Atom stop working on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS


Atom editor had worked well for a long time and I loved it but a few months ago I started to see a really strange issue. The code editor immediately stops working properly at some point and commands like saving the file, opening a file from the tree view does not respond. Everything looks OK once I restart the application.

I am using Ubuntu 16.04 and there are enough resources on my machine. Have anyone faced similar issues?

Thanks in advance,


I have Atom on Ubuntu 16.04 but I have not experienced these symptoms.

Several ideas here for troubleshooting.

(1) try launching Atom in safe mode.

(2) you could try creating a new user account in Ubuntu for test purposes and copy over ~/.atom into your new user account to see if symptoms are common across both accounts.

(3) monitor atom running process in Ubuntu System Monitor utility (e.g. memory and cpu usage).


Does Atom fix itself if you reload the window (View -> Developer -> Reload Window or ctrl-shift-f5)? Atom is a web app running in a browser, so it has the ability to drop everything and rerun its JavaScript from the beginning without pausing the OS-level process. If the issue is fixed when the Atom process is relaunched but not when Atom just reruns its startup procedure, then the issue has at least something to do with your environment and might not be able to be remedied unless you can figure out what makes your Ubuntu install different from others’. If the issue is fixed whenever the web app starts up regardless of how it was restarted, then it might be some code that’s running inside Atom, such as a package you have installed.


Thank you for your well-explained reply. The issue is fixed when I reload the window. Probably it was caused by a super large project (containing over 6 GB) I am opening in Atom. I removed some old log and other unneeded files. Hopefully, it will fix the issue completely.


Opening a super-large project definitely can cause Atom to become unresponsive. Atom tries to do a lot of busy work in the background to understand not just the files you have open, but the ones in your open folders that you might want to open. This isn’t a problem most of the time, but since Atom is entirely written in JavaScript, it is very inefficient. Normally, modern computers don’t have a problem with that, but the inefficiencies snowball when Atom has to deal with a lot of content, and JavaScript just hangs when that happens.


I completely reinstalled the system a few weeks ago and since then it is working properly. It seemed to be a very deep issue with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Thanks, everyone.