How To See System Log/Journal After A Sudden Laptop Crash?

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  • This topic has 3 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated Mar 18-8:24 am by Xunzi_23.
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  • #137013

      Greetings friends.

      I’m *just* savvy with GNULinux enought to install programs and manage files via the command line. I guess I came into it all and settled in as a regular user Just Before systemd took over.

      This is to say – I became aware of most journal and “init” commands that were core to systemd.

      So tonight I’m browsing for some assets for a project on Firefox – and my laptop simply dies. At aprox. 97% battery according to xfce4 power manager applet.

      For this reason, I want to see the system logs of my PC (specs below) in order to see if it’s my hardware or a freak bug.

      Thank you all so much.

      Processor	Intel(R) Core(TM) M-5Y10c CPU @ 0.80GHz
      Memory	8038MB (3835MB used)
      Machine Type	Notebook
      Operating System	Debian GNU/Linux 12 (bookworm)
      Resolution	1920x1080 pixels
      OpenGL Renderer	Mesa Intel(R) HD Graphics 5300 (BDW GT2)
      X11 Vendor	The X.Org Foundation
      Audio Devices
      Audio Adapter	HDA-Intel - HDA Intel HDMI
      Audio Adapter	HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
      Operating System
      Kernel	Linux 6.1.55-antix.1-amd64-smp (x86_64)
      Version	#1 SMP PREEMPT_DYNAMIC Tue Sep 26 22:14:10 EEST 2023
      C Library	GNU C Library / (Debian GLIBC 2.36-9+deb12u4) 2.36
      Distribution	Debian GNU/Linux 12 (bookworm)
      Current Session
      Computer Name	[REDACTED]
      User Name	[REDACTED]
      Language	en_US.UTF-8 (en_US.UTF-8)
      Home Directory	/home/[REDACTED]
      Uptime	14 minutes
      Load Average	0.34, 0.37, 0.38
      Available entropy in /dev/random	256 bits (medium)

      If there’s anything else I should include just let me know. Used the program “hardinfo” for copy/pasting.

      • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by wulfinna.

      "The young generation recognizes the immense sweep of the idea through all the realms of art, science, literature, education, sex relations, and personal morality, as well as social economy, and welcomes the accession to the ranks of those who struggle to realize the free life, no matter in what field. For this is what Anarchism finally means, the whole unchaining of life after two thousand years of Christian asceticism and hypocrisy." — Voltairine De Cleyre


        browsing for some assets for a project on Firefox – and my laptop simply dies.

        First suspect is firefox itself: I’ve observed multiple times current versions eat up every single free byte they can get of your memory. Don’t know precisely when this started, but it seems to get worse with each new version they release. After a couple of time of heavy research you’ll see your 8GB RAM and all your SWAP is filled up with Firefox (I also have 8GB). And if not shutting down firefox timely (immediately) then, before the last bit is filled by it, your System simply will lock up and you have to hard reset. Symptom is: Screen is frozen, you might be able to move the mouse cursor, but no reaction to click and no reaction to any keyboard input (including the numlock toggle), so you can’t switch to console mode by Ctrl+Alt+F2 to kill some programs manually. But system is actually still alive, hard drive light flashes from time to time, and you can ping it from another PC in your LAN and even access its shared folders in this state. (I guess if you’d have enabled SSH access to it beforehand you could shut down some programs remotely to free up some space, and it would simply continue. Or you could send a shutdown -h now command remotely, to avoid the hard reset.)

        So if you shut down firefox frequently in between, it will flush its exorbitant memory consumption and start with reasonable amount of RAM again, repeating the game. Again and again. Single advice I can give is: carefully observe the memory meter in task bar and conky both, to avoid this situation when heavily working with current firefox. Situation might be even worse when not having uBlock origin activated (additionally to the antiX adblocker), so it loads tons of unneeded active stuff additionally.

        The interesting thing is: Firefox actually stalls the complete GUI of your system, not one of its tabs merely as it is supposed to, while it should really notice it can’t use more RAM than there exists…

        Windows is like a submarine. Open a window and serious problems will start.


          Depending on the init system, logs are easy or difficult to enable.

          For kernel logs, you can go to /var/log/ and check the kern.log and syslog

          For Desktop Environment logs, if using antiX’ desktop-session, I advise you enable the desktop-session logs by editing $HOME/.desktop-session/desktop-session.conf and changing the LOG_LEVEL to 9. Reboot and check that a “current.log” was created.

          Now, when the system crashes again, boot and check the kernel logs and also the desktop-session old-log….log to find the exact event that happened just before the system crashed.

          • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by abc-nix.

            Hi wulfinna, my laptop simply dies, if you mean locks up when browsing, as PPC noted, Firefox
            is the main suspect, same can, in my experience happen to LibrWolf.

            You might go to about:memory
            select Free memory pane then select Minimize memory usage.
            You may also select the GC (garbage collection) and CC (cycle collection) buttons

            If you have no issues unless using the browser no need to worry about hardware.
            Possible exemption switch off hardware accelleration in firefox, it might make a

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