DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
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Author Topic: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.  (Read 101 times)

Offline gregorylock

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DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« on: July 29, 2020, 10:06:01 AM »
Before I start this post, I want to make you all aware that I'm posting about this in several forums.  I'm doing this because I think there is more involved with this problem then just one piece of software.

The first post I made about this was made weeks ago on the MX Linux forums.
My Second Post is on the VLC Forums.
My Third Post is on XFCE Forums:
My Fourth Post is here:

I first noticed this problem when I was running MX Linux 19.1.  Then I noticed the same problem on Xubuntu 20.04 and then Linux Mint 20 XFCE.  Now for the story.

My favorite two Media Players is MPV and VLC. I use MPV for playing most videos. I use VLC when I need something with more advanced features. Due to the problem I've been having with VLC, I've had to use SMplayer instead. When I first ran into my problem, I got out the Dell Diagnostic Disc and tested the hardware. Then I ran Memtest86+ over night. It ran for about 7 hours and found no problems with my RAM. Since this is a test computer, It contains no hard drive. Instead I use a dock that is directly connected to SATA. I have multiple hard drives set up with multiple Linux OSes. Currently: MX Linux 19.2, Xubuntu 20.04, and Linux Mint 20 XFCE. I choose to only list the VLC version for MX Linux 19.2. If you want those other VLC versions I can check later. In MX Linux 19.2 I tested VLC running on XFCE and Fluxbox. I also tested the Apt version and the Flatpak version. Now I'm ready to tell you what happens.

On that Dell Computer: Vostro 400 with NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 210] vendor: eVga.com. driver: nvidia v: 340.108 and XFCE 4.14.2 (Compositor Enabled) When I'm watching a long 1080P MP4 video. Something that is over 40 minutes, the video in VLC will freeze up, but the sound will continue. The mouse will still move around, but I can't click on anything. Nothing on the keyboard effects anything on the Desktop. However I can press ctrl+alt+F1 and change to another tty. Then I login and reboot.

When I booted MX Linux 19.2 into Fluxbox and ran VLC with the same video, everything went ok. When I reported this to the Folks at MX Linux, it was suggested that I try turning the XFCE compositor off, and then try to run the same video. I tried that. Believe it or not, just simply turning off the XFCE compositor made VLC behave. I've also came across this same issue on Xubuntu 20.04 and Linux Mint 20 XFCE. Got any ideas why this is happening?

System Specs Generated By MX Linux 19.2:

VLC Version: 3.0.11 Vetinari

Code: [Select]
System:    Host: mx Kernel: 4.19.0-9-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 8.3.0
           parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.19.0-9-amd64
           root=UUID=8d67d93a-9639-4e58-b157-cdbbe9db3bf7 ro quiet splash
           Desktop: Xfce 4.14.2 tk: Gtk 3.24.5 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.26.0
           Distro: MX-19.2_x64 patito feo February 15  2020 base: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: Dell product: Vostro 400 v: N/A serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 3
           serial: <filter>
           Mobo: Dell model: 0GN723 v: ��� serial: <filter> BIOS: Dell v: 1.0.15 date: 06/23/2008
Battery:   Device-1: hidpp_battery_0 model: Logitech M215 serial: <filter>
           charge: 55% (should be ignored) rechargeable: yes status: Discharging
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core2 Duo E4600 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Core Merom
           family: 6 model-id: F (15) stepping: D (13) microcode: A4 L2 cache: 2048 KiB
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 bogomips: 9576
           Speed: 2254 MHz min/max: 1200/2400 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1197 2: 1197
           Vulnerabilities: Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: Vulnerable
           Type: l1tf mitigation: PTE Inversion
           Type: mds status: Vulnerable: Clear CPU buffers attempted, no microcode; SMT disabled
           Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
           Type: spec_store_bypass status: Vulnerable
           Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
           Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Full generic retpoline, STIBP: disabled, RSB filling
           Type: srbds status: Not affected
           Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 210] vendor: eVga.com. driver: nvidia v: 340.108
           bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 10de:0a65
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.4 driver: nvidia resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz
           OpenGL: renderer: GeForce 210/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.108 direct render: Yes
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 82801I HD Audio vendor: Dell driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
           bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:293e
           Device-2: NVIDIA High Definition Audio vendor: eVga.com. driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel
           bus ID: 01:00.1 chip ID: 10de:0be3
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.19.0-9-amd64
Network:   Device-1: Intel 82562V-2 10/100 Network vendor: Dell driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: ff00
           bus ID: 00:19.0 chip ID: 8086:10c0
           IF: eth1 state: down mac: <filter>
           Device-2: D-Link System DGE-528T Gigabit Ethernet Adapter driver: r8169 v: kernel
           port: de00 bus ID: 02:01.0 chip ID: 1186:4300
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 465.76 GiB used: 19.93 GiB (4.3%)
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD5000LPLX-08ZNTT0 size: 465.76 GiB
           block size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B speed: 3.0 Gb/s rotation: 7200 rpm
           serial: <filter> rev: 1A02 scheme: MBR
Partition: ID-1: / raw size: 463.73 GiB size: 455.45 GiB (98.21%) used: 19.93 GiB (4.4%) fs: ext4
           dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 2.00 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap swappiness: 10 (default 60)
           cache pressure: 100 (default) dev: /dev/sda2
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 46.0 C mobo: N/A gpu: nvidia temp: 47 C
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: nvidia fan: 40%
Repos:     No active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian-stable-updates.list
           1: deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster-updates main contrib non-free
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/debian.list
           1: deb http://deb.debian.org/debian buster main contrib non-free
           2: deb http://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main contrib non-free
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mx.list
           1: deb http://mirrors.rit.edu/mxlinux/mx-packages/mx/repo/ buster main non-free
           No active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/various.list
           Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/vivaldi.list
           1: deb http://repo.vivaldi.com/stable/deb/ stable main
Info:      Processes: 187 Uptime: 41m Memory: 3.85 GiB used: 633.0 MiB (16.0%) Init: SysVinit
           v: 2.93 runlevel: 5 default: 5 Compilers: gcc: 8.3.0 alt: 8 Shell: bash v: 5.0.3
           running in: quick-system-in inxi: 3.0.36

Offline Ironclaw

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 11:37:06 AM »
Hmm, I've not noticed this using the built-in compositing in Plasma.
If you must persist, I will be forced to tar you, then gzip you and finally umount you.

Offline CwF

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 02:12:27 PM »
Well I don't have the many distro experience I do have some video experience. My debian box is the TV, with multi channel display/record/timeshift abilities. In short, the issue is in the encode, and how the particular program error handles the stream. If you're curious try to determine if it is a consistent point in the video - if it is, look at it in an editor and clip out a small piece cleanly keyframe to keyframe - and try the video again.

 The audio and video are separate streams and are periodically synced. It's up to the program to error handle the loss of sync. Poorly done it can result in a error loop like you see. The compositor simply adds another layer to the issue, and is heavy. With my xfce compositor on, and married with x2x as an extra load, using mpv, I see the issue every so often - never halting the system though, just my mpv player.

 I do see many issues on a regular basis all stemming from the fact that my source is broadcast ota subject to weather. I see mpv give up trying to resyn after 10-20 barfed keyframes, even while live, and the audio continues, or sometimes the video continues and the audio drops. If this example is being recorded, or timeshift cached, I can restore the missing sync by editing the recording, or flipping back the cue bar if cached. I don't know why the video player gives up and stops trying, but suspect 'try forever' is just not worked out yet, leading to the error loop... Since recording is a separate process, the evidence it is the player error giving up is that the recording doesn't. Yes the player 'skips' and maybe halts, but the data is there.

When you do drop to an alternate tty terminal, just find and kill the vnc process. There is likely no reason to reboot.
 I'm not sure how you consider VLC more advanced than mpv? I think VLC is bloated.
Of course, hardware is always a factor.

Offline gregorylock

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 04:37:49 PM »
VLC has been giving me trouble with multiple mp4 videos.

VLC maybe bloated but that bloat can also be used as a time savior.  Every now and then I get a video with bad audio.  Sometimes the audio just comes through one channel because the video was poorly recorded.  On the fly, VLC allows me to fix this, by playing it in mono.  Also if something with the EQ is off, VLC has a really nice EQ.  Those are the reasons why I like VLC.  I experimented with SMplayer and it doesn't seem to do as good.  That is why I like to keep around VLC.  When I need something that is advanced, I use it.  When I need something lightweight, I use MPV.

Offline CwF

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 05:08:07 PM »
You may not realize mpv has those features. mpv is like xfce, in itself has nothing configured and few fancy gui's... mpv does support runtime re-encoding, 10 band EQ, audio remapping etc. The interface can be augmented using lua in mpv's config scripts. I used to prefer windows mpc and thought it was sad such an ancient thing was more capable until I realized mpv has nearly every feature built in to its backend. It simply isn't the frontend we expect, it's gui needs user built.

Offline gregorylock

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 05:26:02 PM »
I searched for lua in my mpv.conf file.  There isn't any.

Code: [Select]
# This file goes in ~/.config/mpv
#vo=opengl-hq
deband=no
geometry=50%:50%
alang=en
autofit-larger=40%x40%

#
# mpv configuration file
#
# Configuration files are read system-wide from /usr/local/etc/mpv.conf
# and per-user from ~/.config/mpv/mpv.conf, where per-user settings override
# system-wide settings, all of which are overridden by the command line.
#
# Configuration file settings and the command line options use the same
# underlying mechanisms. Most options can be put into the configuration file
# by dropping the preceding '--'. See the man page for a complete list of
# options.
#
# Lines starting with '#' are comments and are ignored.
#
# See the CONFIGURATION FILES section in the man page
# for a detailed description of the syntax.
#
# Profiles should be placed at the bottom of the configuration file to ensure
# that settings wanted as defaults are not restricted to specific profiles.
#
# Note that the commented example options usually do _not_ set the default
# values. Calling mpv with --list-options is a nice way to see the default
# values for most options.

##################
# video settings #
##################

# Specify default video driver (see --vo=help for a list).
#vo=vdpau

# Start in fullscreen mode by default.
#fs=yes

# force starting with centered window
#geometry=50%:50%

# don't allow a new window to have a size larger than 90% of the screen size
#autofit-larger=90%x90%

# Disable the On Screen Controller (OSC).
#osc=no

# Keep the player window on top of all other windows.
#ontop=yes

##################
# audio settings #
##################

# Specify default audio driver (see --ao=help for a list).
#ao=alsa

# Disable softvol usage, and always use the system mixer if available.
#softvol=no

# Scale audio tempo by playback speed without altering pitch. (By default does
# nothing if playback speed is not changed. May introduce artifacts.)
#af=scaletempo

# Output 5.1 audio natively, and upmix/downmix audio with a different format.
#audio-channels=5.1
# Disable any automatic remix, _if_ the audio output accepts the audio format.
# of the currently played file. See caveats mentioned in the manpage.
# (This is the default.)
#audio-channels=auto

##################
# other settings #
##################

# Pretend to be a web browser. Might fix playback with some streaming sites,
# but also will break with shoutcast streams.
#user-agent="Mozilla/5.0"

# cache settings
#
# Use 8MB input cache by default. The cache is enabled for network streams only.
#cache-default=8192
#
# Use 8MB input cache for everything, even local files.
#cache=8192
#
# If a seek is issued, and the target is 1024KB past the cached range, then
# keep reading until the seek target is hit, instead of doing a real seek.
#cache-seek-min=1024
#
# Disable the behavior that the player will pause if the cache goes below a
# certain fill size.
#cache-pause=no
#
# Read ahead about 5 seconds of audio and video packets.
#demuxer-readahead-secs=5.0

# Display English subtitles if available.
#slang=en

# Play Finnish audio if available, fall back to English otherwise.
#alang=fi,en

# Change subtitle encoding. For Arabic subtitles use 'cp1256'.
# If the file seems to be valid UTF-8, prefer UTF-8.
#sub-codepage=utf8:cp1256

# Enable hardware decoding if available. Often, this requires using an certain
# video output, otherwise no hardware decoding will be used.
#hwdec=auto

############
# Profiles #
############

# The options declared as part of profiles override global default settings,
# but only take effect when the profile is active.

# The following profile can be enabled on the command line with: --profile=vdpau

#[vdpau]
# The profile forces the vdpau VO.
#vo=vdpau
# Use hardware decoding (this might break playback of some h264 files)
#hwdec=vdpau
# Most video filters do not work with hardware decoding.
#vf-clr=yes


# You can also include other configuration files.
#include=/path/to/the/file/you/want/to/include

Offline CwF

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 05:47:37 PM »
Give me a minute, I'll look it up

Offline CwF

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 05:52:15 PM »
 Create '~/.config/mpv/scripts/' and in that directory you place scripts of your creation to extend mpv functionality...
I use a 'stats.lua' script  that is 25kB, so a little more than tweaking the config file.
look at this example
https://gist.github.com/avih/41acff712abd32e1f436235388c8b523


opps, I'll correct my path, and lua is the script language if I didn't say...

Offline gregorylock

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 06:09:58 PM »
Create '~/.config/mpv/scripts/' and in that directory you place scripts of your creation to extend mpv functionality...
I use a 'stats.lua' script  that is 25kB, so a little more than tweaking the config file.
look at this example
https://gist.github.com/avih/41acff712abd32e1f436235388c8b523


opps, I'll correct my path, and lua is the script language if I didn't say...

I will need to try that tomorrow.

I tried running a video on VLC.  It's an hour and 38 minutes.  Last night the video froze up at an hour and 30 minutes.  Last night I ran the video on Linux Mint 20 XFCE.  Today I ran the video on MX Linux 19.2.  This time it didn't freeze up.

Offline gregorylock

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Re: DELL, XFCE, VLC Renders Desktop Useless.
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2020, 07:53:54 AM »
I'm still interested in doing this.  But I ran into other issues.  The problems I was having with the Dell computer and MX Linux got so bad, that I ended up going into experimental mode and wiping and re installing, and wiping, and hard checks the list goes on.  In a nutshell, it was taking up two whole days, just trying to figure things out.  Also my main machine the case is falling apart.  That meant I was spending lots of time searching for a new case.  The battery on my laptop went bad, that meant I had to get help on that too.  Just way too much junk got on my plate all at once.