Multiple Desktop/Gnome/Xfce problems after 3.16.7-24 kernel update

For the record:

After applying the recent kernel update to 3.16.7-24, my workstation became to all intents and purposes unusable. I normally use Gnome, but I found that I was affected by the kind of Gnome freezing that has been reported in various places for a long time: the mouse cursor could be moved around, but there was no response to the keyboard, and windows became unresponsive (did not accept input, could not move, focus, resize, close, etc.). The freeze would last for maybe 10-15 seconds, and then resolve itself. This had been happening very occasionally before (once or twice a week at most), but now it was happening a couple of times every minute which was making it troublesome even to log off again. I tried Xfce instead which worked OK for a while, but then I started getting hit by the “maximum number of clients reached” X11 problem that has also been reported quite a lot as well.

I rebooted into the previous kernel (3.16.7-21), and my system was usable once again.

I have an NVIDIA GT430 graphics card (not the latest, but it has been working OK). This problem happened with both the NVIDIA and nouveau drivers.

I’m afraid that I don’t have a lot of time to spend on investigating this, but if anyone wants me to post any more info or try something specific that might cast some light on this, please let me know.

How was NVIDIA drivers installed?? If done the hardware you must reinstall for each new kernel

They were installed from the official repositories. I am also aware of the NVIDIA-related problem at 13.2 described here: however I did not experience the symptoms described there. I uninstalled and re-installed the NVIDIA drivers during my attempts to get my system to work properly anyway.

I have been using openSUSE since version 10.1, and I adopted GNOME3 since it was first distributed in openSUSE (unlike many other people I liked the way it worked and got used to it very quickly ;)), but this is something that I haven’t seen before. I also doubt that it is a specific driver problem:as I said it makes no difference whether I use the NVIDIA proprietary drivers or nouveau. It looks to me more like some broken interaction between GNOME or Xorg and the new kernel.

Don’t know gnome but gdm seems to be problematic in several threads. Try changing to a different dm maybe lightdm or xdm.

I switched to MATE, but there were problems there too. The desktop didn’t freeze but I still had problems with individual windows becoming unresponsive: not scrolling, not accepting input, expandable elements not expanding when clicking on ‘+’. Also, the panel was very hard to deal with: when adding new elements they sometimes wouldn’t appear (and the “Add” button stayed down for ages). All these problems went away when I rebooted into the older kernel. Xfce also wasn’t well-behaved.

I’ll probably try more dm’s over the next few weeks as my time allows, but the behaviour with MATE and Xfce makes me skeptical as to whether that would fix the basic problem. I’m hoping that there will soon be some update with a fresh build of Xorg that will help. In the mean time, I’ll definitely add version 3.16.7-21 to multiversion.kernels in /etc/zypp/zypp.conf :wink:

Although I have been a loyal user and advocate of openSUSE for many years, come November I will probably try out Fedora core if Leap still behaves like this.

Which dm are you using?? If still gdm then that may be the problem try xdm as a test you can change it in yast-/etc/sysconfig editor

Sorry, I should have said earlier: I am using lightdm. There is something wrong with my xdm setup that I haven’t had the time to get to the bottom of yet (I tried a force reinstall of the xdm package), but I tried kdm and lxdm as well: it made no difference. Whichever dm I use, the newer kernel causes problems.

Don’t know then. Maybe someone else has an idea

Again for the record, I bit the bullet and switched to KDE and I haven’t seen the kind of problems I described above.

Problem solved? Well, yes and no. This is not the place for an anti-KDE rant, but I will say this. Linux is about choice, and I am uncomfortable with a distribution that makes it hard for me to choose the desktop that is the best fit for my working pattern. I know that Leap represents a big shift for openSUSE with its shift to SLE underpinnings, so I will keep going with KDE until then, and see how GNOME behaves in November.