My Qubes OS 4.0.3 crashed quite strangely on the morning of November 4th @ GMT+8 in Australia. It was very weird because all seemed quite normal until I attempted to open a Youtube page in my ‘Web-News’ AppVM.
Yes, just another typical Wednesday at first:
Boot Qubes OS with sys-net, sys-firewall and Base; my offline utility AppVM all start by default.
Open the usual text file to check which vitamin tablets to take that morning. Open the usual ledger text file to remember how much money I had left. Both these just local text files in the Base AppVM.
Then open the Web-Net AppVM to tally the average daily data remaining on the ISP account. Then open the Web-Org AppVM to check the weather report. Then open the Web-Mail AppVM to check the email accounts. Then open the Web-News AppM to load Youtube to see how the US election had been going overnight.
Then that was it! The Youtube page never rendered. Then everything stopped, except the mouse movement. No clicking on anything in the different AppVM browser or text editor windows. No response from the top panel, and the bottom panel wouldn’t unhide when the mouse pointer was down at the bottom of the screen.
No way to shutdown either. Except to hold down the power button on the laptop until everything stopped. Then the whole system failed to boot, and it has been like that since that Wednesday morning. Six days, even! I’ve just been too dismayed to even think about it until today.
I have no idea how to run fsck on a LUKS partition in the basic CLI that I get after entering the password for the root partition, which is LUKS encrypted but there doesn’t seem to be any way to access cryptsetup luksOpen in that system, so that’s that. My new Qubes OS 4.0.3 system barely ran for a month before fatally crashing, and now I’m going to have to spend the rest of this week reinstalling a new system, and then building all the custom AppVMs and bookmarks again, (which I admit I was too busy and careless to bother backing up when I had the chance so I have no one to blame but myself…)
Except for the strange timing and the strange cause of this strange death of Qubes OS 4.0.3 last Wednesday morning. That it all happened at the time when I was attempting to access a certain news channel on Youtube on the morning after the US election, which was still late Tuesday night in Washington DC, being currently thirteen(13) hours behind my local time. Shenanigans or just bad luck?
Now we’ve all been told again and again over the last decade that correlation is not causation, but I could not help but wonder over these past six(6) days whether anyone else around here who perhaps runs Qubes OS 4.0.3, perhaps with Debian AppVMs might perhaps have happened to try to open any news channel on Youtube around that time last week and perhaps had any unhappy results such as I did.
If there was any other system that strangely crashed fatally at around the same time whilst attempting to do something similar related to news media channels on Youtube, then we would seem to have causation by deduction, wouldn’t we then?.