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davcefai 09-07-2011 12:33 AM

Downgrading Xorg
 
Running Debian Unstable, KDE.

Like many others I have been hit by the problem involving the latest Xserver version and the NVidia drivers.

The main problems I am having are thet opening PDFs crashes the machine and Synaptic kills KDE just before I apply updates.

The suggested fix is to revert to the previous xorg version. However when I tried this I ended up with a mess. I finally got back to a running system but with the new Xorg version and therefore the problems.

Is there a recipe for downgrading Xorg safely?

cynwulf 09-07-2011 02:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4463556)
Running Debian Unstable, KDE.

Like many others I have been hit by the problem involving the latest Xserver version and the NVidia drivers.

You're running unstable, these things happen...

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4463556)
The main problems I am having are thet opening PDFs crashes the machine and Synaptic kills KDE just before I apply updates.

Why on earth would you upgrade your system from synaptic...? Kill the xserver and run your upgrades from a virtual terminal.


Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4463556)
The suggested fix is to revert to the previous xorg version. However when I tried this I ended up with a mess. I finally got back to a running system but with the new Xorg version and therefore the problems.

You need to detail the steps you attempted... but I assume you have tried to go back to the version in testing?

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4463556)
Is there a recipe for downgrading Xorg safely?

Add the testing repo and

Code:

aptitude update && aptitude install xserver-xorg-core/testing
That should downgrade - if it complains about dependencies, cancel and redo the command, add those dependencies as additional downgrades and try again and again... read the output... or you can remove all of xorg completely, temporarily disable the unstable repo

Code:

aptitude clean && aptitude update
aptitude install xserver-xorg-core

or

Code:

aptitude clean && aptitude update
aptitude install xorg

(if you want the full meta-package)

Then reinstall the nvidia driver and re-enable the unstable repo...

Of course the system will want to upgrade xorg again when you next try to update. To avoid that either put xserver-xorg-core (and any other packages you had to downgrade) on hold for a while, or forbid that particular version of the package.

Code:

man aptitude
Alternatively you can fully upgrade and just use the nouveau driver - this largely depends on your hardware though.

cascade9 09-07-2011 03:01 AM

You might be able to pull the newer xorg version from experimental, and you might need to the nvidia drivers from there as well. I havent checked with the current situation.

cynwulf 09-07-2011 03:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cascade9 (Post 4463667)
You might be able to pull the newer xorg version from experimental, and you might need to the nvidia drivers from there as well. I havent checked with the current situation.

Good point though it's the drivers (Nvidia/ATI) that need to come up to date, not the xserver - there's no newer version of that in experimental anyway. Luckily though there does seem to be newer nvidia driver packages in experimental now - I would try that first. Read the changelog though http://packages.debian.org/changelog...03-2/changelog

You will need the IgnoreABI option in your xorg.conf

davcefai 09-08-2011 03:45 AM

Solved
 
Caravel,

Many thanks for the help.

Quote:

You're running unstable, these things happen...
Yes, it's why I run unstable - learning opportunities and sometimes able to feed back bug info.

Quote:

Why on earth would you upgrade your system from synaptic
Seriously, why not? (This is not argumentative, I would like to know the downsides of using Synaptic.)

Now to the meat of things. It seems that the xorg versions for testing and unstable are the same. What worked was removing xorg AND xserver-xorg-core then disabling the unstable repo (I use apt-proxy on another machine) and installing xorg AND xserver-xorg-core.

Install xorg only did not bring in the other packages. Xserver-xorg-core brought in 37 others. xserver-common and xserver-xorg-devs have remained at the unstable versions. I have not tried tinkering with them yet.

The system is now back to normal. For posterity, some of the symptoms I had were:

When using kwrite or kedit: messed up display.
In Dolphin: no little arrows next to openable directories
Checkboxes do not show checks
Radio buttons were invisible.
Tabs in firefox get overwritten
KDE crashes when you open a pdf file with KPDF or Acrobat. Others not tried.
In Calibre, spinning wheel (=working) does not display.

I don't know if this is related: kdesudo stopped working at the same time as the xorg mess happened and still does not work. I may end up asking a new question about that. :(



Thanks again

cynwulf 09-08-2011 04:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4465365)
Seriously, why not? (This is not argumentative, I would like to know the downsides of using Synaptic.)

Synaptic is ok for installing the odd package from the "games" category, but it lacks the "apt foo" of aptitude and apt-get. If you were running bog standard stable, you'd probably get away with synaptic for your upgrades, but as you're running Sid you should be doing "aptitude full-upgrade" (or "apt-get dist-upgrade") and have apt-listbugs installed...

davcefai 09-08-2011 07:16 AM

I carefully pick and choose what and when I upgrade. For example I always let a few days pass before upgrading udev, dbus or xorg to give the bugs a chance to surface (been bitten). This time the strategy did nor work!

I have listbugs installed but would be very uneasy about performing dist- or full- upgrade. Seems like a recipe for learning an awful lot :D

Synaptic allows me to tread carefully through the unstable minefield.

Incidentally my kdesudo problem was due to .Xauthority. I copied the user version over to /home/root and all is well.

cynwulf 09-08-2011 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4465864)
I carefully pick and choose what and when I upgrade. For example I always let a few days pass before upgrading udev, dbus or xorg to give the bugs a chance to surface (been bitten). This time the strategy did nor work!

Waiting is fine - though I tend to jump in with both feet... if you leave it a day or so something should appear in apt-list bugs you can than "aptitude --forbid-version package-foo" or put it on hold.

Quote:

Originally Posted by davcefai (Post 4465864)
I have listbugs installed but would be very uneasy about performing dist- or full- upgrade. Seems like a recipe for learning an awful lot :D

dist-upgrade is required for sid/unstable - you should almost always dist-upgrade sid, unless you know of broken dependencies, and never upgrade from inside X.


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