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Old 02-07-2010, 10:02 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

I have been having trouble lately with losing access to my graphical console.
The basic symptom is that I am in the graphical console, I switch to a text
console via Ctrl+Alt+F1, do some stuff in the text console, then when I
attempt to switch back to the graphical console again with Alt+F7, I get
a black screen. I can then switch back to console number 1 simply by
using Alt+F1. I don't need to include the Ctrl key. This would normally
indicate to me that the X server died somehow, except that "ps aux"
still shows processes associated with the X server, such as gdm, active.

I am running the GNOME desktop on a Debian "testing" system. All packages
are from testing, none are from unstable. I can't swear to this, but
I think my troubles began with kernel 2.6.32. One scenario that often
causes this failure is when the little "sun" icon appears in the upper
right corner, indicating that there are updates available. I switch
to text console number 1 via Ctrl+Alt+F1, login as root, run "dselect
update", "aptitude -R full-upgrade", and "aptitude clean". I then attempt
to switch back to the graphical desktop with Alt+F7 to cleanly shut
things down in preparation for a reboot. But I can't get there.
Has anybody else seen or heard of this problem? I did some internet
searches, but didn't turn up anything that looked promising.


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Old 02-08-2010, 12:11 AM
Frank McCormick
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Mon, 08 Feb 2010 01:01:17 +0000
Tom Furie <tom@furie.org.uk> wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 06:02:30PM -0500, Stephen Powell wrote:
>
> > I have been having trouble lately with losing access to my
> > graphical console. The basic symptom is that I am in the
> > graphical console, I switch to a text console via Ctrl+Alt+F1, do
> > some stuff in the text console, then when I attempt to switch


> Have you checked Alt+F8, Alt+F9, possibly even beyond? On one of my
> systems, for reasons that are still unclear to me, GDM occasionally
> runs somewhere between tty8-10 after I've logged in and out a few
> times. I can only guess it's restarting before it's fully stopped.
>
z

Same thing here - running Debian testing...and after switching
back and forth a few times GDM ends up on tty8 instead of 7.


- --
Frank
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:06 AM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Sun, 7 Feb 2010 20:11:02 -0500 (EST), Frank McCormick wrote:
> On Mon, 08 Feb 2010 01:01:17 +0000, Tom Furie <tom@furie.org.uk> wrote:
>> On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 06:02:30PM -0500, Stephen Powell wrote:
>>>
>>> I have been having trouble lately with losing access to my
>>> graphical console. The basic symptom is that I am in the
>>> graphical console, I switch to a text console via Ctrl+Alt+F1, do
>>> some stuff in the text console, then when I attempt to switch

>> Have you checked Alt+F8, Alt+F9, possibly even beyond? On one of my
>> systems, for reasons that are still unclear to me, GDM occasionally
>> runs somewhere between tty8-10 after I've logged in and out a few
>> times. I can only guess it's restarting before it's fully stopped.

> Same thing here - running Debian testing...and after switching
> back and forth a few times GDM ends up on tty8 instead of 7.

I must confess I never even thought to check that. The next time
it happens, I'll give it a try. Have either of you come up with
a consistent scenario that always reproduces the failure? I'm not
explicitly stopping and restarting the X server or the GDM daemon.
I'm just switching back and forth between a text console and the
graphical console. Has either of you filed a bug report?
The only reason I haven't asked about this before is that I was
hoping to come up with a consistent failure scenario. There's
nothing worse than a bug that can't be reproduced on demand.


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Old 02-08-2010, 02:35 AM
Mike Viau
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

> Date: Sun, 7 Feb 2010 22:06:20 -0500
> From: zlinuxman@wowway.com
> To: debian-user@lists.debian.org
> Subject: Re: Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions
>
> On Sun, 7 Feb 2010 20:11:02 -0500 (EST), Frank McCormick wrote:
> > On Mon, 08 Feb 2010 01:01:17 +0000, Tom Furie <tom@furie.org.uk> wrote:
> >> On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 06:02:30PM -0500, Stephen Powell wrote:
> >>>
> >>> I have been having trouble lately with losing access to my
> >>> graphical console. The basic symptom is that I am in the
> >>> graphical console, I switch to a text console via Ctrl+Alt+F1, do
> >>> some stuff in the text console, then when I attempt to switch
>
> >> Have you checked Alt+F8, Alt+F9, possibly even beyond? On one of my
> >> systems, for reasons that are still unclear to me, GDM occasionally
> >> runs somewhere between tty8-10 after I've logged in and out a few
> >> times. I can only guess it's restarting before it's fully stopped.
>
> > Same thing here - running Debian testing...and after switching
> > back and forth a few times GDM ends up on tty8 instead of 7.
>
> I must confess I never even thought to check that. The next time
> it happens, I'll give it a try. Have either of you come up with
> a consistent scenario that always reproduces the failure?

*Not consistently, but the issue exists on my ubuntu installed laptop as well.

> explicitly stopping and restarting the X server or the GDM daemon.
> I'm just switching back and forth between a text console and the
> graphical console. Has either of you filed a bug report?

*No, but if one could provided insight to where exactly the fault was (what causes the graphical console number to change or become unresponsive, it would help.

> The only reason I haven't asked about this before is that I was
> hoping to come up with a consistent failure scenario. There's
> nothing worse than a bug that can't be reproduced on demand.

*I agree with you on that.

>
>
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>

-M

All your Hotmail contacts on your phone. Try it now.
 
Old 02-08-2010, 08:51 AM
josť Santos
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 01:11:02AM +0000, Frank McCormick wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> On Mon, 08 Feb 2010 01:01:17 +0000
> Tom Furie <tom@furie.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, Feb 07, 2010 at 06:02:30PM -0500, Stephen Powell wrote:
> >
> > > I have been having trouble lately with losing access to my
> > > graphical console. The basic symptom is that I am in the
> > > graphical console, I switch to a text console via Ctrl+Alt+F1, do
> > > some stuff in the text console, then when I attempt to switch
>
>
> > Have you checked Alt+F8, Alt+F9, possibly even beyond? On one of my
> > systems, for reasons that are still unclear to me, GDM occasionally
> > runs somewhere between tty8-10 after I've logged in and out a few
> > times. I can only guess it's restarting before it's fully stopped.
> >
> z
>
> Same thing here - running Debian testing...and after switching
> back and forth a few times GDM ends up on tty8 instead of 7.
>
>
> - --
> Frank

I have this kind of behaviour since 2.6.30-2, so maybe its not kernel
related. My system has nvidia drivers installed the Debian way, using nv or
nvidia makes no difference, one day by Chance I tried tty8 where X was,
witch is odd.
--
________________________________________________
Josť Santos | Debian Squeeze/Sid mixed system
jsantos@ubi.pt | 2.6.30.1-686 SMP PREEMPT


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Old 02-08-2010, 09:33 AM
Paul Cartwright
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Sun February 7 2010, Stephen Powell wrote:
> I must confess I never even thought to check that. *The next time
> it happens, I'll give it a try. *Have either of you come up with
> a consistent scenario that always reproduces the failure? *I'm not
> explicitly stopping and restarting the X server or the GDM daemon.
> I'm just switching back and forth between a text console and the
> graphical console. *Has either of you filed a bug report?
> The only reason I haven't asked about this before is that I was
> hoping to come up with a consistent failure scenario. *There's
> nothing worse than a bug that can't be reproduced on demand.

while you are in the text console login, try doing a :
# who -uT
pbc + tty7 2010-01-21 16:52 . 5345 (:0)
pbc - pts/1 2010-01-31 15:49 . 5817 (:0.0)
cilla + tty8 2010-01-21 16:56 00:03 5980 (:20)
pbc + pts/3 2010-01-31 14:59 15:26 5817 (:0.0)


this shows me logged intoCTRL-ALT-F7 and my wife is 8.. but it DOES switch me
to 9 & 10 if I log out & back in.. you could see which ones were logged in
before trying them.

--
Paul Cartwright
Registered Linux user # 367800
Registered Ubuntu User #12459
http://usdebtclock.org/


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Old 02-08-2010, 02:13 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 06:26:33 -0500 (EST), Tom Furie wrote:
> I haven't filed a bug report because I'm not sure what to file it
> against. I'm not even sure it could be called a bug, I don't have
> anything in my config to tell GDM to specifically start on tty7, so it
> just grabs the first available one.

/var/log/Xorg.0.log tells you what console it started on, and the flags
indicate that the option is supplied on the command line. For example,

Markers: (--) probed, (**) from config file, (==) default setting,
(++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
(WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
...
(++) using VT number 7

The double plus sign is the marker for "from command line". So if you
find the script that starts the X server and supplies that command line
option, you'll be well on your way to finding the bug. The next step
will be to find the logic that "calculates" this command line switch.
And if you find the faulty logic you'll know which package to report a
bug against. (i.e. which package is this script file shipped with?)
And you'll even be able to supply a patch file with the bug report.
I'll start looking too, but I won't have access to that machine until
this evening. Maybe a good place to start looking would be
/etc/init.d/gdm.

> You aren't restarting X or GDM, but if GDM started on tty8, because tty7
> was unavailable for whatever reason, the first you would know about it
> is when you tried to switch back to it from another tty.

Good point. And a reboot always seems to cure it. And that makes sense,
because following a reboot, virtual terminal 7 is always available.
But if I logout and login again, that restarts the X server. Hmm.
Maybe all vestiges of the old copy of the X server have not yet been
completely removed from the system at the time the logic executes which
tries to determine the next available virtual terminal. I wonder if
this has anything to do with the new dependency-based booting? Or
are we there yet? I also wonder if I issued

/etc/init.d/gdm stop
/etc/init.d/gdm start

(with a wait time of a few second between the two commands) instead of

/etc/init.d/gdm restart

if that would make a difference? (Of course the /etc/init.d/gdm
script has to be invoked from a text console as root.)


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Old 02-09-2010, 12:32 AM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 11:58:51 -0500 (EST), Tom Furie wrote:
> The commented option lines are showing their default values. It might be
> worth setting VTAllocation=false (in /etc/gdm/gdm.conf, [daemon]
> section) and see if that has any effect.
>
> Hmm, from a gdm session logged in on tty7, logging out restarts X but on
> tty8. Logging out of that session also restarts X, but it stays on tty8.
> Restarting, or stopping and starting, gdm brings it back up still on
> tty8. This behaviour doesn't seem to be altered by the VTAllocation
> setting. According to Xorg.0.log, VT8 is being passed in from the
> command line.

I was able to reproduce the symptoms that you describe above when I first
arrived home. I verified that the X server was running on vt 7, then
did a logout. The login screen started on vt 8. From then on, no matter
what I did to stop and restart the server, it ended up on vt 8. There
were some pending updates; so I applied updates, shutdown, and rebooted.
But now I can no longer (at least for now) reproduce the problem.
No matter how I shutdown and restart the server, it ends up on vt 7,
which is of course the desired behavior.

Does that mean it's fixed? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. I found
the following bug report:

http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=348033

It was originally opened on January 14, 2006; so this bug is more than
four years old. It has been opened and closed several times and is marked
unreproducible! This is not a good sign.


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Old 02-13-2010, 11:15 AM
Florian Kulzer
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Mon, Feb 08, 2010 at 20:32:44 -0500, Stephen Powell wrote:

[...]

> I was able to reproduce the symptoms that you describe above when I first
> arrived home. I verified that the X server was running on vt 7, then
> did a logout. The login screen started on vt 8. From then on, no matter
> what I did to stop and restart the server, it ended up on vt 8. There
> were some pending updates; so I applied updates, shutdown, and rebooted.
> But now I can no longer (at least for now) reproduce the problem.
> No matter how I shutdown and restart the server, it ends up on vt 7,
> which is of course the desired behavior.
>
> Does that mean it's fixed? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. I found
> the following bug report:
>
> http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=348033

I think the present problem, which I can still reproduce on my Sid system,
is not related to #348033.

I find that VT7 often cannot be deallocated after X shuts down, which
explains why X has to use VT8 if started up again:

# deallocvt 7
VT_DISALLOCATE: Device or resource busy
deallocvt: could not deallocate console 7

Killing console-kit-daemon makes VT7 available again for me in this
situation, and X starts normally after that. I have not bothered to
investigate this issue any further.

--
Regards, |
Florian |


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Old 02-15-2010, 11:04 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Alt+F7 fails to switch to graphical console (X server) from a text console under some conditions

On Sat, 13 Feb 2010 07:15:20 -0500 (EST), Florian Kulzer wrote:
> I think the present problem, which I can still reproduce on my Sid system,
> is not related to #348033.
>
> I find that VT7 often cannot be deallocated after X shuts down, which
> explains why X has to use VT8 if started up again:
>
> # deallocvt 7
> VT_DISALLOCATE: Device or resource busy
> deallocvt: could not deallocate console 7
>
> Killing console-kit-daemon makes VT7 available again for me in this
> situation, and X starts normally after that. I have not bothered to
> investigate this issue any further.

Well, Florian, after today's upgrade I am now where you are with Sid.
The X server is on vt7, I logout of the GNOME desktop, and X restarts
on vt8. I switch to a text console, issue "deallocvt 7", and it fails.
I kill console-kit-daemon, then "deallocvt 7" is successful. Another
logout from the GNOME desktop and the X server starts up on vt7.
(console-kit-daemon restarts as soon as I switch back to the X console).


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