System freeze randomly on old hardware

I installed a fresh manjaro gnome iso at the old hardware of my father.
The system is running fine if he use only fileexplorer or a browser like google-chrome from AUR.

But if he opens a application like thunderbird or libreoffice the system freeze randomly after a short time.
The mouse could be moved, but the system is not responding on any key/mouse action.

Here you can see the output of inxi --admin --verbosity=7 --filter --no-host --width:

  Kernel: 5.15.41-1-MANJARO arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 12.1.0
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.15-x86_64
    root=UUID=ff14c7b4-46ae-40ac-912e-0a48b2e99268 rw quiet splash apparmor=1
    security=apparmor resume=UUID=a6a88c0c-bf6a-47c5-9b0e-e941363f8e5a
  Desktop: GNOME v: 42.1 tk: GTK v: 3.24.34 wm: gnome-shell dm: GDM v: 42.0
    Distro: Manjaro Linux base: Arch Linux
  Type: Desktop Mobo: ASRock model: G41C-GS serial: <filter>
    BIOS: American Megatrends v: P1.20 date: 06/01/2012
  Device-1: hidpp_battery_0 model: Logitech Wireless Mouse M325
    serial: <filter> charge: 55% (should be ignored) rechargeable: yes
    status: discharging
  RAM: total: 3.83 GiB used: 1.62 GiB (42.4%)
  Array-1: capacity: 4 GiB slots: 2 EC: None max-module-size: 4 GiB
  Device-1: DIMM0 info: double-bank type: SDRAM detail: synchronous
    size: 2 GiB speed: N/A volts: N/A width (bits): data: 64 total: 64
    manufacturer: N/A part-no: N/A serial: N/A
  Device-2: DIMM1 info: double-bank type: SDRAM detail: synchronous
    size: 2 GiB speed: N/A volts: N/A width (bits): data: 64 total: 64
    manufacturer: N/A part-no: N/A serial: N/A
  Info: model: Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Core Merom
    family: 6 model-id: 0xF (15) stepping: 0xB (11) microcode: 0xBA
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 4 smt: <unsupported> cache: L1: 256 KiB
    desc: d-4x32 KiB; i-4x32 KiB L2: 8 MiB desc: 2x4 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 2394 min/max: N/A base/boost: 2400/2400 volts: 1.3 V
    ext-clock: 267 MHz cores: 1: 2394 2: 2394 3: 2394 4: 2394 bogomips: 19158
  Flags: acpi aperfmperf apic arch_perfmon bts clflush cmov constant_tsc
    cpuid cx16 cx8 de ds_cpl dtes64 dtherm dts est flexpriority fpu fxsr ht
    lahf_lm lm mca mce mmx monitor msr mtrr nopl nx pae pat pbe pdcm pebs pge
    pni pse pse36 pti rep_good sep sse sse2 ssse3 syscall tm tm2 tpr_shadow
    tsc vme vmx vnmi vpid xtpr
  Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
  Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: EPT disabled
  Type: mds
    status: Vulnerable: Clear CPU buffers attempted, no microcode; SMT disabled
  Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
  Type: spec_store_bypass status: Vulnerable
  Type: spectre_v1
    mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Retpolines, STIBP: disabled, RSB filling
  Type: srbds status: Not affected
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
  Device-1: NVIDIA G96 [GeForce 9500 GS] vendor: Micro-Star MSI
    driver: nouveau v: kernel non-free: 340.xx status: legacy (EOL, try --nv)
    arch: Tesla pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 16 ports: active: DVI-I-1
    empty: HDMI-A-1 bus-ID: 04:00.0 chip-ID: 10de:0644 class-ID: 0300
  Display: server: v: with: Xwayland v: 22.1.1
    compositor: gnome-shell driver: X: loaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,vesa
    gpu: nouveau display-ID: :1 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1680x1050 s-size: <missing: xdpyinfo>
  Monitor-1: DVI-I-1 model: LG (GoldStar) W2042 serial: <filter> built: 2008
    res: 1680x1050 hz: 60 dpi: 98 gamma: 1.2 size: 434x270mm (17.09x10.63")
    diag: 511mm (20.1") ratio: 16:10 modes: max: 1680x1050 min: 720x400
  OpenGL: renderer: NV96 v: 3.3 Mesa 22.0.4 direct render: Yes
  Device-1: Intel NM10/ICH7 Family High Definition Audio vendor: ASRock
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0 chip-ID: 8086:27d8
    class-ID: 0403
  Device-2: Philips s SAA7131/SAA7133/SAA7135 Video Broadcast Decoder
    vendor: Creatix Polymedia GmbH driver: saa7134 v: 0, 2, 17 bus-ID: 03:02.0
    chip-ID: 1131:7133 class-ID: 0480
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.15.41-1-MANJARO running: yes
  Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.21 running: no
  Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
  Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.51 running: yes
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
    vendor: ASRock driver: r8169 v: kernel pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s lanes: 1
    port: d800 bus-ID: 01:00.0 chip-ID: 10ec:8168 class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp1s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
  IP v4: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
    broadcast: <filter>
  IP v6: <filter> type: dynamic noprefixroute scope: global
  IP v6: <filter> type: noprefixroute scope: link
  WAN IP: <filter>
  Message: No bluetooth data found.
  Message: No logical block device data found.
  Message: No RAID data found.
  Local Storage: total: 232.89 GiB used: 36.4 GiB (15.6%)
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends
  ID-1: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: Crucial model: CT250MX500SSD1
    size: 232.89 GiB block-size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B
    speed: <unknown> type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: 043 scheme: MBR
  Optical-1: /dev/sr0 vendor: HL-DT-ST model: DVDRAM GH20NS10 rev: EL00
    dev-links: cdrom
  Features: speed: 48 multisession: yes audio: yes dvd: yes
    rw: cd-r,cd-rw,dvd-r,dvd-ram state: running
  ID-1: / raw-size: 224.46 GiB size: 219.87 GiB (97.96%)
    used: 36.4 GiB (16.6%) fs: ext4 block-size: 4096 B dev: /dev/sda1
    maj-min: 8:1 label: N/A uuid: ff14c7b4-46ae-40ac-912e-0a48b2e99268
  Kernel: swappiness: 60 (default) cache-pressure: 100 (default)
  ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 8.43 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%)
    priority: -2 dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2 label: swap
    uuid: a6a88c0c-bf6a-47c5-9b0e-e941363f8e5a
  Message: No unmounted partitions found.
  Hub-1: 1-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 8 rev: 2.0 speed: 480 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0002 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-2: 2-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-3: 3-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900
  Device-1: 3-2:2 info: Logitech Unifying Receiver type: Keyboard,Mouse,HID
    driver: logitech-djreceiver,usbhid interfaces: 3 rev: 2.0 speed: 12 Mb/s
    power: 98mA chip-ID: 046d:c52b class-ID: 0300
  Hub-4: 4-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900
  Hub-5: 5-0:1 info: Full speed or root hub ports: 2 rev: 1.1 speed: 12 Mb/s
    chip-ID: 1d6b:0001 class-ID: 0900
  System Temperatures: cpu: 47.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nouveau temp: 56.0 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: nouveau fan: 0
  Processes: 225 Uptime: 13m wakeups: 1890 Init: systemd v: 250
  tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 12.1.0 clang: 13.0.1 Packages: pacman: 1365
  lib: 339 flatpak: 0 Shell: Zsh (sudo) v: 5.9 default: Bash v: 5.1.16
  running-in: gnome-terminal inxi: 3.3.16

Do you need any further logs?

With only 4 GiB of RAM, using GNOME as the desktop environment is always going to be too much to ask of that poor machine. GNOME is the heaviest of all the currently available desktop environments.

I would recommend doubling the RAM to 8 GiB, and/or choosing a different graphical environment — preferably something lightweight like LXDE, LXQt or OpenBox, or if you want to stick with one of the official Manjaro editions, XFCE or Plasma.

Another thing you may want to consider in addition to the above, given that it’s older hardware, is to install and use the 5.4 LTS kernel, which is also a bit lighter on the resources.


Thank you for your suggestions!
I will give gnome a try and order some new Ram memorys.
I will give you a reply if I have tested it.

I’m on 2009 hardware with ssd, 4GB ram, nvidiaGT9400M and mate desktop but using the nvidia340dkms driver (tricky to setup and update) and it works flawlessly on 5.10LTS.

Nouveau works fine on xfce/mate on LTS kernel 5.4, 5.10 and 5.15. Temps are slightly higher and I did have the occasional crash when watching video as well as suspend/wake glitches at times.

In my case stability depended on window manager settings, the simpler the better, if possible marco with or even without compositor. For this reason and the fact that the less graphically demanding xfce/mate are perfectly usable I would not recommend gnome/kde for 340nvidia on nouveau.

Upgrading the Ram to 8GB will help some programs that can benefit from it but will probably do nothing to graphics related issues since the max ram allocated to the nvidia card is 256MB which can easily be supplied by 4GB memory as well.

So yesterday I tried to increase the memory to 8GB and I switched to kernel 5.4LTS.
Both things did not solve the freezing problem.

Next time (maybe in 3 weeks) I will try to switch from noveau to proprietary nvidia.
If that not helps, I think I have to switch to xfce…

Are there any logs which I can search for the crash reason?
Do you think the hardware weak stop for using gnome, is here the nvidia card?

Yes, absolutely.

I’d do it the other way around.
If you feel reinstalling manjaro with xfce is a bother than I must warn you that setting up and maintaining the nvidia340dkms proprietary driver is much trickier and not guaranteed to work indefinitely either.

Okay maybe the first thing would be to switch to xfce…
It should be possible to remove gnome and install xfce without the need of reinstalling the complete system…?

Okay in the meantime I switched to xfce. (kernel5.4/noveau)
The freeze happened once again after I opened a few tabs with google-chrome from Aur…

After that I deleted google-chrome and switched to firefox.
After that I opened firefox (much tabs), libreoffice, thunderbird and some more applications and the freeze never come back.

Needs google-chrome much more performance then for example firefox?

Glad you were successful. Yes, I believe firefox is slightly lighter.

What you can do to make it more usable:

  • Try the latest LTS kernels, 5.4LTS is getting old. Both my 2009 devices are running 5.10LTS and 5.15LTS smoothly, subjectively for me 5.15 runs fastest…
  • Go to Control Centre >> Settings >> Windows Manager Tweaks >> Advanced and turn off transparencies by moving sliders to the right. There are more eye candy settings in Windows Manager and Appearance.

Well, if I try hard I can also choke mine… :smiley: I stopped using libreoffice and thunderbird since both can be quite heavy. FreeOffice is a very basic but light alternative and I can check my mail in the browser.