Blender Crashing The Whole System in Linux

Upon hearing about blender’s better performances on linux distros I switched to linux (Pop!OS) a few months ago.
The problem that I’ve been encountering is that when blender crashes the whole system stops responding with it, when that happened in windows I could go to task manager and kill blender, or just Ctrl +Alt+Del but that isn’t possible in linux (can’t open system monitor since everything has stopped responding).

These specifically hangs/crashes occur when I switch to rendered view or while working on heavy scenes.

The only way out of this is to plug out the power and restart though I’m afraid in the long run it might damage my PC.

Is this problem only distros specific or pertains in other versions as well?
Is there any fix you’d like to suggest for this?

My Specs:
OS: Pop! OS 20.04 LTS
CPU: i5-9300H
GPU: GTX 1650

Blender crashes shouldn’t happen.
Are they really Crash problems? That is, Blender quits/close unexpectedly.
Or is this a “hang” problem and the system slowing down/hangs while Blender works? If this is the case, you specify exactly when the problem occurs (Rendering with GPU, working with heavy scenes, etc)

You specify characteristics of your hardware: CPU, GPU and amount of system RAM. If your problem is a “Hang” thing, it could be a low amount of RAM problem on your system and an intensive memory dump to virtual memory on slow disk while Blender is working.

Updated the system specs and added when the crash occurs in the original post.

I don’t feel it’s due to lack of memory but who knows. Is there any way to check?

Even CTRL-ALT-F1 doesn’t open a pure console???
If yes try:

ps ax| grep [b]lender

this will give something like:

5479 pts/2 Sl+ 25:16 …bin/blender2-9-3

then kill the process with:

kill 5479

or what ever PID is given.

Hmm, try to remember a reproducable situations and start blender with:

blender > ~/blender_messages.txt

If this gives not enough info try:

blender --log-level 0 > ~/blender_log.txt

If this even gives not enough info try:

blender --log-level -1 > ~/blender_log.txt

Then you should have some more info…

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8GB of RAM is really a small amount of memory for Blender. Today 16GB of RAM is recommended. When the use of RAM memory grows rapidly, there is an intensive memory dump to the virtual memory on disk (the problem is much stronger if the disk is an Spinning Disk). This is a problem on Linux and it tends to perform worse than on Windows. In Windows, hangs due to this problem usually allow entering the task manager to kill the problematic application. In Linux the hangs due to this problem are usually stronger.

To monitor RAM and Swap (virtual memory) usage, most Linux distros usually have one that looks like this:

If there is none installed on your distro, you search to install it from your package manager searching with the words: gnome system monitor
Graphical mode is recommended (Resources tab).

You also investigate key combinations to kill applications with a click on your distro/desktop (Ctrl+Alt+ Esc and click for KDE for example), or key combination for a safe restart:

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I’ve noticed similar behavior as well. Running on Ubuntu 21.04 with Intel i7, RTX2080, 16 GB memory.
I am not talking about a “normal” crash, but that Blender seems to freeze and also I cannot switch to other windows. It seems it affects the display manager, so it might be a problem with interplay between Blender, Wayland/Xorg and maybe even the GPU driver.

I will try the way you proposed next time it happens. :+1:

Oh yes, Wayland could be a problem…never tried yet , playing arround with 8GB and i3 no extra graca… but tried files from the community which were HUGE…

Hangs working with Blender may be due to the following:

  • Low amount of RAM in the system and intensive use of virtual memory (hangs due to intensive use of virtual memory are usually stronger in Linux than in Windows). They affect the whole system.

  • If you render with the GPU that handles the display. Hangs/slowness occurs while rendering heavy scenes with GPU (Eevee or Cycles with GPU). This can affect the whole system while Blender works. The problem occurs on any OS.

  • Heavy single thread CPU jobs with Blender. This is worse if you have a CPU with slow single threaded performance. It only hangs Blender while the single threaded process works and does not affect the whole system. The problem occurs on any OS.


I do have a blender instalation in linux, old notebook, radeon not supported, using intel onboard, 8 GB RAM, some version of blender crashed, the 2.93 stable, is working better on this machine, to manipulate the viewport in solid mode is ok, material preview and textured mode become very slow, it is havey on CPU. There is a chance of a bug in your graphic driver, as even when blender become irresponsive (very heavy load) this do not crash the whole system, but a graphic driver can. Check info in /var/log/messages and /var/log/Xorg.0.log chances are some kernel message out there can give a hint.

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No problem with Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.10.

I run Nvidia 460.73.01 driver if that helps.

Crashing Linux is pretty unusual IME you should be able to go to a terminal if the desktop is locked up - CTL-ALT-F1 to F8.

If you can’t even do that you can force a restart the proper way. Holding down Alt and SysRq (which is the Print Screen key) while slowly typing REISUB will get you safely restarted.

The only times I’ve ever seen a system hang beyond recovery with this technique (in 10+ years now) was due to an Nvidia driver and a memory fault.

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You are probably running out of memory, 8GB is barebones setup nowadays. If nothing is responding, most likely your video driver crashes also.

Blender is generally pretty stable, although I must admit that the versions before 2.8x were much more stable on Windows and Linux.

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