Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby dialUp » 2019-01-22 16:42

Hi, I am running Debian 9 on a lenovo T430 laptop at work, and also on a somewhat old (6 or 7 years?) AMD desktop PC at home. The systems are pure Debian 9 stable free systems, except I installed three or four applications from source like a scheme interpreter and a patched version of the Marble mapping program. Ever since upgrading to Debian 9 (I think it has been at least a few months) I have this oddity on both computers, where sometimes the screen(s) will black out for a few seconds when I am opening a new application. It seems like that same sort of blanking you get for a moment when changing the resolution on a monitor. It is a little bit annoying, and also embarrassing when I am showing off my Debian system to others.

It doesn't consistently happen every time I open an application, and I do not know what to look for in the logs (or which logs), so it is hard to troubleshoot, and I'm hesitant to file a bug report I won't be able to consistently reproduce. I've tried some Internet searches, but there seems to be an ocean of Xorg and display-related problems out there in the archives, so it is hard to make progress that way. Does somebody know of a thread/post/bug-report where this specific problem is addressed? Some new problem that popped up in Debian 9 specifically...?
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby llivv » 2019-01-22 16:59

dialUp wrote: except I installed three or four applications from source like a scheme interpreter and a patched version of the Marble mapping program.
what method(s) used when adding these to "systems are pure Debian 9 stable free systems"
dialUp wrote: Ever since upgrading to Debian 9 (I think it has been at least a few months)
see first quote
dialUp wrote: Some new problem that popped up in Debian 9 specifically...?
see first quote :wink:
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby dialUp » 2019-01-22 17:35

- I have installed Guile Scheme 2.2.* versions by compiling and installing directly from source.
- The Marble software in Debian 9 has a serious bug which has been reported and patched, but for some reason the patched version has never been uploaded to the official repository. So I downloaded the Debian 9 source package, loaded in the patch file, and rebuilt and reinstalled the .deb
- I use "sudo youtube-dl -U" occasionally because the Debian 9 version of youtube-dl is hopelessly out of date.

Here is my sources.list:

deb http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ stretch main
deb-src http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ stretch main

deb http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/debian-security stretch/updates main

# stretch-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ stretch-updates main
deb-src http://mirrors.kernel.org/debian/ stretch-updates main
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby dialUp » 2019-01-22 17:37

For clarification: The problem has been happening for months, but I have just been ignoring it because of busyness at work and home.
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby llivv » 2019-01-22 18:39

an easy way (well easy for me anyways) run a live Debian 9 or install another Debian 9 on an empty partition and see if the same issue show up on either or both the machines in question before you add the recombiled packages to the new install
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-01-22 18:59

dialUp wrote:I do not know what to look for in the logs

Check ~/.xsession-errors & journalctl(1).

Which desktop environment (or window manager) are the machines running?

I would try disabling the compositor, that can cause problems like this.
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby stevepusser » 2019-01-22 19:50

Install inxi, update your hardware ID database as sysadmin with
Code: Select all
update-pciids
update-usbids


and then give us the regular user's result of
Code: Select all
inxi -Fxz


so we have some idea of your hardware and driver situation, otherwise we are just guessing what hardware you have with this video-related issue. Installing neofetch and giving us the results of that command might also help.
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby dialUp » 2019-01-25 18:48

I'm not sure if it is related, but right after the last flicker, I found this error from dmesg:

[1562634.732147] gnome-shell[15890]: segfault at 410f29 ip 00007fe66389695a sp 00007ffe571ebbc0 error 4 in libgobject-2.0.so.0.5000.3[7fe663862000+52000]
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby dialUp » 2019-01-25 18:51

Code: Select all
System:    Host: evenstar Kernel: 4.9.0-8-amd64 x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 6.3.0) Desktop: Gnome 3.22.3 (Gtk 2.24.31)
           Distro: Debian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch)
Machine:   Device: laptop System: LENOVO product: 2347B46 v: ThinkPad T430
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 2347B46 UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO v: G1ET92WW (2.52 ) date: 02/14/2013
Battery    BAT0: charge: 47.9 Wh 99.1% condition: 48.4/47.5 Wh (102%) model: LGC 45N1005 status: N/A
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i5-3320M (-HT-MCP-) cache: 3072 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 10375
           clock speeds: max: 3300 MHz 1: 1209 MHz 2: 1208 MHz 3: 1295 MHz 4: 1294 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: N/A Resolution: 1600x900@60.01hz, 1280x1024@75.02hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 13.0.6 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card-1 Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Definition Audio Controller
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
           Card-2 JMTek LLC. driver: USB Audio usb-ID: 003-126
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.9.0-8-amd64
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection (Lewisville)
           driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: 5080 bus-ID: 00:19.0
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter>
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] bus-ID: 03:00.0
           IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 248.1GB (64.6% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: SanDisk_SDSSDA24 size: 240.1GB temp: 43C
           ID-2: USB /dev/sdb model: HP_Officejet_Pro size: 8.1GB temp: 0C
Partition: ID-1: / size: 23G used: 12G (53%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-1
           ID-2: /tmp size: 1.8G used: 19M (2%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-4
           ID-3: /var size: 9.2G used: 4.5G (52%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-2
           ID-4: /home size: 178G used: 126G (75%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/dm-5
           ID-5: swap-1 size: 8.27GB used: 0.04GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/dm-3
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 48.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 2467
Info:      Processes: 260 Uptime: 18 days Memory: 4387.4/7689.2MB Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 6.3.0
           Client: Shell (bash 4.4.121) inxi: 2.3.5
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby dialUp » 2019-01-25 18:53

Code: Select all
       _,met$$$$$gg.          christopher@evenstar
    ,g$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$P.       --------------------
  ,g$$P"     """Y$$.".        OS: Debian GNU/Linux 9.7 (stretch) x86_64
 ,$$P'              `$$$.     Model: 2347B46 ThinkPad T430
',$$P       ,ggs.     `$$b:   Kernel: 4.9.0-8-amd64
`d$$'     ,$P"'   .    $$$    Uptime: 18 days, 2 hours, 11 minutes
 $$P      d$'     ,    $$P    Packages: 3273
 $$:      $$.   -    ,d$$'    Shell: bash 4.4.12
 $$;      Y$b._   _,d$P'      Resolution: 1600x900, 1280x1024
 Y$$.    `.`"Y$$$$P"'         DE: GNOME
 `$$b      "-.__              WM: GNOME Shell
  `Y$$                        WM Theme: Adwaita
   `Y$$.                      Theme: Adwaita [GTK2/3]
     `$$b.                    Icons: Adwaita [GTK2/3]
       `Y$$b.                 Terminal: gnome-terminal
          `"Y$b._             CPU: Intel i5-3320M (4) @ 3.3GHz
              `"""            GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics
                              Memory: 4730MB / 7689MB
                               
                              ████████████████████████
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby stevepusser » 2019-01-25 23:35

Your Intel GPU is using the kernel's built in default "modesetting" driver. Stretch's inxi is too old to recognize it, so just reported "NA".

But it looks like your blinks are caused by Gnome-shell crashing and restarting, which could have many causes. :(

You could try switching to the "intel" video driver provided by xserver-xorg-video-intel by adding an /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file with the contents:

Code: Select all
Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
   Driver      "intel"
#  Option      "AccelMethod" "uxa"  #could also use the default "sna"
   Option      "TearFree"     "true"
EndSection


and rebooting. The other thing to try is updating the kernel from stretch-backports or elsewhere (like my Liquorix kernel repo or my new-hardware one) in the hopes that the newer modesetting driver in those kernels fix the bug you're getting.
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Re: Screen blinks momentarily sometimes when opening apps

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-01-26 10:48

stevepusser wrote:The other thing to try is updating the kernel from stretch-backports or elsewhere (like my Liquorix kernel repo or my new-hardware one) in the hopes that the newer modesetting driver in those kernels fix the bug you're getting.

The modesetting DDX driver is part of the xserver-xorg-core package, which cannot be backported, sadly.

I would second the suggestion to try xserver-xorg-video-intel; no configuration file should be needed, it is auto-selected if it is installed (AFAIK).

To disable the GNOME compositor (for test purposes), see https://askubuntu.com/questions/969073/ ... en-windows
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