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Thread: Gnome 3/Gnome Shell won't repaint after login (nVidia) or is slow (Nouveau)

  1. #1

    Default Gnome 3/Gnome Shell won't repaint after login (nVidia) or is slow (Nouveau)

    Hi,

    I've been having some problems and was trying to diagnose them. My graphics were going wonky at the BIOS stage (spots, letters changing colour, and even the very first screen of nVidia details swapping "version" for "versikn") so I went to try a new graphics card.

    Not long before I got my new graphics card, Gnome 3 really started playing up and did the "oops, a problem occurred" at every login. I created a new account and got the same behaviour.

    I swapped my GeForce 7950 out for a GeForce 7300 that I scrounged up. The spots and changing letters disappeared, so I knew that at least part of the issue was the graphics and not something else (e.g. motherboard or memory). I still got the "Ooops" screen, so I knew that wasn't caused by a bad response from the graphics card or anything.

    I've since nuked the install (which started out as 11.4 RC1 with GNOME3:STABLE) and re-installed from a new download of the 11.4 DVD plus GNOME3:STABLE (in accordance with these instructions) with all of the updates. I can now log in without the "Ooops", but if I am using the proprietary nVidia drivers then the display won't repaint after a few seconds (long enough for Gnome Do to appear, but not long long enough for me to do anything else) - clicking on Activities or on the menu in the top-right doesn't seem to do anything. If I Ctrl+Alt+F1 then Ctrl+Alt+F7 to skip to a terminal and back then the cursor is still there, but the screen is blank.

    If I swap to the Nouveau drivers then I can log in to Gnome Shell and it continues to render, but even simple things like dialogs folding down from the top of their parent window can grind along and take a few seconds to finish painting. That is on the 7300 rather than the 7950, but I haven't swapped the cards back as I'm still suspicious of how healthy the 7950 is.

    I've not seen anything that appears relevant in the XOrg log, but given that X will reboot and isn't completely hung then it could be a repaint bug more than an error.

    .

    Has anyone else had similar problems? Any fixes? I've tried all of this with clean accounts with the same results, so it wouldn't seem to be any of the standard .gconf/.dconf etc folders.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Gnome 3/Gnome Shell won't repaint after login (nVidia) or is slow (Nouveau)

    I've been running with the 7300 for a few days now and not really had any problems. I just tried putting the 7950 back in (while still using the Nouveau graphics) and that was freezing after login again. Put the 7300 back and I'm okay.

    Version numbers:
    * Mesa-nouveau3d 7.10.2-7.3.2
    * xorg-x11-video-driver-nouveau 0.0.16_20110115
    * nvidia-gfxG02-kmp-desktop 270.41.06_k2.6.37.1
    * kernel-desktop 2.6.37.6
    * gnome-shell 3.0.2

  3. #3

    Default Re: Gnome 3/Gnome Shell won't repaint after login (nVidia) or is slow (Nouveau)

    Okay, I've fixed this problem in the end.

    Nouveau is just slow in Gnome Shell. I don't think there's any way around it, especially with something old and lower-specced like a 7300!

    I tried tinkering with the nVidia graphics again and found that it was a pure lack of repainting that occurred. If I hit Super and typed "geany" then dropping to a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+1) show Geany running in "ps". If I moved the cursor around then it would react as if the window was there (e.g. changing to the text cursor where the text area would be). So everything was there, just not visible. A quick bit of searching found lots of topics about repaint issues.

    I stuck with the 7300, installed the nVidia 275 drivers by hand - no change. The 280s? No change. The first of the 270s? No change. The 260s? Everything worked again! I've now swapped back to the 7950 AND the proprietary graphics and everything repaints.

    So, in summary: Nouveau isn't quite fast enough for a smooth Gnome 3 experience on a low-end graphics card. Also, when the openSUSE nVidia repo updated to the 270 graphics then it broke things - don't use it! Manually download and install 260 instead.

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