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My Linux Mint workstation is acting funky, it appears to be logging me out randomly, though I'm guessing what's really happening is that the X desktop is crashing. Maybe.

How do I troubleshoot this?

I'm not sure which log file to look at. I tried looking at dmesg and Xorg.log in /var/log but I'm not sure what to look for. Not to mention there are no conventional timestamps, but a string like [ 0.416674] and I have no idea what that means.

  • Well, do not use X for a while, and check if the system still acts "funky". It is high time time get used to the console :-) And if you have gazillion times, install a second OS, say, Ubuntu besides Mint and check if that fails as well (just to stay in the field of comparative bugfixing) – karatedog Aug 9 '11 at 21:48
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    Not really practical advice unfortunately. I have work to do and it relies on using X/Gnome. Plus it's entirely random so I can't really predict when it'll show up. – CaptSaltyJack Aug 9 '11 at 21:58
  • Are you applying all available updates? – LawrenceC Aug 9 '11 at 22:05
  • @ultrasawblade Within reason. Using mintUpdate only, not using apt-get and installing kernel updates, etc. But yes, everything is up to date. – CaptSaltyJack Aug 9 '11 at 22:10
  • I'd grep your logs for "error". dmesg, /var/log/syslog, Xorg.log seem like good places to start. If push comes to shove, I'd try doing another Linux install in parallel in an effort to see if it's a hardware problem. You should probably run memtest86 too... – James T Snell Aug 9 '11 at 22:10
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After doing some research, seems like (for whatever reason), any recent X crashes show up in /var/log/Xorg.0.log.old

  • I guess that the .old log file relates to a terminated X11 session, because the new (currently running) one has to log stuff somewhere too. – unfa May 23 '17 at 14:40
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These four files are your best bet.

/var/log/Xorg.0.log

/var/log/Xorg.0.log.old

~/.xsession-errors

/var/log/messages
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    Those log files are rather large, use last |head -n 50 to get the timestamps of your crashes to save your self a lot of reading. – virtualxtc May 1 at 15:53

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