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Troubleshooting

Here you’ll find out how to deal with the most likely problems you’ll have with Ubuntu-Hardy.

Screensaver/Suspend Problems

This is the only real trouble spot I've seen in this distro. You may find that after going into screensaver, it never comes out (as in suspend/hibernate not working right). This is not a specific VirtualBox problem; I got the workaround from a discussion by people with this problem who were running Ubuntu on physical computers. This is probably for desktops only, but it appears that the following workaround works by shutting off DPMS. However, this may not be a problem for laptop configurations. I recommend checking your laptop brand/model name and Ubuntu Hardy before installing Ubuntu. In any case, don't do the following unless you know you've got a problem.

At end of xorg.conf, add the following to get rid of the black screen problem:

$ sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf 
Section "ServerFlags"
  Option   "blank time" "0"
  Option   "standby time" "0"
  Option   "suspend time" "0"
  Option   "off time" "0"
EndSection

Save and close the terminal window, and restart xserver via Ctrl+Alt+Backspace or reboot. You have just turned off DPMS. If this fails, go to the System Menu and choose Appearances > Screensaver > Power Management > Put Display to Sleep > Never.

Another alternative might be to simply remove the suspend module from the kernel.

Figure 4 shows my Debian workstation host with Ubuntu running in a window as a guest VM. Note the CPU usage spiking on the right of the CPU monitor graph and the screensaver full-screen. The large “53” is the host workstation CPU temperature. (Without the screensaver, it's running at 47.)

Figure 4

Figure 4 Host system monitor showing screensaver CPU load

This Ubuntu version hasthe best screensaver graphics I've ever seen packaged with a distro.

Unfortunately, they're massive CPU/resource hogs. Running them took my CPU utilization on my host workstation to 70 percent, and while my Athlon 64/4200 dual core isn't top of the line, that's a lot of power to be burning when the system is by definition running at idle either considered as CPU utilization or watts.

I suspect that few people have noticed this because few people run both a system monitor full time and VirtualBox. If you're running Ubuntu native, you can't see a load graph or a terminal window with top running and a screensaver at the same time. I saw the CPU load graph spiking when my host wasn't doing much and Ubuntu was doing nothing but running a screensaver. Laptop users, beware! So I regretfully set the screensaver to blank and gave up trying to figure out how to run their screensaver on my Debian host. If the developers can figure out how to reduce the resource requirements to a fraction of what they are, they've got a real winner here.

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