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Old 07-25-2011, 02:23 AM   #1
Registered: Mar 2009
Location: Very humid Central Florida
Distribution: ArchLinux
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Resizing windows of certain apps = hangup

Strange things are happening when I try resize windows. I wonder if this is a known bug (though I don't see it listed anywhere) or anyone has an idea how to diagnose the problem.

For gnome-terminal, Eye of Gnome, and certain other apps, when I try to resize the window by dragging the corner, the app and all other windows on the desktop will freeze. No window can be moved. Clicking on the menu of any app has no effect. It's as if the window manager (icewm) or X11 were stopping all keyboard and mouse events forever. Normally, events are held up until the end of the drag, but this hold-up of events lasts after I let up the mouse button. The window being resized does not change size.

Only if I try something like Alt-F to activate the File menu, does anything intersting happen. I can also switch workspaces with ctrl+alt+arrow, but all the windows on any workspace are stuck. After activating the menu then tapping Esc, things go back to normal. Almost: if I click in a gnome-terminal, sometimes it'll suddenly crash and disappear without a trace.

Another clue: If I resize any window using alt + right mouse button, it's fine, no hangup. The corner-drag is the problem, and only for certain apps. I haven't checked systematically, but so far it seem to be only gtk+ based apps that have the trouble. Maybe some API changed and wasn't matched be those apps, or something incompatible between gtk+, icewm, and... the phase of the moon...?

I've never seen this trouble before. This started when I installed Arch on a machine. I've used Arch for years on other machines without any trouble. Well, not *this* trouble. I'm using icewm 1.3.7, kernel 2.6.39, xorg - um, all those packages have different version. It's current as far as a rolling release like Arch can provide. I have a two-monitor setup, running xrandr, which is the only thing I've not used before putting Arch on this machine.
Old 07-26-2011, 08:12 PM   #2
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I looked at this yesterday and didn't have a clue. I've never seen this before either.

But I now have two thoughts that might help get the troubleshooting ball rolling:

1. What kind of video card and which driver do you have? Perhaps it's not the optimal driver.

2. Try booting to a live CD and see whether the problem occurs in live CD mode. If it does not, that will indicate pretty conclusively that the problem is something to do wit the Arch install.
Old 07-26-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
Registered: Mar 2009
Location: Very humid Central Florida
Distribution: ArchLinux
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01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Cedar PRO [Radeon HD 5450]
It has one VGA, one HDMI, and one whatever you call it digital connector, capable of working independently. I have two monitors, not using the VGA. The driver is xf86-video-ati 6.14.1-1 (that final "-1" being Arch's)

I sometimes get the intuitive impression that KDE, Gnome, icewm, X11 and certain apps and gui toolkits have some low-level mismatch, trying to follow different standards or APIs, fumbling certain mouse and key events, or something.

Tried an Ubuntu 11.04 live disk without any trouble. There's no live Arch disk, and I have no other live distro handy. I should get off my butt and go make a Suse disk or something.

Exact same hardware had Arch running about a month ago just fine (not counting other unrelated troubles). There were times when the on-board networking didn't work, so I put in a separate ethernet card and it's been fine, except once in a while after bootup, even it doesn't work. Reboot, and it's fine. Seems like there had been other one-time oddities which could easily be attributed to bad software or bad sysadmin, but might be symptoms of unreliable hardware.

Maybe a real good hardware test of some kind, running for all day, that really stress things in a variety of ways, would reveal something. If my machine passes such a test, then I'll sleep better at night, except for firing myself as a lousy sysadmin :P
Old 07-27-2011, 06:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by darenw View Post
There's no live Arch disk
Actually, there is.


hang, icewm, resize

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