I really want to run Ubuntu, but it shouldn’t be this hard. Plugging in an SD card reader that I picked up from Best Buy shouldn’t cause a hard freeze of my system (on both Gutsy Gibbon and Intrepid Ibex):
The card reader works fine in Windows. At this point, I’m honestly thinking about crashing the Ubuntu Developer Summit that will be held in December at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA to pick peoples’ brains.
Okay, so Ubuntu freezes hard when you plug in the card reader (sometimes). Unless you report that bug, no one will know to fix it. So I’m trying to follow these instructions for debugging removable devices to do a good Ubuntu bug report, and finding that the instructions are pretty out-of-date.
For example, you’re supposed to kill, then start gnome-volume-manager in a foreground mode to see debugging messages. Except that the latest version of Ubuntu (Intrepid Ibex) doesn’t even install gnome-volume-manager. Oh, you can install it (and you’ll get the sound-juicer package with it). But when you try to run it, you’ll get this helpful message:
$ /usr/lib/gnome-volume-manager/gnome-volume-manager -n
manager.c/685: setting: string: filemanager = nautilus -n –no-desktop %m
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autophoto = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autophoto_command = f-spot-import
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autovideocam = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autovideocam_command =
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autowebcam = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autowebcam_command = cheese –hal-device=%h
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autopalmsync = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autopalmsync_command = gpilotd-control-applet
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autopocketpc = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autopocketpc_command = multisync
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autoprinter = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autoprinter_command =
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autoscanner = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autoscanner_command = xsane
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autokeyboard = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autokeyboard_command =
manager.c/690: setting: bool: automouse = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: automouse_command =
manager.c/690: setting: bool: autotablet = 0
manager.c/685: setting: string: autotablet_command =
manager.c/699: settings: float: percent_threshold = 0.050000
manager.c/699: settings: float: percent_used = 0.010000
manager.c/664: daemon exit: live and let die
It’s easy to find the source code of gnome-volume-manager online, but the relevant function is more cute than informative. Searching for ["live and let die" gnome-volume-manager] finds this post where someone tries to guess what the message means:
Fedora no longer uses gnome-volume-manager to auto-mount removable media — it’s now built into Nautilus. I am guessing that “live and let die” means “hey, someone else is already managing this” but that is pure speculation on my part. So if you get that error message it just means that you shouldn’t have been running it in the first place.
With that clue, you can go back and find this thread where Ubuntu developer wgrant helpfully lets someone know “gnome-volume-manager is no longer necessary either – nautilus does the mounting now.” It is good to find an Ubuntu developer posting answers online. But now I’m not sure how to generate Nautilus debugging logs akin to the gnome-volume-manager logs that fellow Ubuntu folks could use to debug the hard freeze. At least I do know how to generate udevmonitor logs using the new udevadm program.
Please pardon the melancholy tone. It’s just frustrating that plugging in an SD card reader can cause sporadic freezes on my Ubuntu computer. And if you plug in the SD card reader often enough, you may corrupt your system. I do see progress from Hardy Heron to Intrepid Ibex with several annoyances fixed, but there’s still a way to go.
Update: If any Linux/Ubuntu folks want to dig into it, I put all the log files I could think of at http://www.mattcutts.com/files/sandisk/ for folks that want to check it out.