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Thread: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

  1. #1

    Exclamation Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    I've seen some of the other posts of freezing keyboard, but my experience has been slightly different from those. They claimed they could only power off, etc. I've found a little more flexibility than those, so this may or may not be related.

    I am running a freshly installed 11.1 on hp dv9000 cto (custom).
    Home partition is encrypted, as well as user dir.

    Using the kde 4 setup (so far, haven't tested it under gnome or kde 3x yet).

    The keyboard will randomly stop working in one application window. I first noted it in kmail/kontact, when I would try to reply or forward an email and attempt to edit that email.
    I would close out kmail, and start over, and it would work again.

    Sometimes. As I used the system more, I started noticing the same issue under other applications, Firefox, Scribus, konsole, etc.

    Just a few minutes ago, I had a more complete lockup. I could not use any keys at all and couldn't ALT-Tab away as I had before.

    My mouse continues to work throughout all of this.
    I closed (with the mouse) every open window, and still no improvement (couldn't get Caps Lock or num lock to light up, etc.).

    I managed to click the "Lock Screen" icon. (I probably could have clicked the Log Out option instead of course).

    The password prompt to get back in to that session still had an unresponsive keyboard.

    So I clicked on start new session (switch user) from the password prompt. Voila, with the same user, but under f8 (the old one still running under f7), I have full keyboard again, and am posting this message right now.

    My suspicion is something with kde4, but haven't done enough process of elimination yet.
    I see various, seemingly unrelated errors in the logs, that have occurred even when the keyboard is working fine (claiming tuochpad out of sync, etc. I've seen this in suse on this laptop since 10.x, yet mouse always works), but I don't see much else in the logs. Maybe suggestions on a debug mode to enable to get more about the keyboard/desktop lockup specifically?

    I read one suggestion in the forums to remove Beagle (though I am NOT using Reiserfs, I am using ext3, but my /home is encrypted).

    Another thing I notice (though may or may not have any relation) is that plasma uses a considerable amount of ram (around 400-500 MB), and with two sessions, there are two plasma processes running, so that's almost 1GB consumed. I'm not familiar with this (new?) Plasma process, I will take a little time to read up on it.

    I also have SCIM running (for my Chinese and Russian work).
    After I post this, I am going to try removing Beagle and see if that makes any difference (after rebooting). Then I will try to remove SCIM and see if that makes any difference.

    If it still acts up, I will try downgrading to KDE3 and see if there is any difference there.

    Failing that I will try Gnome (blech) as well.

    I'll post here as I continue the process of elimination, in case something I stumble across helps anyone else out with this issue.

    Any other suggestions are of course most welcome.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    St Louis, MO USA

    Default Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    Can you verify that your keyboard works normally under another OS (perhaps the popular one from Redmond?) or a live CD? Actually, what might be better is to see if you get the same behavior with an external keyboard.

    I had similar problems with a laptop touchpad. It would drift off uncontrollably. I found out later (fortunately before I had spent hours tweaking my xorg.conf) that it was physically damaged, so no tweaking the settings would help.
    Dell Inspiron 530 - C2Q@2.4Ghz; 6GB RAM; openSUSE 11.2 x86_64; KDE 4.4.1
    Dell Inspiron 1440 - C2D@2.2Ghz; 4GB RAM; openSUSE 11.2 x86; KDE 4.4.1
    Dell Latitude D531 - AMD Turion X2 64@2.0Ghz; 2GB RAM; Linux Mint 8

  3. #3

    Default Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    This laptop quadruple boots between OpenSuse 11.1 (was running 11.0 (my primary use OS) without this problem, but used KDE3),
    Windows XP SP3
    Windows Vista Ultimate.
    None of those have shown any similar symptoms.
    Also as I noted, If is start a new session while the old (locked up keyboard session) is still running. The new session works fine (didn't run it long enough to see if it eventually locked up, ran it about 15 minutes with no lock).
    I now have my laptop docked, and using external keyboard as I write this post, so we'll see if that, or the docking station, make any difference.
    Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    Unfortunately using the external keyboard did not diminish the issue.
    Also even with SCIM not running at all the problem still occurs.

    Removing Beagle has not made a difference with this ongoing intermittent issue.

    It seems to be the worst with kmail/kontact, but can occur in the command shell windows (konsole), firefox, konqueror, scribus, or any other window that accepts text. Interestingly, ALT-TAB usually still works, even when I can't type otherwise.

    It will be a time-consuming process to downgrade this account (mostly moving the email) back down to KDE 3.5 (it had taken a long time to move it from KDE 3.5x to 4.x (mostly the email/kontact/kmail piece), to see if it's something with the 4.x portion.

    Before I potentially spend (hopefully not waste) that much time rolling back, does anyone have any other suggestions, something I can enable in the kernel, logging, something somewhere that might generate some logging of this issue?


  5. #5

    Default Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    I'm wondering if kmail is the whole cause of this problem. The problem seems to ALWAYS occur if kmail is running. Not sure that I have observed it occurring when it is not ( I will try to keep better track of that). This is very frustrating. If it is kmail,anyone have any suggestions on that end?
    Kmail/Kontact Version: 4.1.3-3.11
    KDE4 Version: 4.1.3-4.9

    At this point it is interfering so severely with getting many things done, I guess I have no choice but to go through and try tomove all the email back to KDE3 and see if that resolves things (this is a PITA since there are around 70k emails, many filters,etc. all sorted in many subfolders).

    I'll try the rollback and report back in a few days if the problem stops (or sooner if it recurs).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    So of course this process of trying to remove KDE 4 is arduous. It would normally be much easier to just run the installation new from the disc, except that it appears that Suse ( ? ) so tightly coupled KDE 3 and 4 libraries that you can't actually install ONLY KDE 3, without it including much of 4. I know lots of folks say you can just switch as needed, and that they play fine together, but considering the source of this problem, that's not been the case. I already tried just adding KDE3, and then switching the user desktop to be KDE3 instead of KDE4, but the keyboard problem showed up still.
    So, I've (temporarily) installed GNOME.
    Then I've been clicking through dependency hell for a while, trying to get rid of every vestige of KDE3 or 4.
    Then after a reboot (assuming I even have a usable system afterwards (under GNOME).
    I will then attempt to install only KDE3 components (with all KDE4 parts set to taboo (while trying to figure out which repositories are slipping in KDE4 components).
    We'll see how this goes...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    Ok, now KDE3 and 4 are completely gone. I think I'll try fiddling around in Gnome for a bit (I'm plenty familiar with it from my testing (and reviews) of the Ubuntu (which doesn't fit my needs at all)), to make sure the keyboard issues doesn't rear it's ugly head under Gnome (then it would mean a more systemic issue), before I try to add just KDE3 back.
    More to come.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    Looks like KDE (or something part of KDE) was the culprit, I suspect KDE4 over KDE3, but not certain yet.

    Now that all traces of KDE are gone, so far at least (yesterday and today), not a single incident. This was happening several times per hour before. I am going to incrementally add components to see if I can narrow down which KDE-related piece it was.

    First I need to find out how to stop KDE4 from showing up as an option to install (keeps trying to force KDE4 components even when all I want is KDE3 pieces.

    Then I will install just KMAIL, specifically KDE3 version. Then Kontact and it's related pieces. Then a little more at a time.
    If everything works with no KDE4 components, then at least we know it is a KDE4 problem, I can use one of my other systems to test that out and see if I can submit a specific bug report if that ends up being the case.

    I'll keep posting updates as this progresses.

  9. #9

    Post Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4 - uninstalling KDE

    Though not a detailed listing of all the hoops and hassles I had to jump through, here is an overview of some of the roadblocks I ran into when trying to remove KDE4 to rollback to KDE3, and eventually just had to completely remove KDE, temporarily running GNOME.

    Additional Notes on roll back from kde4 to kde3x:

    Fought me in trying to roll back, kept insisting that if I uninstalled kde4-kdm, that I couldn't install pattern:kde3_basis.

    Told it to go ahead and NOT install kde3_Basis....

    This meant couldn't use patterns to install. Instead did more "manual" option of using the "Search" and matching the kde 3 packages to install.

    This was iterative and incremental.

    kdelibs4 and kdebase4 stubborn about being removed.

    Attempting to remove kdebase4 wanted to force removal of kdebase3 as well. There is far too much interlinking going on here. hmm..

    Hmm, kdelibs4 removed ok, but libkde4 is noted as essential for KDE period. Maybe not "KDE 4"?

    set all KDE to "Taboo", was only way to stop it trying to add KDE pieces back in.

    Ok. will try the following:

    Install Gnome desktop (blech).

    reboot, login with gnome desktop.

    Run Yast package manager, completely uninstall ALL KDE's (3 and 4).


    Logging in again (gnome).

    Disable all repos except original DVD.

    Install JUST KDE 3x.

    Slowly enable repos, watch out for any packages that try to slip KDE4 back in.

    We'll see how this goes.

    Sidenote: while trying to uninstall KDE4, kept having that annoying keyboard issue, that is the main cause of all this hassle. Will watch to see if it goes away after all this (hopes so, that's pretty much the whole point, that and the fact that KDE4 is still FAR too unreliable, crashes, bloated, slow, and buggy. Also I don't like it being closer to gnome interface).

  10. #10

    Thumbs up Re: Keyboard Freeze Variant. 11.1 KDE4

    Just as an addendum, indeed I found the KDE35 only install option under Other >> KDE35 during the initial install desktop selection.

    I was installing it for a friend (ironically who's worked for Microsoft for many years), and warned her not to do the install with KDE4.

    As for my update on the keyboard issue under KDE4, I have added Kmail/Kontact/Kdepim (3x) back (still running under GNOME for now), and no recurrence of the keyboard problem so far.

    Now I am going to switch back fully (though still incrementally on the other applications) to KDE 3x. If I do not post on here again, it means the problem never came back under KDE3x.

    I will also perform an install on my other laptop with KDE4 and see if I can reproduce the problem, and track down the specific application(s), to file a bug report.

    If/until then.

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