Getting my Linux to pay attention

I was using my laptop to get behind another machine that I was troubleshooting. I started with this information at Ubuntu on a console and modified it for my circumstances. The machine did not have a serial port so I used a USB to serial adapter with a crossover again. First I created the following file and inserted the lines below.

start on stopped rc RUNLEVEL=[2345] stop on runlevel [!2345] respawn exec /sbin/getty -L 115200 ttyUSB0 vt102

Then I started the service with sudo start ttyUSB0

Then I restarted the machine and it connected as a terminal. Just for lulz I did   wall   with a MOTD. In the process I did see that the serial port was looking for modems and echoed at 56000 the message AT+GCAT to query a modem with the attention command and get capabilities. Anyway, I logged in from the laptop using   gtkterm  . An interesting thing I discovered is that   gnome-screenshot   has additional capabilities if started with   --interactive   or from the menu and has all the features of   ksnapshot  . So that is how I made a snapshot of doing a   ps -Alf   from the laptop machine and put it in the network share folder to have it accessible at this server.

The problem with this particular machine is that it blanks the screen in a couple minutes even though screensaver is set to an hour and idle delay is set to 1000 minutes in   gconf-editor   settings for   gnome-screensaver  .

ADDED: In the progress of this I was testing ant spotlight screensaver and it caused the system under test to do to the evil thing it does, which is attempt to recover from a video slowness and screws up the X server. This is definitely a gnome desktop problem. It has appeared with some updates and is a regression from function IMHO. So I was able to stay logged in to the USB terminal and I have the information I wanted. Clearly it is Xorg that is thrashing about and gnome has called it improperly and it goes haywire trying to display a message on a screen that it has snafu'd.

ADDED MORE: The bug report at launchpad says it all in no uncertain terms and mimics what I see. The machine under test has an Intel chip set and it is going wonky as the report says. So now all I need is a solution. Apparently nobody has done anything about this for 10 months, so I guess I solve it myself. So I will discover WTF it is doing. Not a very robust recovery procedure as it loops forever logging messages like "good luck" and "hardware wedged". Somebody was being flip, it would be nice if they were talented as well as comical. This didn't happen until an update recently and ran fine for several years before this. Ah well......

SOLUTION: This is apparently my fault. I installed an ATI board on the PCI bus and always wondered why it would not get selected and I found out it had two pins that were shorting due to something that had gotten down in the connector at the user's location. I don't know if that is the origin or contributor, but cleaning the edge connector allowed the ATI card to work and Gnome detected that card at boot and set the proper drivers and now it doesn't hang up anymore and so it is fixed and perhaps I have no real answer, but just something that works. Works fine and lasts a long time, ship it!


Automated Intelligence

Automated Intelligence
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