I am using Ubuntu 14.04 on Lenovo Ideapad Y500(Core i7 3630QM, 8GB RAM and nvidia Geforce GT750M with 2GB of memory). This is a relatively fresh Ubuntu installation because I wanted to learn more about the OS.

But the problem is, this fresh installation isn't performing well enough. Sometimes my system just stops responding. Everything stops, even the mouse cursor. Sometimes, it's an application that stops responding, but it bring down the entire operating system. Sometimes if I want, things go back to normal, but that doesn't happen always.

I've noticed some common tasks that trigger this issue. Some of them are,

  • opening a new tab on chrome(not chromium),
  • while I am on youtube on chrome
  • overloading my gpu(i.e. playing games)
  • OpenGL applications on heavy to moderate load.

I did some research on this problem, and it looks like the culprit is my proprietary nvidia graphics driver. But I can't go back to Nouveau driver, because I play games extensively. (Note : I don't have any of these problems on Windows. I can load chrome twice as much without any hiccup)

So my questions are,

  • When a widely adopted application is misbehaving, how do I counter this? How do I start debugging this application/situation?
  • When the OS itself stops responding, how would I start investigating? Does ubuntu has any log to see what it was doing on that time?

I know it sounds a lot like incompatibility between hardware or different software configurations, but how would I pin point the exact problem step by step without beating around the bush?

Thanks in advance.

  • Try by restarting graphical desktop and display manager by using the following command, "sudo service lightdm restart and sudo service kdm restart".
    – vembutech
    Jan 12 '15 at 6:36
  • Thanks, but i'll loose my session if I restart the display manager. right? When an applications is not responding, if I wait, things go back to normal. But that doesn't happen all the time. Jan 12 '15 at 7:13
  • @karel Yes, I have nvidia proprietary driver installed. And the possible duplicate question doesn't address - how I should procedurally approach if the issues are reoccurring? Jan 12 '15 at 7:45
  • Your recurring freezing problem appears to be related to graphics somehow. Try installing the Psensor application from the Ubuntu Software Center, following the instructions in the answer which is linked in this comment, which will tell you if either your CPU or your graphics processor is overheating.
    – karel
    Jan 12 '15 at 7:54
  • @karel I am pretty sure it's not due to overheating, but i'll keep an eye on the system temperature. Jan 12 '15 at 8:13

It is a known bug in xorg-server: https://bugs.launchpad.net/xorg-server/+bug/1220426

You should either follow the workarounds presented there, or wait for the fix in Ubuntu 15.04 (xorg-server 1.17 which merged this fix: http://lists.x.org/archives/xorg-devel/2015-January/045402.html), scheduled for April 2015.

  • Thanks, but I don't have any problem with my touchpad. Jan 30 '15 at 1:10
  • 1
    seems like a race condition is triggered in the nvidia driver, try to find out where it comes from - usually you get a popup from the ubuntu system to report the bug, which leads you to other user reports, in my case it indicated an incompatibility with the touchpad
    – Gabor
    Feb 9 '15 at 11:18

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