Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
Welcome, Guest.
“Theory and practice sometimes clash. And when that happens, theory loses. Every single time.” ― Linus Torvalds

Author Topic: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros  (Read 303 times)

Offline gregorylock

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 842
Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« on: March 28, 2020, 12:57:01 PM »
I haven't written anything in Cupoflinux for what feels like a "long time".  I'm still running Linux Mint 18.3 XFCE  and Xubuntu 18.04.4.  I got to say for the most part these distros and versions work good for me.  Otherwise I'd be jumping to another. Sadly Linux Mint 18.3 will need to be replaced.  Next Xubuntu 18.04 will also need to be replaced.  That is just the way things go with these LTS Ubuntu Based Systems.  That is why I've been looking into PCLinux. The idea that it roles but not aggressively.  Perhaps not even as aggressive as Manjaro, is appealing to me.  I love the idea of something that roles slowly, but still roles.  That should mean that I keep the stability I love and not haft to replace my OS.

The PCLinux Mate, comes with some bugs that the user needs to iron out.  Right now I'm faced with 4.  After installing my printer drivers, everything seems to be working, however the installer reported that there is something missing.  I did a little searching around and found that this also happened to some other people.  I don't know how important the missing package is, but I saw that one person found it somewhere and put it on his system.  I guess it's got to be the exact version that the Brother drivers wants.  Anyways that is as far as I've gotten with that.  As is my printer does seem to print ok, and it even scans ok.  So I don't know what I'm missing.  Of course it can also do other things like fax, wireless, and networking which I don't do.  So it might not be anything that I need to get working.

Bug Number 2.  I could not install my nvidia driver.  I had to go to the forums and ask about this.  There was something in the repos that I had to change so that it could install. Once it installed it caused another bug.

Bug Number 3.  The text on the long in screen is too tiny to see.  When I type my username I can not see it.  If I get an error message, you can't read them either.  All of this was caused by simply installing the nvidia driver!  I also had to ask about this in the forums.  One person pointed me to another thread.  There they discussed this problem.  I printed the whole thing, but from what I read sounds like it's trial and error to get this problem solved.  I have not felt like attempting it yet.

Bug Number 4.  I'm not trying to list these bugs in the order of importance.  It was hard for me to decide which one I should attack first.  This is the one I decided to attack first, and I thought I had it fixed.  Then it came back!  Currently I'm trying another fix for it.  This is the stupid screen tearing problem that seems to plague just about every Linux Distro I've ever tried.  I use my computers to watch a lot of youtube videos so it's important that I get this one fixed.  I first tried adding this line: nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceFullCompositionPipeline = On }" to my session and start up.  At first it seemed to fix the problem.  But after the computer was left on for an hour or so the screen tearing mysteriously returned.  I tried rebooting, and that fixed it.  But it repeated the problem several times.  I don't know what triggered the change.  Currently I'm trying the suggestion in these instructions, just to see if it does a better job or not.  If I can not completely fix the screen tearing in PCLinux Mate, the Mate version will be replaced with something else.  Screen tearing is a deal breaker.

I decided that I won't be trying compiz or kwin on PClinuxOS.  I feel that those are too complicated to learn when I'm trying to deal with all the other stuff.

Offline Crimson

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 571
  • Defeating a sandwich only makes it tastier.
    • «FC» FunHouse Clan
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2020, 12:30:13 PM »
I might be able to help you with the NVidia problem, although it probably isn't the answer you want to hear. I had the exact same issue with my GTX 970, along with various other issues relating to the GPU and Linux, and the only answer was to jump ship and go to team red. AMD drivers are baked into Linux and the quality shows. I'm able to play all my games at max settings with no screen tearing and no loss in FPS without proprietary drivers.

I know now may not be the greatest time to buy a new card considering COVID-19, but if you can, I'd consider it The card I got is XFX's RX 5700 XT, and it was worth every penny! Just be forewarned that beast of a card is power hungry. They ask for a PSU that's at least 600W and it requires two 8 pin connectors.
Custom PC Intel® Core™ i7-4790K Radeon™ RX 5700 XT 16GB DDR3 256GB M.2 NVMe 5.5TB Storage

Offline gregorylock

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 842
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2020, 07:14:07 PM »
I might be able to help you with the NVidia problem, although it probably isn't the answer you want to hear. I had the exact same issue with my GTX 970, along with various other issues relating to the GPU and Linux, and the only answer was to jump ship and go to team red. AMD drivers are baked into Linux and the quality shows. I'm able to play all my games at max settings with no screen tearing and no loss in FPS without proprietary drivers.

I know now may not be the greatest time to buy a new card considering COVID-19, but if you can, I'd consider it The card I got is XFX's RX 5700 XT, and it was worth every penny! Just be forewarned that beast of a card is power hungry. They ask for a PSU that's at least 600W and it requires two 8 pin connectors.

That is too pricey for me.  I think I got the screen tearing to stop on PCLinuxOS Mate.  It takes time to see.

GeForce GTX 750 Ti I have some strange Screen Tearing on my Linux Mint 18.3 XFCE Install.  I have diagonal screen tearing.  Then if I switch to another tty and then switch back to tty7 the diagonal screen tearing goes away.  When I scroll up and down I sometimes the screen does strange things too.  I can live with it because I'm not playing games.  Still it makes me scratch my head.

Offline Crimson

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 571
  • Defeating a sandwich only makes it tastier.
    • «FC» FunHouse Clan
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2020, 11:29:15 PM »
NVidia dude, Linux support simply sucks. You don't have to get THAT card, I'm sure you can find something that performs as well, if not better than, the 750 Ti at a more reasonable price that openly supports Linux.

Checking passmark's gpu benchmarks, the Rx 560 is very similar in performance to the 750 Ti. It's $100, but I can vouch for XFX as they make excellent quality Radeon cards, similar in quality to EVGA for NVidia cards...

https://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-1295MHz-Graphics-RX-560P4SFG5/dp/B072VH8NR5/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=rx+560&qid=1585710867&sr=8-5

If replacing the card isn't an option, and I get it because times are pretty crappy at the moment, the only other option is removing the 750 Ti (using onboard graphics) or something software related (which I never could find and/or satisfy because NVidia can't seem to focus on the penguin).

Good luck in your search!
Custom PC Intel® Core™ i7-4790K Radeon™ RX 5700 XT 16GB DDR3 256GB M.2 NVMe 5.5TB Storage

Offline CwF

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 421
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2020, 11:43:59 AM »
 I also use a 750 Ti, a 4 GB model, and I've said here and there how it works ok. A factor missing here is CPU power. Since passmark has been mentioned, I'd say the CPU passmark of 1800+ SINGLE THREAD is required for a 750 Ti to perform well under nouveau.

 Large field tearing like mentioned is often a heat issue, I'd say memory chips specifically. I'd seen that a few times on nvidia/nouveau. Full screen it's likely heat. If within a window, like a mpv watching a video I have seen strange 'tearing' and large triangles of whatever when the machine is otherwise under heavy stress. Scrolling a web page on one monitor (of 2-4) can affect a HD video window on another monitor with a few minor skips. If the video is full screen it's not affected. Having ran it in various configs over the last 3 years it's obviously the CPU that decides, not the gpu.

 One of the things I've looked at in detail is cpu clock, long story. Within that long story is a few direct side by side compares, some very disappointing. I also have a beast with 2-3 AMD Sky 500's and it actually proves the goodness of nouveau's ability to shove rendering through the CPU's. The revealing scenario is to render a video in a virtual machine with limited or NO GPU acceleration. The 750 Ti spanks the AMD's in that case, bad. Totally unexpected. It comes down to CPU and not the cards, it took a second for me to figure out it was the 750 Ti's supporting 3.9 GHz CPU's doing the job. The AMD's have as many 2.0 cores as it wants, and it doesn't matter, it sucks. Render the video direct with hardware rendering and the case changes; the 750 Ti still does fine and still spools up the cpu's to medium clock. The AMD's now perform perfectly and allow the cpu's to idle below 1.6.

 The rest of the disappointment is the AMD machine still goes blank every so often and I haven't figured it out. I have reduced it to a simple test, Extreme Tux Racer will lock during the 'Long Ride', and it seems to be the AMD driver itself. This is duplicated on 3 varieties of amd gpu's on 3 motherboards. The blank screen/not locked episode has occurred twice only in one config, no idea.

So my vague point might be the nouveau might be more mature and stable. Whenever my AMD examples work, they're much better, but they are more fussy. My 'not at all vague' point is that nouveau needs lots of CPU.

Anyway, specifics matter. The gaming people have long pointed out the difference between cpu and gpu bound setups. The case for linux is a little different since I've shown again and again in my own testing how that thinking doesn't follow. Since gpu acceleration is not a universal in the linux world, we are NEVER gpu bound. We are driver implementation bound! With that situation there is something windows doesn't experience often, that is the quality of software acceleration.

 Since I deal mostly with indirect rendering in vm's I will say for sure it's not the 750 Ti that sucks, but the cpu. A 750 Ti will drive 4 HD streams on 4 monitors with sufficient CPU. I know this for sure. I don't know where an Ubuntu 18.04 might be in the evolution (1.0.13?), but likely behind current debian. Recently the nouveau driver can require and use firmware for better performance. I *think* version 1.0.16 benefits from firmware (gp107) now in firmware-misc-nonfree (debian speak). That was not in 18.04 AFAIK.

For me, amdgpu is promising but still doesn't pass muster to be the host (primary) gpu. As a vfio gpu they're great. MX-gpu might someday work. Unless I pass it to a windows vm, windows drivers are a tad strict and in that realm I still use a quadro. Overall, a few months after my first mention, my triple AMD super box failed testing.

 So don't discount overheating. Don't discount you might have somewhat weak cpu's. Don't discount that the drivers in both cases need to be better and are still evolving.

Offline gregorylock

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 842
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2020, 11:47:26 AM »
NVidia dude, Linux support simply sucks. You don't have to get THAT card, I'm sure you can find something that performs as well, if not better than, the 750 Ti at a more reasonable price that openly supports Linux.

Checking passmark's gpu benchmarks, the Rx 560 is very similar in performance to the 750 Ti. It's $100, but I can vouch for XFX as they make excellent quality Radeon cards, similar in quality to EVGA for NVidia cards...

https://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-1295MHz-Graphics-RX-560P4SFG5/dp/B072VH8NR5/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=rx+560&qid=1585710867&sr=8-5

If replacing the card isn't an option, and I get it because times are pretty crappy at the moment, the only other option is removing the 750 Ti (using onboard graphics) or something software related (which I never could find and/or satisfy because NVidia can't seem to focus on the penguin).

Good luck in your search!

I won't be switching back to onboard graphics.  The point of the Nvidia cards is because the onboard was worse.


If we are going to talk about graphic problems.  I'm currently having a little trouble with 3 computers.  Really it's too many things for me to fix.  The best I can do is just put bandaids on things.

This is the test machine.  I'm testing out PCLinuxOS Mate on it.  When I wrote the original post this is the computer I was trying to get working.  So far the fix I found for the Nvidia card seems to be working.  I don't know why using the config file is working and doing the same thing on start up wasn't stable.  Of course things are subject to change.
Code: [Select]
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: Dell product: Vostro 400 v: N/A serial: <filter>
           Mobo: Dell model: 0GN723 v: ��� serial: <filter> BIOS: Dell v: 1.0.15 date: 06/23/2008
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core2 Duo E4600 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Core Merom rev: D
           L2 cache: 2048 KiB
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 bogomips: 9575
           Speed: 1221 MHz min/max: 1200/2400 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1197 2: 1197
Graphics:  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 210] vendor: eVga.com. driver: nvidia v: 340.108
           bus ID: 01:00.0
           Display: server: X.Org 1.20.7 driver: nvidia,v4l resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz
           OpenGL: renderer: GeForce 210/PCIe/SSE2 v: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.108 direct render: Yes

This the computer that is running Linux Mint 18.3 Xfce.  It's the one that sometimes has diagonal screen tearing.  I've been suspecting that RedShift might be the cause of it.  All I got to do is switch to a different tty and then back to tty7 and everything clears up.  The stability of scrolling from top to bottom has been a strange thing.  I've seen this on other computers not running Nvidia, but running Intel graphics.  It has kind of a ripple effect.  Currently it's not doing it.  It's one of those things that comes and goes.  I think it's a bug in linux desktops.  Because I've experienced it with Xfce, Mate, and Gnome 3. It's nearly impossible to figure out something that comes and goes.

Another thing I find interesting.  When I was testing Linux Mint 19 Xfce, I noticed that the screen tearing doesn't seem to be an issue.  However I can't say that for Xubuntu 18.04.  That's a head scratcher.  You would think they would both be using the same desktop versions.

Code: [Select]
Machine:   Mobo: ASUSTeK model: Z170M-PLUS v: Rev X.0x Bios: American Megatrends v: 3805 date: 05/16/2018
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i5-6600K (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 28032
           clock speeds: max: 4200 MHz 1: 807 MHz 2: 800 MHz 3: 800 MHz 4: 801 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GM107 [GeForce GTX 750 Ti] bus-ID: 03:00.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: nvidia (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: GeForce GTX 750 Ti/PCIe/SSE2
           GLX Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 384.130 Direct Rendering: Yes

On this old computer I've been running Xubuntu 18.04 with compton to deal with the screen tearing.  It has onboard intel graphics.  I discovered in testing, that I can not use compton on Xubuntu 19.10, or 20.04.  If you try to run compton it gives you a nice error message.  Anyways I think I need to pull the motherboard out and try resoldering the VGA connector.  The monitor has a slight flicker that you only can see when you have dark or dark gray background.  Wiggling the VGA connector makes the flickering stop.  :(

Code: [Select]
Machine:   Device: desktop System: MapleTronics product: DG965OT v: VIIV serial: N/A
           Mobo: Intel model: DG965OT v: AAD63733-205 serial: N/A
           BIOS: Intel v: MQ96510J.86A.1754.2008.1117.0002 date: 11/17/2008
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core2 6400 (-MCP-) arch: Conroe rev.2 cache: 2048 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 8524
           clock speeds: max: 2128 MHz 1: 2017 MHz 2: 2003 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 82G965 Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 ) drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1280x1024@60.02hz

Offline CwF

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 421
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2020, 12:11:32 PM »
So the 750 Ti has a 6600K. That's certainly enough. 
I think maybe you're seeing a difference in the xorg driver between 18x and 19x.

Offline gregorylock

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 842
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2020, 12:19:47 PM »
So the 750 Ti has a 6600K. That's certainly enough.
I think maybe you're seeing a difference in the xorg driver between 18x and 19x.

I have no idea.  I would need to do some fresh installs to check.  I guess I could install Linux Mint Xfce 19.3 into a virtual machine and then compare it to Xubuntu 18.04.  Or I could try installing Linux Mint Xfce 19.3 onto usb stick and then compare it what I already have installed on my extra SSD (Xubuntu 18.04).

Offline Crimson

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 571
  • Defeating a sandwich only makes it tastier.
    • «FC» FunHouse Clan
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2020, 12:50:37 PM »
That's why I'm saying NVidia Linux support sucks. You shouldn't have to dig into config files and modify them, nor should you have to get a more powerful CPU. Think of how much time you've spent researching and troubleshooting. I, for one, reached a breaking point and got fed up with trying to get the performance I wanted, (we're talking years here), and I TRIED. If the software support was there, out in the open, then an NVidia card should be just as plug and playable as an AMD card without scrounging all over the internet for help.

When I got my 5700 XT, I literally did a fresh copy of Ubuntu and out of the box, with NO configuring OR drivers, the card performed admirably, and still does. All my games function as they should, even Windows games at max settings! There's also the essential lack of screen tearing from every program I run, including VMs as well as Firefox.

What I'm NOT saying is that NVidia cards suck, that's far from the truth. If I didn't have to search high and low while working my brain down to its last cell, I'd have stuck with my 970 providing the Linux support was there. Plus it made more sense for me to upgrade anyway as my 970 was starting to show its age while any newer titles I'll want to play would suffer from lower quality settings.


CwF certainly has some good points, though. If you've got the time and determination, I'm sure you can get your 750 Ti working smoothly. At that point I'd start feeling like a developer than a user, lol. The quick and easy method, like in my case, would be to just replace the card.
Custom PC Intel® Core™ i7-4790K Radeon™ RX 5700 XT 16GB DDR3 256GB M.2 NVMe 5.5TB Storage

Offline gregorylock

  • Contributor
  • *******
  • Posts: 842
Re: Report on what I'm Up to with My Distros
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2020, 04:11:10 PM »
That's why I'm saying NVidia Linux support sucks. You shouldn't have to dig into config files and modify them, nor should you have to get a more powerful CPU. Think of how much time you've spent researching and troubleshooting. I, for one, reached a breaking point and got fed up with trying to get the performance I wanted, (we're talking years here), and I TRIED. If the software support was there, out in the open, then an NVidia card should be just as plug and playable as an AMD card without scrounging all over the internet for help.

When I got my 5700 XT, I literally did a fresh copy of Ubuntu and out of the box, with NO configuring OR drivers, the card performed admirably, and still does. All my games function as they should, even Windows games at max settings! There's also the essential lack of screen tearing from every program I run, including VMs as well as Firefox.

What I'm NOT saying is that NVidia cards suck, that's far from the truth. If I didn't have to search high and low while working my brain down to its last cell, I'd have stuck with my 970 providing the Linux support was there. Plus it made more sense for me to upgrade anyway as my 970 was starting to show its age while any newer titles I'll want to play would suffer from lower quality settings.


CwF certainly has some good points, though. If you've got the time and determination, I'm sure you can get your 750 Ti working smoothly. At that point I'd start feeling like a developer than a user, lol. The quick and easy method, like in my case, would be to just replace the card.

I'm getting to the end of Linux Mint 18.3 XFCE's life, I think it ends in 2021.  It works better now then it did when I first started with it.

I never found that using

nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceFullCompositionPipeline = On }"

was a big deal adding it into the configuration.  I never understood why I couldn't just open up the nvidia settings and put a check mark in it and save it.

The nvidia settings does give you a lot of options.  That is why I printed the entire manual.  I've been reading it little by little.  They keep talking about kernel 2. something.  That seems really out of date to me.  Who is still using Kernel version 2 something?