I'm having a real problem with Emacs in that it keeps breaking my entire system in irregular intervals. More precisely, at some point my screen starts to go black, then flickers back up again, then goes black again and so on until I shut it down hard. I haven't seen a pattern as to when this happens but I feel like it happens with increasing frequency. I looked up the manual entry on crashes and it says that there should be a crash report file .xsession-errors, but I can't find it. Emacs might not have time to create a crash report anyway since the entire system is breaking, but it also keeps crashing the usual way and I still can't find the file. I'd say that it looks like Emacs uses up all the memory when it breaks the system (I've had a similar problem with Firefox), but I have 40gb of RAM, and I can't imagine it burns through all of that.

journalctl -b-1

also doesn't give any useful output and cuts off before the problem manifests itself. Can someone maybe guide me through the debugging process?

  • My Emacs behaves similarly when I create hundreds of thousands threads.
    – shynur
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 14:26
  • @Shynur Well, with mine it's more like five, ten at max. Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 14:36
  • Do you see the same problem if you start Emacs with emacs -Q (no init file)? If not, try bisecting your init file to find the culprit. (But if it really happens only intermittently/irregularly then this might not help. In that case, try to keep track of what you've done before the incident. If you suspect certain functions/actions, you can make them log some info etc.)
    – Drew
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 16:25
  • 2
    Are you sure it's Emacs's fault? To me, it sounds like hardware problems (perhaps memory going bad), so any program that exercises lots of memory might hit it. I'd reboot and run memtest and see if that flags anything.
    – NickD
    Commented Mar 12, 2023 at 16:31
  • @NickD I just did a memtest, though I aborted it after it didn't find any errors after about one third through. I don't think it's the hardware though, the laptop is fairly new and the ram is even newer. Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 5:53


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