What should I do when Ubuntu freezes?


When I say crash, it simply means that the whole system freezes and does not respond to any keyboard or mouse input. There are many reasons that can cause Ubuntu to crash. It could be due to hardware incompatibility (especially ATI/Nvidia graphics cards), a software conflict or when you run too many memory intensive applications at the same time.

In the event of a crash, the last thing that you want to do is to press the power off button. You could cause data loss, or even damage to the hard drive as the system could still be writing data to the hard drive

So what should you do if your Ubuntu crashes? Here are four things that you can do:

1) Force Quit

If you are only experiencing application freeze, go to System-> Administration -> System Monitor. On the Processes tab, select the application name from the list of processes and select ‘End Process‘. If it does not work, right click on the application and select ‘Kill Process‘.

Alternatively, if...

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Most Linux operating systems are pretty stable. But hey, admit it, it could get locked up, sometimes.And, this is what you can do when your Ubuntu crashes, or freezes, or whatever. You get the idea.

There are different types of freezing, from a single program stops responding, to the entire system lock up. I will try to address them one by one.

A single program stops responding

This is the most common one. This happens very often. And this can be dealt easily. When a single window stops responding, you can simply click the close button in the window and chances are it will give you an option to force close it. But, sometimes it does not. In that case, press _Alt+F2 _and type “xkill” and press enter. The mouse pointer will turn into an “X”. Now, if you left click on any window, that window will be killed, no questions asked. If you click the right button, the mouse pointer will get back to its normal form.

If that doesn’t work, you can open up a terminal...

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My GTX580-based system has been a drama from the get-go. It’s about the only system that actually runs Windows better than Linux. Pretty much any distro install attempts usually end up with a graphics freeze (nothing responds: no mouse, no keybstrokes), except Ubuntu. However, it too decided after the last update to freeze on login. What I am able to login to is the Cinnamon fall-over software-rendering desktop, which leads me to believe it is a graphics-card (potential driver?) issue. I downloaded and tried to install the latest graphics driver [ NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-340.32.run ] but during the install it said it couldn’t find the kernel files for or something like that (from memory). When I rebooted, there seems to be a difference in the graphics, however: they’re higher resolution.

Anyway, I did try the suggestions above, followed by first trying to re-install nvidia drivers with:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

but no joy at login.


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So far I've had my computer freeze three times because I opened either Chromium, or Skype over top of a full screen Minecraft window. It has frozen when it was running Unity and when it was running the classic desktop environment. Also I was running a Minecraft server at those times and ended up losing my map due to the last freeze-up.

Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Mac mini Kernel: 2.6.38


It sounds like you are running a lot of memory intensive programs concurrently.

If you want to check if your swap partition is large enough, install a program called htop. Then before opening your programs, open a terminal and run htop. Pay attention to the bottom two bars of the top section labeled 'Mem' and 'Swp' as you open your programs.

If you are running out of swap you will see your Mem bar fill up, then your Swp bar will fill all the way up followed by your computer freezing up. In this case you can read about how to increase it in the Ubuntu...

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I just installed Ubuntu 8.10 Desktop Edition, using the download


. My computer is a Dell Dimension 2350 that previously had only Windows XP SP2 Home Edition on a single partition. I burned the Ubuntu download to a CD-R and installed it from there. (I used Cygwin's md5sum to verify the download, and I also checked the CD for errors using the option given after booting from the CD.)

I installed Ubuntu from the CD, decreasing the size of the Windows partition by 10GB and installing Ubuntu in the remaining space. I used the first option given by the installer -- Guided, resize partition and used freed space -- for partitioning the disk.

Now, however, I can't get Ubuntu to start up. When I select Ubuntu from the boot menu, it gets to the login screen just fine. I can log in using the username and password I set up during the installation process, but immediately after logging in, Ubuntu gets stuck at a beige screen with nothing but the mouse. I've left it like...

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You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot — what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.

Modern versions of Windows are better at recovering from this sort of thing. Where Windows XP might have stopped in its tracks when faced with this problem, modern versions of Windows will try to automatically run Startup Repair.

First Things First

Be sure to think about changes you’ve made recently — did you recently install a new hardware driver, connect a new hardware component to your computer, or open your computer’s case and do something? It’s possible the hardware driver is buggy, the new hardware is incompatible, or that you accidentally unplugged something while working inside your computer.

The Computer Won’t Power On At All

If your computer won’t power on at all, ensure it’s plugged into a power outlet and that the power connector...

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Freezes such as you have described can be both software and hardware related and as you have found sometimes frustratingly difficult to diagnose.


If this is a desktop PC look at your hardware-cards. For both laptops and desktops possibly acpi type issues.

It might be useful to temporarily simplify your configuration to have just the graphics card connected with a standard keyboard and mouse. All other cards should be removed.

For acpi related issues, try booting with noapic nomodeset in your grub boot option. Its also worth trying acpi=off although this could have other undesirable effects such as constant fan usage.

Also worth checking the bios version level and seeing if the vendor has a newer bios version. The readme notes should hopefully reveal if any newer version fixed crashes and freezes.


I note you have tried the standard 270 drivers but have failed due to freezes. Can you clarify if you had similar...

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I am fairly advanced with configuring and setting up Ubuntu and have been an Ubuntu user for about 10 years. So I usually get through problems quite easily. But I cannot seem to get past this problem. The problem is:

When installing or running Ubuntu 14.04.2 the laptop would randomly hang. Sometimes it can run for an hour before it does so. But other times it barely makes it past boot. I have tried the following:

Disabled FastBoot Disabled Intel SpeedStep Disabled SecureBoot Enabled UEFI with CSM Even tried running it in a virtual machine, using VirtualBox and also VMWare workstation on a windows 8.1 host, tried Ubuntu 14.04.2 64 bit and 32 bit also tried Ubuntu 15.04 64 bit. But it simply freezed the entire machine and windows throws an exception saying "MACHINE_CHECK_EXCEPTION". I have disabled various options inside each virtual machine's like VT-x as well as in my BIOS. I disabled 3D acceleration mode. I added nomodeset into the grub parameters I added...
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