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I have a Linux machine that frequently becomes completely unresponsive (not just the GUI). Based on activity before the freeze, it seems to be related to the network card/driver.

After much searching, reading and trial of potential solutions, I'm back to square one. The keywords "freeze" and "unresponsive" have not helped, and are not tags in ServerFault, which tells me I might be googling wrong.

What steps should I take to gather relevant logs, before and/or after the freeze? Which system tools can give me precise debugging information? I need to narrow my search

  • What is displayed on the console when this freeze happens? – EEAA Nov 3 '15 at 16:40
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    sar will tell you what exactly is going with your system, especially if you know the freezing time of your system all you need to do is to check the historical logs of sar for that time frame. – ostendali Nov 3 '15 at 18:01
  • @EEAA I use a graphic interface in my day to day work, and when the system freezes I can't drop to a TTY. I've installed sysstat, how should I use the tools provided? – slezica Nov 3 '15 at 18:17
  • If you're pretty sure it's the "network card/driver" then just replace the NIC with an identical NIC. If it clears up, then it was the card. If the problem persists, replace the NIC with a different manufacturer's NIC. If it clears up, then it was the driver. If the problem still persists, then it lies elsewhere. – Michael Hampton Nov 3 '15 at 18:24
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If your machine gets from the freeze state without reboot, check the output of dmesg and from the log files at /var/log.

If the machine needs a hard reset / reboot, use the sysrq keys and try taking a stack trace and or a memory information.

More info about sysrq here.

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