Linux desktop (or PC) frozen. What to do now?

Just curious to hear what Linux experts do in this situation, because I suspect Linux offers better diagnostic tools than Windows?

I’m very new to Linux and EndeavourOS, and I’m using it as a media server and just got back from a small vacation to find it displaying a desktop, but seemingly having frozen about 12 hours ago according to the clock and not responsive to mouse or keyboard input, and not communicating via Connections or appearing in the online devices list in my mesh network.

Next step is cycling the power I’m guessing, but then what do you do?

I thought Linux was supposed to be very stable, but I’ve only run it as a “server” now for a month or two and already had my first hard freeze… I know I have a BIOS incompatibility issue (due to the latest Linux kernels being very strict and hardware vendors less so), but when I looked it up it was only due to the power regulation of the wifi-card and I swapped that for something else to get it working…

Perhaps a point of clarity. Endeavour OS, or even it’s upstream Arch, are not server distributions. They are rolling release distributions, which is at the complete opposite end of the scale. These are not distributions for use on mission critical servers, unless you love living on the wild side.

With Endeavour OS, you can expect to have cutting edge updates and features, but you can also expect to have bugs and issues that you’ll need to iron out. Such is the way when always dealing with the newest of new things.

If you’re after “stable”, then you’d need a distribution that’s built for that. Something like Debian is an example, or perhaps Ubuntu LTS or even Ubuntu Server LTS for your media server. You can count on packages being quite dated by comparison to Endeavour OS, but the focus is on reliability and stability there, not on the cutting edge.

As for diagnostic tools, perhaps have a look at this forum’s Wiki on how to retrieve (and share if you wish) important logs and such:
https://discovery.endeavouros.com/forum-log-tool-options/how-to-include-systemlogs-in-your-post/2021/03/

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The other things worth noting, is even a “stable” distribution of Linux, is not going to make unstable hardware stable. The hardware it’s running on, remains an important part of the stability equation.

What do you even mean by this? You could check the logs to see why exactly did you system fail. You could try to repeat the issue and post your findings here or just keep using the system as normal because even Linux can sometimes give up and just crash. Nothing is perfect in this world.

Also, I personally believe Endeavour, or anything Arch based for that matter, on a server, even if it is just media server, isn’t a good idea. Endeavour, especially, is meant as a desktop OS, not a server one. Perhaps look at Debian, as I feel like it serves the purpose of a server OS much better than Arch.

Cycling the power isn’t necessarily the first thing I’d do.

With a graphical desktop that’s unresponsive, I’d start by hitting Ctrl-Alt-F1,F2,F3, etc. to see if any of them can either give me a useful log or get me into a terminal.

If I can get into a terminal and it was just the GUI that was frozen, I’d check for obvious culprits (‘top’ to check processes, ‘df’ to check disks). If necessary, I’d kill the out of control process or whatever and then restart the display manager. If necessary, a reboot could also be done safely this way.

If it was totally hung and a reboot was required, afterwards I’d at least make sure that the current state of the system is okay. Running ‘systemctl status’ and looking into any degraded services is a good start. A quick ‘dmesg’ command can sometimes reveal hardware issues or other failures (not all of which matter). Beyond that, you can dig through logs as mentioned above, then fire up the old Ask Jeeves. Good luck!

I’m also of the apparently unpopular opinion that Endeavour OS is a perfectly fine choice to use as a personal media server. I’ve used Arch for the same purpose for many years with zero issues. Use what you enjoy.

Can be for those who know what they are up for but OP is new to Linux and EndeavourOS so they don’t know what they are doing yet so not the best choice in this situation.

I use Arch on my desktop, Proxmox on my hypervisor and Rocky Linux on my vpses. So it’s a setup and forget thing and I only have to run updates from time to time and then get on with life.