intermittent Illegal Instruction errors on lots of applications

Hi everyone, I need some help troubleshooting a very strange issue. I’m running an up-to-date 13.2 system (x64) with a Haswell processor and NVIDIA graphics. I’m experiencing an issue where many different programs return “Illegal Instruction” the first time they are called from the terminal. Subsequent commands usually work fine.

It doesn’t seem specific to any one application, and every application I’ve tried will eventually run without the error. I’ve observed this specifically with kcalc, dolphin, git, pulseaudio, and libreoffice. I’ve also had a couple of crashes of the Plasma shell that were caused by an Illegal Instruction.

I understand that this normally indicates a CPU that doesn’t support some instruction, but the problem only started recently and I’m using a very recent CPU. I even ran Intel’s CPU diagnostic utility to make sure my CPU is working ok (it passed).

I’d appreciate any ideas you all have. Could there be some library or package that’s gotten corrupted?


UPDATE: I may have made some progress. I looked at the dependencies of all the applications that I had observed the Illegal Instruction on, and determined that glibc was common to all of them. Thinking that maybe it had gotten out of sync with the kernel, I decided to forcibly reinstall glibc and the kernel.

zypper install -f kernel-desktop glibc

After reboot, I’m seeing these errors less frequently and the Plasma Desktop in general seems to run a little more stably. I have still seen intermittent Illegal Instruction errors when launching kcalc, dolphin, and libreoffice though.

I decided to try the same with libstdc++6, gcc, and libgcc_s1:

sudo zypper install -f libstdc++6 gcc libgcc_s1

Hopefully I’ll continue to make progress this way.

OK, on further investigation the package changes did not help. It was the reboot. Suspend/resume triggers the problem.

It appears that I’m suffering from this bug, which was fixed back in January and is related to microcode updates on a specific set of Haswell CPUs. It’s unclear why I’m still affected since my system is up to date.