xsnow not working in Etch KDE

If none of the more specific forums is the right place to ask

Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-23 14:10

@bluesdog

Thanks very much for your unusually clear instructions and explanations. I really, really appreciate that you took the time to figure all of that out and tell me. I've seen bits and pieces of your suggestions in other threads, but I've never seen anything as complete and comprehensive as what you wrote here. I've bookmarked it and also printed it out to keep in my "Linux Notebook." :D

Unfortunately, even after doing everything that you suggested, nothing has changed.

I kept all of the changes that you suggested, except that I re-enabled the framebuffer, since it didn't make any difference to comment it out.

1. 3D acceleration was enabled before -- it's still enabled now.

2. glxgears -printfps worked before -- it still works now, and it reports the exact same frames per second that it did before.

3. Of the 76 OpenGL screensavers that appear as choices, only the very few that worked before are working now.

Does 76 OpenGL screensavers seem like an awful lot of screensavers to have been installed by default by the Debian KDE installation? I would've been surprised to find 76 screensavers all together, let alone 76 OpenGL screensavers, PLUS all of the non-OpenGL screensavers.

I wonder if maybe I was supposed to "get" only the OpenGL screensavers that are currently working, but the installer somehow incorrectly added the names of all of those other OpenGL screensavers to my list of choices. :?:

At least at this point, I KNOW for sure that OpenGL itself is working correctly, even though only a few of my 76 OpenGL screensavers are working. 8)

BTW, I was very careful to DE-select DRI during the dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg portion of installing the nvidia drivers "the Debian way." Apparently, from what I can tell with my limited knowledge, it looks to me like de-selecting DRI during that process doesn't REMOVE DRI from xorg.conf -- instead it leaves the DRI lines in there but it doesn't put in a line that will load DRI. (???)
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Postby bluesdog » 2007-12-23 19:51

BTW, I was very careful to DE-select DRI during the dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg portion of installing the nvidia drivers "the Debian way." Apparently, from what I can tell with my limited knowledge, it looks to me like de-selecting DRI during that process doesn't REMOVE DRI from xorg.conf -- instead it leaves the DRI lines in there but it doesn't put in a line that will load DRI. (???)

Dunno. I've never bothered putting the DRI section in the configuration file, and rarely used the dpkg-reconfigure xserver command anyway --
I prefer to manually edit the file, then run nvidia-xconfig to make it look pretty :wink:
Note that nvidia-xconfig will remove the DRI section, if present. This suggests nvidia considers it fairly important...

If your display system is othewise working ok, for example if
Code: Select all
$ glxgears
results in a decent framerate, the problem with the screensavers is likely a problem with ... the screensavers!

Check the install: What is output of
Code: Select all
$ dpkg -l xscreensaver-gl


btw, there are apparently 78 open-gl screensavers on this box :shock:
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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-23 20:01

bluesdog wrote:Check the install: What is output of
Code: Select all
$ dpkg -l xscreensaver-gl


Code: Select all
computerbob@debian:~$ dpkg -l xscreensaver-gl
Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name           Version        Description
+++-==============-==============-============================================
un  xscreensaver-g <none>         (no description available)


I installed Debian with KDE only (no GNOME), using Debian KDE CD #1. Before I installed, I made sure that the md5sums matched perfectly between the published md5sum, the download, and the burned CD. And my installation of the nvidia drivers "the Debian way" was flawless, with no errors and with everything working exactly the way it was supposed to. I'm not going to mention the "b" word, but I'm beginning to wonder if it could be one.:shock:
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Postby llivv » 2007-12-23 20:27

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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-23 22:38


OK, I think I feel happy! :lol:

But I don't know enough to know exactly what I'm looking at on that page.... when it says :
Half Broken Build-Depends
(not necessarily bugs)


What does that mean to a user, in practical terms? Does it mean, "We know about that problem, but we're not going to treat it like a bug and fix it?" :?:

Or is there some fix described there that I don't know enough to recognize? :?:

This whole problem-tracking process has been kind of fun, and it's nice to know that I ended up in a place that other people already know about. :wink:

It's just like I said in My Debian Adventure:
Debian has plenty of really great sources of information and support — it's been around a long time, it has many, many users, and no matter what problem I discover, it seems like "they've seen it all before." That makes it relatively pain-free to find all the answers that I need.

:D
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Postby bluesdog » 2007-12-23 22:57

Code: Select all
computerbob@debian:~$ dpkg -l xscreensaver-gl
Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name           Version        Description
+++-==============-==============-============================================
un  xscreensaver-g <none>         (no description available)
xscreensaver-gl is not installed.

xscreensaver-gl is an optional package, and must therefore be installed explicitly -- although your system seems to list the screensavers, they don't actually exist useably on your system.

Try
Code: Select all
# apt-get update
# apt-get install xscreensaver-gl
Last edited by bluesdog on 2007-12-24 00:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-23 23:26

I used Synaptic to check first, and you're right - xscreensaver-gl is not installed. I installed it and it automatically installed libgl3.

And guess what? Now I have a whole bunch of working OpenGL screensavers!

As Inspector Clouseau would say, "Problem sol - vedd."

Thank you! :lol:

Even though, like I said, I never use a screensaver, it's really reassuring to know that everything is installed now and I COULD use any of the OpenGL screensavers if I wanted to.

So now that begs the question, "Why wasn't xscreensaver-gl installed?"

I don't know if this possibly relates to that question or not, but I noticed that Synaptic mentioned something about xscreensaver being part of the Mesa package. That reminds me that when I first installed the nvidia drivers "the Debian way," and I tried to run glxgears afterward, I got an error message, saying that glxgears was an unknown command. After I installed the mesa-utils, glxgears worked just fine.

So apparently the Debian KDE CD #1 doesn't install either the mesa-utils or xscreensaver-gl by default. Maybe it should, especially since it installs 7x OpenGL screensavers and only a few of them work without xscreensaver-gl.
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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-23 23:56

Here's a follow-up, for anyone who runs into the same problem in the future and finds this thread:

After I installed xscreensaver-gl, and saw that all of my OpenGL screensavers were working, I restored my original, unedited /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, restarted X, and they still all worked. :wink:
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Postby bluesdog » 2007-12-24 00:38

Description for xscreensaver-gl:
GL(Mesa) screen hacks for xscreensaver
These are some extra hacks for xscreensaver that use the Mesa
OpenGL-compatible library. They are included as an extra package so
the base package doesn't require Mesa. In addition, these hacks function
nicely as GL demos for people who want to try out hardware accelerated 3D
with X.Org


Description for kscreensaver-xsavers:
KDE hooks for standard xscreensavers
This package allows a smooth integration of the standard xscreensavers
into KDE. With this package installed you can select and/or configure
the standard xscreensavers through the Appearances and Themes section of
the KDE Control Centre.

Note that this package does not actually contain any screensavers itself.
For the additional screensavers shipped with KDE, see the separate package
kscreensaver. This package does depend on the xscreensaver package, and
recommend the xscreensaver-gl package, as well as contain the necessary
files to integrate these packages into KDE.

This package is part of KDE, and a component of the KDE artwork module.
See the 'kde' and 'kdeartwork' packages for more information.

Note that kscreensaver-xsavers is part of a typical KDE install, and note in it's description about xscreensaver-gl package being recommended :)
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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-24 01:10

bluesdog wrote:....note in it's description about xscreensaver-gl package being recommended :)

As I see it, the problem with xscreensaver-gl being "recommended" is that, as a user, I was never given a choice to install those OpenGL screensavers in the first place.

In fact, as I described in My Debian Adventure, the KDE installer never asked me to choose ANY packages -- it only asked me if I wanted to use a network mirror or not. If I said "Yes," it automatically installed over 700 packages. If I said "No," it automatically installed over 600 packages, So when I installed Debian, the installer went ahead and downloaded over 700 packages and installed them, all without giving me any choice whatsoever as to what it was going to install. And, as I described, even when I tried RE-installing Debian from the Debian KDE CD #1 4 different times, using both the text-based and GUI installer, it still never gave me the option to choose which packages I wanted to install. :shock:

If I had chosen to install a package of OpenGL screensavers, then I can see how I would have to take the responsibility to accept or reject whatever additional packages were recommended to make those screensavers work. But since I was never given the choice to install those OpenGL screensavers, I was never informed that xscreensaver-gl was recommended to make them work, so I had no way of knowing why they weren't working.

I see this as a problem that could turn a lot of people off, since it appears that the installer causes the problem to begin with, and it takes a long thread like this one to figure out how to solve it. A long thread that a lot of people won't be able or willing to take the time to find.

I may be wrong, but it seems clear to me that if the Debian KDE CD #1 installer is going to install all of those hundreds of packages (including over 70 OpenGL screensavers) without giving me any say in the matter, then the installer should also install whatever additional package are required in order to make those hundreds of installed packages work, including the xscreensaver-gl package that seems to be required in order to make the OpenGL screensavers work. :wink:
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Postby llivv » 2007-12-24 01:26

it simply means it's a depends issue with the package Bob
whether they are version depends or availability depends is why the page is there with all the stuff on it
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Postby bluesdog » 2007-12-24 01:26

:lol:
You mean you actually want everything to just work?

Where's the fun in that?
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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-24 01:32

bluesdog wrote::lol:
You mean you actually want everything to just work?


Yes, please. :lol:

bluesdog wrote:Where's the fun in that?

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot how much fun this was. :lol:
.
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Postby Lavene » 2007-12-24 04:37

There are a gazillion packages you're not told that exists. What goes into the default installation is based on the popularity contest, the rest you are expected to find on your own. You'll get used to it after a while; when something doesn't work the first thing you do is to go looking for a package that might solve the problem. In your case, looking for something related to screensavers:
Code: Select all
# apt-cache search --names-only screensaver

gnome-screensaver - GNOME screen saver and locker
libxcb-screensaver0 - X C Binding, screensaver extension
libxcb-screensaver0-dbg - X C Binding, screensaver extension, debugging symbols
libxcb-screensaver0-dev - X C Binding, screensaver extension, development files
kscreensaver - additional screen savers released with KDE
kscreensaver-xsavers - KDE hooks for standard xscreensavers
kscreensaver-xsavers-webcollage - webcollage screensaver KDE hook
xscreensaver - Automatic screensaver for X
xscreensaver-gl - GL(Mesa) screen hacks for xscreensaver

Cool eh? Maybe a new chapter in your Debian adventure? ;)
There are of course numerous other ways to search for packages. The man pages is of great help there. As I said, you'll get used to it.

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Postby ComputerBob » 2007-12-24 05:17

@ Tina,

What's the point of including a zillion popular packages in the default installation if you don't include the things that each of those popular packages need in order to actually work? How did those package ever get to be popular if each user has to individually figure out how to get some of them to work?

If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like the equivalent of making a really cool, brand new car that everyone wants because it includes electric door, electric windows, electric seats, electric seat warmers, electric mirrors, electric cup holders, an electronic GPS system, an electronic security system and a super-duper electronic sound system...

....and then delivering that car with some fuses missing from its fuse box and expecting customers to figure out which fuses they need to find and where they need to install them in order to make everything work. :lol:

Maybe I'm missing something, but I just "don't get" how anyone could think that doing that would be a good idea, let alone consciously decide to do things that way.

UNLESS you're telling me that no one WANTS to deliver the car with missing fuses, but building a car is a complex process that sometimes involves forgetting a fuse here and there. Now THAT would make sense to me. Please tell me that that's what you're saying. :lol:
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