After about 30 to 60 minutes of use, my system completely locked up.
All I could do to get the system back up, was perform a hard reboot.
This happened regardless of what I was doing. Even if the system was just sitting idle for a longer period of time.
I found that I could provoke the lockup to happen, if I played some high-resolution video.
At the time of writing, Ubuntu is version 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), which is the version I was using.
I had a hard time finding any clues in the system log files, but after a thorrow walkthrough of the
/var/log/syslog file, I found something suspicious.
May 31 22:50:06 TV kernel: [ 8.464149] Marking TSC unstable due to TSC halts in idle
The easiest way to find this line is by typing
"cat /var/log/syslog | grep unstable".
I searched far and wide on Google, to find out if this is was what was causing my problem and I finally found something useful.
It seems that “TSC”, which stands for “Time Stamp Counter”, is a kernel module and that it was somehow responsible for making my Ubuntu system unstable. Don’t ask me why 🙂
I found a solution though, by completely disabling “TSC” in my boot-loader options.
By adding the statement “
notsc” to the end of the “
kernel” option, in the file “
/boot/grub/menu.lst“, i managed to solve the problem.
title Ubuntu 9.04, kernel 2.6.28-11-generic
kernel /boot/vmlinuz-2.6.28-11-generic root=UUID=242651e6-751d-46e5-8d85-2684c78940a3 ro quiet splash notsc
I rebooted the computer, ran a couple of CPU excessive commands and played some video with MPlayer to test it. No more lock-ups.
I’m not sure if this problem is present in any other version of Ubuntu.
Please leave a comment with your experiences.