A hello to Ubuntu Weblogs / reboots are uncool

I guess I whined about rebooting before, but today was just really uncool: there was a power cut at work, and of course I had about 10 virtual terminals open running various things (all in GNU screen). There were a few tens of editor swap-files to recover (I’m using the vim editor), but that’s actually the straightforward part. The really bad part is that between 10 or so bash shells, you really lose a lot of lines of unsaved command history – especially when your machine has been up for a month or two (sorry, I know that doesn’t sound very green, but at least it is not usually idling… and I guess I’ll switch my lights off tomorrow to find absolution).

Wait. I believe this may be the third post I’m sharing with the Ubuntu Weblogs community, and I still haven’t properly said hello. Someone’s acting like a caveman here…

Hello all! I’m just a happy free-software user (or did I mean open-source? I still haven’t made up my mind on this), there’s not much more to say. I’m very fortunate to be working on a physics PhD, which means that I get to play with GNU/Linux at work as well as at home.

If you don’t mind me complaining some more about reboots: the second mini-disaster today was that my laptop – also with maybe a dozen screen sessions – froze on resume from suspend, and I couldn’t remember the whole elephant thing. My laptop hadn’t seen a reboot in ages either, but at least a hundred succesful suspend/resume cycles since then, so this was unexpected.

Anyway, I now have no idea, no recollection whatsoever, what I’ve been doing or working on the past few days :)

To better deal with this kind of stuff in the future, I’ve already found out that I can save my bash history to disk whenever I want using “history -a”. Now if I may ask my dear readers:

  1. is there any way to make a shell session “persistent” (I guess as if snapshotting memory) to some extent?
  2. would you perhaps know a tutorial that shows me how to begin debugging such very sporadic lock-ups on resume? Where do I start – in syslog?
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2 Responses to “A hello to Ubuntu Weblogs / reboots are uncool”


  1. 1 Maxim 28 March 2009 at 20:21

    Hi :-)

    Debugging lock-ups from suspend are hell. The most logical place to start would be syslog, but I doubt that’s going to show anything useful.

    I think syslog calls sync() a bit more often that most other programs, so the fact that you missed the elephant might not be a big issue.

    I remembered reading a post by the big man himself about this a while back. Maybe that can be a starting point in your investigation?

    http://torvalds-family.blogspot.com/2008/12/debugging-hell.html

  2. 2 yungchin 29 March 2009 at 10:22

    Thanks for that! Well, if Torvalds thinks this is complicated, then maybe I shouldn’t even try :)

    Indeed, there’s not too much in the syslog. The last couple of messages were actually from NetworkManager and dhclient, so it got quite far into the resume process.

    I suppose the sysrq stuff could’ve given me back keyboard control, and maybe then killing X would have been good enough. But now we’ll never know (I hope :)).


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