Help debugging laptop crashes on Linux?

Hey All,

Apologies if this has been asked before, but I can’t seem to find a thread with an issue similar to mine.
I’m running a DIY FW laptop with Manjaro KDE, on an i5. Of late, and with increasing frequency, there’ll come a time when my laptop just ups and freezes, and then the caps lock blinks a few times before the laptop shuts down completely.

I unfortunately have no insight into what could be going wrong, or how I could debug this. I’ve tried looking at journalctl, but am again at a loss on how to parse the messages I see there. Any help could be appreciated, thank you!

How’s the temperature? Have you check the CPU usage etc.
if you have had it for a while maybe there is dust in the fan tracks?

I haven’t been monitoring the temperatures or CPU usage explicitly, but the fan (which is usually my proxy) hasn’t been too loud. Will monitor going forward, thanks!

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I haven’t seen these issues myself yet on Pop!_OS Linux, but there have been some posts mentioning similar freezing issues in Linux. I’ve listed some below for your convenience.

Since my post was linked in this thread, I would suggest trying to load Linux with nomodeset passed as an option from Grub. For reasons I don’t understand, loading the Intel graphics driver reliably results in freezes within 10 minutes; otherwise the system is stable. I cannot say that I’ve seen the blinking caps lock though. But try my suggestion and see if that helps.

Start with

journalctl -f -p err

to see if there’s anything obvious. The words panic or segmentation fault are usually big clues. Then look for relevant text nearby, and search for it online. Something like: “kernel panic” “blah blah type error content here” manjaro and see what comes up. The arch and manjaro forums might also be helpful.

sudo dmesg

is a good idea, too. Look for the same sort of stuff.

Good luck!

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Thank you @Starlight, @Jerry_Vinokurov and @Richard_Tango-Lowy ! I haven’t had any crashes again, but these are good steps to implement and look out for the next time it happens!

FWIW I’ve just experienced this for the first time, including the blinking caps lock. I’m thinking it might be a temperature/fan issue, since this is the first time it’s happened and I’ve been using it for a week with no issue. The main thing that’s changed is the weather ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

I ended up solving my issue by reinstalling fedora on the internal ssd, rather than the thumb drive I was using previously. turns out the things can get pretty hot when in constant use, and fedora doesn’t like that very much.
I’d suggest you try a different drive if the problems keep happening. Sounds like you’ve got it well in hand however.

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