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VinzC
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:03 pm    Post subject: PBM: display ghosting with compositor enabled and nouveau Reply with quote

Hi again.

My laptop runs Xfce with Nouveau — FTR I have an Optimus-enabled Latitude but I disabled the embedded Intel video adapter in the BIOS. When I enable compositing in Xfce I get what I'd call screen ghosting.

Here's the context: I have multiple virtual desktops, some of which are dedicated to full-screen windows. Among those full screen windows: Geany. Other ones may include a web browser (i.e. Seamonkey) or a PDF viewer (typically evince). One context in which the problem occurs systematically is when I have Geany full-screen in one virtual desktop and Seamonkey in another, with the active tab on Youtube, a video is playing. There are other situations but this particular one triggers the problem 100% of the time.

Here's what happens: when I switch to Geany the entire display gets corrupted with some screen ghosting artifacts. It can be a superposition of the last full-scren view of my browser and another window, sometimes a remnant of my screensaver before I unlocked it.If I disable Xfce's compositing, the problem disappears. This particular context is not the only one that triggers the issue, as I already said, it's only one that triggers the issue every time. I'd suspect this mostly happens with complex GTK-2 application; GTK-3 applications seem (though I haven't thoroughly investigated) relatively immune to it. But it might very be because they repaint their body constantly, I don't really know.

The problem does *not* disappear is I uncheck any of the compositing options in Xfce Window tweaks. I have to disable compositing. Period. Needless to say I don't want that.

Now I've read X compositors are prone to cause issues with nouveau (source Arch wiki). My question is: what are my options?
  • File a bug? I did a short while ago but it got closed, I believe only because of my wording style (reason exposed: not a support forum!) while I tried hard to describe the issue. It's not very rewarding. Granted: at that time I had no clue the compositor was involved.
  • Disable the compositor till the issue is fixed? Not really an option because I really want (not that I *need* it) transparency on my desktop.
  • Recompile/reinstall? Yeah... but what? This issue seems to follow all of my (re-)compilation/(re-)installation attempts. In short: it's not the first time I experience this issue; it's not even bound to my laptop. However it seems bound to Xfce and nouveau.
  • Install another compositor? I read about Compton but the Arch wiki only mentions issues with tearing, not really what I have. Will compton solve it as well? Also will other applications that support transparency natively (e.g. tilda) use the other compositor?
  • Switch to wayland? Can I safely switch to Wayland given that I have only GTK+-[23] applications (i.e. no Qt)?
  • Use another desktop environment? I might not dislike the idea but I'm using Xfce is lightweight and has always satisfied my needs. I know there's Lxde but it's, well, a little bit too much lightweight...
There might be other options but I see no other for now.

It's a problem I have mostly been coping with for more than one year — I've even changed my habits somehow. But it's really annoying and I'd like to have a solution.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Methinks the issue with nouveau is it really is a hack. My laptop has nVidia and video hardware decoding is buggy as hell. Unusable, actually. I asked on Kodi forums if there is any chance I could get it working with nouveau hardware acceleration and the answer was prompt NO.
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VinzC
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jaglover wrote:
My laptop has nVidia and video hardware decoding is buggy as hell. Unusable, actually. I asked on Kodi forums if there is any chance I could get it working with nouveau hardware acceleration and the answer was prompt NO.

Ouch! :cry:

Well, at least for me this is the only issue I have with nouveau, annoying but liveable.

It's a shame nVidia kind of intentionally leaves Linux kernel developers with this mess. But that's another chapter.
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