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Working with the Soiled

I recently noticed that a number of very basic X applications stopped working on my laptop, notably the "primitive" X apps like xeyes, xfontsel, etc. After a bit of prodding with gdb, I found where they were dying, but .. why? Possibly related:

  • Google chrome reliably dumps core before any pages load
  • inkscape just recently began to reliably dump core as soon as it starts
  • A few weeks ago my wikis mysteriously stopped working (php apparently dumps core while trying to run mediawiki, but I can manually invoke it, so maybe some of the php extension libraries are busted?)
Maybe I have filesystem corruption?
  • rpm -qVa ... gives me a very large number of libraries and files that show size differences from what they should be. Gah.
  • Using "yum replace packagename" on all the prerequisites of "xeyes" eventually made things happy when libXt was replaced
  • It's kind of suspicious that prelink complained about basically everything's dependencies changing since the last prelink
I'm slightly worried that my SSD is misbehaving somehow and silently corrupting my data.

Anyhow, the primitve X apps are working again - hopefully doing this to all the other libraries and binaries that rpm thinks are not what they should be will make inkscape and mediawiki work again. Other option: reinstall. I really hope this isn't the disk misbehaving.. but if it's not the disk, what could it be?

"yum reinstall" is pretty handy, as is "rpm -qVa"

Update:Reinstalling all those packages made everything but GoogleChrome work again. w00t. It's good to have the wikis back, but now I'm more worried about disk corruption than ever - most of the files that are off are off by assorted single bits separated by big spans of good bits (most easily seen in HTML documentation for GIMP, where a control character might replace an equals sign, but also visible in PNG files courtesy "vimdiff -b"). For now, I'm going to take some very good backups when I get home, and probably let memtest86 run for a few hours. Longer-term, I'm not sure yet.



there are disk analysis tools, like smartctl, for situations like this. [not sure which work or don't with SSDs, but it's worth looking into.] also worth trying is fsck...
I would definitely worry about the drive. If files change without being written to, I'm not sure what else it could be.