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KDE Saw Many Bug Fixes This Week From KWin Crashes To Plasma Wayland Improvements

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  • mikus
    replied
    My last adventure with wayland was running ubuntu on my xps originally, as I had for some 13+ years, and finally was sick of it being just as broken, particularly every upgrade. Ubuntu defaulted to wayland, and I could never figure out how to get it back to xorg, as it prevented me from using any desktop other than gnome-shell, and I HATE gnome-shell. I moved to arch, but after a few years of it, can't say I've found it much better for other reasons.

    I've been struggling making any DE work well for me here, I'm starting to think the graphic driver is buggy, or the new kernel, which arch has me up to 5.5.9. So far Cinnamon/Mate will crash in less than 2 days of running hard, and kde is just all over the place, sometimes it'll crash in 20 minutes, sometimes a week. Even bigger issue is my monitors.

    Every time my displays get powered down via the os, it's a total crap shoot which of the external displays will restart. Sometimes 1, sometimes both, sometimes neither. Each DE was a bit different about this too oddly... I might say this might be my TB3 dock, as it is fairly new, but I would get this on my desktop with a 1070gtx with my 3x 48" tv's as well losing random monitors.

    KDE will sometimes not see one of the displays (nor xrandr), sometimes it sees them, but shuts them off, forcing me to reconfigure display settings. It keeps forgetting about it, losing it, whatever, but almost every time I walk away from my desktop, I either need to reconfigure the displays, or unplug/plug back my TB3 dock. It's also getting worse about my window placement and restoration oddly, almost like some state tracking is going insane over time. Also interesting, my kde menu panel freezes after a random interval as well, as well as my systray and other useful things.

    Cinnamon tends to work best, but the hard locking issue is almost a bigger problem than kde being just random and weird. Compositing there works pretty well at least, I just can't pin down the crash as nothing indicates an issue, until it's just dead. It occasionally loses displays too, but a restart of my tb always brings it back up, and all my windows go back where they were meant to, unlike KDE.

    Tried using MATE again, and while not bad, is maddening for other reasons. Mostly lack of HiDPI settings that make everything super huge, or super small, all inconsistently, while still getting the same crash every few days. It is somewhat related to Cinnamon, so something common to the two seems awry... It was not very good about putting my windows back when I'd lose displays there too.

    Truly maddening how consistently unstable/bad kde has become. I have an older Dell Latitude e7240 laptop running kde (5.7.5) neon/ubuntu that is rock solid. I've had it on for the past few months, and use that to try and ssh back to mine to diag when it does crash, and kde on that is absolutely stable with full compositing. I really miss having a DE that works for more than a few hours/days at a time, KDE and others really need to address these issues before anything new.

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  • ssokolow
    replied
    Originally posted by mikus View Post

    Try newer KDE if you can - easily done on Arch or other rolling distro's, not so much on ubuntu without going Neon. At least the window positional handling is much improved as of an upgrade last week, as well as restoration of windows to the right places, so long as they don't get too disturbed (which mine do with above TB3 dock gyrations), it it working far better than it has since 4.x. Ahem, about time.
    To be honest, I'm not sure I've ever seen a window manager without that issue. I had the problem under Openbox, Kwin 3.x, Kwin 4.x, and now Kwin 5.x, and it's been a long time, but I vaguely remember having it under other WMs too.

    It's one of the reasons I'm looking forward to a day when there exists a Wayland compositor with crash recovery, server-side window decoration support, and APIs that allow things like automatic time trackers to be ported (and either nVidia support or being far enough in the future that I've replaced my GTX750 with something AMD). Wayland doesn't give arbitrary applications access to the permanent resolution-changing APIs and then defer reacting in an attempt to guess whether it's really a fake-out from a fullscreened application.

    That said, I will admit that I'm currently on Kubuntu 16.04 LTS because my upgrade from 14.04 LTS got side-tracked with bug-squashing long enough that I'm now sufficiently used to its flaws to be more interested in continuing to replace ugly hacks with proper solutions before I press forward.

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  • mikus
    replied
    Originally posted by ssokolow View Post

    On X11, even with LCDs, I've found the KScreen 2 daemon to have a penchant for confusing Plasma about screen assignments and which panel should go where, so I disable it on my desktop (KRunner → Background Services)... assuming I don't just use nVidia's MetaModes option to lock the desktop resolution to keep games' first-run resolution changes from confusing KWin into squashing everything into a single monitor.
    Try newer KDE if you can - easily done on Arch or other rolling distro's, not so much on ubuntu without going Neon. At least the window positional handling is much improved as of an upgrade last week, as well as restoration of windows to the right places, so long as they don't get too disturbed (which mine do with above TB3 dock gyrations), it it working far better than it has since 4.x. Ahem, about time.

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  • mikus
    replied
    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    That doesn't sound right.. Talking about a fresh boot of the system to the desktop. If I include dolphin/kate/terminals and the like from session restore, it's more like 600-700MB atm. Open other software like a web browser and restore all it's tabs and that will add many GB on the desktop, on the laptop I have to keep the amount of tabs/windows for a browser managed due to low ram.
    It is what it is - it's simply the result of how I'm working here. I rebuilt my xps15 from ubuntu to arch clean a few years ago to match my desktop, and it has the exact same ram utilization as my desktop did, and (k)ubuntu was the same prior. I'd love to know what I'm doing wrong, other than using a lot of tabs and libreoffice windows that I simply need 32-128gb of ram to base function.

    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    You should probably report to KDE's bugzilla. If you're not sure where perhaps you can ask the community for some guidance, but generally they expect you to direct bug reports to bugzilla and not rant on their community channels about it much where it'll get lost over time. r/kde subreddit is pretty good, just chime in about your issue(be more terse as most aren't likely to read paragraphs of text), and someone will probably let you know where on bugzilla it belongs. Alternatively just take a guess, and a dev will relocate it to the appropriate place if it's in the wrong one.

    https://bugs.kde.org/
    https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved/Issue_Reporting
    The window placement issue is obviously a KDE problem, but the cause is more the display handling at either a kernel, video driver, or software layer (xorg, xrandr, kde). The problem I run into if I go to KDE, they tell me to talk to NVidia. If I talk to NVidia, they tell me to talk to KDE, or upstream to the kernel. Round and round we go. Why I had to simply abandon my desktop, as I went through this dance with the GLES driver issue randomly appearing on my desktop - no one (kde, nvidia, or kernel) had any good suggestion, and just kept referring me elsewhere or to try reinstalling everything. I thought I ended that with windoze...

    Like right now, I got a new thunderbolt3 dock for my laptop, as my TB16 Dell unit was failing (bad cable, not replaceable), insert random chinese replacement. Every time my monitors get shut down by os for power save (normal monitor dpms mode to shut down), my 3rd monitor every time comes back in 1920x1200 mode, and refuses to go back to 4k until I disconnect the dock, and restart it. Is it the dock, is it nvidia drivers, is it kde, xrandr, or is it the kernel?

    When it does this, often I can go into KDE and set it to 4k again, sometime I can't like the display is only reporting 1080p as max. If only 1080p max, disconnecting and reconnecting the TB port often works. Sometimes I just end up having to reboot to get my 4k back fully. Trying to chase down who's problem it really is under linux is a bad game of whack-a-mole.

    The good news is they *did* fix the window placement issue, as once I get the displays reporting right after a reconnect, it moves things mostly back to the right place. Mostly... It doesn't on the 3rd display that changes resolution, but far improved from simply slamming all the windows into some default corner that is always simply wrong.

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  • ssokolow
    replied
    Originally posted by mikus View Post
    The hdmi-based "TV" displays don't behave like a normal dpms-based monitor in power-down, they entirely detach on the wire, so something of an anomaly based on choice in display that causes the os to see it removed and windows repositioned each time. I'd like to think I'm not the only one to see this, but bigger issue is probably not knowing where exactly to report it to.
    On X11, even with LCDs, I've found the KScreen 2 daemon to have a penchant for confusing Plasma about screen assignments and which panel should go where, so I disable it on my desktop (KRunner → Background Services)... assuming I don't just use nVidia's MetaModes option to lock the desktop resolution to keep games' first-run resolution changes from confusing KWin into squashing everything into a single monitor.

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  • polarathene
    replied
    Originally posted by mikus View Post
    I don't even know how that would work with only 4gb of ram. On mine barely idle, kde uses around 3.5gb of ram
    That doesn't sound right.. Talking about a fresh boot of the system to the desktop. If I include dolphin/kate/terminals and the like from session restore, it's more like 600-700MB atm. Open other software like a web browser and restore all it's tabs and that will add many GB on the desktop, on the laptop I have to keep the amount of tabs/windows for a browser managed due to low ram.

    Regarding the server host setup for a solution, you don't have to change hardware. If things are working on your current hardware, I was just referring to using it as the host system/server, and then managing separate VMs for services or DEs as needed. Should resolve or better work around many of the issues you've cited, but may be a hassle getting setup.

    Originally posted by mikus View Post
    I'd like to think I'm not the only one to see this, but bigger issue is probably not knowing where exactly to report it to.

    For better or worse, I likely am their high-end benchmark pushing boundaries in platforms, now if only I could get someone to even notice, and even possibly help determine/fix their scaling issues.
    You should probably report to KDE's bugzilla. If you're not sure where perhaps you can ask the community for some guidance, but generally they expect you to direct bug reports to bugzilla and not rant on their community channels about it much where it'll get lost over time. r/kde subreddit is pretty good, just chime in about your issue(be more terse as most aren't likely to read paragraphs of text), and someone will probably let you know where on bugzilla it belongs. Alternatively just take a guess, and a dev will relocate it to the appropriate place if it's in the wrong one.

    https://bugs.kde.org/
    https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved/Issue_Reporting

    Leave a comment:


  • mikus
    replied
    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    Sounds like you should be running a bare server not a DE as the host system. That'll have no issues with uptime, and you can keep your services/appliances running via VMs no issue. The other use cases that need DE with GUI apps would be served well with a VM per client you have. If it's a driver issue, perhaps a virtual video driver like VMWares might be more stable for you, or you can more easily use whatever DE/OS suits you best on a per case basis.
    Trust me, 20 years of building business from service providers to large enterprise, I get it. I have a rack dowstairs full of dell c6120's, fiberchannel sans, 1-40gbe switching, but a few years ago I just shut most of it down as under-utilized. I got tired of the heat and power usage, and didn't need/want it anymore.

    I bought a precision 7920 with dual cpu's, built it for bear with128gb ram, nvme disks, and gpu, and worked great for years reproducing all that virtually, until it didn't any more at least.

    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    I'm always working with fixed displays, I don't change the display count on a system so I haven't experienced that. I do remember reading about something like that getting attention in past months, so perhaps it arrived with Plasma 5.18 or a recent monthly KDE Frameworks update?
    Maybe they got tired of squeaky wheels after 10 years. Thank goodness however.

    The hdmi-based "TV" displays don't behave like a normal dpms-based monitor in power-down, they entirely detach on the wire, so something of an anomaly based on choice in display that causes the os to see it removed and windows repositioned each time. I'd like to think I'm not the only one to see this, but bigger issue is probably not knowing where exactly to report it to.

    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    My laptop with only 2 cores i3 CPU and 4GB RAM, no dGPU only the Intel iGPU can boot with ~500MB of RAM in use, and 0-1% CPU idle, desktop is probably similar, but I know it gets worse over time, especially when kwin fails and compositing takes a dive as a result.
    I don't even know how that would work with only 4gb of ram. On mine barely idle, kde uses around 3.5gb of ram, usually kwin with a lot of it with my laptop having a 4k display too. I launch chrome with 5 profiles, it takes another 10-14gb instantly. Firefox setup the same wants about 7gb of ram. Libreoffice wants another good 5-10gb or so with my normal workflow. Throw in zoom (~3gb), slack (~2gb), win10 vm (8gb), other native software, it gets interesting.

    It is a bit of a stretch for this laptop with the intel gpu driving it 100%, but it works surprisingly well - without kwin. I had to bump ram from 32 to 64gb, but much happier now.

    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    Each option has issues afaik. Nvidia gets a lot of shit, but despite all the praise AMD gets, there's been plenty of cases when it's been pretty bad too. Sometimes it's specific GPU models/products that you need to do a bit of research into(harder if it's fairly new product), other times it's just needing newer kernel/mesa, or waiting several years. If you don't need much vRAM or GPU grunt, going with older GPU are apparently good, not too old though(I got an R240 or something, budget GPU, but it was one generation too old to benefit from something that I wanted/cared about). RX580 is apparently decent these days, might serve you well?
    I used an older 6970 triple-slot asus card for years with oss drivers to feed 6x 1080p lcd's that were my prior desktop here. That thing was absolutely solid for desktop use, without compositing. Once it got to the point everything was compositing and wanted it, things got more unreliable, again mostly due to kwin. I'm good with an older card, just need to make sure it has enough ram for my large framebuffer and can support my 3x export of dp1.2 or hdmi2.0. I trust the drivers to be better supported as well with newer kernels I tend to run with Arch.

    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    Could be due to hardware limitations? I don't know your particular setup or device capabilities, but I know from stuff like USB that there is a lot of gotchas despite whatever marketing claims, where they cite the protocols specs, but things like chipset and cable quality, the power supplied to that chipset from the device, and the target device(s) you connect to all contribute to what actually is not only supported but capable of. If the problem is consistent across OS and it seems like it shouldn't be an issue, it's probably due to hardware then.
    Probably yes - coming from technology as primarily a "network/security guy" for 20 years, I know about hardware limitations. I don't see any obvious hardware limits in my systems at least, and I have dug with about every tool I could find. Why my last build, I built it like a server and uncorked things with massive specs - software still comes unglued.

    Oddly I see things like compositing work, and then things get sloppy later, a day, a week, months later. Why I suspect kwin is just a resource-leak in motion, but most compositing engines suffer this eventually. Maybe the gpu, but hard to quantify. Not so much ever ram, it was hard for me to blow out even virtual allocation on 128gb of ram, but not so much on 32gb before I upgraded my xps15 to 64gb. It does come apart, which I presume is some general instability of some state in software no one notices that doesn't have 3x 4k displays in use on linux. It's probably only me using kde with either the nvidia 1070gtx in my desktop, or my lowly intel laptop at this 11520x2160 resolution normally.

    For better or worse, I likely am their high-end benchmark pushing boundaries in platforms, now if only I could get someone to even notice, and even possibly help determine/fix their scaling issues.

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  • ssokolow
    replied
    Originally posted by polarathene View Post

    VM solution to partition the organized setup you have is probably useful too then I guess? It is a bit of a hassle to approach and get setup though I guess, I hope to eventually get around to trying it in my workflow in future as my usual reason to need a reboot is due to memory build up from web browser usually or other things that seem to leak memory over a long enough period even if mostly idle.

    The hassle of setting everything backup is one I can relate to, especially with projects where I've got work spread over several apps and have to get everything back to that. Or with web browser, it isn't able to return the restored windows back to assigned virtual desktops for organization, so I've got to track the windows with a tab(I just have the tab use an image of a number from google image search so that I can easily identify it's group in the overview/expo previews. Terminals are also an annoyance, though I think restoring their individual sessions/history is possible, I just haven't looked into that yet, VMs would resolve most of this though.
    Unfortunately, it's too much hassle. I already have enough trouble allocating sufficient human time to improve and maintain my setup, and, as the startup time for my desktop should make you suspect, I can't justify adding that much overhead to the system.

    Also, I'm running a pre-PSP AMD chip, so Intel VM migration isn't an option.

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  • polarathene
    replied
    Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
    I also have a long-lived desktop. Partly for similar reasons, but partly because:
    VM solution to partition the organized setup you have is probably useful too then I guess? It is a bit of a hassle to approach and get setup though I guess, I hope to eventually get around to trying it in my workflow in future as my usual reason to need a reboot is due to memory build up from web browser usually or other things that seem to leak memory over a long enough period even if mostly idle.

    The hassle of setting everything backup is one I can relate to, especially with projects where I've got work spread over several apps and have to get everything back to that. Or with web browser, it isn't able to return the restored windows back to assigned virtual desktops for organization, so I've got to track the windows with a tab(I just have the tab use an image of a number from google image search so that I can easily identify it's group in the overview/expo previews. Terminals are also an annoyance, though I think restoring their individual sessions/history is possible, I just haven't looked into that yet, VMs would resolve most of this though.

    Leave a comment:


  • ssokolow
    replied
    Originally posted by polarathene View Post
    Sounds like you should be running a bare server not a DE as the host system. That'll have no issues with uptime, and you can keep your services/appliances running via VMs no issue. The other use cases that need DE with GUI apps would be served well with a VM per client you have. If it's a driver issue, perhaps a virtual video driver like VMWares might be more stable for you, or you can more easily use whatever DE/OS suits you best on a per case basis.
    I also have a long-lived desktop. Partly for similar reasons, but partly because:
    1. I use my PC as my music player to fall asleep to, and my alarm clock
    2. I leave a *lot* of stuff open and organized so I can just sit down and get back to things in the morning
    3. My boot time is reasonably quick, but the pile of stuff I have to get running once I log in takes several minutes to start up.
    Aside from considering a session-killing crash unacceptable (I'd sooner try to run my entire desktop inside Xpra), I just hate the amount of work involved in getting everything laid out after a session restart. (I've been using KDE since 3.x. The session restore has always been such a flaky mess in combination with the applications that I use, such as gVim, that it's preferrable to just launch a fixed list of applications on startup.)

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