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Old 04-18-2017, 08:47 AM   #1
taylorkh
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Atril phoning home?


I hate when software does this...

When I open a pdf file with Atril 1.16.1 (Mate document viewer) it averages 10 seconds before the document appears. I notice some network activity during this period. It does not matter the source of the document. I can export a Libre Office document to pdf or print a text file to pdf. The long delay occurs in each case.

The computer in question is a Dell Precision T3620 i7-6700, 16 GB RAM, PCIe 3.0 4 lane SSD, Nvidia Quadro K620 running CentOS 7.3 + Mate. A small pdf should open instantaneously if not faster And if will if I disconnect the network connection!

The question is... how can I prevent Atril from accessing the network when opening a pdf? Any ideas?

TIA,

Ken
 
Old 04-18-2017, 11:58 AM   #2
rtmistler
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Disconnect your network.

Don't use that software.
 
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:03 PM   #3
ondoho
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interesting.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=mate+"atril"+phoning+home&norw=1
 
Old 04-18-2017, 12:14 PM   #4
Habitual
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Sounds like it is reading an MRU list or something. PDFs on network resources maybe?

Create a new user, copy a document to the new user's /home/Documents directory.
Login as the new user.
Open document.
Report.
 
Old 04-18-2017, 12:20 PM   #5
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habitual View Post
Sounds like it is reading an MRU list or something. PDFs on network resources maybe?

Create a new user, copy a document to the new user's /home/Documents directory.
Login as the new user.
Open document.
Report.
Added to this you could install iftop and run it (has to be done as root, so sudo or whatever) in a terminal window to confirm it is the application in question accessing the network.
 
Old 04-18-2017, 12:22 PM   #6
astrogeek
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I am not familiar with Atril, is this it, or is it related: http://www.atril.com/content/atril ?

If so, it is commercial software which apparently includes a (remote) translation service as its primary feature, so it is very likely it is making use of that remote service.

Last edited by astrogeek; 04-18-2017 at 12:24 PM. Reason: clarity
 
Old 04-18-2017, 12:25 PM   #7
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Habitual View Post
Sounds like it is reading an MRU list or something. PDFs on network resources maybe?

Create a new user, copy a document to the new user's /home/Documents directory.
Login as the new user.
Open document.
Report.
Perhaps but the original comment seems to indicate this occurs not matter what the document is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
It does not matter the source of the document. I can export a Libre Office document to pdf or print a text file to pdf. The long delay occurs in each case.
Once again, disconnect the network. I was not being flip except when I also suggested to not use the software. Disconnecting the network will ensure that nothing is accessing the network.

Also agree with 273's suggestion to run iftop
 
Old 04-18-2017, 01:20 PM   #8
taylorkh
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Thanks folks.

Atril is the Mate fork of the program Evince which has been the default Gnome document viewer for a LONG time. Atril is a default part of the Mate desktop. I will dig into all the replies shortly. I am in the middle of another boondoggle at the moment.

Ken
 
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:09 PM   #9
Doug G
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Perhaps it's like adobe reader, in the windows version there is a setting that enables checking for updates every time you start adobe reader. Maybe atril has something similar.
 
Old 04-18-2017, 02:14 PM   #10
astrogeek
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
Atril is the Mate fork of the program Evince which has been the default Gnome document viewer for a LONG time. Atril is a default part of the Mate desktop. I will dig into all the replies shortly. I am in the middle of another boondoggle at the moment.
Have never used Mate and saw the github page but thought it worth mentioning the other just to be certain.

Thanks
 
Old 04-18-2017, 06:01 PM   #11
taylorkh
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Thanks ondoho,

I did some searching but had tried to phrase my request a little more "professionally" rather than "phone home". Which hits attracted your attention? I wonder about this:

[D-BUS Service]
Name=org.mate.atril.Daemon
Exec=@libexecdir@/atrild

I do not know what it means but it looks a littls suspicious for a document viewer.

Thanks Habitual,

It pdf sample in question is on my Desktop (on the PCIe "drive"). As you recommended I created a new user, switched to that user, downloaded the same test pdf to the Firefox preview then saved to Desktop. It opens in a flash.

Back as myself I downloaded a new copy of the file using the same process. Still takes about 10 seconds to open when network card is connected and about 10 ms when not connected.

I ran a CentOS 7.3 Mate virtual machine in VMWare. Base machine built for testing. Nothing other than updates installed. Downloaded the test file. It again opens instantly. Same on an older Ubuntu 16.04 Mate test VM.

Back to my physical machine as me... I disconnected from the Internet - unplugged the patch cord from my router to the switch into which the PC is connected. Again it took a long time to open the file. It appears that Atril is looking for something on my PC/LAN.

I do have some file systems exported with nfs from the PC and I have some autofs mounts to my servers. These have caused issues before as I only fire up the servers when I need to access files on them - sort of like NAS rather than real "servers." The autofs mount points are dead if I click on them when the servers are down. I wonder if Atril is snooping around these dead links?

Thanks 273,

I have used top and iotop. Never came across iftop before. I installed it and saw a bunch of interesting traffic. I shut down two VMs, Thunderbird and Firefox. That eliminated just about everything except for some intermittent traffic which I need to look into later. As to Atril... I opened the document. NOTHING in iftop.

Thanks astrogeek,

I do not think Atril is related to atril. I have been running Mate on CentOS 7 for a year and a half or more. It has the simplicity of Gnome 2 which I used for MANY years including 6 + years with CentOS 6 on my main PC. I have never come to grips with Gnome 3.

Thanks rtmistler,

I have experienced this delay with a variety of pdf files from various sources including downloaded files, saved from Firefox browser preview files, exported from Libre Office to pdf files, and printed to pdf files. No difference and it does not seem to matter if the file is a 1 page receipt or a 300 page catalog. A large file with a lot of images will be a little slow to navigate some times but the opening delay is the same as a small file.

As described above when I unplug the Ethernet cable or disable the NIC things speed up to instant response.

Thanks Doug G,

I do not think that is an issue. I do remember the check for updates issue with Acrobat and also with a version of Star Office or Open Office. The office programs would take forever if I was not on-line (back in the dial up days).

Bottom line folks... I suspect I am back in a battle with autofs. On CentOS 6 I had scripts to mount to my servers when I needed access and scripts to unmount the nfs shares when I was done. I never did train myself to ALWAYS run the unmount scripts. Gnome/Nautilus would go bezerk when there were dead mount points floating around - especially if I accidentally tried to access one. Autofs was supposed to improve the situation but I am still finding side effects. This may be one.

Ken
 
Old 04-19-2017, 12:26 AM   #12
ondoho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
Which hits attracted your attention? I wonder about this:

[D-BUS Service]
Name=org.mate.atril.Daemon
Exec=@libexecdir@/atrild

I do not know what it means but it looks a littls suspicious for a document viewer.
none in particular.
i hate gnome and all that gconf and dconf stuff with a passion, no that entry is not suspicious.
sorry, if you want to continue using atril, that's what you have to sift through.
i recommend just using a different pdf viewer. zathura, mupdf, Xpdf work fine for me.

one more thougth: have you tried & confirmed this with different documents?
maybe there's some online stuff inside the document, not the programme.
 
Old 04-19-2017, 04:36 AM   #13
Habitual
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if the document(s) are in doubt, upload one or more to virustotal first.

Just sayin'

gvfs may be in play here, is my guess.
 
Old 04-19-2017, 07:16 AM   #14
taylorkh
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Thanks again ondoho,

I have used other pdf viewers although not on CentOS 7. One of the reasons I finally moved from CentOS 6 to 7 was that I could no longer view my investment statements from vanguard.com on 6. They were apparently using some sort of funky font which nothing on 6 would display. For what I do with pdfs Atril will suffice. And yes I did try different pdf documents and different (virtual) machines. Even launching Atril without specifying a file takes several seconds.

And thanks once more Habitual,

The documents are not in doubt. gvfs vs. nfs vs. autofs - that is what I will attack next. I think I will disable the automounts on the PC, reboot and see what happens.

Ken

p.s. This reminds me of an issue many years ago when I was programming in xbase (dBase, FoxBase, FoxPro). One particular version had a quirk - had to do with the C compiler used to compile the actual FoxBase program was the "answer." I had my hard drive divided into two partitions. C: and D:. When I compiled and distributed an application over our Banyan Vines network - no problem. Until we received some PCs with CDROM drives. Really moving up in the world The application would fail with some sort of strange error about looking for something on D: Nothing in my program called for access on the D: drive. FoxBase, however, saw the CDROM drive and wanted to check it out. I found that even a music CD would make it happy. The empty CDROM drive did not.
 
Old 04-19-2017, 07:37 AM   #15
taylorkh
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It looks like this was a red herring. Autofs is the source of the issue. I disabled my nfs automount points, rebooted the PC and Atril will now open the offending pdf faster than a speeding bullet.

Perhaps I need to connect to my servers with Samba instead of nfs. That would suck but it could not be much worse.

/etc/autofs.conf has a WHOLE BUNCH of settings. However, the "help" such as the man page is not real helpful in determining what these settings do - at least not to my understanding. I guess I will just start tweaking some that sound promising and see what happens.

Once more please allow me to thank everyone for their input.

Ken
 
  


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