Since I started out using Linux with Ubuntu (10.04), I have been testing various Gnome-based desktop environments for a new system. The new ones listed above all have the same problem, which is that they tend to freeze when the system is (I guess) overloaded with processes.

Specifically, I can make any of them freeze when I hit the screen-brightness button on my machine too many times too fast, or when I mash down on it while another program is actively doing something, such as applying settings or requesting a web-page.

The freeze involves a non-responsive screen, and sometimes a non-responsive mouse.

I can't make old Gnome (Debian, Ubuntu 10.04) freeze.

Is this something I can fix?

[Cross-posted to Linux Questions]