Sorry, this is likely a bit of a naive question, but I'm having some trouble with my graphics drivers causing my system to shut off randomly (doesn't seem to be overheating but let's not worry about that right now).

I can't do much without having some detailed error logs to share, but when I cat dmseg I'm only getting information from when I boot up afterwards. Is there a way to either get older information, or to keep a log running that will be saved if the system shuts off (kind of like a black box?)

  • I believe /var/log/dmesg.0 contains the previous information you are looking for. That said if it's truly random, then it's likely environmental (which I'd point to as heat issues) – tgm4883 May 13 '14 at 18:55

If you have a second machine you can use it to receive netconsole logging.


This could also be due to possibly power failures, hardware issues. If your system has a vendor provided hardware diagnostics disk (comes default with laptop). I would recommend running that first to rule out any hardware issues.

Next step, If no hw issues are present collect sar data on your system (you can analyse what is happening until the time reboot occurred) to determine if most of the time was spent in user/system, also look into load.

  • I've just installed psensor, so I'll check that, but I have an amazing cooling fan and the laptop never seems hot to the touch. Also, it never shuts off when using the intel driver, but since it's a Optimus card, maybe there are 2 different chipsets? Perhaps the NVIDIA one is faulty? – jeremyfrankly May 19 '14 at 15:16

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