[Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Discussions about using Linux guests in VirtualBox.

[Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby cwr2 » 20. Feb 2019, 18:49

I have a Linux Mint 18.3 guest on a Linux Mint 18.3 host running VB 6.0.0. With updates to 6.0.2 and 6.0.4, the guest would freeze if left alone for about 30 minutes. I could do nothing but Power Off the guest and restart it. I tried changing Screensaver settings without success, and only rid myself of the problem by downgrading to 6.0.0. Sure hope this bug gets fixed in the next update.
Last edited by cwr2 on 28. Feb 2019, 23:24, edited 1 time in total.
Ryzen 7 1700; ASRock Taichi X370; 2x 16GB Corsair 3100Mhz; Samsung 970EVO 500GB; 2x GEFORCE GT 1030; Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" (Cinnamon, 64 bit) host; VirtualBox 6.0.0
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby socratis » 20. Feb 2019, 23:16

We need to see a complete VBox.log, from a complete VM run, where the problem occurs:
  • Start the VM from cold-boot (not from a paused or saved state) / Observe problem / Shutdown the VM (force close it if you have to).
  • With the VM completely shut down (not paused or saved), right-click on the VM in the VirtualBox Manager and select "Show Log".
  • Save only the first "VBox.log", ZIP it and attach it to your response. See the "Upload attachment" tab below the reply form.
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby GrahamV » 22. Feb 2019, 01:50

I believe it's the same issue as this https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=91657. The same thing happens in Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon. I assume your LM18.3 is also Cinnamon?

Have you tried locking the system from the system menu? It will probably go unresponsive when you try, it appears to be a problem with with the LM Cinnamon lock screen and 3D acceleration. Have you tried switching off 3D acceleration in the VM settings? In software rendering mode it should be ok.
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby cwr2 » 23. Feb 2019, 01:03

Thanks for looking at this, socratis. Below is a zipped VBox.log of a run using VB6.0.4 in which all I did was to start the VM and (after waiting over an hour and then noting that it was indeed 'frozen') to force a shutdown. By the way, GrahamV is correct that the VM does not freeze if I switch off 3D acceleration. But then the VM shifts to "software rendering mode" and its screen refreshes become painfully slow. At this point, my preferred solution is to stay with a downgraded VB6.0.0 until this bug gets fixed, since with 6.0.0 the freezing does not occur. Oh, and yes, the guest in question is Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon.
Last edited by cwr2 on 28. Feb 2019, 23:23, edited 1 time in total.
Ryzen 7 1700; ASRock Taichi X370; 2x 16GB Corsair 3100Mhz; Samsung 970EVO 500GB; 2x GEFORCE GT 1030; Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" (Cinnamon, 64 bit) host; VirtualBox 6.0.0
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby socratis » 27. Feb 2019, 10:27

Try to disable all screensavers and all energy savings settings. Those should be handled by your host in any event. I believe that the screensaver kicks in, and it gets confused.

Try this experiment; switch to the VM when it seems frozen, and enter your VM password, <Enter>, even though you don't see anything. Did it "unfreeze"?

BTW, there's nothing obviously wrong with your setup from the log...
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby cwr2 » 28. Feb 2019, 23:22

You really nailed that one, socrates. Your experiment worked as you predicted. Even without a visible login screen, "entering" my password while staring at my frozen desktop unlocked the VM. Hopefully, this is a bug that VB developers can fix, since it seems only to involve making a Linux VM's lock screen visible to the user. I had no problem last year with lock screens on a Linux Mint (Cinnamon) VM with VB's version 5.2.12. In any case, I now know how to work around the bug, and maybe others too can now get past "pulling the plug" on their frozen Linux VMs. Thanks again!
Ryzen 7 1700; ASRock Taichi X370; 2x 16GB Corsair 3100Mhz; Samsung 970EVO 500GB; 2x GEFORCE GT 1030; Linux Mint 18.3 "Sylvia" (Cinnamon, 64 bit) host; VirtualBox 6.0.0
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Re: [Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby socratis » 1. Mar 2019, 04:20

cwr2 wrote:Hopefully, this is a bug that VB developers can fix, since it seems only to involve making a Linux VM's lock screen visible to the user.

I know... I found the workaround by accident, when my VM seemed to be locked and when I tried to close it, and the 3 option dialog popped up, I could see the password dialog in the background! :o

Glad I could help! And thank you for marking the topic as [Solved]... ;)
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Re: [Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby GrahamV » 3. Mar 2019, 15:53

Just an additional point I've noticed, this error occurs for me using VBoxVGA as the graphic controller. Setting the graphic controller to VMSVGA resolves this issue completely, and also resolves the issue of the wallpaper contrast being too high when LM Cinnamon first starts up.

I also tried VBoxSVGA but that just forces Cinnamon into Software Rendering mode and you only get a small screen with black borders.
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Re: [Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby socratis » 3. Mar 2019, 17:44

GrahamV wrote:Setting the graphic controller to VMSVGA resolves this issue completely, and also resolves the issue of the wallpaper contrast being too high when LM Cinnamon first starts up.

True on both accounts! So, I guess we start to (slowly) seeing the benefits of what VMSVGA will eventually bring! :)
Thanks @GrahamV for pointing it out, my Mint VM was an 5.x.x upgrade, so it was still using the VBoxVGA vGPU...
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Re: [Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby swcng2001 » 6. Mar 2019, 09:06

Disabling all screensavers and all energy savings setting did the trick.

This has been a long outstanding problem. Why hasn't anyone had a look at resolving it?
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Re: [Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby socratis » 6. Mar 2019, 09:35

swcng2001 wrote:Why hasn't anyone had a look at resolving it?

Because the workaround is simple, documented and (in all truth) the best practice. And if it takes a 1-week developer time to address the screensaver if 3D is enabled, I'd rather (personally) see other, more important/crucial 3D issues addressed, hoping that this screensaver annoyance will be addressed at the same time.

BTW, there is call for help from the developers for end-users to pitch in helping with this. 3D support for X11 guests. The following is from a similar 3D related bug:
In ticket #13653, michael wrote:Just to summarise the situation: we do not currently have free developer time (as in developers with the required skills who are not already taken up with other work) to investigate this bug, much as we understand that it is annoying to the people affected. This situation might change, but that is not something we can promise. Of course, I quite understand that if this means that something else fits any individual's requirements better than VirtualBox then it is a sensible solution to use that instead.

However, the fact that VirtualBox is open source means that users who are interested have another option to get changes made, by doing the work themselves or crowd-sourcing the work. If you go this way of course, please communicate with us before starting and while doing the work, as we hate to see work go to waste due to misunderstandings like mismatches with our development style. Though this is more a fix than a feature, so likely to be easier to integrate.

See also the X11 guest 3D wiki page. Windows guest 3D is not user-maintained, but we are still rather limited in what we can do.

I would kindly request that as of now people do not add unneeded information to this ticket, such as that this is still not fixed or does not work for a given person. However, if you would like to subscribe to the ticket please add a "me too" comment, and we will delete the comment and add your nickname to the "CC" list.
If you obfuscate any information requested, I will obfuscate my response. These are virtual UUIDs, not real ones.
Do NOT reply with the "QUOTE" button, please use the "POST REPLY", at the bottom of the form.
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Re: [Solved] Linux Mint 18.3 (Sylvia) guest freezes after inactivity

Postby swcng2001 » 8. Mar 2019, 12:03

Socratis,

I feel chastised already :lol: .

I look at it differently. And of course we can all have opinions right? The problem with the system locking when screensaver comes on or when the system goes to sleep may be the manifestation of some deeper problem. Find it, understand it, fix it and may have solved the underlying problem. Just my thoughts and please don't waste time replying :D :D after all its only a screen saver and "yes" turning it off is no biggie.
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