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I originally asked this question here but didn't get a satisfactory answer.

I am using Mathematica 8.0.1.0 on Ubuntu 11.10. I created a 3D plot from an NDSolve output and when I tried to move it about with my mouse, Mathematica completely crashed and reported a SIGSEGV error.

This error is totally reproducible. What is the reason for this? Is this version of Mathematica not stable for Ubuntu 11.10?

Any suggestions?

It doesn't really matter what I try to plot. Manipulating said plot with my mouse crashes mathematica. Plot3D[Sin[x + y^2], {x, -3, 3}, {y, -2, 2}] for instance would crash if I moved the resulting plot around with my mouse pointer.

Edit 1:

The answer on stackoverflow "works". However, it makes mathematica run real slow for some reason.

I have submitted a ticket (TS 3197 in case there is someone here from Wolfram mathematica....) to the people at wolfram and have also tried pressing the issue but haven't received an answer.

Edit 2: Graphics card information available from SystemInformation[] in Mathematica.

Graphics Subsystem: OpenGL

Typical Uses 3D graphics rotation

Vendor Tungsten Graphics, Inc

Renderer Mesa DRI Intel(R) Sandybridge Mobile Version 2.1 Mesa 7.11

Extensions 139 extensions

Optimized 3D Transparency False

Support Information http://support.wolfram.com/mathematica/graphics/subsystems

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1  
Working Ok in Mma 8.0, WinXP –  belisarius Mar 25 '12 at 17:51
    
So... is this a Ubuntu issue? Anyone? –  drN Mar 25 '12 at 18:09
1  
Works fine on MM 8.04 OS-X Lion –  R Hall Mar 25 '12 at 18:09
    
It works fine on OS X actually... and windows... but I was wondering if anyone has had this issue with Ubuntu 11.10 and Mathematica 8.0.1.0? –  drN Mar 25 '12 at 18:12
2  
It is useful to know whether it occurs on other platforms too. That way, some sources of bugs may be excluded. –  Sjoerd C. de Vries Mar 25 '12 at 18:47
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4 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The Mathematica Knowledge Base has an article on this issue.

It´s caused by an error with open source graphics drivers. The mesa solution works by bypassing your graphics card and so will make things run a bit more slowly.

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Yes, but this seems to make solving non linear pdes with NDSolve much slower than usual for some reason. I was under the impression that it would only affect the plotting routines... –  drN Mar 25 '12 at 20:14
    
As far as I understand, there really isn´t a reason that it should except for the fact that graphics in general will take more time. The only solution to this problem is to install a version of the driver for your graphics card which doesn´t have this issue. Oh, the joy of Linux. –  Searke Mar 25 '12 at 20:35
    
I know what you mean! :) Thanks. This is the closest I've got to get this fixed. I'll live in eternal hope that Ubuntu11.10 gets updated to adapt. –  drN Mar 25 '12 at 20:42
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@DNA: NDSolve is the kernel, -mesa is the frontend, and these are completely different processes, so they shouldn't interact too much, unless you're swapping from MESA eating into your main RAM or something. –  Brett Champion Mar 26 '12 at 3:40
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Building on Szabolcs' hint,

This issue is caused by a problematic graphics driver. The reason the mathematica -mesa resolves this is that it bypasses the opengl code which causes the crash.

The error is most common with an Intel945 graphics card. You can try reverting to an older version of the driver which doesn't have the issue. Hopefully the driver will be updated at some point to fix this issue.

This answer actually explains the most likely reason for your crash and provides a workaround. If you need more, you need to send a crash log or debug backtrace to the Wolfram support team.

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Start Mathematica with the command

mathematica -mesa

It will be a bit slow, but it probably won't crash. This works for me.

About the rest of the incompatibilities with newer versions of Ubuntu, I have no idea what to do.

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Right it works... but what does mathematica -mesa do? The wolfram website certainly doesn't mention it. –  drN Jan 25 '12 at 15:51
    
@DNA I don't know and I don't remember where I found it. It causes Mma to use mesa3d.org maybe? Here on SO we are just users like you. –  Szabolcs Jan 25 '12 at 15:55
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This issue is caused by a problematic graphics driver. The reason the mathematica -mesa resolves this is that it bypasses the opengl code which causes the crash.

The error is most common with an Intel945 graphics card. You can try reverting to an older version of the driver which doesn't have the issue. Hopefully the driver will be updated at some point to fix this issue.

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