FreeBSD-CURRENT kernel hangs on starting KDE

TamásR. freddy at
Sat Nov 1 13:40:20 PST 2003


Some months ago I installed a FreeBSD-current system on my desktop computer. I use the KDE
desktop environment and I compiled really everything from ports. I periodically maintain it so my
system is up-to-date. I have been experiencing a problem with FreeBSD-current kernel all the time.
Some months ago I tried to compile a custom kernel based on GENERIC commenting out the not
necessary hardwares from my config, like RAID and most of NICs, etc. (I think it is a general thing
when customizing). Although I haven't tested it too much the kernel booted properly and everything
worked good in console. Trying to start KDE caused system crash (I guess in kernel level). I have
spent long days to find the reason trying almost all combination of kernel config settings without luck.
Ok, but GENERIC is worked with some custom lines added to it (but I couldn't remove anything
except debugging). Since 25th of September something changed in the current kernel source tree
because I am not able to compile any kernel, even GENERIC, with which KDE would start without
freezing the whole machine partly or completely. Unfortunately I did not preserve any earlier source
tree version, I just upgraded it with cvsup before the compilations. Now I use a newer base system
than the kernel, which results in an unstable operation (it is normal I guess), because I only preserved
the lastest goog-working /boot/kernel binaries I compiled before.

"KDE freezing" in detail
System: FreeBSD 5.1-CURRENT i386

Relevant hardware config:
Mainboard  : ASUS P4S533-E (SIS645DX north, SIS962/L south bridges)
Memory     : PC2700 512MB DDR RAM (memtest86 tested)
VGA card   : ATI RADEON 9000 PRO

Very recent FreeBSD-current GENERIC kernel (was compiled exaclty as described in the handbook)
completely freezes some seconds later after starting KDE. Input peripherials/ACPI button become unusable
and the machine does not respond to ICMP on LAN so it completely hangs. It is not thought a hardware failure
because earlier kernel with the same config (synced with cvsup on 25th Sept. 2003) works very good. KDE
and XFree86 were compiled from the lastest ports so they are up-to-date. Logs does not show any usable
information related to this freezing so I think there is no point to attach any of them here (XFree86 just stops
logging before some radeondrm messages would be logged in normal case). I guess so it is closely an ATI-driver
related problem because when I tested the same base system/kernel with an S3Trio VGA card that worked
and the ATI did not. This ATI is a common card (with dual head+tv output) and not a cheap one at all (I currently
use it on other OS-es on the same machine without experiencing any problems).

Since I have been experiencing these problems I sync my source tree more times a week and I'm trying to compile
a working kernel without luck.

Note: If I switch back to console immediately after X server started and before KDE begins to initialize then KDE
starts up properly. When I go back to X again I see the desktop as everything would be right. Some seconds later
the same freezing takes place. First the keyboard blocks, then the mouse starts clogging and the whole machine
totally hangs.

I would appreciate any help in connection with this problem's solution.

Thanks in advance,
Tamás R.

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