What can you do against the "suddenly stopped working" problem in FreeBSD

Liemaeu

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Messages: 5

This week was my 3rd try of using FreeBSD (as desktop system). Today I am nearly at the point where I give up. I already tested FreeBSD for a longer time some months ago (and another time about 1-2 years ago).
Now I use FreeBSD 12.1 (-RELEASE).

The 2 times when I used FreeBSD I had the exact same problem like today: things stop working without any reason. They worked before perfectly, but suddenly they aren't working anymore.

e.g.:
-I can't do anything in the networkmgr (clicking on something has no effect)
-The system crashed during normal use, I had to run fsck two times
-The internet connection does only work sometimes
-The system got very slow (but cpu usage is still at 3-5%), everything hangs
-Going to standby doesn't work/takes very long
-Updating ("correcting") the time after resuming from standby doesn't always work
-Logging out does sometimes not work
-I had ~7GB of disk space left. Now it is only ~900MB
...

I don't know why these things suddenly happened. If it would have never worked, ok, but from one second to the other they stopped working.
I am really sad about this because I like FreeBSD.

I documented every step I did setting up my FreeBSD system: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gGLO3WtQ_dK933sQfflIsKh7oB0gcnmeJkoNrg4AgjI/edit?usp=sharing (it is in german, I didn't had the time to translate it so far, but the commands are the same, so it shouldn't be a problem to [ >> means to add the line to the file, << means to remove the line form the file]).



What are your experiences using FreeBSD (as a normal desktop system)? Had you ever such problems like me? What did you do? What can I do to "fix" this issues?

Thank you very much!

(I run FreeBSD on a T420 Thinkpad btw)
 

msplsh

Well-Known Member

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7GB is not a lot of space. Computers tend to go sideways when they run out of disk space.
 

SirDice

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but from one second to the other they stopped working.
If it's not related to any changes you've made to the OS (upgrades/updates, etc.) the most common cause for "spontaneously" appearing crashes and other instability is broken hardware. Most notably disk and memory errors.
 
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L

Liemaeu

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Messages: 5

Thanks, I will try another drive (at the moment it is just a small 50GB mSATA SSD for testing)
 

Unga

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1. Your issues very much point to faulty hardware or dying hardware.

2. How old is your computer?

3. I use FreeBSD 12.1 on i7 and i5, no hiccup.
 

kpedersen

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e.g.:
-I can't do anything in the networkmgr (clicking on something has no effect)
-The system crashed during normal use, I had to run fsck two times
-The internet connection does only work sometimes
-The system got very slow (but cpu usage is still at 3-5%), everything hangs
-Going to standby doesn't work/takes very long
-Updating ("correcting") the time after resuming from standby doesn't always work
-Logging out does sometimes not work
-I had ~7GB of disk space left. Now it is only ~900MB
...

Most of these problems sound like "big fat DE" issues. Am I right in assuming you are using Gnome 3?
If you can ween yourself off this and onto a lighter WM (or at the very least a lighter DE like xfce4) then you might have a better experience.

For networking, I have never had good experience with any GUI tool. For wifi I would highly recommend wpa_supplicant / wpa_cli directly.
 

JAW

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I've had random lock-ups on FreeBSD 12.1 recently when using the xf86-video-intel driver, switched to modesetting driver instead and all has been fine since.
 
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Liemaeu

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I use Xfce 4.14. Gnome was unusable on FreeBSD (this notification-application-thing in the panel is missing, so I always got errors from hplip, etc.)
 

JAW

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I need this package, otherwise the window titlebars are black.

I also have the same problem (black title bars when running XFCE) on a different machine using modesetting driver and an AMD Radeon RX580, been meaning to look into that bug, I think it was introduced when XFCE started using Cairo to draw the window frames.
 

Crivens

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One thing to try: get the service manual, take the machine apart and clean up. Don't remove heat sinks etc before you know what you do. But clean some connectors, the wifi card for example. This might work wonders.
 
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