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What should I do when Ubuntu freezes?

At least once a day I lose work on my (2 different) Intel i5 machines running Ubuntu 12.04. The entire system will freeze/lock-up/hang, and never return. At this point nothing works; even the caps lock key doesn't toggle the light on the keyboard; Ctrl-Alt-F1 won't do anything either.

askubuntu.com is apparently where I'm directed for support.

I suspect this is a kernel bug. But I simply can't keep losing work like this, so I'm anxious to try whatever it takes to get the thing reliably working.

Can you suggest

  1. something I can try to fix the problem
  2. an existing bug I can follow progress on and contribute to (from users/tester's POV)
  3. the most constructive way I can contribute to helping fix the problem, keeping in mind that I do need the computer (so can't do things that might "brick" it!)

marked as duplicate by Eliah Kagan, Mitch, RobotHumans, fossfreedom Sep 11 '12 at 11:58

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    You should be able to elegantly reboot your system by pressing Alt - SysRq (both at the same time) and combine with these, one after the other: r e i s u b (aka the magic SysRq key en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key). Could you report back if this works for you or not? You could also check in var/log/syslog and var/log/kern.log (open the log files in gedit) if something out of the ordinary has happened at the time of the freeze/lockup. If there is something, copy the relevant messages to pastebin.com and post the link in your question. – Tinellus Jun 27 '12 at 12:19
  • You should report this issue as a bug in launchpad.net, they will guide you and help you sort out if there is another bug already open with it. – Bruno Pereira Jun 27 '12 at 12:29
  • @Tinellus Will try the magic SysRq thing on my box that has a SysRq button (the laptop doesn't). There is nothing in syslog, guess it doesn't have time to write it. @Bruno i guess you mean ubuntu-bug linux ? – artfulrobot Jun 27 '12 at 13:09
  • if you have a "Print Screen" button you can use Ctrl + Alt + PrtScrn....just incase you were overlooking that key on your laptop – jpetersen Jun 28 '12 at 2:24
  • Thanks, not had much success with that in the past, perhaps I'm running out of fingers!. Will report back when I crash it today. – artfulrobot Jun 28 '12 at 11:22

Just wait, keep apt-get dist-upgradeing and hope things get better.

At least that's the only option I found available. And hey, they did get better. Still using 12.04 and now very rare to have a full freeze after a successful boot.


I had similar issues using 64bit 12.04.1... including mouse problems. I reinstalled and am slowly reloading applications to ID the issue. Ubuntu Forums discussions point to the use of Chrome or Chromium (in my case). After reinstalling, I am using only Firefox for the past 4 days and have not seen a lockup. Still reintroducing applications, but so far, I've avoided Chromium and the freezes are gone.

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    interesting! I do use Chromium sometimes. However, have def. had freezes without it. – artfulrobot Sep 11 '12 at 10:28

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