[Ifeffit] Athena Freezing Desktop
ehle at agni.phys.iit.edu
Tue Feb 16 19:00:10 CST 2010
It appears that the freezes were probably not caused by running out of
ifeffit resources. When I overloaded Athena with 50+ files I got a very
well behaved warning, and then it finally declared it simply couldn't do
what was asked of it and refused to do anything until I removed some
groups. At no point did it become unresponsive or take the desktop with
it. On a different computer I did manage to provoke a segfault when I was
just fiddling around without even attempting to imitate actual use, but it
still did not take the desktop with it.
No significant error messages were produced.
I will look at possible driver issues as Stefan suggested. Can anyone else
suggest lines of inquiry?
On Tue, 16 Feb 2010, David Ehle wrote:
> Matt, Stefan,
> I'll be responding to both posts sent to list in the order recieved.
> Thank your for your response. I'm going to run athena from a terminal window
> today (our users use a launcher) and see if I can provoke the problem and
> collect some actual worthwhile info on the problem. I'm afraid I've been
> handicapped by only getting 2nd or 3rd hand reports so far - normally I
> wouldn't even try to file a bug based on that, but it was considered urgent
> enough by users and staff that I wanted to at least make sure this wasn't a
> known problem or something with a trivial fix.
> To clear up a little confusion - Athena is being run from the desktop, not
> via an SSH connection. SSH was only used as a method to kill the Athena
> process when the desktop was non-responsive.
> I suspect your right and the problem is some sort of combination issue.
> Thank you for your suggestion. The systems in question has not shown this
> problem in the past and there is a very strong correlation between Athena
> running and the "freeze" occuring, and the Athena process being killed and
> the freeze going away (without restarting X) so the video card is not one of
> my primary suspects - but I will look and see if there has been a recent
> change in the xorg version or drivers that might match the timeline of when
> we started seeing the problem. Thanks for the suggestion!
> Hopefully by the end of the day I'll be able to provide some actual
> Thanks again for your help!
> Combining messages sent only to list below-
> Stefen Mangold on Feb 16th 2:38am:
> Dear David Ehle,
> I had already some trouble at the beamline with a new computer with sudden
> crashes of X during "doing nothing". We could track this problem down to a
> bug in the graphic card driver. We could solve this problem by exchanging the
> consumer graphic card with a 50 Euro more expensive one.
> Matt Newville on Feb 15th 3:14pm:
> I suspect that you *should* get sensible error messages from Athena
> about running out of Ifeffit resources well before seeing a crash of
> X. Not in the sense of "Bruce ought to change Athena to report
> this", but in the sense of "Bruce already does report this".
> Generally, Ifeffit/Athena should run out of memory well before a Linux
> system runs out of memory and swap space. Crashing X over ssh seems
> really peculiar to me -- that's not an out-of-memory issue. I don't
> often leave Athena open for hours at a time on Linux, but have never
> seen such crashes on Ubuntu. My suspicion is that this might be
> caused by Perl/Tk, X, or the lengthy ssh session.
> On Mon, 15 Feb 2010, Bruce Ravel wrote:
>> On Monday 15 February 2010, 03:30:51 pm, David Ehle wrote:
>>> Can you think of anything that may have changed in recent versions of
>>> Athena that may have aggravated the problem? It seems like it's happening
>>> more often now, and suddenly taking X with it every time. Freezing X
>>> makes this a much bigger problem than if we just crash Athena.
>> I cannot imagine what's causing this. I wouldn't say that anything
>> substantial has changed in Ifeffit+friends.
>>> In the short term, any advice on what is important hardware-wise for
>>> running Athena would be greatly appreciated. If we can't find a fast
>>> solution for Athena related X crashes we will need to set up a dedicated
>>> system to run it so it doesn't take down our control stations.
>> That's not a horrible idea in any case. You could compile up a ginormous
>> version of Ifeffit, link Athena to it, and run into the memory problem much
>> less often.
>> Bruce Ravel ------------------------------------ bravel at bnl.gov
>> National Institute of Standards and Technology
>> Synchrotron Methods Group at NSLS --- Beamlines U7A, X24A, X23A2
>> Building 535A
>> Upton NY, 11973
>> My homepage: http://xafs.org/BruceRavel
>> EXAFS software: http://cars9.uchicago.edu/~ravel/software/exafs/
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