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Old 07-13-2008, 12:25 PM   #1
remlapsirhc
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Registered: Jun 2006
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Unhappy Half desktop is black


I am running Mandriva 2007. (I have other distros too)! Recently the red circle appeared to tell me something needed updating. When I went to do so it said it was an update for something called 'Ruby'. As I am a complete novice, despite trying hard not to be, I let it do the update. The resulting half screen may have nothing to do with 'Ruby', but can anyone help me. A complete reboot usually fixes it, but I'd rather not have the problem. I do not want to blame the problem on my visiting 3yr old granddaughter, who is let loose on it sometimes.
 
Old 07-13-2008, 02:11 PM   #2
b0uncer
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Registered: Aug 2003
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Ruby is (if we're talking about the same thing) a programming language (see ruby-lang.org) and shouldn't do any nasty stuff about half of your desktop. So if that was the only update, it's probably not the reason, at least directly But did you install some other udpates as well, maybe display drivers, kernel update or something like that?

Hard to say based on that what it is, but you could try to create a new user for testing, log in as that user, play around and see if the problem comes up there. If it does, it's (user-)configuration-independent, if not, then it's probably something odd with your user configuration, which can (for example) be deleted (=resets settings to defaults) for a fast cure.

What graphics card are you using, by the way -- and do you know if you're using some proprietary drivers (for example nVidia or ATI drivers that provide hardware 3d accelaration)?
 
Old 07-14-2008, 01:30 PM   #3
remlapsirhc
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Thank you for your reply. The graphics card is an nvidia Geforce 7300 series. I do not know what driver my Mandriva 2007 uses. I have recently tried the 3D desktops using the same machine, but that shouldn't have any effect I suppose! I am a complete novice as I say, but I have 5 different distros on this machine in an effort to learn. Could any of those cause a problem. I noticed in a recent installation of Parsix the menu.lst appears to say the swap file is on a different partition. (I am clutching at straws here, but I do not really know).
 
Old 07-20-2008, 03:20 AM   #4
b0uncer
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Ok - have you been able to run the 3d desktop effects smoothly, then? If you have, that probably means you graphics drivers are fine (and that you're using proprietary graphics drivers that take advantage of hardware accelaration); if you haven't, you're probably still using some non-proprietary drivers, which are good (and often more trouble-free than proprietary ones as I've noticed personally) but don't simply (usually) provide hardware 3d accelaration. Unless you run 3d things like 3d desktop effects or games, you don't necessarily need proprietary drivers; if you do want such things, they're usually your only choice.

Running this in a terminal:
Code:
glxinfo
should provide some information about your graphics driver situation; there's a lot in it, but if you just want to see if your 3d accelaration is working, check the line that talks about direct rendering: enabled means your drivers seem to take advantage of your card, disabled means your driver might not support the fancy 3d stuff that your card could do.

If you're not using a proprietary driver (it's all in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, look for a Driver line in the graphics card section), you shouldn't have big problems. At least I haven't seen much odd things when using those, but if you on the other hand are using a proprietary driver (for example 3d desktop effects work fine), it might easily be there are some situations where it starts playing tricks on you. It depends on the exact problem, but sometimes you may have to resort into reinstalling the driver (using your package manager software; that's the easiest way of doing it, just select the nvidia driver package that is installed to be reinstalled). Sometimes just restarting X helps (CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE), but if rebooting didn't help, that probably won't either.

Your graphical server (X) configuration is stored in /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, which should be editable by root only. You can see what's in there; in case you edit it, make a copy of the original file so if you run into trouble you can simply move/copy the backup copy over the "real" file and get your original settings back. For example you can see what the Driver line says about your graphics card: for nVidia cards it should be, if I'm right, "nv" for the non-proprietary (no-hardware-accelaration) driver and "nvidia" or something like that if you have installed the proprietary driver. You can try to switch it to "nv", save and restart your X and see if it helps, then change it back to "nvidia", save and restart X and see if it makes any difference.
 
  


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