Stretch MATE very slow

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Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 08:08

Hi,

I have just installed Debian 9 Stretch, MATE 1.18 desktop, on my legacy PC, 1000Mhz Athlon PC.
I still keep earlier version of Debian 8 with MATE 1.8 in a separate partion.

Comparing both installs in performance, I notice Debian 8 MATE 1.8 is reasonably responsive on my old PC, however I notice a big slow down in desktop responsivness of Debian 9 MATE 1.18.

Also Debian Stretch seems to have unreasonably high DPI svg desktop themes compared to erlier versions for legacy systems. Fonts and desktop icons are rendered twice as big to the earlier version at the same font dot size. Dragging a window acrross desktop takes a very long time, while traling unrefreshed black rectangles.

Can anyone help with settings of `Stretch' MATE to get on the same performance as before?
Many thanks.

Tomas
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-24 08:39

Please post the full output of
Code: Select all
lspci -knn | grep -A2 '\''[030[02]\]'
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 08:57

Debian 9 aka Stretch
Code: Select all
$ lspci -knn | grep -A2 '\''[030[02]\]'
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Trident Microsystems CyberBlade/i1 [1023:8500]
   Subsystem: Trident Microsystems CyberBlade/i1 [1023:8500]
   Kernel modules: tridentfb


Debian 8 aka Jessie
Code: Select all
$  lspci -knn | grep -A2 '\''[030[02]\]'
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Trident Microsystems CyberBlade/i1 [1023:8500]
   Subsystem: Trident Microsystems CyberBlade/i1 [1023:8500]


Many thanks so far.
Tomas
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-24 09:42

Well that's confusing — the stretch system has a driver loaded but the jessie system does not, I would expect the stretch system to perform better in that case :?

We could try removing the Trident DDX driver:
Code: Select all
# apt purge xserver-xorg-video-trident

Intel cards can do better with the modesetting driver so perhaps your card will too.
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 10:12

Hi,

Appologies for the confusion.

Quite the opposite, Jessie outperforms Stretch, at least 10x-15x times on my System.

I have installed the trident driver on Stretch for my video card, rendering is now alright in `lightdm', but still is a way too slow in MATE compared to Jessie. With the driver installed I can now set 1280x1024@60Hz.

Why is Stretch so slow?

Tomas
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-24 10:16

Are there any errors or warnings in the Xorg log file?
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 10:34

Debian 9 Stretch
Code: Select all
$ grep \(EE\) /var/log/Xorg.0.log
   (WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
[    25.833] (EE) open /dev/dri/card0: No such file or directory
[    25.864] (EE) open /dev/fb0: No such file or directory
[    26.306] (EE) TRIDENT: Failed to load module "xaa" (module does not exist, 0)
[    26.732] (EE) AIGLX: reverting to software rendering


Debian 8 Jessie
Code: Select all
$ grep \(EE\) /var/log/Xorg.0.log
   (WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
[   105.516] (EE) AIGLX: reverting to software rendering


Many thanks so far.
Tomas
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2018-06-24 11:04

A search for
Code: Select all
TRIDENT: Failed to load module "xaa" (module does not exist, 0)

returns this guide as the top result:

https://wiki.gentoo.org/wiki/Trident

tl;dr: add your user to the video group (if they are not already a member) or try the suggested Xorg configuration file:
Code: Select all
# /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-trident.conf
Section "Device"
   Identifier "trident"
   Driver "trident"
   Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
EndSection
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 11:41

Hi,

EXA accelerator on Stretch has visual errors in rendering on my system, while XAA is no longer available. Also there is no improvement in speed of render.

Mounting Jessie on /mnt, to see differences.
Code: Select all
$ grep -i exa /mnt/var/log/Xorg.0.log
[   105.334] (**) TRIDENT(0): Option "AccelMethod" "EXA"
[   105.334] (**) TRIDENT(0): Using EXA for acceleration
[   105.542] (II) Loading sub module "exa"
[   105.542] (II) LoadModule: "exa"
[   105.542] (II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/libexa.so
[   105.583] (II) Module exa: vendor="X.Org Foundation"
[   105.721] (II) EXA(0): Offscreen pixmap area of 3145728 bytes
[   105.721] (II) EXA(0): Driver registered support for the following operations


So EXA is used by default in Jessie and is fine.
Binary compare detects differences in `libexa.so ' in shared object.
Code: Select all
$ cmp /mnt/usr/lib/xorg/modules/libexa.so /usr/lib/xorg/modules/libexa.so
/mnt/usr/lib/xorg/modules/libexa.so /usr/lib/xorg/modules/libexa.so differ: byte 25, line 1


Trying now to copy EXA module over from Jessie to Stretch..

Many thanks so far.
Tomas
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 15:51

Hi,

Temporarilly copied over `Jessie xorg-server' install to `Stretch', needed also to change input methods.

X comes up, with EXA accel, but does not render correctly nor brings speed improvement. That possibly explains why EXA was removed from the Stretch release.

Reverting back to `Stretch xorg-server'.

I am not any wiser, Stretch just remains slow to use.

Tomas
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby bw123 » 2018-06-24 16:27

I had some issues running stretch on an older pc also (not that old though). Maybe you should take a look at the mate desktop settings instead of the driver, and X?

Looks like a decent wiki here, there are suggestions for enabling compositing, and adjusting dpi.
https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/MATE

Keep that thing running!
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-24 17:18

Hi,

Thank you, toyed with DPI, set 74DPI by default both `Jessie', `Stretch'.

On this particular PC, I once run Debian Potato/Lenny releases between years 2000-2009, I remember at those days, streaming worked, youtube video played in web browser window, DVD could play as well, so were flash plugins, all that possible at 700Mhz old processor, 256MB RAM!

Sigh, not possible ever since, not to blame Debian, though, as today's computing grows it requires more power.

Tomas
Last edited by tcat on 2018-06-25 05:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby HuangLao » 2018-06-24 18:59

tcat wrote:Hi,

Appologies for the confusion.

Quite the opposite, Jessie outperforms Stretch, at least 10x-15x times on my System.

I have installed the trident driver on Stretch for my video card, rendering is now alright in `lightdm', but still is a way too slow in MATE compared to Jessie. With the driver installed I can now set 1280x1024@60Hz.

Why is Stretch so slow?

Tomas


Keep in mind that MATE has become much "heavier" between those versions, partly as the result of transitioning to GTK3. Have you tried any lightweight DE's ie: Xfce, LXDE or LXQt?
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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby Caitlin » 2018-06-25 04:19

I use MATE under Stretch and I haven't noticed any performance problems.

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Re: Stretch MATE very slow

Postby tcat » 2018-06-25 05:14

Hi,

Yes, I believe so, what computing resources you have, just currious? Do you buy a new computer with each OS release?

I have other platforms at home, but I used my legacy PC, (at those days experimental h/w), as a reference platform for testing OS relases. Between Potato-Lenny, I was getting new functionality with each release on this platform, past Lenny releases I was loosing the same fuctionallity gained before, in favour of user interface beauty that required constantly new faster h/w.

Tomas
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