Weblog entry #197 for ajt

Not having much luck
Posted by ajt on Sun 14 Aug 2011 at 14:42
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I'm not happing much luck with my Wheezy desktop system at the moment. Ever since Sarge I've run Debian testing on my desktop with a constant upgrade. My home server and other family systems all run the current Debian stable. I know that testing isn't perfectly stable and things break - the point is the point of testing, to test things in case they break so that they are fixed when the next stable is created.

At the moment lots is broken and has been for more than just a few days. I submit bug reports but as is often the case I get no response or if I do they aren't helpful. I'm not complaining, I accept that testing isn't production quality and it does break from time to time but it seems more broken than usual at the moment.

AMD/ATI fglrx driver is unusable at the moment. X/KDE4 is horrendously slow to the point of being unusable as a desktop system. The open-source radeon driver is perfectly usable - though not as fast the closed-source fglrx is when it's working well.

Mid-week I installed Linux 3.0.0 as my kernel. Suffice to say it just panics when X starts or when KDE4 login is in process. Doesn't matter which graphics driver I use and the timing isn't consistent but if I don't boot into X, it's okay if it stays in text mode. If you manually start X after being on the console then it's okay too - but that's hardly a sensible way of doing things.

Google Chrome has been pretty dire of late, exceptionally slow on sites like twitter or Google's own Plus. Today (version 15.0.849.0-r96325) it just seg faults as soon as you try to start it. As a result I'm now running Iceweasel 5.0.1 which is actually a pretty good browser, the 3.x branch had got horribly slow in comparison to Chrome.

At least the jam making has been going well!

 

Comments on this Entry

Posted by Anonymous (108.50.xx.xx) on Wed 17 Aug 2011 at 02:00
Pardon me for asking,
But have you or others any experience with FireFox or Iceweasel using NoScript?
Since I upgraded to Squeeze, using any version from v2 to v5 of the browser, the audible "block.wav" is played so fast that it is not heard. If however I open an alsaplayer session (not playing anything) the blocked script alert is heard just fine.
All previous Debian versions work ok. I only use Alsa sound, no Pulse, etc.
NoScript's creator Giorgio Maone says NoScript uses play() method of the nsISound interface. Also noted that all other browser audio plays just fine.
Sorry for any trouble or distractions, thanks in advance.

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Posted by ajt (204.193.xx.xx) on Wed 17 Aug 2011 at 08:28
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Yes, I always use NoScript on Windows and Debian, however I've never had audio turned on, so I can't comment on any changes.

--
"It's Not Magic, It's Work"
Adam

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Posted by Anonymous (173.77.xx.xx) on Sat 20 Aug 2011 at 16:55
Suggestion Re: KDE4 slowness

I've been running KDE4 ever since KDE 4.2; what I've found is that the biggest hit in terms of its speed are the "Desktop Search" functions, and things are a LOT better after I turn those off. In KDE4 "System Settings" these settings are under "Workspace Appearance and Behavior" -> "Desktop Search". I recommend turning off both Strigi Desktop File Indexer, then Nepomuk Semantic Desktop.

These are functions I personally never use anyway, and so it really doesn't make sense to try to index every file on my system. This is especially true since I have a lot of source code that I work with which contain small text files. Even after turning these features off, you'll likely have to search for the database that was created. In my case this was a MySQL database which was over 2 GB in size. That's a lot of space and CPU time wasted there.

And unfortunately the impact of Strigi and Nepomuk on KDE4 performance is something that is undocumented. I've discussed this with KDE4 developers, but I wasn't thrilled with the results. The performance impact of these features remains undocumented.



Sorry you're having a rough time with Wheezy. I sympathize; I used to run Testing for both Desktop and server use, and I ran into similar issues on both. These days I tend to stick to Stable for servers and for Desktop non-power-users, and Unstable for my own Desktops. The stability of Wheezy/Testing was discussed some during DebConf11 and there were mixed opinions on it; there were some Desktop users who also found isn't stable enough.

-- Chris

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Posted by ajt (109.170.xx.xx) on Sun 4 Sep 2011 at 11:41
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I'd have to say that Wheezy is next to unusable at the moment and that's with all the desktop search turned off! It's such a pity, testing has been pretty usable as as desktop system since Sarge but it's clear that this isn't the case with Wheezy. The 3.0 kernel doesn't boot, the ATI drivers can't be used at the moment and KDE4 is virtually unusable at the moment. I may have to go back to using stable on the desktop on this system - which will be an interesting exercise.

I'm not bitter and I'm not blaming anyone... it's just a pain in the arse that's all...

--
"It's Not Magic, It's Work"
Adam

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Posted by simonw (78.33.xx.xx) on Tue 23 Aug 2011 at 11:07
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Forgot I had Chrome Unstable at home, the latest release has a bug that prevents the "X" for close tab working. Google have a lot of duplicate bug reports on that one ;)

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