I've experiences some configuration "resets" after ubuntu crashes:

  • Display configuration changed (I'd changing through /usr/bin/nvidia-settings)
  • Hibernation/Suspension turned on again (I'd disabled it)

In order to prevent those, I would like to know how exactly ubuntu recovers from crashes.

Background: I'm particulary intereseted in this topic because I've ubuntu connected to displays showing information across a public building. And it's pretty embarassing when the display config is all messed up and sometimes going all black (resolution not supported).

  • 1
    You might wanna track down the problem which crashes the system instead of finding away around recovering methods. If the system is constantly crashing every few hours, I'd suspect a hardware problem or a problem with the used software. Does dmesg output anything of interest, or maybe ~/.xsession-errors?
    – Bobby
    Commented Oct 21, 2010 at 20:27
  • Sadly, some crashes are inevitable. e.g.: the cleaning personal ungplugs the machine to plug the vacuum cleaner; blackouts; ... I want to be covered even in those cases.
    – Toto
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 15:15
  • 1
    Ubuntu should recover from those 'sudden' shutoffs without any complications, at least Lucid did. So if your X-Settings are getting reset, it's most likely a problem with the driver or with the XServer itself, only in that case Bulletproof-X should jump in and revert the settings.
    – Bobby
    Commented Oct 22, 2010 at 16:45
  • hatou saved your settings to the xorg.conf file?
    – RolandiXor
    Commented Oct 30, 2010 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


Ubuntu does nothing beyond normal filesystem checks when recovering from a crash. If you're seeing changes to configurations, perhaps the filesystem is not handling crashes very well (on a crash, it will just run a standard fsck). Try identifying which files are changing that are causing you the problem. (What commands do you run to save the settings, etc?)

If this is a public display system, you may want to investigate replacement hardware (crashing every few hours sounds like a more serious problem), or checking to see if whatever you're displaying is not leaking memory and triggering the Out-Of-Memory killer. (Keep an eye on the output of free between reboot and the crash.)

  • Thanks @Kees-Cook. The system is not crashing every few hours, I didn't mean that. My bad, I've just edited that
    – Toto
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 22:43

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