Unstable desktop in 20.02?

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cm
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Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by cm »

I've been using GhostBSD as a VMware guest for the past year and have really enjoyed the work the developers are putting into this making a true FreeBSD-based desktop environment.

This past week, I bit the bullet and did a bare-metal install of GhostBSD 20.02 on an older server (Xeon E5/32GB RAM/120GB SSD). The first issue was getting my video card (Gforce 210) to run, since it was not supported by the default Nvidia drivers provided by the installer. I got past that hurdle and now I'm at the second, which is the focus of this support issue.

The desktop UI seems to be "unstable" on bare metal compared to the VMware experience I've been used to. For example:
  • Opening an application window, i.e. a Terminal window, prevents the mouse from interacting with the menu bar at the top of the desktop. I can open a new application (% virtualbox &) from within the terminal but the mouse will not interact with the new application. I have to use Alt-Tab to bring the terminal window back to top where I can use the commandline to kill the application, then exit out of the Terminal window (via Ctrl-D) before the mouse will interact with the menu bar again.
  • When interacting with the Control Center, I can open one "applet" i.e. Print Settings, but I cannot interact with that applet. Mouse clicks are transferred to the Control Center window below and additional applets are opened up. This is a problem when trying to "Close" a window and the Close button is above another applet so additional windows are opened rather than closed.
  • The (Yellow, Green, Red) window buttons at the top-right of the window do not register or respond to any clicks. I cannot click-and-drag the title bar with the mouse to move the windows around the screen. This combined with the above issue of mouse clicks transferring to the window below result in many windows being opened but no way to close them without using the command line or a reboot.
My desired outcome is to interact with windows and applications in a multi-tasking way, to not have applets appear "invisible to mouse clicks, and use the desktop as it was intended to be used. I'm not a total CLI newb, but desktop environments are not my strength. If there are some settings I need to change or logs that would help identify the cause of these issues or troubleshooting steps I can take, I'm open for suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

aschiebe
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Re: Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by aschiebe »

which nvidia driver do you have installed now? enter in a terminal this command:
pkg info | grep nvidia
have you looked to the nvidia site and searched which driver supports your card?
https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us
maybe this helps to verify that you have installed the right nvidia driver version for your card.

cm
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Re: Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by cm »

Thanks for the info, aschiebe! Do you think the issues I'm having with the desktop environment is a video card driver problem? That would be interesting -- I'd love some pointers on how to troubleshoot that further.

Searching Nvidia's site from the link you provided, they recommend the 340.108 version for the GeForce 200 series.

Here's the installed nvidia driver:

Code: Select all

% pkg info | grep nvidia
nvidia-driver-340-340.108      NVidia graphics card binary drivers for hardware OpenGL rendering
nvidia-xconfig-440.64          Tool to manipulate X configuration files for the NVidia driver
% 
Here's the card info from dmesg, note the nvidia0 device line (third from the bottom):

Code: Select all

% dmesg |grep -i nvidia
hdac0: <NVIDIA (0x0be3) HDA Controller> mem 0xd9ffc000-0xd9ffffff irq 52 at device 0.1 numa-domain 0 on pci3
hdacc0: <NVIDIA GT21x HDA CODEC> at cad 0 on hdac0
<NVIDIA GT21x Audio Function Group> at nid 1 on hdacc0
<NVIDIA GT21x (HDMI/DP 8ch)> at nid 5 on hdaa0
<NVIDIA GT21x HDA CODEC> at cad 1 on hdac0
<NVIDIA GT21x Audio Function Group> at nid 1 on hdacc1
pcm1: mfi0: <NVIDIA GT21x (HDMI/DP 8ch)> at nid 5 on hdaa1
hdacc2: mfi0: <NVIDIA GT21x HDA CODEC>19085 (638919984s/0x0020/info) - Host driver is loaded and operational
hdaa2: <NVIDIA GT21x Audio Function Group> at nid 1 on hdacc2
pcm2: <NVIDIA GT21x (HDMI/DP 8ch)> at nid 5 on hdaa2
hdacc3: <NVIDIA GT21x HDA CODEC> at cad 3 on hdac0
hdaa3: <NVIDIA GT21x Audio Function Group> at nid 1 on hdacc3
pcm3: <NVIDIA GT21x (HDMI/DP 8ch)> at nid 5 on hdaa3
nvidia0: <GeForce 210> numa-domain 0 on vgapci0
vgapci0: child nvidia0 requested pci_enable_io
vgapci0: child nvidia0 requested pci_enable_io
%
How can I connect the issues I reported with the desktop manager windows with the video card driver?

aschiebe
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Re: Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by aschiebe »

its was an idea with the video card, on my old desktop pc I have an Geoforce GTS 250 build in and I'm using the same 340xx driver version and all is fine, in fact I have now FuryBSD running, but before it has TrueOS and both were fine.
One last question about the video driver, have you followed all instructions which were posted here:
https://wiki.ghostbsd.org/index.php/Nvi ... stallation
drivers are installed as you posted, but have you done the other steps in rc.conf and loader.conf and run the nvidia-xconfig?
I'm just asking to make sure that you have done all steps to use the nvidia drivers.

cm
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Re: Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by cm »

Yes, I'm sure I installed the driver correctly: the screen is running very nicely at the recommended resolution (1920x1080). Like you, I was running PC-BSD on the same hardware before with no issues on an older Nvidia driver.

I'm 95% confident my issue is not the video driver because the windows are displayed perfectly fine, it is the interaction between the mouse clicks and the desktop environment that I am trying to address. The mouse is a USB gaming mouse, but I swapped it out for an older USB mouse with no change in the described behavior.

However, if there is link between the desktop environment and the video driver that would cause the behavior I described (mouse clicks being registered on the lower window; inability to interact with the menu bar when there is an application window open, etc.) I'd love to know how to identify and troubleshoot that issue.

cm
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Re: Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by cm »

To trouble shoot this issue further, I rolled back the driver to nvidia-304.137 and rebooted. The system booted normally and the system appeared to be in function order (recommended resolution and color depth). However the reported issues persisted -- so it was not just a driver issue, unless it affected multiple nvidia drivers.

I then installed the xfce-4.14 metapackage to see if the reported issues persisted under a different desktop environment. disabled the lightdm rc-script (`% sudo rc-update del lightdm`), copied the script to use for xfce (`% cd /usr/local/etc/init.d; cp lightdm xfdesktop`), replaced lightdm with xfdesktop and added it to the init tree (`% sudo rc-update --update; sudo rc-update add xfdesktop`) and rebooted. I have no idea if this is the correct or recommended process or method for transitioning MATE into XFCE; but it appears to have worked. I was able to reboot the system into XCFE and login. However, the reported issues persisted.

My next step will be to try a bare-metal install of an older version of GhostBSD, perhaps the version I've been using in VMware, to determine if the issue is with the hardware(?).

aschiebe
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Re: Unstable desktop in 20.02?

Post by aschiebe »

before you go start with the reinstallation, what about testing with a live image like FuryBSd or Noamd, just to verify if you have the same behaviour there? With this I'm out of tips for you.

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