KDE on lenovo R61

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sun Mar 27 19:58:13 BST 2011

grzebia posted on Sun, 27 Mar 2011 11:34:22 +0200 as excerpted:

> Hi all!
> I am facing a problem with Qt, i guess, on Lenovo R61.
> What the problem?
> When I install KDE, it is almost not usable. When I run some app it is
> starting in short time, and it working fine. But after minimization it
> to tray/panel, and trying to maximize it, I have to wait for 2-3 sec
> until whole window is drawn on the screen. Sometimes it border appears
> at the end, sometimes whole window looks like it was cut from desktop or
> other window, and after 2-3 sec it is usable.
> My machine isn't monster of speed, so I tried:
> -disable desktop effects - no difference -change windows decorations -
> no difference -disable kwin, enable compiz instead - no difference
> What is strange: when I run some QT apps on gnome, I have the same
> problems and few more (wind is not refreshing, context menu isn't
> displayed properly)
> I have:
> 2,5 GB of RAM nVidia G84M [Quadro NVS 148M]
> Intel core 2 Duo 2,1 Ghz Fedora 14 KDE 4.5  kernel nVidia
> 173xx driver
> But I think that kernel driver isn't a case here, I have this problem
> since 2 years, but now I am really eager to resolve it.
> Gnome is working smoothly, i am using it every day. I wanted to try some
> other distro to check it is Fedora specific problem, but I have to many
> data on this computer to check this :(

First, the bad news.  My hardware isn't similar, nor my distribution 
(Gentoo), and if it /is/ related to the graphics driver, I'd be of even 
less help as I personally will not run servantware, including nVidia's 
closed drivers (not making a judgment on you, that's just where I draw the 
line, if I wanted proprietary, I could have easier stayed on MS back in 
2001 when I made the jump, as I dumped nearly a decade of experience on 
proprietary to switch to free, and am NOT interested in going back to 
proprietary even for things like graphics drivers or flash; I had enough 
of that, paid my price, and switched, NO WAY am I going back, even to the 
"small" compromise of running proprietary flash or drivers on Linux!).

Now, the good news, such as it is.  I do have some suggestions that might 
at least help point you toward a solution.

1) At first I thought it might be due to swapping, but with 2+ gig memory, 
that /shouldn't/ be an issue.  Still, if you've not covered this already, 
it's worth checking the drive light to see if it's active during those 
restore-from-minimizes.  Perhaps some component (qt?) is buggy and eating 
all available memory, forcing you into swap.

2) For the reasons listed above I won't touch nVidia graphics, and I 
didn't tracked specifics, but I do recall that certain graphics hardware/
drivers had issues with early kde 4.5 (thru 4.5.3 or so).  I'm not 
familiar enough with Fedora to know what microversion of 4.5 you have, and 
you didn't say, but if it's 4.5.3 or earlier, I'd suggest trying an update 
to 4.5.5, the last of the 4.5 series, or 4.6.1, current, as the issues 
were resolved for the most part, with the 4.5.4 update.

It /is/ worth noting that the kwin devs have come under some criticism for 
not properly testing or caring about /free/ drivers.  IIRC, they develop 
and first-test on nVidia hardware and the closed drivers, and I believe 
the problems mentioned above were primarily on the Intel open drivers, 
with some issues on AMD/ATI Radeons with the radeon driver.  Note that I 
have the latter and didn't have issues, but the issues did seem to be 
related to older kernel and drivers than I tend to run (I'm running 2.6.38 
now and will probably be trying early 2.6.39 before long, xorg, mesa, xf86-
video-ati, etc, are similarly either latest release or occasionally even 
live-git builds, when important updates are only to be found there), with 
full-current setups having less issues.  As such, the issues mentioned 
above don't necessarily apply to you on nVidia, but you never know for 
sure until you try the upgrade, especially if the hardware uses the legacy 
nVidia driver (I don't track nVidia hardware well enough to know).

3) Another option re: graphics would be to try the new nouveau reverse 
engineered nVidia hardware driver.  I read good things about it, phoronix 
says that for older nVidia graphics, it's benchmarking as good or in some 
cases better than the nVidia closed driver, now, but as I won't touch that 
hardware I can't personally say.  The caveat is that nouveau is still 
relatively new and developing at an intense pace, so 2.6.34 simply won't 
give you good results.  You'll need 2.6.38 and may need xorg-server-1.10 
and mesa-7.10 as well, with the correspondingly new xf86-video-nouveau, 
for best results.  But even if you don't want to try that, it's reasonably 
safe to say that it's getting close, and I'd recommend trying it with the 
next release (Fedora 15).

4) Qt:  Despite mentioning Qt specifically as your suspect, you didn't 
post your Qt version.  FWIW, I'm running 4.7.2, here, but suspect you're a 
bit behind that.  Whether upgrades there will help or not, I honestly 
don't know as I don't follow qt /that/ closely, but given that you didn't 
mention the version, there's a reasonable chance you hadn't considered 

Also, it wasn't clear from your post whether you'd tried any non-kde qt4 
apps or not.  Given that you suspect qt, it's probably worth doing so, 
just to nail down whether the problem is qt or kde.  The three I know 
about here are unfortunately special-purpose enough and dependency heavy 
enough that they don't make good test candidates, but FWIW, smplayer, 
bibletime, and qmpdclient.  But you can probably find something lighter to 
test with, with a bit of looking.

5) GOOD NEWS as far as testing other distributions, tho, and that's 
actually why I decided to reply in the first place.  Get a LiveCD or 
LiveDVD version, or some have thumbdrive versions if you don't have an 
optical drive available or simply prefer a USB thumbdrive.  These are 
specifically designed NOT to require installation to the hard drive, but 
rather to run from the removable drive itself, loading what they need into 
a RAMDISK for faster access in most cases.  As you've 2.5 gig of RAM, the 
RAMDISK should be fine, and these Live editions will allow you to test 
other distributions for the issue, without disturbing your existing data 
on the hard drive.

LiveEditions, customized for the purpose at hand, are an option the 
proprietary folks don't generally have.  It's nice to live in freedomware 
land, where the limits the proprietary folks have aren't such a problem.   
=:^) (OTOH, we have our own limits, what with patent encumbered 
technologies that are mostly an issue for freedomware, as proprietary can 
always pay royalties if they value it highly enough. =:^(

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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