gdm crashes switching user. former "endless drumbeats" thread.

Vitorio Okio ovitorio at
Wed Feb 3 05:57:02 UTC 2010

On Tue, 02 Feb 2010 19:28:37 -0800, NoOp wrote:

> On 02/02/2010 03:33 PM, Vitorio Okio wrote:
>> I'd better open a new thread, since the endless drumbeats I complained
>> is just an audible symptom of a dipper problem.
>> Lately I had 2 problems appeared after almost 2 years of running Hardy
>> on Asus P4PE with ATI Radeon 9550. Both problems showed up
>> infrequently, about 1-2 times a month and did not look related at
>> first.
>> 1. Sometimes I could get an endless drumbeats sound after switching a
>> user and a subsequent successful login.
>> 2. Sometimes in a middle of a session my monitor could get black with
>> "no signal" message on it.  The only way out of it was a reboot.
>> Troubleshooting the second problem I found an odd problem with Xorg-ati
>> driver: "direct rendering" was Off with a very low frame rate.
>> Reinstalling driver related packages seemingly fixed things.
>> Today, after I logout the second user and get login myself I run
>> glxgears, just to check, and found the problem was back: no "direct
>> rendering" and low frame rate.
>> System log showed gdm running at the background in an loop attempting
>> to login using user name "unknown" (?) and reporting "Writing failed
>> session attempt utmp-wtmp record" endlessly. This was certainly
>> providing with the damn drumbeats.
>> Again, at this point a session for the second user was closed and I was
>> successfully login.
>> Any links that could help, any suggestions folks? Unfortunately I was
>> not able to find anything really useful so far.
> You might try searching through these to see if you can narrow down to a
> similar bug/issue:

Seems it is already reported: 


In my case it is a little more complex though, since it is either 
overlapping with Xorg-ati driver problem or it is caused by it. Who knows 

And I cannot use fglrx driver either, since it crashes gdm when using 
Switch User applet on my PC.

Unfortunately the bug is assigned a Low priority.  And for me it is a 
show stopper, since I share a desktop with another user. If they would 
not fix it in Lucid I'll have to look for another distro. :-(((

I'm afraid the updates are not tested enough in LTS. The bugs of the kind 
should not slip in.  For almost 2 years I've had a perfectly stable 

Thank you very much for the link.

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