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xfce4 freezes on startup with ati card and xf86-video-ati
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JustAnother
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Joined: 23 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:28 pm    Post subject: xfce4 freezes on startup with ati card and xf86-video-ati Reply with quote

I did a routine update on my radeon ati machine yesterday. Today:

I always run startxfce4 from the terminal. Today the screen would freeze up and show one underscore cursor at upper left. The keyboard was frozen. Ssh worked, showing nothing in /var/log/Xorg.0.log. Thankfully I keep a tee of emerge --sync so I could notice that no xfce4 packages were upgraded yesterday, but x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati went from 19.0.1 to 19.1.0. I ran

Code:
emerge -av =x11-drivers/xf86-video-ati-19.0.1


to downgrade this package, and xfce4 started. I'm so proud - I actually fixed something all by myself. (It still needs to be masked to prevent a relapse.)

On the other hand, without that list of synced packages to guess from, I would have had a problem.

There is an app called elogviewer that kind of shows what was upgraded/rebuilt/installed and when, but that won't work if X won't come up, will it?

Is there any way to obtain, without a gui, a detailed historical list showing what was done with emerge and when? That would come in quite handy during a gui blackout.

Thanks
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Hu
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Joined: 06 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would start by reading the log files that elogviewer uses. This is probably at least /var/log/emerge.log, and maybe other related logs such as /var/log/emerge-fetch.log.
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jburns
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The app-portage/genlop package is an emerge.log parser.
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JustAnother
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Joined: 23 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried:

Code:
genlop -e

Use of uninitialized value in concatenation (.) or string at /usr/bin/genlop line 354.
Usage: genlop  [options] [-f logfile] [category/package]


The -l option works. No options gives the error.

A possible bug?
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Hu
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. Using uninitialized values in a concatenation usually means that the block that was supposed to initialize the value got skipped incorrectly.
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JustAnother
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Posts: 104

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The X.org people seem to think this xf86-video-ati 19.1.0 fixed the problems vs. created the problems. Who should give them the good news?
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JustAnother
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a little good news. I finally got around to bumping xf86-video-ati from 19.0.1 to 19.1.0, which previously caused the screen to go blank when I ran startxfce4.

This post: https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1105588-highlight-.html uncovered the fact that my build-in kernel driver radeon was not loading the ati firmware file, because there was no root filesystem or initramfs mounted at that point. Anyway, after getting the firmware to load, xfce4 comes up on my main machine. However, the same problem on what the link calls machine 3 still exists.

A simple suggestion: in your wiki section for the major desktop managers, point out that the drivers (first) need to be checked via dmesg for complaints, or the manager may not work.

To reiterate, here is what I think happened. The X people released xf86-video-ati 19.1.0, saying that it fixed freeze ups, etc. But this driver worked before, and the radeon firmware wasn't loading, so it looks like the X people made some kind of change that broke the system if the radeon kernel driver couldn't load the firmware. There aren't any complaints over at X that say 19.1.0 is broken, so this must be happening to a small number of people.
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