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Thread: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

  1. #1
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    Default Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Hi there,

    I installed 13.1 x64 yesterday using the network installer, to my Phenom2 X6 1090T, 8GB, GeForce GTX560Ti based box - everything seems to have installed cleanly, but I'm experiencing a couple of issues with the default KDE 4.11.3.

    First and most serious problem is the use of compositing for desktop effects - I simply cannot set compositing type to OpenGL of any flavour, as after less than a minute the desktop becomes unusably slow. Xrender works, but of course some of the effects require OpenGL to work. It is worth noting that on the exact same box, openSUSE 12.2 and KDE 4.8.4 and KDE 4.9.5 worked flawlessly with OpenGL compositing. I've blacklisted nouveau as recommended, and tried various tweaks of xorg.conf, but at this point am stumped.

    Second and much less serious, but still annoying is the refusal of kmix to display all the controls for my Infrasonic Quartet PCI audio card. This is a Via ICE1724HT based high-end multichannel in/out audio card. Of note is that under openSUSE 12.2/KDE 4.9.5 kmix even listed it as an 'Infrasonic Quartet' and showed me all the controls - those controls do not appear under this latest iteration of kmix, despite me doing some tricks with .asoundrc to try and coerce kmix into doing so. I've tried qasmixer, which does show the controls, but has a dreadful UI that cannot save or remember the position of control elements, and also Volti (doesn't show controls), and alsamixergui, which again does show them but has the worst UI of all. I've noted that the XFCE mixer app looks to be exactly what I want, but I don't want XFCE. I really do need access to the controls, as there are times I need to monitor the inputs or not monitor the inputs, and also change the sample rate depending on the software I'm working with.

    So is anyone willing to help me, particularly with the graphics issue?

    On first impressions openSUSE 13.1 could score 5 from 5 were it not for these regressions. I am running it on another machine (old slow laptop), but only as a DLNA media and security server with an LXDE desktop. It is working flawlessly on there, but with KDE being the preferred desktop user experience I sadly have to say KDE has regressed from 4.8 and 4.9 to this 4.11 release. I see an update to KDE 4.12.0 is available, but I'd like to learn if that update fixes some of the issues with 4.11.3 before I dedicate download bandwidth to installing that.

    Cheers,
    Chris W, NZ

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Ah, before I forget I'm running the NVidia binary driver for x64, ver 331.20.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisblob View Post
    First and most serious problem is the use of compositing for desktop effects - I simply cannot set compositing type to OpenGL of any flavour, as after less than a minute the desktop becomes unusably slow. Xrender works, but of course some of the effects require OpenGL to work. It is worth noting that on the exact same box, openSUSE 12.2 and KDE 4.8.4 and KDE 4.9.5 worked flawlessly with OpenGL compositing. I've blacklisted nouveau as recommended, and tried various tweaks of xorg.conf, but at this point am stumped.
    Did you install the proprietary nvidia driver and which version? Blacklisting nouveau alone is not enough.

    If yes, please install "Mesa-demo-x" if it is not installed already and post the output of:
    Code:
    glxinfo | grep render
    Maybe you have to add your user to the group "video", see 12.3's release notes:
    https://www.suse.com/releasenotes/x8...47462154153376
    (Unfortunately that bug re-surfaced on 13.1, but it should be fixed with the next systemd update)

    Second and much less serious, but still annoying is the refusal of kmix to display all the controls for my Infrasonic Quartet PCI audio card. This is a Via ICE1724HT based high-end multichannel in/out audio card. Of note is that under openSUSE 12.2/KDE 4.9.5 kmix even listed it as an 'Infrasonic Quartet' and showed me all the controls - those controls do not appear under this latest iteration of kmix, despite me doing some tricks with .asoundrc to try and coerce kmix into doing so. I've tried qasmixer, which does show the controls, but has a dreadful UI that cannot save or remember the position of control elements, and also Volti (doesn't show controls), and alsamixergui, which again does show them but has the worst UI of all. I've noted that the XFCE mixer app looks to be exactly what I want, but I don't want XFCE. I really do need access to the controls, as there are times I need to monitor the inputs or not monitor the inputs, and also change the sample rate depending on the software I'm working with.
    Probably because PulseAudio is used by default not all of your controls appear. (PulseAudio creates something like a fake sound card)
    Try to disable it in YaST->Hardware->Sound->Other->PulseAudio Configuration.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfi323 View Post
    Did you install the proprietary nvidia driver and which version? Blacklisting nouveau alone is not enough.

    If yes, please install "Mesa-demo-x" if it is not installed already and post the output of:
    Code:
    glxinfo | grep render
    Maybe you have to add your user to the group "video", see 12.3's release notes:
    https://www.suse.com/releasenotes/x8...47462154153376
    (Unfortunately that bug re-surfaced on 13.1, but it should be fixed with the next systemd update)
    I'm running the proprietary driver, latest as of yesterday which is 331.20 for 64-bit.

    glxinfo says...

    Code:
    direct rendering: Yes
    OpenGL renderer string: GeForce GTX 560 Ti/PCIe/SSE2
        GL_NVX_conditional_render, GL_NVX_gpu_memory_info, 
        GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_copy_depth_to_color, GL_NV_copy_image, 
        GL_NV_parameter_buffer_object2, GL_NV_path_rendering, 
        GL_NVX_conditional_render, GL_NVX_gpu_memory_info, 
        GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_copy_depth_to_color, GL_NV_copy_image, 
        GL_NV_parameter_buffer_object2, GL_NV_path_rendering,
    Running an OpenGL application such as the 4D hypertorus screensaver works fine, even at the 2560x1440 of my monitor.

    I added myself to the video group, and it seems to work OK for a bit longer, but still eventually (2-3 minutes) the system becomes very sluggish, unworkable, until I alt-shift-F12 to disable desktop effects. Playing with the kwin settings OpenGL 3.1 seems to bug out quicker than OpenGL 2.1 or OpenGL 1.2 setting, but regardless of which OpenGL version I set it to, it still bugs out eventually. Still it has improved...any other things I can try?

    Probably because PulseAudio is used by default not all of your controls appear. (PulseAudio creates something like a fake sound card)
    Try to disable it in YaST->Hardware->Sound->Other->PulseAudio Configuration.
    I disabled it, and this time kmix shows all the controls - excellent. I'm sure I didn't need to disable pulseaudio under OS 12.2, but never mind - that one is solved - cheers!

    Chris W, NZ

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisblob View Post
    I'm running the proprietary driver, latest as of yesterday which is 331.20 for 64-bit.

    glxinfo says...
    Looks ok.

    I added myself to the video group, and it seems to work OK for a bit longer, but still eventually (2-3 minutes) the system becomes very sluggish, unworkable, until I alt-shift-F12 to disable desktop effects. Playing with the kwin settings OpenGL 3.1 seems to bug out quicker than OpenGL 2.1 or OpenGL 1.2 setting, but regardless of which OpenGL version I set it to, it still bugs out eventually. Still it has improved...any other things I can try?
    Can you check that Qt graphics system is set to "Raster" (on the "Advanced" tab)?

    Other than that, I can't really think of anything else right now.

    Are there any interesting lines in "dmesg" or /var/log/Xorg.0.log, when the freezes happen?

    Do you have Nepomuk's file indexer enabled? Maybe it indexes, but that shouldn't really be a problem anymore.

    Maybe you're running out of RAM and the system is swapping heavily? Should not happen with 8GB RAM though...

    You could of course also try to switch to the G02 driver (304.xxx). Maybe that one works better for you?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Hi Wolfi323,

    I ran dmesg, noted the last event timestamp, then turned OpenGL compositing on, did a few random things until the desktop froze, then kept trying to do stuff for a couple of minutes - then alt-shift-F12 to disable effects, and ran dmesg again - nothing additional apart from a firewall entry. I then tried disabling the firewall, but that made no difference.

    I'll do a few things now, testing the results as I go. I'll knock nepomuk on the head first

    Regards the NVidia driver I've always installed manually by downloading the driver from NVidia themselves, and dropping to init 3 to perform the installation - that way I get the very latest iteration, and installing this way has never caused much issue before. I'll try reverting to an earlier version first (325 worked fine in openSUSE 12.2/KDE 4.9.5), and then if that doesn't work I'll look at the G02 driver.

    Cheers,

    Chris W.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Try the one from the repo. There have been several posts bout the 560 chip set. You might want to do a search here I think that GO2 may have helped Note fully remove the installed driver before installing from the repo

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Quote Originally Posted by gogalthorp View Post
    Try the one from the repo. There have been several posts bout the 560 chip set. You might want to do a search here I think that GO2 may have helped Note fully remove the installed driver before installing from the repo
    Well it was nice while it lasted. G02 seemed to do the trick for a few hours, but it eventually bugged out again after I changed a setting (vert sync). Xrender is the only kwin option that doesn't see these lockups. As an experiment I ran glxgears with no desktop effects running - gives around 16500 fps with G02 (in OS 12.2/KDE 4.9.5 it gave nearly 18000 under same test conditions), but with desktop effects running under Xrender it gives 10000 fps, a huge drop even without the desktop using OpenGL. Switch to OpenGL and it drops again to 7000 fps, but the interesting thing is that it still is rendering 7000 fps even when the desktop seems frozen. So one could surmise that kwin is simply not updating the desktop very often, despite everything still running in the background.as well as can be.

    It is quite disappointing knowing that KDE4 is nearly 7 years old, and yet the same complaints about slow performance of kwin are still popping up on forums from people using all graphics chipsets - it doesn't seem to matter what graphics vendor floats your boat, kwin has examples where it just fails to work adequately on all of them, whether it be NVidia, ATi, Intel - and this theme continues across the different drivers for each chipset, whether they be opensource or proprietary - kwin seems to be central to many of the performance issues in KDE.

    I have serious issues with these regressions, which should NOT be happening to a supposedly mature DE, and I question why openSUSE should continue to include KDE in their distro, which such regressions. Really, KDE need to get with the graphics vendors, the X guys, the kernel guys, and anyone else who it might effect, and sort this kwin business out.

    Chris W, NZ.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisblob View Post
    It is quite disappointing knowing that KDE4 is nearly 7 years old, and yet the same complaints about slow performance of kwin are still popping up on forums from people using all graphics chipsets - it doesn't seem to matter what graphics vendor floats your boat, kwin has examples where it just fails to work adequately on all of them, whether it be NVidia, ATi, Intel - and this theme continues across the different drivers for each chipset, whether they be opensource or proprietary - kwin seems to be central to many of the performance issues in KDE.
    I have no such problems on any of my systems (all of them running 13.1 now, but also in previous versions): Nvidia GTX 550 Ti with the latest G03 driver, Radeon 9600 with the open source radeon driver, Intel GMA 950 with the open source intel driver.
    KDE's OpenGL Desktop effects work fast and without issues on all of them...

    I have serious issues with these regressions, which should NOT be happening to a supposedly mature DE, and I question why openSUSE should continue to include KDE in their distro, which such regressions.
    Why should openSUSE not include KDE? Just because _you_ have issues with the nvidia driver and/or your gfx card?
    If you find KDE immature and unstable, just use something else. There's plenty of choice in openSUSE...
    Or disable Desktop Effects. Although this doesn't fix your underlying issue, it should at least give you a working system.

    And it can't really be KWin's fault if your system locks up as you describe it. And I doubt that KWin is as buggy as you seem to think, otherwise there would be a _lot_ more complaints. But it seems to work fine for many other people as well...

    A sidenote: sometimes problems like this can be solved by a BIOS update.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Fresh openSUSE 13.1 x64 install: KDE issues - kmix and compositing

    I had also similiar problems, but Wolfi's hint to set Qt rendering to "Raster" and selecting OpenGL 3.1 solved the "problem".
    Thanks Wolfi!

    And to Chrisblob's remarks... I disagree.
    KDE now even allows to delete the annoying start menu bar!
    Its eyecandy and functionality improvements really make me consider finally abandoning FVWM.

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