Ubuntu really, really hates me.

Yes, I’m still struggling to make Ubuntu run properly on my work laptop. For awhile it seemed I had solved the crashing problem by installing, of all things, the BSOD screensaver. Of course that’s total nonsense, but for about four days I had no crashes to speak of and the only change I had made was installing said screensaver which I had done in a fit of pique. Then on Monday whenever I locked my screen forcing the screensaver to kick in I’d come back to my desk to find a login prompt staring at me as the GUI had apparently crashed and kicked me out to the login. I couldn’t even pull up the screensaver preferences to change it without it crashing out so I had to uninstall the screensaver completely.

I decided it must be the proprietary ATI drivers causing all the trouble so I went ahead and uninstalled those as well. The one good bit of news is that the default Ubuntu drivers are now able to detect my external monitor connected to the docking station, the bad news is it won’t allow me to run it at a higher resolution than the laptop without totally screwing up the screen layout. So I have this nice monitor that should be running at 1900×1200 running at 1280×1024 which is all kinds of distorted, but I’m living with it. This also seemed to fix my problem until tonight. Whilst browsing the web I was once again greeted with a GUI crash that kicked me out to the login screen.

So I’ve still not managed to figure out what the hell the problem is, but I have successfully lowered the incidence of it occurring. Instead of crashing eight to ten times a day it’s now crashing once or twice every other day and that, at least, is some improvement. Meanwhile the laptop I don’t touch all that often sitting right next to this one which has an absolutely base install of Ubuntu with nothing else added hasn’t crashed one me once since I set it up. I couldn’t tell you why.

Very, very frustrating.

24 thoughts on “Ubuntu really, really hates me.

  1. Yup, sounds like a video driver issue. Been there, done that, a lot.

    If you haven’t tried EnvyNG yet ( http://albertomilone.com/nvidia_scripts1.html ), I highly recommend it. I’m not sure how well it will work for you after having installed and uninstalled drivers (and possibly tweaked some of your config settings). It’s probably worth a try, though.

    My system is to install Envy immediately after installing the OS before I do anything else, and I haven’t had video problems on the laptop since I started doing so. I’ve even got an external 22’ monitor that I plug into the laptop as a dual display running at it’s optimal resolution. Works great.

  2. Jon, I’m trying the EnvyNG right now. Thanks for the heads up. Hopefully it works.

    Burrow Owl, I’ve checked both logs. The first doesn’t appear to have anything to say about what’s happening and the latter isn’t easily decipherable so if it has anything to offer, well, I can’t find it.

    DOF, it’s a Lenovo T60P. The laptop that’s running fine is an older Lenovo T43P.

  3. Have you checked the ThinkWiki for the troubled laptop?  ThinkWiki is dedicated to helping people with installing Linux on IBM/Lenevo Thinkpads.  And they do have a page for the T60P, looks like the information might be a touch on the old side but maybe they’ll have some useful tips in there for you.

  4. Maybe Java or Flash is screwed up. Try removing any java and flash and then add Adobe Flash using Firefox by going to a site that tries to run flash like YouTube.com. Firefox should pop up a wizard that detects your need for flash.

    Otherwise you got a video card problem. Did you try running the dpkg command I left in a commment on the other thread?

    dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

    If you want to force that second monitor’s resolution do:

    sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf_backup


    sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

    then find something like

    Section “Screen”
      Identifier   “Default Screen”
      Device     “NVIDIA Corporation NV34 [GeForce FX 5200]”
      Monitor     “CM752ET”
      DefaultDepth   16
      SubSection “Display”:
          Depth     16
          Modes     “1280×1024” “1024×768”

    MAKE SURE you are working in the section for your other monitor, and set the resolution to whatever you like.

  5. Hmmmm……..

    You didn’t say which default driver you are using- if it’s VESA, reducing color depth should allow you to up the screen resolution.

    If X seems to fire up and run OK (at least initially), it may not be the problem at all.
    A couple of things to try if you haven’t already:

    Disable all screensavers.

    Disable acpid. (power management- apmd should handle this just fine, but Hardy Heron enables both by default) Also, try disabling suspend/blank screen when on AC.

    Disable Compiz (if installed)

  6. Part of your problems are related to your version of Ubuntu.For a commercial utilisation you need a ‘mature’ version. For exemple, the current version of open suse is 12. For industrial use, Novell use 10 !

    But speficily, le power-management module is probablely your problem. Try power management without screensaver or vice-versa. Or try google your specific brand of computer with Ubuntu. You might found the problem this way some times.

    Don’t let your user update Firefox or Flash with the generic installer ! That’s a recipe for desaster. ( *Most of my crashes were closely related to that !|)

    I’ve been using Suse for 8 years (solid as a rock, until an update, go see *) The best ways to screwing up a perfect installation is update. If its work don’t fix it wink

    Sorry for my english . I am a long time reader. Love your blog.

    You are very concerned by the Christians stupidity but not by the Mulslums and Mulsum related stupidity. Why ?

  7. OK Kid: “I am a long time reader.” | “You are very concerned by the Christians stupidity but not by the Mulslums and Mulsum related stupidity. Why ?”

    You can either be a longtime read of this blog, or you can ask that question, OK Kid.  Not both.

  8. As an opening aside I’ll mention that so far the EnvyNG method of installing the ATI drivers appears to have worked. I’ve not had a crash since. They should pay the guy who wrote that a lot of money and make it a standard part of Ubuntu.

    You are very concerned by the Christians stupidity but not by the Mulslums and Mulsum related stupidity. Why ?

    I’m just as concerned about Muslims and their nonsense as I am Christians. The truth is that Christians have a more direct impact on my life than most Muslims do due to where I live so I tend to bitch about them more.

  9. Sorry decrepitoldfool, but you’re wrong !

    By the way, i’ve never read any mention of this:

    Church of England: UK Will Be an Islamic State in 30 Years

    or of this: Sharia law in UK is ‘unavoidable’

    Few americans are awared how bad the ‘islamic problem’ is in Europe :

    684 quit Britain every day
    Record number escaping UK’s immigration, high taxes and crime


    Funny and stupid:

    Muslim patients offering Namaz five times a day leave UK nurses overworked:

    Muslims won’t have to face Mecca while sitting on London Olympic loos

    Three Little Pigs ‘too offensive’

  10. Sorry decrepitoldfool, but you’re wrong !

    Well yes, technically, I am wrong and you are correct.  It is possible to say you are a long-time reader and still say that this site has never thrown focus on Islamist stupidity and cruelty.  It is possible to say lots of untrue things.  Here, I’ll do it right now:

    “Ok Kid has shown that he is really a long-time reader by making mention of the many times that Les and others have expressed their frustration and concern over Islamist stupidity and cruelty.  And furthermore, Ok Kid’s spelling and grammar are impeccable.”

    It is only natural that Christian stupidity and cruelty will receive more attention.  After all, here in JesusLand we’re swimming in it.  But Islamism has not been ignored.

    Here, this ought to get you started…

  11. And now some facts.

    Church of England: UK Will Be an Islamic State in 30 Years

    This is talking in terms of observance. Less and less people are practicing Christianity. Based on recent trends if this observance continues at the same rate then yes the number of practicing Muslims will be about the same as the number of practicing Christians, hence

    religiously speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation

    2001 Census
    England and Wales
    Total Pop 52,041,916
    People stating Christian 37,338,486 (72%)
    People stating Muslim 1,546,626 (3%)
    People stating No religion 7,709,267 (15%)
    No religion stated 4,010,658 (8%)

    The reason I quote those who didn’t answer is that I doubt that many of them are practicing any mainstream religion.

    So there are at least 5 times more atheists than Muslims.

    In addition Islam will have a high rate of increase to start with, as each convert is a bigger percentage.  Multiplying this up, with out regard for diminishing returns will give a large increase over 30 years.  Given that there is a relatively small % of the population who actively go to church as Christians (especially C of E) it isn’t hard to get this ‘equal’ status.

    Sharia law in UK is ‘unavoidable’

    Quote mining.  Williams was pointing out that an accommodation with civil law will probably happen.

    Dr Williams noted that Orthodox Jewish courts already operated, and that the law accommodated the anti-abortion views of some Christians.
    “The whole idea that there are perfectly proper ways the law of the land pays respect to custom and community, that’s already there,” he said.
    People may legally devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process.
    Muslim Sharia courts and the Jewish Beth Din which already exist in the UK come into this category.
    The country’s main Beth Din at Finchley in north London oversees a wide range of cases including divorce settlements, contractual rows between traders and tenancy disputes.

    What he was pointing out that in certain CIVIL situations the Jewish community (259,927 – 0.5%) may already use their own religious courts.  British courts ENCOURAGE this because it means that both parties turn up for a rubber stamp, the issues have been decided, and the state courts time can be spent elsewhere.  It is extending to Muslims the same rights as Jews.  When a observant Muslim buys a house in the UK he can end up paying Stamp Duty twice, to 3 times the amount of a non-Muslim due to the religiously approved method.  It is about these sorts of accommodations.
    Note that the destinations for emigrants are not noted- how many of them were returning to their country of birth.  Also a significant number of immigrants are Eastern European, who are returning home after a couple of years.  In fact Britain is more in ‘danger’ of becoming a Catholic country than a Muslim one.
    While UK tax rates are not as low as the US, they are about halfway between the US and Europe. However, on top of US taxes you have heathcare.

    This year’s survey found that the average family policy cost $12,106, a 78 percent increase since 2001. (The typical single policy cost $4,479 in 2007.)

    Source http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/2007/09/14/health-insurance-costs-rise-again.html
    Approx £6,000.  Many people do not earn enough to pay that much tax through all taxes. Average UK income is about £22,000 (ONS). A couple have to find approx 14% of their income just to get family health insurance.
    1 in 6 US citizens can not get Insurance, because they are too poor, or too ill.  And that £6,000 is an AVERAGE. Diabetes- it goes up, family history of cancer it goes up. Previous illnesses such as cancer, it goes up, or these are simply excluded.  Plus those of working age cost the NHS the least.
    The elderly- those who can’t pay, cost the most.
    Quoting The News of the Screws, a right wing racist, homophobic tabloid is hardly the acme of political debate.
    As too the 3 little pigs story, it looks like the BBC just went with the press release from the publisher to fill some web space.  There was no ‘3 little pig’ story, it was a modern retelling – the 3 little cowboy builders.  It was not rejected because of Muslims of builders but

    because it failed to meet the required standard across a range of pre-defined criteria

    Researching both sides isn’t weakness, as the Right would claim (“Flip-flop”) but the intelligent way forward. Look what happens when you ignore evidence that doesn’t support your beliefs.  You end up believing the Bible is literally true, despite all the evidence about Genesis, and the world Laughs at you as you run for VP of the USA.

  12. religiously speaking, the UK is an Islamic nation

    Generaly speaking. the UK is f*cked up !

    In fact Britain is more in ‘danger’ of becoming a Catholic country than a Muslim one.

    Denile is not a river in Egypt!

    Sharia for economic reason! Not so great if you are a woman …

    It’s no secret that Britain has more than its fair share of mad men at every level of its judicial system. It would appear that a severe dose of senile dementia is a pre-requisite for any junior judge with aspirations of reaching positions of real responsibility and power. Unfortunately, whilst Lord Phillips et al congratulate themselves on achieving ever increasing heights of ridiculous law-making, the rest of us have to live with the consequences.

    This latest travesty has seen the country’s most senior fruit-loop publicly support a decision that will make the lives of thousands of Muslim women a misery. By giving parts of Sharia law legal recognition in the UK, Muslim women will now legally be at the mercy of their husbands. In theory it should be a joint decision to go down the Sharia route, but as Muslim women are still seen as chattels to most Muslim men the decision of the husband (and other male family members) will, as always, come through.

    Any sane and rational human being will see this as the thin end of the wedge. One can only hope that as the announcement was made in front of an audience of Muslims, Lord Phillips actually feared for his life should he have said anything to upset them and that he has no intention of carrying out his threat to consign Muslim women across the country to a life of servitude without hope.

    A legal system based on a book which openly supports a husband ‘lightly beating his disobedient wife’ is highly unlikely to offer an optimistic future for any female unfortunate enough to be born into the death cult we all know as Islam.

    In Lord Phillip’s defence it should be noted that he ran the BSE inquiry from 1998-2000 and appears to have contracted the condition widely known as Mad Cow Disease during that time.

    Get Well Soon M’ Lud


    That’s facts !

    Killing of Non-Muslims is Legitimate (British Mullah)

    We need more Muslim babies
    … then we can take over Britain

    You can’t preach the Bible here, this is a Muslim area
    (What a community policeman told two Christians)

    UK bank scraps piggy banks for “fear of offending Muslims”

    Muslim M&S worker refused to sell ‘unclean’ Bible book to grandmother, customer claims

    Somali Suspect’s “racist Demands” Pose Extra Burden for UK Prison Officials

    Teachers could get power to stop forced marriages, Timesonlines, le 4 janvier 2008

    Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, faces death threats

    Fascism and Islamism thrive in Bradford, report claims

    “Up to 48 universities in Britain have been infiltrated by fundamentalists financed by Muslim groups.”

    UK centre of Islamist terror in Europe: Europol

    Death Be Not Proud
    Europe’s not looking good.

    Don’t be soft on Islam, says EU terror chief

  13. From now on in this thread I’m going to use the word ‘Ubuntu’ in all my comments.  As in: “I wonder if British Muslims are also having problems running Ubuntu on their Lenovo laptops?  And does the EnvyNG installation method with ATI drivers work for everyone?”

  14. Denile is not a river in Egypt!

    Which is why you’re not currently swimming.

    Gosh look at all those links that is proof… of the fact that there are nutters who get press attention.  I’m not denying there are hateful Imams.  What I’m pointing out is that the claims of a Muslim take over are grossly exaggerated.

    Muslims receive no dispensation for illegal acts, and the fact that Murder convictions have been secured in honour killing cases is the evidence of that.

    All those links to right wing tabloids- take a claim, and blow it up out of all proportion, get one side of the story, make sure what you print supports your predjudices.

    You still didnt explain how 3% is a take over.

  15. I was wondering when someone would try to drag this thread back on topic.

    Well it was my fault for taking the bait. 

    The problem I’ve had so far is even once I get Ubuntu working it doesn’t seem to go beyond 1024×768.  Webs suggested installing an ATI video card as a fix.  The whole driver situation is still iffy and given Ubuntumentum taking place, hardware manufacturers ought to start taking notice.

  16. Les: Sorry i didn’t intend to flood this thread. I don’t want to be rude, but if you want to resolved your problems and get answers, you have to be more specific !

    distros version : hoary or breezy, Gutsy or Hardy
    ubuntu: 32bit or 64bits ?
    Computer brands and/or motherboard:
    graphic card : ATI, but what number?
    (AGP or PCI) :very important !
    Do you have another desktop on the computer?

    3d interface (compiz) : Cutes and fancys, but not very useful. On a laptop, it’s mignt have an impact on your power’s comsumption.

    To remember :
    All theses informations are crucials, every times you are asking for help in a linux’s forum .
    Propritairy drivers WILL be effet by update of the kernels. Specialy ATI.  I give-up on ATI for theses reasons.

    Somes good link:


    Decrepitoldfool: The problem I’ve had so far is even once I get Ubuntu working it doesn’t seem to go beyond 1024×768

    If you are using the framebuffer driver or the vega driver, it’s normal. these are the ‘safe mode’ drivers and these drivers are non-specific and works with every graphics card . These drivers are using the memory of your computer. With non-generic driver you are using the memory of your graphic card.

    And furthermore, Ok Kid’s spelling and grammar are impeccable.”

    I know, but a can read wiki in french, english, italians et germans. And as a TI, i am more a reader than a writer. And Google don’t seem to understand that you might want more than one spell-checker on a browser …

    It is only natural that Christian stupidity and cruelty will receive more attention.

    Silly me! I was thinking that all thoses soldiers coming back in body’s bag was a concerns …

    Not everybody would agree with your views: http://www.borderfirereport.net/latest/tancredo-proposes-anti-sharia-measure-in-wake-of-u.k.-certification-of-islamic-courts.html

    UK is now, what will be the futur EU. All thoses surveillance camera aren’t there to prevent invasion of 8 foots giant aliens. 4 millions of potentiels terrorists can screw-up a democracy and affect futur coalitions …
    Freedom of speech and gender equalitity are already a thing of the past, in Europre !

    Sorry- Never wrestle with a pig.

    THE pig know the meaning of ‘Taqqia’  ….

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