Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crash & Burn

Lusers always try to make up for Linux's other shortcomings by saying 'well, at least Linux doesn't bluescreen every thirty minutes', since their last experience with Windows was in the 95 days. They are right about one thing: Linux never bluescreens; it simply locks up.

Well, Windows has come a long way since XP was introduced, and the only lock-ups I personally have experienced have been game-related. Ubuntu also has a habit of crashing on me while I am trying to play some games, especially using Wine.

Now, I know some of you lusers are going to quibble over technicalities. "Oh, well Linux, the kernel, did not really crash, X11, the application, crashed. To fix it, you merely have to press CTRL-ALT-F1 to get to a gheto-ass console; enter your user name & password; type 'sudo su - '; type kill -s 9 `ps -A | grep gdm | awk {'print $4'}` ; type /usr/X11R6/bin/gdm; type 'exit'; type 'exit' again; press CTRL-ALT-F7, and then login normally."*

These lusers are completely missing the fucking point. Leaving aside the fact that it is probably faster to just reboot, it betrays a lack of understanding of the common user. To most people, if the keyboard and mouse are not responding, then the computer has crashed. Period. To hide behind technicalities is simply deceitful, and only Micro$0ft lies, right? Riiighhttt.

*Note: I know some lusers are going to pop in and critique my commands, 'no, you put the quotation marks around the brackets, not vice-versa, or no its /usr/bin/gdm -someoptionthatshouldbethedefaultbuttheauthorisaluser'. To those people, I say, get a life!


Anonymous said...

They are right about one thing: Linux never bluescreens; it simply locks up.

LOL. It Just Crash(TM).

Anonymous said...

First of all my distro of choice has nothing to do with stinky gnome, so the that "fix" of yours does not work at all!

Ha ha, I lied, I use Vista. And me and my girlfriend use non-administrator accounts and she does not even know the adminstrator's password. So my question is, if for some unfathomable reason we used linux, how could she fix the situation without rebooting (remember, I don't want to give her root access so no sudo love for her)?

Anti-Tux said...

Anonymous, she is shit out of luck then. You might be able to get away with typing '/usr/X11R6/bin/xinit' or startx or something, but that is going to startx immediately, so it is likely to look really ghetto.

Anonymous said...

It's true. I am really tired of endless BSOD-references whenever there's a discussion about Windows and Linux. My three computers run on XP since 2002, and I've seen four BSODs in six and a half years (and two of them were caused by faulty hardware).

Anonymous said...

From 2003 (my first XP install - earlier i used 98se with also was quite good) i seen BSOD around 5 times. 4 times it was caused by trying to boot computer with new motherboard on the same system :]
And once it was memory failure.

Anonymous said...

They gotta have something to bitch about. Who cares if it's true or not? But hey, otherwise they wouldn't be freetards, don't you think?

oiaohm said...

Again pure lack of research.

DRI 2 and KMS additions is completely about this issue. On top the locking corrections under way at kernel mode.

Its not that Linux personal has not known about these problems. Just X11 has been Zero importance to work correctly for many years. Focus is on it now.

By the way there is one thing not X11 related that causes Wine with games to lock up a lot that Ubuntu has. Its called pulseaudio. Lot of windows games if the audio stack crashes (Like Pulseaudio has the habit of) the game locks solid waiting for confirmation of sent audio.

Also if you distributions has SAK enabled http://www.mjmwired.net/kernel/Documentation/SAK.txt its press a combination of you choosing that will kill X11 no matter what even if the graphical stack and gone splat in a way that control-alt-f1 does not work. Basically Linux Hater's Redux instructions don't work in all cases. SAK only does not work if the Linux kernel itself has kernel paniced. KMS is about that Kernel paniced events will no longer be invisible.

Having to go to console to get out of a X11 lockup is not required. That some distributions decide not to come out box with SAK enabled who fault is that.

SAK does not even required administration rights to use.

PS XP and Vista SAK is control-alt-delete that is meant to get you to the a place that you can access the task manager. Who here can say that has worked for them all the time from software problems.

I have never had a software problem that did not crash kernel that Linux SAK has not worked for me.

MS needs to improve there O Hell something locked up buttons so they work better. Linux need to make them less brutal ie not kill everything that the user was running.

yOSHi314 said...

"CTRL-ALT-F1 to get to a gheto-ass console; enter your user name & password; type 'sudo su - '; type kill -s 9 `ps -A | grep gdm | awk {'print $4'}` ; type /usr/X11R6/bin/gdm; type 'exit'; type 'exit' again;"

... how about 'sudo pkill -9 gdm' (if we're sticking to gdm) ? keep it simple. you could also ssh from other pc and do it (if you have a second pc around)

btw you could also try 'sudo init 3' followed by 'sudo init 5' . most user-friendly distros have X on runlevel 5.

or you could map that to your power button (in case you keyboard and mouse stop responding when X locks up), as last resort (only for the really paranoid).

Anonymous said...

Who cares? System crashes are not of main concern anymore, either on Windows or Linux.

Anonymous said...

Why do you poeple just cuss and complain about "freetards"? I am gonna come in and be a freetard here, ok? Linux is awesome, yes, that's an openion. (sp?) Linux isn't for everyone, but what tha heck? you don't need to come blog about how much you hate linux! I do't mind it if people hate linux, I like it, but why make a blog to complain about it? BTW, I may love linux, but that doesn't make me obsessed or anything, I dual boot (quad boot, actually) Windows XP, Widnows 7, xubuntu 8.10, and debian Etch. our stupid compalints aren't offending me, heck no, but you are just being a total idiot, sorry.

Anonymous said...

sorry oiaohm, I usually like your insights, but this time I'm gonna call bullshit.

DRI2 and KMS have been added to the kernel only lately and they're still not completely supported.

And so you have SAK. Oh, cool I can kill X?

Awesome, but what about when the whole kernel panicked right behind it?

Ok, I'm not saying it's frequent (it's been for long for my wireless driver, but let's assume it's not), but if my kernel crashed I'd BEG for a fucking blue screen, and all I've got is only a blinking caps lock.

oiaohm said...

SAK killed anything console connected X11 is console connected. So kills it dead. Background services it leaves standing. So yes X11 coming back after that is faster than a reboot.

Server world where you are running Textmode there has been no issue with kernel panic its displayed.

KMS is the only possible solution so kernel panics are displayed when X11 is controlling video card. Yes its not fully deployed yet. Correcting the video stack complete takes time.

The blinking light is Morse code about the problem. Yes we are aware that is not much use to the general user.

If you think for one min that these lockup issues don't annoy the hell out of the Linux liking users you are wrong.

Kernel developers of Linux complete hate it. Problem has been design a solution that would not cause more problems. Short cut is learn morse. I is not that users where left without a option. Just a insanely hard one.

Anonymous said...

Hi, the Vista guy again :)

Here in Windowsland, the almighty Windows not only shows the Blue Screen but actually has the proactive thinking to dump all its guts into the swap file and on the next reboot (when it's reasonably safe to assume the system is working) creates the so called "memory dump." And on the top of that there's *working* (I can't stress this enough) kernel debbuger. So you start the debugger, drag and drop (yes it works!) the memory dump file, wait a bit and the debuuger says to you "Please type !analyze -v" You do it and whoa! It spills you the name of the driver that crashed and why it crashed and where it crashed! So a reasonably interested sysadmin can have a pretty good idea what's going on in less than a half a minute after the system has rebooted.

My question, what lunux guys do in this situation?

Anonymous said...

And about my earlier post, sorry I didn't express myself more clearly.

I wanted to show two things:

1) The fragmentation of linux makes very hard to give useful information on solving problems. When you try to solve a problem of a computer which is not yours, you have quite an information to discover. The name/version of the distro is not useful. You may have hand-built kernel, hand-built x server, at least 4 different disktop environments.
So a generic command may work but it may not. In our hypothetical case, you wrote "grep gdb" but this is compeltely useless if the you are facing kde. or xfce. or enlightment. or whatever is currently installed. Bad for the guy with the broken machine, bad for you because you can't help. No pizza earned :(

Second point is that one need his root account all the time to do everyday stuff in linux.
I still remember a friend of mine who made the switch and now is compeltely Windows free :) For more than an year he couldn't understand how to do so that his roommates can have limited user accounts AND in the same time use windows network shares. His solution? He left the root account on auto logon so others can mount the samba shares! At least he didn't bragged too much about how linux is more secure than windows while this setup lasted!

I admit, this was couple of years ago but listening to my friends who use linux now, they cannot use their machines for everyday work without their root accounts. On the other hand, I see the "dreaded" uac prompt (which turns on the real administrator account on vista) exactly once a month, when I receice the os updates. Since I set up the limited account for my girlfriend, she asked me once to install a IM client for her. So for an year she needed root access exactly 1 time!

Really, you use linux, tell me, how many time did you use the root account this January?