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zaltekk 09-09-2010 11:19 PM

Slackware64-current KDE 4.5.1 Desktop Effects
 
After upgrading from Slackware64-13.1 to Slackware64-current, I've begun to have an issue with CPU usage related to KDE's desktop effects. After my system has been running for around a day, the X and KWin processes eat up 25-50% of my CPU(Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz).

KDE's notification area will inform me that it detected the desktop effects were running slowly and have been suspended. The system continues to function normally*EDIT*by normal, I mean that the CPU usage of X and KWin drop to nearly nothing*EDIT*, but the CPU issue returns if I re-enable the desktop effects.

My video card is an nVidia 9800M GTS running the latest binary driver from nVidia's website(256.53).

Any idea how to further troubleshoot the issue?

Daedra 09-09-2010 11:33 PM

Did you reinstall the nvidia driver after you upgraded to current? When ever you upgrade your xorg packages its always a good idea to reinstall the nvidia driver.

willysr 09-09-2010 11:36 PM

try turning off desktop indexing

zaltekk 09-09-2010 11:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daedra (Post 4093077)
Did you reinstall the nvidia driver after you upgraded to current? When ever you upgrade your xorg packages its always a good idea to reinstall the nvidia driver.

Yes, I upgraded to the newest nVidia driver after fully upgrading to Slackware64-current.


Quote:

Originally Posted by willysr (Post 4093083)
try turning off desktop indexing

The desktop indexing isn't running.

Erik_FL 09-10-2010 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zaltekk (Post 4093072)
After upgrading from Slackware64-13.1 to Slackware64-current, I've begun to have an issue with CPU usage related to KDE's desktop effects. After my system has been running for around a day, the X and KWin processes eat up 25-50% of my CPU(Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz).

KDE's notification area will inform me that it detected the desktop effects were running slowly and have been suspended. The system continues to function normally*EDIT*by normal, I mean that the CPU usage of X and KWin drop to nearly nothing*EDIT*, but the CPU issue returns if I re-enable the desktop effects.

My video card is an nVidia 9800M GTS running the latest binary driver from nVidia's website(256.53).

Any idea how to further troubleshoot the issue?

I had that problem on KDE and I found that I could solve it by changing a setting. If you go into the System Settings and then click on Desktop then select Desktop Effects in the left-hand panel you will see the tabs for Desktop Effects. Click on the tab named "Advanced". Enable (check-mark) the option that says "Disable functionality checks". This has been a problem for me in KDE 4.x since I've been using it. The problem might actually be my graphics driver or configuration but I haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure that out. The desktop effects work fine if I disable the functionality checks.

zaltekk 09-10-2010 02:17 PM

Sadly, the desktop effects actually _do_ cause a massive slowdown once this starts occurring. I could force them to stay enabled, but then one of my cores is completely ate up for just the desktop effects.

sahko 09-10-2010 02:22 PM

See http://blog.martin-graesslin.com/blo...orkspaces-4-5/ & http://hugo-kde.blogspot.com/2010/09...-and-call.html

Erik_FL 09-11-2010 01:40 PM

Really the bottom line here is that some companies provide only halfhearted support for Linux or simply make claims that their products support it without ever testing their product thoroughly.

Even ATI and nVidia, who I think have done a relatively decent job sometimes have problems. Intel is probably the worst as far as making marketing claims for Linux that are not ever really verified until someone actually tests the hardware and software with Linux. I should clarify that I'm referring to graphics drivers in particular. Intel has done a good job with their network controllers and chip-sets (as far as I know).

The unfortunate reality is that Windows still drives the priorities of most companies and Linux support provided by companies tends to lag behind. KDE is in a no-win game because they have to implement the features that use the drivers in order for companies to get a thorough test of those Linux drivers.

I've been a bit resistant to "desktop effects" for this reason. I would much rather have a stable Linux desktop environment and wider support for hardware than a lot of eye candy, mostly causing compatibility issues and reducing performance. I think that hardware support will become a major challenge for Linux as many historical PC standards go out the window. Companies feel that it's OK to do whatever they want as long as they provide a Windows driver to "make it work". That has bitten me as a Windows user too, because I can't run older versions of Windows on newer hardware. There are no drivers.

The article that was mentioned rightly points out that OpenGL standards have been out for many years. Unfortunately Microsoft chose to completely ignore those with Vista and Windows 7 and cripple OpenGL support in order to push DirectX. Why they felt that was necessary I can't imagine. DirectX does not need to be pushed. It's already used in lots of games and other software. All Microsoft has really done is alienate people who depended on OpenGL applications. They have even driven some of those people to use Linux. That lack of interest in OpenGL by Microsoft has translated into a lack of interest in companies developing graphics products and software.

With Intel focusing on the low-end graphics market and driving nVidia and ATI to do the same, what seems to suffer is the driver quality of Linux drivers. With the less expensive cards many of the features of high-end or mid-range cards will be emulated in the drivers. That's going to make Linux drivers more of a challenge or companies will simply leave out those features for Linux drivers. Unfortunately some companies see Linux only as a marketing vehicle and will release drivers with lots of great spin whether they intend to make them work right or not.

After using KDE I will say that KDE is way beyond Windows in terms of using the graphics features. Windows is still essentially a bitmap graphics system and the few graphics effects sort of glued on top of the existing WIN32 desktop environment at the window manager level. KDE applications actually make use of the graphics capabilities as a part of the application design. Really only Windows games and a few multimedia applications use Direct-X and ordinary applications still use pixel graphics. Microsoft is slowly trying to change the graphics abilities of standard applications with their Windows Presentation Framework. I think they're going to have the opposite problem from KDE and not get applications to change fast enough.

I have the same complaint about KDE and Windows 7. The graphics effects do look nice, but I find that the user interface is awkward and sometimes complicated. Things that used to require very little mouse or keyboard actions now require more clicking or digging through menus. I'm not convinced that the changes to the desktop environment have made me more productive or made things easier. In some ways they may have made things more difficult for me.

If graphics drivers are going to be a big issue with KDE 4 then KDE should stop changing KDE for a while, focus on bugs and testing with third party drivers, and work with third party companies to identify and fix problems. There's nothing wrong with blaming who's to blame, but that doesn't always solve the problem. Sometimes there's no choice but to take on a lot of the responsibility for getting problems fixed if it's important for your software. I'm not saying it's fair, but ignoring that reality just results in a non-working application.

My main criticism of KDE is that they have not gotten previous versions of KDE 4 solid before adding new features. I know that there are some features that probably have to be added, but perhaps it's time to stop tweaking the graphics interface and call it "good enough for now". At every KDE major point release it seems that a substantial redesign of the desktop graphical environment is done. Perhaps that was necessary or tolerable in the early stages of KDE 4 but now I think it is only going to keep KDE broken longer. It certainly isn't going to help get graphics driver bugs fixed if those can't be nailed down due to an ever changing KDE. When the only bugs people encounter are due to graphics drivers and KDE does not keep changing how they use those graphics drivers, the bugs are much more likely to get fixed. With Linux I've found that companies tend to wait until something is stable and not changing before they invest major effort in bug fixes and compatibility.

JackHair 09-12-2010 04:22 AM

I also been having problems with kwin and desktop effects on 64 bits current. After changing to compiz with emerald all the problems vanished. It's faster and fully stable for me now. (ATI HD5850 Catalyst 10.8)

BrZ 09-12-2010 10:06 AM

You are lucking =]

I was hit with 4.5.0, when x came to segfault passing the cursor something near that sound icon applet, close to the clock. Even kms was wrecked. With 4.5.1 I can turn off kwin candy and compiz still does the show. Kms is working again and now my job is being done without interruption.

I'll stick with it. It's getting better and when latest digikam popped without errors I had a feeling that this is the way to go.

Thanks guys. I can't imagine how hard is maintaining kde+xorg+'video' working with all the mess out there.

Martinezio 09-13-2010 02:52 AM

Hi, Folks.

I'm currently using KDE 4.5.1 with desktop effects enabled on nVidia GeForce 7100 GS video card.
As for now, all desktop effect working for me just fine (sometimes works cracky, but I utilize much of CPU with compilation processes). All I do was disabling desktop effects compatilibity tests. This tests takes too much CPU and GPU power and casues DE disabling from time to time. My advice is to disable them. You will save some % of CPU/GPU for daily work.

The second problem is running apps, that utilize much of grapic libraries other, than QT (ie. Cairo, GTK+) without directfb, like Firefox. It takes high amount of RAM, so other programs (ie. konqueror, or kwin) must utilize more of swap partition, which is slower than RAM (no mater, what drive You have - all physical drives are much slower than RAM, even flash disks).

IMHO, that are the most of problems. Solving the compatibilities and creating smoothly working interconnectors between different libraries will solve great amount of performance problems.

Cheers!


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