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slackware 14.1/ xorg-server rendering issues

Posted 12-29-2013 at 06:39 PM by Rod3775

It seems that several packages in 14.1 are not quite ready for prime time.

upower doesn't deal with the rearrangement of usb-hid devices in /sys/class. The problem is in the udev files in the package, not the code. The latest source on the web is OK, but the slackpkg is a couple of revisions older.

GTK-3 doesn't draw non-sensitive buttons correctly.

But the biggest problem seems to be with the new (version 14) xorg-server. There was a big push for xcb rendering rather than xlib. Several standard applications using xcb seem to occasionally lose text drawables or single small icons. They just don't display, but reappear after a call to xrefresh. slackware-current has a update to cairo backing out of using xcb, since it was making GTK-3 "unstable". See the changelogs on

But the problems affect more than just GTK-3. OpenOffice-4.1 drops text as well. I switched to Libreoffice and things seem to be better, but since xserver allows an application to mix usage of xcb and xlib rendering, I cannot tell which is being used when I have problems. XFCE uses GTK-2, and also was dropping small blocks of text, so the upstream discovery of xcb problems in GTK-3 may have more to do with its increased use of cairo (and hence xcb) compared to GTK-2. But the problem isn't in either GTK-3 or cairo - it's an XWindows issue.

When the problem appeared right after I upgraded (and moved from xorg-server-12.x to xorg-server-14.x), I thought the rendering failures might have been due to reduced driver support for my Pentium 4 and old AGP video card, but it now seems to be a timing-related flaw in the xclient-server relationship, exacerbated by high CPU loadings. The most recent xorg-server(14.5), which I am now running, has fixes relating to losing events (according to its changelog), but I suspect they haven't got it quite right yet.
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