Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

All Gurus once were Newbies
Forum rules
There are no such things as "stupid" questions. However if you think your question is a bit stupid, then this is the right place for you to post it. Please stick to easy to-the-point questions that you feel people can answer fast. For long and complicated questions prefer the other forums within the support section.
Before you post please read how to get help
br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:34 am

Something odd happening today....

I have Mint 17.3 Rosa XFCE installed on my laptop, and fully up to date. It normally works fine.

Today it booted up as normal, and the Firefox browser works OK. But when I opened the Thunar File Manager it froze. Touchpad wouldn't click, mouse-pointer wouldn't move, and I couldn't open other programs or close down normally. I had to power off to shut down.

Tried twice. Same problem each time.

Third time, I opened up Task Manager first (without opening any other programs). 195 processes running, CPU at 3%, memory use around 10%. Then I opened the File Manager.... Wallop! Task Manager showed CPU usage shooting up to 100% and staying there. All programs froze. Again, I couldn't do anything except power off.

EDIT: I have just run through the steps again, and found a bit more information. When I open the Thunar File Manager, it's fine. CPU only on 3-5%. And I can go onward to open My Docs, My Music or whatever. The problem, and the "freeze" occurs as soon as I click on "File System" in Thunar. The dropdown list opens in the left column (/bin, /usr and the rest). But the File Manager and the entire system hangs at that point. Can't go to any file or folder, can't move the pointer, can't go to any other program or close down normally.

What's going on? And how do I fix it?
Last edited by br1anstorm on Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

Hoser Rob
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3973
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:57 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by Hoser Rob » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:51 am

Try running thunar from the terminal. Post the text of any error messages here.

You should always also provide more system info when asking support questions as well, copy/paste this to the teminal and copy/paste the text output here:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:02 am

Thanks Rob - I should have remembered to do that, but was hoping that maybe someone would recognise the problem instantly on the basis of the description of symptoms.

Here's the result from "inxi -Fxz" in the terminal:

Code: Select all

brian@BS-Samsung-RF511 ~ $ inxi -Fxz
System:    Host: BS-Samsung-RF511 Kernel: 3.19.0-32-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.2)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.2 (Gtk 2.24.23) Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   Mobo: SAMSUNG model: RF511/RF411/RF711 v: 14HX
           Bios: American Megatrends v: 14HX.M040.20111020.SSH date: 10/20/2011
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i5-2450M (-HT-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 9977
           clock speeds: max: 3100 MHz 1: 918 MHz 2: 2590 MHz 3: 837 MHz
           4: 897 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
           bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.17.1 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1366x768@60.1hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Sandybridge Mobile
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 10.5.9 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.19.0-32-generic
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network Adapter
           driver: wl bus-ID: 01:00.0
           IF: wlan0 state: dormant mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: c000 bus-ID: 02:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 2250.5GB (8.6% used)
           ID-1: USB /dev/sda model: Expansion size: 1000.2GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: Hitachi_HTS54757 size: 750.2GB
           ID-3: USB /dev/sdc model: nal_USB_3.0 size: 500.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 30G used: 18G (64%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sdb6
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 8.59GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sdb5
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 46.0C mobo: 46.0C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 201 Uptime: 12 min Memory: 815.3/7894.0MB
           Init: Upstart runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.111) inxi: 2.2.28 

NB - as now explained in the Edit to my original post, the problem seems to be "within" Thunar. The File Manager opens OK and in fact works for accessing my usual directories, folders and files. It only hangs when I try to go into the File System....

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:22 am

Further update.... and I have found a couple more clues.

First - I have both Linux Lite and PCLinuxOS also installed on this same laptop (though I use them only rarely). Have just checked out both of them. Linux Lite uses Thunar, and I am finding exactly the same problem (it freezes when I try to go into the File System) with that. PCLinuxOS uses Caja as its file manager, and that is working flawlessly.

Second - a quick internet search turns up a significant number of forum posts, old and new, referring to Thunar crashing and freezing. Here is just one example viewtopic.php?t=248537 The issues seem to be known to Clem and the Mint developers. But there seems to be some kind of debate about who should be trying to fix the bugs, with the finger being pointed at the XFCE team.

I just want a file manager that works. I also like XFCE more than other desktops (and Thunar is its default). Is one solution to "regress" or go back to a version of Thunar that is bug-free? If so which version would that be, and how would I go about installing it in place of what I have at present?

User avatar
trytip
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1637
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by trytip » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:36 am

post your .xsession-errors here. (preferably, reboot so you have a fresh xsession, then open thunar and task manager a few times)
Image

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:42 am

Sorry, trytip, I'm still a newbie on most aspects of Linux (troubleshooting and work in the terminal).

Exactly what do you mean by "post your .xsession-errors...."? That doesn't seem to be a terminal command - when I typed

Code: Select all

.xsession-errors
in the terminal it wasn't recognised....

What exactly should I type into the terminal to get the info you want to see?

Footnote: in case it's relevant, I have just checked - I have Thunar version 1.6.10.

Marziano
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1671
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by Marziano » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:50 am

post your .xsession-errors here. (preferably, reboot so you have a fresh xsession, then open thunar and task manager a few times)
In a terminal, run:

Code: Select all

 cat ~/.xsession-errors
Copy the output and post it back.
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." -Marx...
Groucho { Marx

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:03 pm

Okay - thanks, Marziano, for giving the proper code.

I started a new session, opened and closed Thunar and also Task Manager a couple of times, then clicked on File System in Thunar. Of course everything froze. So I couldn't open the terminal or Firefox to run the command and post results.

I have just done the same again but NOT clicked on File System in Thunar, just left it open. So the "freeze" hasn't happened. I've done the terminal command, and this is the result. Not sure it reveals anything (as of course I haven't done the action which causes Thunar to freeze everything!)

Code: Select all

brian@BS-Samsung-RF511 ~ $ cat ~/.xsession-errors
/etc/mdm/Xsession: Beginning session setup...
localuser:brian being added to access control list
Script for none started at run_im.
Script for auto started at run_im.
Script for default started at run_im.
brian@BS-Samsung-RF511 ~ $ 

User avatar
trytip
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1637
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by trytip » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:29 pm

you need to create the errors (let it freeze) in order to see if they are detected by xsession. delete everything in the .cache folder and logoff/on
Image

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:25 pm

I hate to be ruthlessly logical, but I can't find the .cache folder using my (Catfish) File Search. And self evidently I can't get to it via the Thunar File Manager which hangs. So I can't see what's in the .cache folder, never mind delete it.

EDIT: aha, I have figured out (why wasn't this mentioned?) that .cache is a hidden folder. Have now found it via Catfish. But before I blithely delete all the contents, why should I do so? How will that help the diagnosis of the Thunar problem? And will I lose other important and useful information like saved passwords or similar if I delete the contents of .cache?

In any case, if I ".... let it freeze...." then I can't do anything at all except power off. Can't use any other program or the terminal. Can't logoff/on. So I have no way of retrieving or looking at .xsession reports unless I reboot.... and then, presumably, a new session starts from scratch?

User avatar
trytip
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1637
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by trytip » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:39 pm

.cache folder is like your temporary internet files. it's a place where things get dumped as you go about opening programs and pictures to speed up process so deleting it is like taking out your garbage.
when you clear the .cache you need to reboot or at least log off/on so the system can repopulate that folder again. the old xsession will be saved .xsession-errors.old and you can open that with a text editor

of course there could be one of hundreds of causes for file manager to freeze. wrong config, missing files or dependencies after update, hardware is bad or corrupt.

or, permission problems which you can find with find $HOME ! -user $USER -type f
Image

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:08 pm

I tend not to be keen to delete stuff unless I know exactly what it is and why I'm doing so.

I was struck in particular by this comment "Yes, I agree that it isn't a good idea to delete .cache. If possible, use the program that creates the relevant folder. Deleting Chrome's cache, for example, should preferably be done via Chrome. If a program doesn't offer a visible means of managing its cache, it may be safer to leave it alone unless one really knows. " in an askUbuntu forum thread at https://askubuntu.com/questions/102046/ ... lete-cache.

In my .cache there are numerous [sub]folders, most with program labels like 'banshee' or 'thunderbird'. There is one titled 'sessions'. It has several years worth of text files all in format xfwm4[a string of numbers and letters].state. But none carry today's date. Do I delete them all and then reboot, reproduce the Thunar freeze and then go looking via the terminal for xsession-errors again?

Meanwhile I thought I would at least check - and perhaps eliminate - the possibility of "permissions" problems. Here's what I got:

Code: Select all

brian@BS-Samsung-RF511 ~ $ find $HOME ! -user $USER -type f
brian@BS-Samsung-RF511 ~ $ 
Doesn't tell me a huge amount. Do I conclude therefore that there are no problems with permissions? Or that no-one has permissions?

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:40 pm

Just for interest, instead of deleting .cache and all that, I have just tried another angle.

I have a separate - pretty much unused - test account. So little if anything in its .cache, and in the 'sessions' [sub]folder just one thumbs file (a png image of the Mint splash screen).

So then I opened Thunar, clicked on File System.... and it froze.

Rebooted and went looking for the .xsessions-errors file, which I found.

It was pretty much exactly the same as the one I got earlier (and reported in an earlier post above) from the terminal in my 'main' account.... thus

Code: Select all

/etc/mdm/Xsession: Beginning session setup...
localuser:briantest being added to access control list
Script for none started at run_im.
Script for auto started at run_im.
Script for default started at run_im.
Now what does that reveal? That the Thunar File Manager "freeze" is not being recorded in the .xsession-errors file? Does that mean that the problem is elsewhere, or is a different kind of issue?

Marziano
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1671
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by Marziano » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:46 pm

You could always try reinstalling it and see if it can solve the problem. If this makes sense to you, you could run:

Code: Select all

rm -r ~/.config/Thunar

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get purge thunar

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install thunar
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." -Marx...
Groucho { Marx

User avatar
trytip
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1637
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by trytip » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:48 pm

yes the permissions are ok, but if i can't see some kind of errors i can't locate the issue and having 5 lines in .xsession-errors is highly irregular which means your system is perfect and has no errors. are you running XFCE desktop?
Image

br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:06 pm

Yes I'm running XFCE desktop and - touch wood - my system HAS been running perfectly!

I'm still browsing, and looking for other clues, and I have come across something interesting. In this two-year old post in the XFCE forums someone else had more or less the same problem as me with Thunar - albeit an earlier version, 1.6.3. It freezes up....(and here's the interesting part) .... when you click on "File System" in 'tree' view.. That is indeed exactly what was happening to me.

So.... a little experiment. I opened Thunar (my version is 1.6.10), and in the 'View' dropdown I changed from 'tree' view to 'shortcuts' view in the sidepane. This means the various folders (/bin, /etc, /usr and so on) in the file system only appear in the main, right hand pane. And Thunar works fine. No freeze. And one can click on, and open, any of the folders in the file system.

I've done that experiment in my Mint setup, and also in my Linux Lite setup. In both, the same thing. If Thunar is in 'tree' view, when you click on File System everything freezes. If it is in 'shortcut' view, it works perfectly normally.

Now I am completely ignorant of how Thunar, or XFCE, are designed and built. But to me, this seems like a bug in Thunar. And I'm now reminded of a comment (by Clem?) in another thread in this forum which suggested that the more recent version of Thunar in Mint 18 had resolved a bug of this kind.

Short of installing Mint 18, is there no other way of resolving this Thunar problem? I'm willing to try the reinstall-Thunar route suggested by Marziano. In such a reinstall how does one check which version is (re)installed by those commands? Is it inevitably the same as the one you have purged? Or a newer version if one exists?

If push comes to shove, I can live without Thunar's 'tree' view option, although I was kinda used to it!

User avatar
trytip
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1637
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:20 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by trytip » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:45 pm

i never used tree view, i like the shortcuts. but just booted mint xfce 18.3 live which has thunar 1.6.11 and both tree and shortcuts work. if there is a bug i have not run into it, you are the lucky one :mrgreen: .
Image

Marziano
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1671
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by Marziano » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:36 am

You could run:

Code: Select all

apt-cache policy thunar
to see the version for the one that is already installed and also if there are other candidate for installation. For LM 19 (beta), it gives:

Code: Select all

thunar:
  Installed: 1.6.15-0ubuntu1
  Candidate: 1.6.15-0ubuntu1
  Version table:
 *** 1.6.15-0ubuntu1 500
        500 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu bionic/universe amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." -Marx...
Groucho { Marx


br1anstorm
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 175
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:53 am

Re: Thunar file manager causes CPU to max and system hangs

Post by br1anstorm » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:22 am

Thanks for those further comments.

Marziano - this is what I get from the command you suggested:

Code: Select all

thunar:
  Installed: 1.6.10-1~14.04
  Candidate: 1.6.10-1~14.04
  Version table:
 *** 1.6.10-1~14.04 0
        500 http://ftp.heanet.ie/pub/packages.linuxmint.com/ rosa/import amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     1.6.3-1ubuntu5 0
        500 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty/universe amd64 Packages
The candidate version is the same as the one I have installed. So I assume that a reinstall would give me again what I have now, and the problem would still be there because.......

That link which you provided, Buzzsaw, confirms what I had suspected: that there is indeed a bug in Thunar which causes the CPU to max out and the entire system to seize up. It's clear (from forum posts I've mentioned from other users) that this bug has existed for some years - at least since version 1.6.3 - and is still there in my version 1.6.10.

The link however takes me into a zone that is way above my pay-grade. There is no prospect that I can even begin to set up a special script in an .sh file which provides a temporary workaround to deal with a defect in the "Tumblerd" service (whatever that is!) within Thunar. And part of me resents the fact that this improvisation might be the only cure. It looks like a "bodge".

I realise that this is therefore not an Linux Mint issue. If the defect was identified - back in 2011 - and a bug report filed, I'm left wondering why the Thunar developers and the XFCE people have not addressed this in the more recent versions?

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie Questions”