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    1. Tech support request: recovering from hard crashes in Linux

      EDIT: Latest update This is something so rudimentary that I'm a little embarrassed to ask, but I've also tried looking around online to no avail. One of the hard parts about being a Linux newbie...

      EDIT: Latest update


      This is something so rudimentary that I'm a little embarrassed to ask, but I've also tried looking around online to no avail. One of the hard parts about being a Linux newbie is that the amount of support material out there seems to differ based on distro, DE, and also time, so posts from even a year or two ago can be outdated or inapplicable.

      Here's my situation: I'm a newbie Linux user running Pop!_OS 19.10 with the GNOME desktop environment. Occasionally, games I'm playing will hard crash and lock up my system completely, leaving a still image of the game frozen on the screen indefinitely. The system stays there, completely unresponsive to seemingly any inputs. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's almost always when I'm running a Windows game through Steam's Proton layer. I suspect it also might have something to do with graphics drivers, as I'll at times notice an uptick in frequency after certain updates, though that might just be me finding a suspicious pattern where none exists.

      Anyway, what I don't know how to do is gracefully exit or recover from these crashes. No keyboard shortcut seems to work, and I end up having to hold the power button on my computer until it abruptly shuts off. This seems to be the "worse case scenario" for handling it, so if there is a better way I should go about this, I'd love to know about it.


      EDIT: I really want to thank everyone for their help so far. My initial question has been answered, and for posterity's sake I'd like to post the solution here, to anyone who is searching around for this same issue and ends up in this thread:

      • Use CTRL+ALT+F3/F4/F5/F6 keys to access a terminal, where you can try to kill any offending processes and reboot if needed.
      • If that fails, use ALT+SYSRQ+R-E-I-S-U-B.

      With that out of the way, I've added more information about the crashes specifically to the thread, primarily here, and some people are helping me out with diagnosing the issue. This thread is now less about the proper way to deal with the crash than it is about trying to identify the cause of the crash and prevent it in the first place.

      12 votes
    2. There is such a thing as too much technology

      Today I went to my favorite bakery/cafeteria/restaurant/grocery store (yeah it's one place, but not large enough to be considered a supermarket - IDK the correct terminology in English but you get...

      Today I went to my favorite bakery/cafeteria/restaurant/grocery store (yeah it's one place, but not large enough to be considered a supermarket - IDK the correct terminology in English but you get the gist). It's a nice place if a little pricey. About a month ago, they installed a gate. Next to the gate, there's a huge metal thing with a single red button. When you press the button, it tosses an electronic ticket (that stores every purchase you make in the system) and the gate lets you go through. These are not synchronous, sometimes the gate is unlocked a lot sooner than the ticket is tossed. So today, after I got into the store, an employee had to run towards me to give me my electronic ticket. Okay.

      I noticed that, despite the machine having only one very big button, lots of people still need to be instructed by the employee in order to enter, and he's constantly manually handing out the tickets. There is also a gate to leave that slows things down.

      In this last month, I went a lot less to this place. That's because, whenever passing by, I used to enter just to check things up, see if there was something new or appetizing. You know, impulse buys. The need to check myself in and out (even when I don't purchase anything) made me quit that habit. I think other people are the same. Besides, what's the good of automation if it requires a human being to make it work correctly? AFAIK, the analog system worked. And we're not in a dangerous part of town where one needs to worry about people putting products in their pockets.

      That's why I say: sometimes, there is such a thing as too much technology.

      22 votes