xorg restarts like "/etc/init.d/gdm restart" when running VIrtualBox

Bug #495916 reported by DaleEMoore on 2009-12-12
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Xorg Xserver VESA

Bug Description

VirtualBox tells me here http://www.virtualbox.org/ticket/5719 this I should report this problem in Launchpad, so here I go. I've done some other research here http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=25659 and here http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1350613 but have yet to resolve this issue.

In a new Ubuntu 9.10 install with VirtualBox OSE and also PUEL Xorg restarts just like I'd run "sudo /etc/init.d/gdi restart" every few minutes. It does not do the restart if I'm not using the machine. It does not do the restart if I am not using VirtualBox and rmmod the 3 vbox modules.

I moved the HDs to another machine that's the same hardware and get the same behaviour.

I haven't noticed anything in /var/log/messages, /var/log/Xorg.0.log, /var/log/gdm/:0.log or ~/.VirtualBox/Machines/XP/Logs/VBox.log that would help me diagnose the problem; but, I've attached them for your enjoyment.

It only restarts Xorg when VirtualBox is running. It does not restart when I've rmmod-ed the 3 vbox modules.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
Dale E. Moore

DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :
DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :
DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :
DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :
DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :

I wonder if there's an xorg.conf I could implement that would run with degraded performance, perhaps, but; not restart frequently?

mike deggs (mike-deggs) wrote :

Hi Dale,
I am curious if you're absolutely sure this is tied to VirtualBox. The reason I ask is that I am seeing similar behaviour without Vbox installed. X randomly restarts even just using a browser. See this (confirmed) bug report:


Thanks for the information and reference Mike!

At its worst it restarts xorg 20-30 times a day.

When I turn off VBox, and rmmod the 3 VBox modules I never have the problem.

I never saw Fatal IO error in the logs.

It seems different to me.

DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :

I wonder if there's some type of SAFE MODE I so the machine could be used.

It's so interesting that I have several other (recycling) machines that have the same specs and the problem follows this HD.

William Davis (hotshotdj) wrote :

Just to confirm Dale's observations - I've seen this behavior on my machine (System 76 PanP5) also only during VirtualBox sessions (guest = Windows XP Pro). It occurs with both my custom kernel (where I first suspected the problem might be) and on the current "stock" Ubuntu 9.10 kernel. Unlike Dale, it only happens occasionally and only with a guest session running, so I've had no reason to rmmod the vbox kernel modules. Interestingly, I've only seen this behavior when I have an external monitor connected -- typically, I'll have the guest OS running full-screen on the external monitor with my normal gnome desktop on the laptop monitor. This leads me to suspect a problem in xorg or the Nvidia driver (version 190.42) -- granted, this is the conclusion of an untrained eye.

I can attempt to reproduce the problem either tomorrow or Saturday (in the meanwhile, this is a "production" machine, so I need to get work done). Exactly what procedures should I follow for the purpose of collecting useful information? Usually, I get an "Apport" icon telling me there was a serious Kernel crash, but then it is unable to generate a report because i'm not using an "official" Ubuntu kernel. I'll remove my custom kernel before testing to prevent this problem and hopefully get something useful. Is there anything else I should watch for?

DaleEMoore (daleemoore) wrote :

I wiped the boot HD and installed Ubuntu 9.10. Copied .VirtualBox back and it's running without problems now.

William Davis (hotshotdj) wrote :

I've had no trouble since the Nvidia driver update and the VirtualBox update a few days ago. I don't know what fixed it, but it looks fixed to me.

William Davis (hotshotdj) wrote :

I spoke too soon. I had the crash again today. This time I was not running a VM, but the vbox kernel module were loaded. Apport reported a Kernel crash. Unfortunately, I was running my custom Kernel. I've removed it and will try to replicate using the official Ubuntu Karmic kernel.

William Davis (hotshotdj) wrote :

Ok. Another crash. The VirtualBox kernel modules were loaded, but I was not running a VM at the time. I've been trying to report it via apport, but I keep getting "Sorry, there was a problem connecting to the Launchpad server." No help is evident at #lauchpad on freenode. I'll upload it here in the hope that it will be useful -- at least give somebody the info to rule in/out a problem with VirtualBox.

William Davis (hotshotdj) wrote :

Here is the promised attachment.

William Davis (hotshotdj) wrote :

Just a follow-up. I'm now using Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) with the NVidia driver (195.36.24) and VirtualBox PUEL (Version 3.2.8). I have not experienced a problem since upgrading to Lucid in April. It is probably safe to close this bug.

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