QubesOS freeze, crash and reboots

I had a freezing / crashing probleme and it was one of my RAM slote that was half-dead.
You can do a memtest just in case.

A good and open-source memtest
My post on my crashing probleme

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Last night had 3 consecutive total freezes. The first one was out of nowhere, I was simply reading some RSS feeds on my newsboat program. Then, having heard that these freezes might be connected to having qubes os updates (either to the dom0 or to the domU’s) I have initiated the command line updates, using sudo qubesctl --show-output state.sls update.qubes-dom0 && sudo qubesctl --show-output --skip-dom0 --templates state.sls update.qubes-vm and pretty much a few seconds after pressing enter, I had another total system freeze. I had to press down on the power button to shut down the machine and restart qubes os. Then I repeated the same update command, and I had another freeze. At the third try, the update command went through without freezes and I saw that qubes os had downloaded updates to the whonix templates.

So, it indeed appears that these total system freezes are connected to fetching or downloading the updates. And perhaps doing these updates over the tor network? As I have my system download the system updates over Tor.

For the record, I am running vanilla QubesOS 4.1 with XFCE on a coreboot’ed Thinkpad X220 i5 CPU with 16 GB RAM.

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August 22nd

Did anyone with the updater crashes ever test whether it’s reproducible from either
a) high CPU load (e.g. via stress)
b) high disk I/O (e.g. via dd if=/dev/urandom of=[somewhere on fs] bs=1M) c) high network I/O (e.g. via curl [huge file]`)
d) high GPU load (some 3D application)

Please also keep an eye on the CPU temperature during the process to rule out any crashes or freezes due to hardware overheating.

@howfuniscrashing to be more precise, I said that I had no crashes before I ever connected to the internet. After my first update I got crashes.

@tanky0u I do not update over tor.

Also, my system is running on a Dell t550 server with 2 xeon CPUs and 80-something GB RAM. Its not easy for a desktop environment to get the machine sweating. So there was no high CPU load. Also those CPUs don’t heat up that easily. Regarding the GPU IDK, though.

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Guess this is my case too as I switched back to fb in November and haven’t seen a crash since. Visual glitches also became less pronounced with updates - when I first installed 4.1 it took a good couple of seconds for mouse pointer to change its shape - now it’s barely noticeable with some split second rendering glitches in menu and at window borders. Doesn’t affect rendering of content in VMs window, so not a deal breaker.

I should mention all this relates to default xfce.

Sounds familiar:

Since I updated from 4.0 to 4.1 in August last year, I’ve had random gui freezes with no possibility to recover, I just have to hard reset the machine every time (I’ve had 4 such freezes trying to write this on a stock new Qubes install, but that’s another story…)

I was checking some github issues and stumbled upon this: Qubes Update tool freezes machine · Issue #6156 · QubesOS/qubes-issues · GitHub

Pretty much the same as my reported freezing issues.

Also, update on this “freezing issues”: I seem to get 1 total system freeze per week now. Definitely better than what I was getting with i3wm + “screen tearing fix” I had previously with QubesOS. Back then, the freezing frequency per week was higher, in my anecdotal evidence.

I’ve watched these freezes for 6 months and it seems to me to be associated with whonix-ws-16. At least, the most consistent freezes occur when I start anon-whonix and use for a few minutes. I very rarely get freezes without anon-whonix being opened, but it does happen. I can’t figure rhyme or reason why it happens.

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Sharing an anecdotal experience of mine: the frequency of the freezes I reported in this thread seems to have decreased. I haven’t got a total system freeze on me for some weeks now, even though during the time I had my machine working day and night, doing backups, working idle, etc.

So that’s encouraging. Thanks to the QubesOS dev team!

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The only freeze and hard reboot I am experiencing now happened when doing qubes-dom0-update. Otherwise my Qubes 4.1.1 is stable. Using 6.1.12-1 kernel a xen 4.14.5 (after reboot).

Qubes OS if very unstable in my case. Unfortunately, I’ve had enough, I can’t recommend Qubes.

First, desiring to get rid of the reboots, I changed my RAM, CPU, motherboard, and power supply. Now I understand that the problem is in the OS. It’s crashing without any signals in the log, mainly on virtual machine start/stop.

So I still can’t boot into the system at the first time! Usually I am trying to boot five or more times to start all my appVMs. Then I am trying to keep my computer uptime 24/7, that is usually a week without the accident reboot. Starting an appVM turned into a reboot lottery.

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I’m sorry you have had these problems. Thanks for trying so hard.
It would be helpful if you could share details of the hardware you have

There is a hard regression in 4.1 that results in these problems for
some users. In some cases this seems to be linked to Qubes
starting/shutting down, and perhaps memory usage. In some cases there is
no log evidence.
It may be that these problems are resolved in 4.2, so it may be worth
your while checking in now and again and trying that release.
I hope to see you again.

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team. When I comment in the Forum or in the mailing lists I speak for myself.

Have you tried/tested kernel-latest? - if no, would you be willing to test it?

sudo qubes-dom0-update --disablerepo=* --enablerepo=qubes-dom0-current-testing kernel-latest

(in Dom0)

If you have issues booting, could you try temporally adding:


to the kernel line at boot (hit e to edit the GRUB config, use the arrow keys to locate where it says quiet and replace it with qubes.skip_autostart)?

Maybe relevant for some coreboot users: Bug #121: T520: Hangs in OS - coreboot - Issue Tracker

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I would like to report that my intel i7-3520M CPU (on Thinkpad X230) has been rock-solid stable since a month. I am on Qubes 4.1 with the latest updates installed. I have been using my setup for video encoding day and night and never had a freeze so far.

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Ditto. On a Librem 14. Used to be that I had to have power-adapted plugged in for updates, but rock solid now.

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5 posts were split to a new topic: ThinkPad (AMD) becomes unresponsive to input

A post was merged into an existing topic: ThinkPad (AMD) becomes unresponsive to input

7 posts were split to a new topic: Kernel-latest-6.3.2-1 not stable