Re: Dead Machine & 2.1.131

Joerg Pommnitz (
Sat, 05 Dec 1998 11:52:53 +0100

> What exactly is xfstt and what is it doing to your machine?
> If we get this info out maybe it'll ring a bell with some folks
> who don't know X really well but do know the kernel.
> OTOH, if xfstt runs as root and directly accesses I/O ports,
> then there isn't much we can do... (a usermode device driver
> can generally be considered a Bad Thing, what about MatroxFB
> with XF86_fbcon?).

xfstt is a X font server for TrueType fonts. It is a very ordinary
program that does nothing special.

I strongly suspect a user error. The original poster mentions that
he starts xfstt from the X startup script (.xsession/.xinitrc ).
This can very well lead to some kind of race condition (xfstt not yet
ready to serve fonts and X trying to access the font server) that
leaves X dead in the waters. A dead X server could very well give
the impression of a crashed system even if the kernel is still
Maybe 2.1.131 changed the timing in the X startup sequence to trigger
the race. An interesting experiment would be to start xfstt and wait
a few seconds just to make sure that xfstt is up and ready.


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