I'm a long-time listener, first-time caller, etc. Please forgive me if I post this in the wrong place or something.
The main problem is that I cannot get compiz to work. It will run without error messages if I launch it from a terminal, but will not really render anything. Sometimes it shows the desktop with icons (eg when started from shell on an already running X session) but that's it; they icons do not respond to the cursor. Usually it just leaves the screen with a flat colour (eg when started from gdm). If I restart gdm and log in, the first screen is the pastel blue background, which I used to get for a few seconds, but then instead of rendering the desktop, the screen just goes black. All the while, it continues to render the mouse pointer.
Metacity works just fine, on the other hand, as does xcompmgr.
The funny thing is that the X log reports no errors or warnings (see attachment) and says DRI is set up, and the script compiz-check (which I picked up somewhere – not sure how up-to-date it is) reports everything as being OK. On the other hand, driconf starts with an error message saying there are no “configurable direct-renderable devices”, and xdriinfo reports:
“Screen 0: not direct rendering capable.”
“direct rendering: No (If you want to find out why, try setting LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose)”
(setting that environment variable doesn't seem to produce any extra information, by the way.)
Note, it's not the case that windows appear without borders; nothing appears except the mouse pointer which works.
I've hunted around for a solution but not found one. Perhaps my search terms have been poor. Elsewhere on the web I've found people with this problem, but who simply wanted to switch off compiz (I would like it to work again), or others who had problems with the fglrx Radeon driver that I'm am trying to revert from and return to the intel driver.
My machine is an Acer netbook with an Intel graphics chipset, which uses the i915 kernel module and the xorg driver in the package xserver-xorg-video-intel. This has all worked with compiz for two years until recently.
I also have a newer HP netbook which I've tried to migrate my file-system over to by swapping over the hdd. I've done this already through four netbooks over the years, often with little trouble, and the HP was to be my fifth.
At one point I tried to put the hdd in the HP which required a proprietary Radeon "Catalyst" driver, installed by running an executable. It produces a module called “fglrx”, though of course that won't load on the Acer which has an Intel GPU. I got the accelerated graphics working successfully in the HP under linux, but had to give up and revert back to the older Acer for other reasons (the HP has thermal management problems). At that point, X wasn't working on the Acer. In trying to get it working again, I discovered on the web that the proprietary Radeon driver overwrites some contents of some xorg packages and that this must be accounted for.
I did a dist-upgrade at that point with /etc/apt/sources.list pointing to the stable packages and this fixed the problem; presumably it replaced those bits of xorg that had been overwritten. Apart from what's written below, my Debian installation has not been altered from that state since then.
A few weeks later I attempted a second go at transferring the hdd to the HP and had to give up again due to the HP's crappiness. The hdd went back to the older Acer once more, and again X wasn't working.
At that point, with the knowledge that the proprietary Radeon driver had probably overwritten bits of the X installation in the HP, plus the fact that I could not (or would not) dist-upgrade again, I reinstalled several xorg packages with "apt-get install --reinstall..." option in the expectation that this would overwrite the fiddling that the proprietary Radeon driver had done. That, along with deleting xorg.conf, got X going again, but not compiz. Here are my xserver packages:
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dpkg -l "*xserver*" | grep ii
ii x11-xserver-utils 7.6+3 X server utilities
ii xserver-common 2:184.108.40.2062-1 common files used by various X
ii xserver-xephyr 2:220.127.116.112-1 nested X server
ii xserver-xorg 1:7.5+8+squeeze1 the X.Org X server
ii xserver-xorg-core 2:1.7.7-14 Xorg X server - core server
ii xserver-xorg-dev 2:1.4.2-10.lenny1 Xorg X server - development
ii xserver-xorg-input-all 1:7.5+8+squeeze1 the X.Org X server -- input
ii xserver-xorg-input-evdev 1:2.3.2-6 X.Org X server -- evdev input
ii xserver-xorg-input-kbd 1:1.4.0-2 X.Org X server -- keyboard input
ii xserver-xorg-input-mouse 1:1.5.0-2 X.Org X server -- mouse input
ii xserver-xorg-input-synaptics 1.2.2-2 Synaptics TouchPad driver for X
ii xserver-xorg-input-wacom 0.10.5+20100416-1 X.Org X server -- Wacom
ii xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.13.0-7 X.Org X server -- Intel i8xx, i9xx
Figuring that compiz might itself be fiddling with files, I then purged compiz and reinstalled the packages. That didn't fix compiz. Here are my compiz packages:
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dpkg -l "*compiz*" | grep ii
ii cairo-dock-compiz-icon-plugin 18.104.22.168-3 Cairo-dock - Compiz icon
ii compiz-core 0.8.4-4 OpenGL window and compositing
ii compiz-fusion-plugins-extra 0.8.4-2 Compiz Fusion plugins - extra
ii compiz-fusion-plugins-main 0.8.4-2+b1 Compiz Fusion plugins - main
ii compiz-gnome 0.8.4-4 OpenGL window and compositing
ii compiz-gtk 0.8.4-4 OpenGL window and compositing
ii compiz-plugins 0.8.4-4 OpenGL window and compositing
ii compizconfig-settings-manager 0.8.4-2 Compizconfig Settings
ii libcompizconfig0 0.8.4-2 Configuration settings library for
ii python-compizconfig 0.8.4-2 Compizconfig bindings for python
Then I tried running dpkg-reconfigure on
The only error I get from configuring these is the last package, where it complains about an installation script that is evidently written for python 2.6, since it uses the keyword “with”, but apt-get is ultimately running the install script with python2.5. I don't know how to change the version of python that dpkg (or apt or whatever) uses, so I tweaked the offending code to without using the “with” keyword. That resolved that error, so there are no errors in reconfiguring any of these packages.
I also tried reinstalling sever packages related to DRI:
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dpkg -l "*dri*" | grep ii
ii cups-driver-gutenprint 5.2.6-1 printer drivers for CUPS
ii cupsddk-drivers 1.2.3-5 CUPS Driver Development Kit -
ii driconf 0.9.1-2 DRI configuration applet
ii libgl1-mesa-dri 7.7.1-5 A free implementation of the OpenGL
ii libxcb-dri2-0 1.6-1 X C Binding, dri2 extension
ii xlibmesa-dri 1:7.1.0-19 transitional package for Debian etch
Specifically, I tried reinstalling with “apt-get –reinstall ... ” driconf, libgl1-mesa-dri, libxcb-dri2-0 & xlibmesa-dri (this last one is a virtual package or something, so nothing downloads). None of that helped either.
I've fiddled with xorg.conf, but have also been booting without it periodically throughout my attempts to get things working again. In neither case does compiz. I can attach the xorg.conf file, but the point is, compiz doesn't work even after X autoconfigures.
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.