[CentOS] startx reboots my computer

Ted Miller ted-miller at att.net
Mon Nov 27 05:19:34 UTC 2006


Well, sometimes startx reboots my computer.  Other times is does nothing
except slow it to a halt for a while.  Sometimes is locks up.

I am using init level 3.  At the command line, everything looks fine, and I
can do whatever commands I want.

When I type startx, then things go down the tubes.

What doesn't happen:
X never starts
No error messages get posted to dmesg
no log is generated in /var/log/xorg.0.log

What DOES happen:
on a good run, I get the error message:
  /usr.../startx: fork: resource temporarily unavailable
on a bad run the computer either locks up or reboots, or I get a parade of
  notices that the comp is "out of memory, shutting down process xxxxxx".
running top -u tmiller -b>/tmp/top.log in another console generates a huge
  file.  After deleting the process entry lines (all end in startx, except
  the bash line), I get results like this:

top - 22:27:23 up 3 min,  2 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.07, 0.03
Tasks:  66 total,   1 running,  65 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  0.0% us,  0.0% sy, 0.0% ni, 100.0% id,  0.0% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.0% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   178112k used,   846268k free,    14720k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,        0k used,  8385848k free,    97316k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND


 4517 tmiller   21   0 53976 1604 1188 S  0.0  0.2   0:00.00 bash




top - 22:27:26 up 3 min,  2 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.07, 0.03
Tasks: 367 total,   5 running, 362 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  3.3% us,  7.3% sy, 0.0% ni, 88.7% id,  0.7% wa,  0.0% hi,  0.0% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   251008k used,   773372k free,    14736k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,        0k used,  8385848k free,    97320k cached


top - 22:27:29 up 3 min,  2 users,  load average: 0.51, 0.17, 0.06
Tasks: 3389 total,   3 running, 3386 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s): 35.8% us, 64.2% sy, 0.0% ni,  0.0% id,  0.0% wa,  0.0% hi,  0.0% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   985600k used,    38780k free,    14740k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,        0k used,  8385848k free,    97368k cached

************************************************************************
eventually peaking out at:

top - 22:28:15 up 4 min,  3 users,  load average: 2.54, 0.74, 0.26
Tasks: 7696 total,   2 running, 7693 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s): 10.5% us, 45.2% sy,  0.0% ni,  0.0% id, 43.8% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.6% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   896720k used,   127660k free,      264k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,  1035964k used,  7349884k free,    10372k cached

***************************************************************************
with the PID numbers peaking at 12551, tasks at 7696, swap at 1-1.4GB used.
 The situation then tapers back down to "nominal" with the end looking like
this:

top - 22:30:04 up 6 min,  3 users,  load average: 1698.55, 626.56, 224.72
Tasks: 3756 total,   1 running, 3755 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  2.8% us,  6.6% sy,  0.0% ni,  0.0% id, 90.3% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.3% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   863720k used,   160660k free,      340k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,   562008k used,  7823840k free,    27528k cached

top - 22:30:07 up 6 min,  3 users,  load average: 1698.55, 626.56, 224.72
Tasks: 2468 total,   2 running, 2466 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  4.5% us, 10.6% sy,  0.0% ni,  0.0% id, 84.6% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.3% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   579792k used,   444588k free,      496k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,   376544k used,  8009304k free,    28348k cached

top - 22:30:10 up 6 min,  3 users,  load average: 1562.61, 616.17, 223.52
Tasks: 1962 total,   2 running, 1960 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  2.9% us,  7.7% sy,  0.0% ni,  0.0% id, 88.7% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.6% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   481056k used,   543324k free,      496k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,   305012k used,  8080836k free,    28728k cached

top - 22:30:13 up 6 min,  3 users,  load average: 1437.56, 605.96, 222.32
Tasks: 1371 total,   2 running, 1369 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  2.0% us,  7.5% sy,  0.0% ni,  0.0% id, 89.9% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.7% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   362136k used,   662244k free,      504k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,   221904k used,  8163944k free,    29028k cached

top - 22:30:16 up 6 min,  3 users,  load average: 1437.56, 605.96, 222.32
Tasks: 862 total,   2 running, 860 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  1.7% us,  5.6% sy,  0.0% ni,  0.0% id, 92.1% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.7% si
Mem:   1024380k total,   260440k used,   763940k free,      512k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,   149960k used,  8235888k free,    29232k cached

top - 22:30:19 up 6 min,  3 users,  load average: 1322.52, 595.92, 221.14
Tasks:  68 total,   1 running,  67 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s):  1.3% us,  6.6% sy,  0.0% ni,  4.6% id, 86.8% wa,  0.0% hi, 0.7% si
Mem:   1024380k total,    87280k used,   937100k free,      524k buffers
Swap:  8385848k total,    35956k used,  8349892k free,    29356k cached

This was done with the xorg.conf file deleted, so it isn't caused by that.

Hardware:
AMD 3500+ x86_64 proc
1GB ram
8GB swap
3 x 160GB SATA drives
nvidia nForce4 chipset on Gigabyte MB
Gigabyte nvidia GeForce 6200 video card
firewall is separate ipcop box to ADSL

Software:
Centos 4.4, fully updated
  started as a bare install (uncheck everything except KDE at software
  choice screen), then added only things I really want/need
vmware server (free version)
wine

I had just spent a couple of days getting the install "tweaked" in
preparation to moving to it as my "workhorse" workstation environment.  I
had tweaked my dual monitor setup (a 21" landscape screen next to a 17"
portrait screen took a lot of false starts to get xorg.conf right), gotten
vmware working, and was still wondering where the fonts went for my wine
install.  It was working pretty well, and I was looking forward to using
it, and when I rebooted, I have this mess.

I have spent hours looking on the Internet looking for similar symptoms, to
no avail.

"#rpm --validate --all>grep X" sqwauked about some missing *.so files, but
showed nothing corrupted.

I am wide open to solutions or instructions on where to look for diagnosis
information as to what is wrong.

Waiting for direction in Indiana
Ted Miller



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