unable to continue after suspend

Asked by joelewis on 2009-03-10

I'm very new to ubuntu so sorry if this turns out to be something stupid, but every time I suspend, like closing the lid of my laptop or just straight off suspend I can't log back in, I just get a blank screen, if I want to continue doing what is was that I was doing, I have to reboot....any thoughts?Thanks in advance.

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joelewis (edward-lewis) said :

Sorry should've mentioned I've played around with the power settings, to no success.joe

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Tom (tom6) said :

Hmmm, i'm just curious if you know how large your linux-swap partition is and how much ram you have. If your linux-swap is less than 2xRam size then problems like this might well happen - although it's only really likely to be causing this if the swap is less than your Ram size.

Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

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joelewis (edward-lewis) said :

please forgive my ignorance but what do you mean by linux-swap partition?Is that the entire partition/disk space i gave for linux or is it something a little bit more complex. I know that I partitioned my hd to give at last 14Gb to linux and i've got a 2Gb ram machine (2x1Gb)...if that helps at all.



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Tom (tom6) said :

Normally any OS needs more Ram than the machine physically has.

Windows creates a "virtual memory", a swap-file they call "pagefile.sys" - usually this is set to keep changing in size which sounds great but ends up with the file getting chopped up and thrown all over the hard-drive getting quite badly fragmented and contributes to the slow-down that you'll notice on most Windows machines after a few months.

Linux has 2 options. The normal way is to make 2 new partitions when you install linux. The "ext3" partition for Ubuntu and a separate "linux-swap" partition to normally do the work of pagefile.sys and just temporarily hold some Ram data when there is too much to fit it all in the physical Ram your machine has.

The linux-swap partition should normally be about 2xRam but when Ram is 1Gb or over that becomes increasingly pointless because linux is a lot lighter and more intelligent about the way it uses resources such as Ram. Even a very heavy distro such as Ubuntu seldom needs even 1Gb let alone more than that. The ideal amount is what you have, 2Gb - plenty more than it should ever need but there for those odd moments.

Whenever you switch off the computer everything in the Ram is forgotten and when you switch it on the Ram starts to get filled up again, especially when you start asking the computer to do things. A proper shutdown sequence will carefully tidy everything out of Ram, saving some things onto you hard-drive and abandoning other things that aren't needed any more. It takes a little time but not much. "Hibernation mode" (the suspend mode) simply strips everything out of Ram and dumps it onto your hard-drive, into the swap space - in linux that's the "linux-swap" partition. In your case, having 2Gb Ram, that's probably the only time the swap space will ever get used.

It's difficult for me to know what to advise. If you don't have a "linux-swap" partition at all (quite likely) then the advice in this guide about setting up a linux swap-file might be better for you
On the other hand if you do have a "linux-swap" that is only just too small or if you have just over 2048Mb (2Gb) free space on another drive then it would be better to make a proper linux-swap partition.

if you go up to the top taskbar and click on

System - Administration - Partition Editor

then you should see a good gui picture of how your drive is split up into partitions and it would be helpful to know if you have a red partition and how large it is if you do have one.

Sorry this is so long
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

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Tom (tom6) said :

Note that linux files don't suffer from fragmentation so a swap-file in linux wont become such a mess as the Windows ones do.

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Tom (tom6) said :

Hi :)

I eventually found an easier way to find out the lniux-swap partition's size and the ram size in one easy go. Simply get to a command-line
and type in


that's all it takes! Anyway i hope the problem got fixed ages ago, or better still that you stopped using hibernate!
Many regards from
Tom :)

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