram
  • GPU: ATI R9 270 2Gb
  • monitor: 2k 75hz IPS panel, attached via DP1.2
  • usb 2.0 generic keyboard and mouse


uname -a

Linux apc 4.18.0-22-generic #23~18.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu Jun 6 08:37:25 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

lsb_release -a

Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS
Release:    18.04
Codename:   bionic

vlc --version

VLC media player 3.0.7 Vetinari (revision 3.0.7-0-g86cee31)
VLC version 3.0.7 Vetinari (3.0.7-0-g86cee31)
Compiled by jenkins on e672859d050d (Jun  7 2019 10:27:35)
Compiler: gcc version 5.4.0 20160609 (Ubuntu 5.4.0-6ubuntu1~16.04.10)

lshw -c video

       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Curacao XT / Trinidad XT [Radeon R7 370 / R9 270X/370X]
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       physical id: 0
       bus info: pci@0000:03:00.0
       version: 00
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm pciexpress msi vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=amdgpu latency=0
       resources: irq:31 memory:d0000000-dfffffff memory:fbd80000-fbdbffff ioport:d000(size=256) memory:c0000-dffff

modinfo amdgpu | grep version


Steps taken, to reproduce hang:

  • dowload Ubuntu 18.04.2 from ubuntu.com
  • Erase and Clean install (one partiton, minimal install + upgrades + 3rdparty)
  • amdgpu-pro (I need opencl) drivers 19.20 downloaded from their page
  • Installed with ./amdgpu-pro-install -y --opencl=pal,legacy
  • Reboot
  • sudo snap install VLC
  • Open avi file (xvid codec)
  • 20 minute = screen freeze, UI dead, only sound will remain playing till the end of movie.


  • What could be wrong?
  • How to investigate?
  • Has someone else encountered same problems with 18.04+vlc+amdgpu ?

Search effort taken

  • Found this, but it is related to nvidia hardware

  • Found this, but no solution was found

Temporary solution

sudo apt install mplayer mplayer-gui

This works great..

After a day of testing: Nope, it also could hang. Removing the VLC tag. Problem is somewhere in Ubuntu/Xorg/OpenGL/video drivers


I've found it much more convenient to use linux console for software building process, but its wet/unstable UX just've disappointed me, in its everyday/recreational use.

I just wanted to watch a movie! For a couple of days using it (I mean X.Org and ALSA) I alredy had to:

  • reinstall OS/gpu drivers couple of times
  • encounter dropouts/silence problems with "sound via display port"
  • numerous freezes and crashes of popular software

These two technologies, that are barebones of user interaction - are real beta-versions of something, that may be ever human-usable! Random freezes, screen-flashes, sound dropouts... 2019-th? Most user-friendly desktop distro? LOL.. that wood is too raw wet, to become a good easy-to-set fire yet, guys!

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