Screensaver Problems

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Screensaver Problems

Postby Martin109 » 2018-10-12 13:41

I am trying to set up a screensaver called ‘Pinion’ on a Debian Linux machine running Debian8. It's quite an old laptop, but I've upgraded the memory from 500Mb (in the form of 2 x 256Mb modules) to 2Gb (in the form of 2 x 1Gb modules). This is the maximum permitted for this machine.

I’m aiming to get Pinion to start after 2 minutes of idle time, and I would like it to run for up to an hour, if the machine remains untouched. After that, I’m happy if it then goes to a blank screen.

I have MATE set up on this system, and some of what I’ve looked at below makes me wonder if there is maybe a conflict between xscreensaver and MATE screensaver?

Pinion starts OK but then stops, with an error message. One version of the error message occasionally appears in the terminal window where I started the screensaver with the command xscreensaver-demo (more on this later). The error message is:

Code: Select all
WRITE DOMAIN RELOC FAILURE 0x1 6 4
WRITE DOMAIN RELOC FAILURE 0x1 6 4
pinion:../../../../../../../src/mesa/drivers/dri/radeon/radeon_fbo.c:451: radeon_unmap_renderbuffer: Assertion `ok' failed.


Observing the behaviour in more detail, the screensaver starts OK after the designated delay (2 mins), but then stops, displaying over the frozen image the message:

Code: Select all
WRITE DOMAIN RELOC FAILURE 0x1 6 4
WRITE DOMAIN RELOC FAILURE 0x1 6 4
pinion:../../../../../../../src/mesa/drivers/dri/radeon/radeon_fbo.c:451: radeon_unmap_renderbuffer: Assertion `ok' failed.
xscreensaver:    signal: 0: child pid 2233 (pinion) terminated with signal 6.


After a few minutes, the screen goes blank, and then after a few more minutes, the screensaver starts again, but freezes again as before. The pid number in the above message is different each time. The screensaver just keeps cycling like this.

I thought I would update the mesa drivers (having read the post here).

Following this suggestion, I executed the command:

Code: Select all
apt-get update && apt-get install libgl1-mesa-dev


then also:

Code: Select all
apt-get install libglu1-mesa-dev


and

Code: Select all
apt-get install freeglut3-dev


However, these updates and installs have not made any difference to the behaviour of the screensaver.

After each start or reboot of the machine, I start the screensaver with the command 'xscreensaver-demo'. I am prompted to set the screensaver daemon going, which I do. Eventually, I would like to find out how to set up this daemon automatically, so that the screensaver is active whenever the system is booted, but want to get it working properly first, before I automate it.

I received advice to follow Steps 2 & 3 from the website here.

I tried this, to no avail, maybe because I've had to adapt from the instructions written for ubuntu, as debian isn't the same, or maybe it's because I don't really know what I'm doing!

Step 2 from the instructions: I executed 'xscreensaver-demo' and clicked on ‘Cancel’, thereby not starting the daemon. I managed to copy and save the command line instruction:

Code: Select all
pinion -root -spin 1.25 -scroll 2.0152 -max-rpm 1280


The next step (3) was to open the gnome-screensaver theme file. My system did not have the files the website listed.
The command 'locate pinion' yields:

Code: Select all
/usr/lib/xscreensaver/pinion
/usr/share/applications/screensavers/pinion.desktop
/usr/share/man/man6/pinion.6x.gz
/usr/share/xscreensaver/config/pinion.xml


I found the 'Exec=' line in /usr/share/applications/screensavers/pinion.desktop:

Code: Select all
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Pinion
Exec=pinion -root -spin 1.25 -scroll 2.0152 -max-rpm 1280
TryExec=/usr/lib/xscreensaver/pinion
Comment=Draws an interconnected set of gears moving across the screen. See also the "Gears" and "MoebiusGears" screen savers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Involute_gear Written by Jamie Zawinski.
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Screensaver;
OnlyShowIn=GNOME;


This shows the file with my command line code added to 'Exec=', as per instructions.

I restarted the machine, having made all these changes. However, the screensaver does not start. If I do start the daemon, I get the same behaviour as before (starting, then stopping with error message, then restarting, etc etc).

As I don't know what I'm doing, I'm at a bit of a loss...

Doing 'locate screensaver' brings up a huge list, but the first few lines caught my attention:

Code: Select all
/etc/pam.d/mate-screensaver
/etc/pam.d/xscreensaver
/etc/xdg/autostart/mate-screensaver.desktop
/etc/xdg/menus/mate-screensavers.menu
/home/martin/.xscreensaver
/usr/bin/xdg-screensaver


Could there be a conflict between mate-screensaver and xscreensaver?

In case it's relevant, the whole listing can be found here.

Any idea about what is not working gratefully received.
Martin109
 
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby bw123 » 2018-10-13 13:57

Yeah it's tricky setting up screensavers. On stretch, that one is in pkg xscreensaver-gl-extra why can't you just set it in the dialog for MATE screensaver does it not show up? You really shouldn't have to do all this manually on a desktop, use the dialogs or dconf/gconf or whatever gnome users do.

T do it the hard way, you can turn off the apps in /etc/xdg/autostart pretty easy on stretch, create same filename in ~/.config/autostart with contents
Hidden=true
but I don;t know if that applies to jessie.

To strart xscreensaver without running -demo, use the wrapper script, it should be all documented in /usr/share/doc/xscreensaver or maybe the man page.

Really the worst thing is to start installing a lot of pkgs you can hose your system like that.

On older radeon, I haven't had good results with any of the opengl screensavers, but for that error about radeon and the fb, I might try tweaking the driver settings (man radeon) or consider upgrading to newer stuff through backports, or even upgrading to stretch.
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby Martin109 » 2018-10-13 14:09

Thank you for these tips.

I had installed jessie on this 15-year-old laptop (having upgraded memory from 500Mb to 2Gb), as I was assuming that a newer Debian version would be more demanding of resources, but perhaps this is an inappropriate assumption coming from bloated Windoze experiences? Perhaps I should install stretch, if that might make things easier.

I think I previously got myself a bit confused by removing gnome screensavers, installing xscreensavers (knowing pinion was included), and doing this all under MATE. I am not with the relevant machine at the moment, but when I get back to it in a few days' time, should I expect to see this pinion xscreensaver in the MATE screensavers dialog box?

If starting again with a new stretch install, what would be the sensible steps to get pinion working as I want it?

Lots of questions in one there - sorry!
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby bw123 » 2018-10-13 14:31

Even when the pkg xscreensaver pkg isn't installed, the screensaver apps themselves are often available. They are in separate pkgs and usually pulled in by other front ends like gnomescreensaver, matescreensaver, etc.

Yeah, I'd use stretch/stable if possible.
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby Martin109 » 2018-10-13 15:05

I'm at another machine at the moment, running stretch with MATE, which is where the other relevant machine will be at once newly installed soon.

Looking at System->Preferences->Look and Feel->Screensaver, this MATE screensaver dialog comes up, showing the screensaver sequence 'Cosmos' as active.

What would be the next step to get xscreensaver's 'Pinion' listed there and available to activate?
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby bw123 » 2018-10-13 16:04

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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby Martin109 » 2018-10-13 16:25

Thanks, that second post looks particularly relevant and promising; I'll try that out when next at the machine.
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby Martin109 » 2018-10-13 16:49

Nearly there!

I have executed the command:

Code: Select all
apt-get install xscreensaver-data-extra xscreensaver-gl-extra


and lots of extra screensavers, included the desired 'Pinion', are now listed in the MATE screensavers dialog!

I have been able to set the delay to 2 minutes with the slider control. The final tweak would be how do I adjust scrolling speed etc?
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby debiman » 2018-10-14 13:58

congrats!

Martin109 wrote:The final tweak would be how do I adjust scrolling speed etc?

you mean mate-screensaver doesn't have the settings dialog for each screensaver, like xscreensaver?
my, oh my...
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby Martin109 » 2018-10-14 16:24

Doesn't seem to, no - perhaps there's a conf file somewhere I need to tweak??
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Re: Screensaver Problems

Postby bw123 » 2018-10-15 11:18

I noticed another topic on the search link I posted that says this is is a current problem, I think it was issue #5 for MAte Desktop.

If there are no config options for screensavers in mate-screensaver, and no way to set them through config file somewhere, then one option would probably be "replace mate-screensaver with xscreensaver" and that shouldn't be too hard.

I've been using xscreensaver on kde, (which has no screensaver) by linking the /usr/share/xscreensaver/xscreensaver-daemon.desktop file into ~/.config/autostart but you'll probably need to find out how to disable and/or uninstall the mate-screensaver so there aren't two front ends.

Sometimes uninstalling a pkg can remove other pkgs, so don't just remove it without carefully looking at what that means..

good luck.
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