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Re: Laptop GUI crash - was - Re: what laptop to buy - suggestion for Debian project developers

[You might want to move the thread to d-u - the issues don't seem to be
particularly laptop related, and it'll get more attention there.]

On Fri, 19 Feb 2010 13:33:43 +0800 (WST)
Bret Busby <bret@busby.net> wrote:

> On Thu, 18 Feb 2010, Celejar wrote:
> > This is your crash.  The 'Error in I830WaitLpRing()' business is
> > apparently a common bug with the Xorg drivers for Intel graphic
> > chipsets.  I've experienced this myself, but not for about a year.  My
> > bug report is here:
> >
> > http://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=16262
> >
> > Googling for the error message, and looking around on the above
> > Bugzilla may help, and you can always file your own bug.  I'm pretty
> > sure that this is a driver bug, but you're running a pretty old X
> > version.  I don't know if the devs are interested in bugs in that
> > version, but you can try filing a report.  They will expect you to help
> > them by providing various logs and diagnostic results:
> >
> > http://intellinuxgraphics.org/how_to_report_bug.html
> >
> > In any event, my very non-expert guess is that this has nothing to do
> > with the quantity of mainboard RAM or the CPU of your system.
> >
> > Celejar
> > -- 
> >
> The version of Xorg is, as I had said, the one provided by Debian 5, 
> which I understand to be the current "Debian stable" version, so, it 
> should not be so out of date that it is not supported (else I would tend 
> to wonder about the status of Debian "stable" versions).

Good point.
> Regarding the issue of the CPU and the mainboard RAM, with bodgy 
> government (and other) websites, that are continuously or periodically 
> downloading (without my so wanting), and the inability of iceape to free 
> RAM when browser windows are closed, and  for both iceweasel and iceape 

Sorry, don't have any experience with IA.

> to prevent unwanted pop-ups opening, I end up with 100% processor usage, 

Pop-ups and 100% utilization are not good, but I'm surprised that
you're seeing pop-ups.  I never see any - I just see a little status
bar telling me that a pop-up has been blocked, and giving me various
options.  I'm running Sid, though.

> and, silly things like "Memory - 30% in use by programs, 70% in use by 
> cache", the memory usage after I have closed all browser windows and 
> items in the taskbar.

You haven't said what tool or utility is reporting the memory usage,
but IIUC, it's normal for large amounts to be used by the kernel for
disk cache, since there's a performance benefit and not much downside,
since the cache can be easily reclaimed when needed. 

> That iceape does not free up the memory that it has been using, when 
> either browser winddows, or, the application as a whole, are closed in 
> an orderly fashion, is somewhat of a concern.

That's bad.  Memory leaks are a common enough application problem (bugs
should be filed), but I don't know how an application can retain its
memory after it has been shut down.

> That iceweasel does not prevent unwanted pop-ups, despite the settings, 

As I said, that's weird.  I've never seen that behavior..

> and, ha iceweasel cannot prevent either automatic reloading of all web 
> pages, or, continuous downloading (such as the twit rubbish, or, other 
> streaming), is also, somewhat of a concern, as both are threats to the 
> system stability and security.
> There is an interesting observation - due to iceape and iceweasel 
> tending to progressively take up all of the processor and RAM capacity, 
> until crashing, if, when things start to look a bit precarious, I run 
> the GIMP, and perform some operation, then close the GIMP, after the 
> closing of the GIMP, a significant part of the RAM overload gets shifted 
> to swap memory, and it all seems to work okay (well fror a significant 
> while longer, anyway).
> I had thought that, because iceape contravenes the setting of cache - 0 
> MB, and with the inability of iceape and iceweasel to adequately control 
> what is happening, and with bodgy web sites designed to cause harm (eg, 
> with http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/wa/observations/perth.shtml , I get a 
> message "Iceweasel prevented this page from automatically reloading", 
> but, the malicious government web site at 
> http://www.abc.net.au/news/justin/ , is designed to get around such 
> protections, and, automatically reloads, even when no changes to the 
> content, exist), and web sites such as 
> http://www.ebroadcast.com.au/TV/static/PerthNight.html? , which, for the 
> individual program web pages, insist on continual downloading of twit 
> rubbish, so as to increasingly consume a computer's resources, each of 
> those instances, designed to crash computers, by iceape and iceweasel 
> running out of RAM, and, out of processor capacity, that, replacing the 
> system with a quad core CPU and 8GB RAM, for a new desktop, and/or, a 
> dual core CPU and 4GB of RAM, would give a bit more time before 
> iceweasel and iceape, through their lack of controls, crashes the 
> system.

I have never had the experiences you describe, so I can't comment here.
> But, if the crashes are attributable to the current version of Xorg 
> being no longer supported, due to it being too old, as it is the current 
> latest version for the current "stable" (?) version of the operating 
> system, then I suppose that I would just have to accept that Debian 
> "stable", is not.

I did not really mean that your X is not supported, just that the
upstream devs may not be that interested in devoting serious resources
to fixing a difficult bug in an older version, and they may ask you to
see if you can reproduce the problem with a more recent X.  I don't
really know, though, and in any event, you should definitely file a bug,
either with the Debian BTS or upstream.

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