nVidia GeForce lockups

Giga was brain dead in the mornings.


Giga, our server, runs 24/7, serving out music and videos to our local network. In the last few weeks, it’s been locking up in periods of inactivity, requiring me to hit the reset button. The lockups happened while running the X server, leaving the machine in a command line caused it no ill. The problem was with X.Org or nVidia, who was the culprit? Google was my investigative partner.

What’s cool about Linux is that when you have a problem, 9.9 times out of 10, someone else is having the same problem. Since all distros share the same core programs, a problem in Debian also occurs in RedHat and so on. I came across lockup issues aplenty, dating back years, but it took a perusal of the Arch Linux Forums to find my answer.

Giga has a GeForce FX 5200, it’s running Debian “lenny”:

  • Turned off DPMS, xset -dpms, via .xinitrc.
  • Turned on a screensaver, blank screen at 5 minutes.

Those two little changes has allowed Giga to stay up for two nights, fingers crossed. Let’s hope nVidia fixes their drivers, I’d hate to go back to ATI.

We like a long neck and a good old song
Turn it up and then we’ll sing along, sing along
Oh, we’re stayin’ up all night long