All steam games freeze on black screen with mouse cursor. #3091

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roboman2444 opened this Issue Jan 12, 2014 · 25 comments

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@roboman2444

After steam client updated itself...
When launching any steam game (tried serious sam 3, source based games, natural section 2, metro last light, etc) the entire screen goes black, and only a movable mouse cursor is left. In order to get out of this, one must go down a runlevel, and send signal 9 (with killall -9) to the game process. Big picture mode also does the same.
Before the update this hasn't happened to me.

I am running a Nvidia 770gtx 4gb on a AMD fx8320 with 24 gb of ram. 64 bit Debian testing. Kernel 3.11.2-amd64. Graphics drivers have been re-installed and updated, and it hasn't fixed it.

I am reasonably sure that this has nothing to do with my graphics drivers, as it has only started happening after steam client update. Also, 32 bit games and 64 bit games work just as usual on my system, even ones that require or use OpenGL 4. Heck, even wine works just fine.
I have looked in the console output for steam, but i haven't noticed anything strange.

@ghost ghost assigned triage-valve Jan 13, 2014

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gdrewb-valve Jan 13, 2014

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We'll need to gather more info somehow. Are you familiar with gdb? Can you attach a debugger to Steam and see what the threads are doing?

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 13, 2014

We'll need to gather more info somehow. Are you familiar with gdb? Can you attach a debugger to Steam and see what the threads are doing?

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roboman2444 Jan 13, 2014

I haven't been able to get a debugger running on it yet, but i have noticed some odd stuff with the overlay libraries.
ERROR: ld.so: object '/home/roboman2444/.steam/ubuntu12_32/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.
Full console output of me trying to run Natural Selection 2 is here.
http://pastebin.com/Cf0fUeu6

I haven't been able to get a debugger running on it yet, but i have noticed some odd stuff with the overlay libraries.
ERROR: ld.so: object '/home/roboman2444/.steam/ubuntu12_32/gameoverlayrenderer.so' from LD_PRELOAD cannot be preloaded: ignored.
Full console output of me trying to run Natural Selection 2 is here.
http://pastebin.com/Cf0fUeu6

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gdrewb-valve Jan 13, 2014

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The overlay output is normal as we start with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, so one will always fail.

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 13, 2014

The overlay output is normal as we start with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, so one will always fail.

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roboman2444 Jan 15, 2014

For debugging... not exactly sure how to go about that. I have some experiance with gdb, but am in no way proficient with it. 'gdb steam' just errors with
"/usr/games/steam": not in executable format: File format not recognized
Im guessing it has to do with multiarch messing gdb up somehow.

EDIT:

Here are some more details for my sys.

Linux debian-quadbox 3.11-2-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.11.10-1 (2013-12-04) x86_64 GNU/Linux

X.Org X Server 1.14.5
Release Date: 2013-12-12
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 3.13.0-rc2-patser+ x86_64 Debian
Current Operating System: Linux debian-quadbox 3.11-2-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.11.10-1 (2013-12-04) x86_64
Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.11-2-amd64 root=UUID=f686c718-4ba4-4b37-a783-be0395140d16 ro quiet
Build Date: 13 December 2013 10:12:53AM
xorg-server 2:1.14.5-1 (Maarten Lankhorst maarten.lankhorst@ubuntu.com)
Current version of pixman: 0.32.4

nvidia-settings: version 331.20 (buildmeister@swio-display-x86-rhel47-05)
Wed Oct 30 18:20:32 PDT 2013

and output of glxinfo http://pastebin.com/rY5B38n3

For debugging... not exactly sure how to go about that. I have some experiance with gdb, but am in no way proficient with it. 'gdb steam' just errors with
"/usr/games/steam": not in executable format: File format not recognized
Im guessing it has to do with multiarch messing gdb up somehow.

EDIT:

Here are some more details for my sys.

Linux debian-quadbox 3.11-2-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.11.10-1 (2013-12-04) x86_64 GNU/Linux

X.Org X Server 1.14.5
Release Date: 2013-12-12
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 3.13.0-rc2-patser+ x86_64 Debian
Current Operating System: Linux debian-quadbox 3.11-2-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.11.10-1 (2013-12-04) x86_64
Kernel command line: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.11-2-amd64 root=UUID=f686c718-4ba4-4b37-a783-be0395140d16 ro quiet
Build Date: 13 December 2013 10:12:53AM
xorg-server 2:1.14.5-1 (Maarten Lankhorst maarten.lankhorst@ubuntu.com)
Current version of pixman: 0.32.4

nvidia-settings: version 331.20 (buildmeister@swio-display-x86-rhel47-05)
Wed Oct 30 18:20:32 PDT 2013

and output of glxinfo http://pastebin.com/rY5B38n3

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gdrewb-valve Jan 15, 2014

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'DEBUGGER=gdb steam' will start Steam under gdb. You can then try Big Picture to get it stuck at the black screen, then Alt+Tab back to the gdb session (assuming that works), Ctrl+C to break in and then do 'thread apply all backtrace' in gdb. That'll list stacks for all threads. Put that output in a gist and that might give us an idea of what's going on.

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 15, 2014

'DEBUGGER=gdb steam' will start Steam under gdb. You can then try Big Picture to get it stuck at the black screen, then Alt+Tab back to the gdb session (assuming that works), Ctrl+C to break in and then do 'thread apply all backtrace' in gdb. That'll list stacks for all threads. Put that output in a gist and that might give us an idea of what's going on.

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roboman2444 Jan 15, 2014

DEBUGGER=gdb steam fails with
STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
gdb: symbol lookup error: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libncurses.so.5: undefined symbol: _nc_putchar
Error: Couldn't find bootstrap, it's not safe to reset Steam. Please contact technical support.

The error with ncurses lookup happens on a normal steam startup anyway.

DEBUGGER=gdb steam fails with
STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
gdb: symbol lookup error: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libncurses.so.5: undefined symbol: _nc_putchar
Error: Couldn't find bootstrap, it's not safe to reset Steam. Please contact technical support.

The error with ncurses lookup happens on a normal steam startup anyway.

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gdrewb-valve Jan 15, 2014

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I'm not sure what's up with your ncurses that's breaking things, but thanks for trying. We'll have to try and repro here, or hear from somebody else with a similar issue, to make progress. That unfortunately will probably not be quick.

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 15, 2014

I'm not sure what's up with your ncurses that's breaking things, but thanks for trying. We'll have to try and repro here, or hear from somebody else with a similar issue, to make progress. That unfortunately will probably not be quick.

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roboman2444 Jan 15, 2014

Oh no the ncurses doesn't break things. That error message happens on a normal steam startup.
Also, have you guys thought of releasing a very slim, daemon like steam client for just DRM and downloading/updating games? I think plenty of people would rather be able to make their own frontend, or just use a CLI to control steam, instead of having a somewhat bloaty software ( > 100 mb is definitely bloaty for a linux application). Also, you would likely not have me complaining about bugs like this.

Oh no the ncurses doesn't break things. That error message happens on a normal steam startup.
Also, have you guys thought of releasing a very slim, daemon like steam client for just DRM and downloading/updating games? I think plenty of people would rather be able to make their own frontend, or just use a CLI to control steam, instead of having a somewhat bloaty software ( > 100 mb is definitely bloaty for a linux application). Also, you would likely not have me complaining about bugs like this.

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gdrewb-valve Jan 15, 2014

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Then something that is not producing output is interfering with the gdb startup, and I'm not sure what the problem is.

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 15, 2014

Then something that is not producing output is interfering with the gdb startup, and I'm not sure what the problem is.

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Kixu Jan 16, 2014

I have this problem also. Running 64-bit kubuntu 13.10 with nvivdia geforce 660 (any other system info required?). I tried switching between various graphics drivers to no avail. Crashes seem to be random in team fortress 2 only (game dev tycoon, ftl, europa universalis all work fine). Sometimes the game will just crash and instantly close, however when I run steam in terminal it seems to crash the whole pc and needs a reboot with bus errors that mean I can't even use the terminal. Going to run it with the gdb now, posting this incase of system crash.

EDIT: Also I meant to say this has been happing since ~20 December, before that team fortress 2 ran fine.

Kixu commented Jan 16, 2014

I have this problem also. Running 64-bit kubuntu 13.10 with nvivdia geforce 660 (any other system info required?). I tried switching between various graphics drivers to no avail. Crashes seem to be random in team fortress 2 only (game dev tycoon, ftl, europa universalis all work fine). Sometimes the game will just crash and instantly close, however when I run steam in terminal it seems to crash the whole pc and needs a reboot with bus errors that mean I can't even use the terminal. Going to run it with the gdb now, posting this incase of system crash.

EDIT: Also I meant to say this has been happing since ~20 December, before that team fortress 2 ran fine.

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Kixu Jan 16, 2014

http://pastebin.com/1PqH9ReH

Was a crash to desktop without having to reboot luckily. :)

Kixu commented Jan 16, 2014

http://pastebin.com/1PqH9ReH

Was a crash to desktop without having to reboot luckily. :)

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gdrewb-valve Jan 16, 2014

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David, Kixu's crash ID is bp-f7f5ab4d-8a9f-490e-b0e1-ee4b22140115.

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 16, 2014

David, Kixu's crash ID is bp-f7f5ab4d-8a9f-490e-b0e1-ee4b22140115.

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roboman2444 Jan 16, 2014

I don't know if kixu's problem is the same as mine...

I don't know if kixu's problem is the same as mine...

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gdrewb-valve Jan 16, 2014

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It's most likely not the same thing since his is a crash and not just a black screen and really should be a separate entry, but that's not a huge concern.

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gdrewb-valve commented Jan 16, 2014

It's most likely not the same thing since his is a crash and not just a black screen and really should be a separate entry, but that's not a huge concern.

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Kixu Jan 17, 2014

I can make a new thread if you like, it happens every time I play TF2 so its easy to get lots of crash dumps if they would help (or do they upload automatically?). The reason I posted it in here is because though the game tends to mostly just crash to desktop, sometime it will freeze the whole pc and others it will crash the KDE (and/or xserver? not sure) which leaves me with a black screen similar to roboman2444.

Kixu commented Jan 17, 2014

I can make a new thread if you like, it happens every time I play TF2 so its easy to get lots of crash dumps if they would help (or do they upload automatically?). The reason I posted it in here is because though the game tends to mostly just crash to desktop, sometime it will freeze the whole pc and others it will crash the KDE (and/or xserver? not sure) which leaves me with a black screen similar to roboman2444.

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roboman2444 Jan 18, 2014

If i force a game to startup in windowed mode (eg, for source based games -windowed), the game runs perfectly fine. However, if i then use the game's video options and change it to fullscreen, i get the black screen.
Window manager based fullscreen (f11, not technically fullscreen) works ok as well, but if i were to be running two graphics cards, i would not be able to use AFR.

If i force a game to startup in windowed mode (eg, for source based games -windowed), the game runs perfectly fine. However, if i then use the game's video options and change it to fullscreen, i get the black screen.
Window manager based fullscreen (f11, not technically fullscreen) works ok as well, but if i were to be running two graphics cards, i would not be able to use AFR.

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roboman2444 Jan 20, 2014

Now that i think about it, it could be a nvidia or X bug with 32bit fullscreen applications. For me, the only other 32bit apps i run are wine games, and those are windowmanager based fullscreen.

Now that i think about it, it could be a nvidia or X bug with 32bit fullscreen applications. For me, the only other 32bit apps i run are wine games, and those are windowmanager based fullscreen.

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roboman2444 Jan 20, 2014

Also, for clarity, the wm/de i am using is openbox/lxde. So, its not a compositing WM bug.

Also, for clarity, the wm/de i am using is openbox/lxde. So, its not a compositing WM bug.

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roboman2444 Jan 25, 2014

I think i found a workaround... I recently upgraded to a multimonitor system (5040x1050), and i don't get any more black screen with cursor.
However, None of the games in steam properly do multimonitor support.
Natural selection 2 and Source based games only allow you to use one monitor. I doubt any changes, unless to the engine, will allow multimonitor support. I might be able to force it with -window and manually setting the width and height options.
Metro Last light will always use the leftmost monitor only, no matter the config file edits i do.
Serious Sam 3 will start in the leftmost monitor, and it has options to go up to 5040x1050. However, when i try to apply it, only the leftmost monitor has the Serious Sam 3 window on it. The game is obviously trying to use all three monitors, and most likely trying to render at 5040x1050, because the image and UI is now fit to the three monitor layout one would expect.
I haven't tried big picture mode yet, though.

I think i found a workaround... I recently upgraded to a multimonitor system (5040x1050), and i don't get any more black screen with cursor.
However, None of the games in steam properly do multimonitor support.
Natural selection 2 and Source based games only allow you to use one monitor. I doubt any changes, unless to the engine, will allow multimonitor support. I might be able to force it with -window and manually setting the width and height options.
Metro Last light will always use the leftmost monitor only, no matter the config file edits i do.
Serious Sam 3 will start in the leftmost monitor, and it has options to go up to 5040x1050. However, when i try to apply it, only the leftmost monitor has the Serious Sam 3 window on it. The game is obviously trying to use all three monitors, and most likely trying to render at 5040x1050, because the image and UI is now fit to the three monitor layout one would expect.
I haven't tried big picture mode yet, though.

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gflarity Feb 5, 2014

I'm seeing this with on SteamOS with a Radeon HD 7770.

gflarity commented Feb 5, 2014

I'm seeing this with on SteamOS with a Radeon HD 7770.

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fuag15 Feb 26, 2014

I'm seeing this as well, 64 bit with gtx 780

fuag15 commented Feb 26, 2014

I'm seeing this as well, 64 bit with gtx 780

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fuag15 Feb 26, 2014

Another note, it seems going into big picture mode also yields a black screen iwth mouse cursor, i can hear sounds of big picture running but only see a black screen

fuag15 commented Feb 26, 2014

Another note, it seems going into big picture mode also yields a black screen iwth mouse cursor, i can hear sounds of big picture running but only see a black screen

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kisak-valve Oct 27, 2017

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Hello, is anyone still experiencing this issue on an up to date system?

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kisak-valve commented Oct 27, 2017

Hello, is anyone still experiencing this issue on an up to date system?

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Kixu Oct 31, 2017

I hadn't encountered it since this thread, I don't use big picture mode normally so I just tried it and got the black screen and had to terminate steams process. However after I relaunched steam and went back into big picture mode it worked fine.

Kixu commented Oct 31, 2017

I hadn't encountered it since this thread, I don't use big picture mode normally so I just tried it and got the black screen and had to terminate steams process. However after I relaunched steam and went back into big picture mode it worked fine.

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kisak-valve Dec 8, 2017

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Thanks for the feedback @Kixu. Closing as the original issue does not seem to appear in the wild anymore.

If you can find some way to reliably reproduce the black screen with big picture mode, please open a new issue report.

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kisak-valve commented Dec 8, 2017

Thanks for the feedback @Kixu. Closing as the original issue does not seem to appear in the wild anymore.

If you can find some way to reliably reproduce the black screen with big picture mode, please open a new issue report.

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