[CentOS] General CentOS 5.1 (or Gnome) instability?

MHR mhullrich at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 21:28:02 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jun 4, 2008 at 1:14 PM, Alfred von Campe <alfred at von-campe.com> wrote:
> I've been a big fan of CentOS for a while, and didn't have many issues with
> CentOS 4.X over the past few years.  However, since moving to CentOS 5.1 a
> few weeks ago, I have received more problem reports from my users than in
> the last year and a half on CentOS 4.X.  I've previously reported the
> problem with gnome-terminal crashing (and since there is a single
> gnome-terminal process by default all your terminal windows disappear which
> makes this really painful), and now I'm getting multiple reports of Gnome
> applets suddenly quitting.  Sometimes this includes the entire screen
> "flashing" (probably a side effect of the "Show Desktop" applet exiting).
>  I've also had reports of some third party tools like SlickEdit misbehaving
> and/or crashing on CentOS 5.1.
> Don't get me wrong; I'm not really complaining about CentOS.  I really
> appreciate what the CentOS team does.  I am just wondering if anyone else
> has seen these issues.  If it was just one or two users, I would suspect the
> hardware or some configuration issues.  But these issues started cropping up
> after I upgraded our existing systems to CentOS 5.1.  The "upgrade" was a
> complete reinstall via a kickstart script (I reformatted all partitions/LVs
> except for one), and all systems are configured identically.  BTW, I'm using
> CentOS for our desktops as well as our servers, and all these problems are
> really confined to the desktop systems.  Almost everyone uses the default
> Gnome desktop.
> So, does anyone else have the perception that CentOS 5.X (particularly
> Gnome) is a little less stable than CentOS 4.X or is it just me?

I run my desktop and my laptop on 5.1 using GNOME without any of those
problems.  My desktop is a 64 bit host with 4GB of memory, and I run a
completely mixed 32/64 bit environment (not entirely out of choice).

>From your description, it seems like you've run into a GDE problem,
not a CentOS problem.  The main problems I've seen with GDE are:

1) A mysterious bug that caused the system to stop processing logouts,
halts and reboots unless I took unusual measures to do them
(explicitly kill the gnome session to log out, or run halt or reboot
instead of using the shutdown applet), but those also mysteriously
disappeared after about a month of me fighting with it.  I think it
was ESD related, but it's gone....

2) An interesting bug when I try to run the Network Connections
applet, it kills all my open nautilus windows.  I don't usually use
that applet, so it's an annoyance but one I don't see a lot (ever).

3) A really annoying bug in GDE 2.16.0 that pops up when another
application crashes and wants to send a bugzilla report.  GDE claims
that 2.16.0 is too old and won't send the report.  Fortunately, that
doesn't happen too often (most often when I exit Evolution, which I
usually do only when I log out).

Most of my other quirks of operation I attribute to the fact that I
run OOo 2.4 instead of the official 2.3 (I like it better, even though
it's only 32-bit), and I run a 64-bit alpha build of SeaMonkey
(because the 32-bit release 1.1.9 keeps disappearing under certain
specific circumstances that never occur with my own builds).

I'm looking forward to 5.2, but 5.1 has been great to/for me, as was
5.0 before it.



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