I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

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I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby wsamh on Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:05 pm

I am seeing these dots on the upper left hand corner. I have place a attachment of pic to show what I am talking about. They flicker sometimes. I don't know what it is. Can someone explain?
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:50 pm

That's a screenshot? I have no idea. If you took them with a camera, I'd say bad screen, but I don't know how they could show up in a screenshot.
What version, desktop, GPU, drivers, etc? We need more info.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby wsamh on Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:55 pm

No. That what I am seeing on my desktop. It's just a screenshot of what I am seeing. This is the only distro that I am seeing these dots. I am using an nvidia driver 304 with the mate desktop. Is it an application that is running in the background?
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:25 pm

Do the dots appear in another desktop environment? Could you give us the output of:
Code: Select all
inxi -SG


I don't think it's an application in the background. Maybe try a different version of the nvidia driver or different DE.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby AdamFirst on Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:19 pm

I have the same dots. They don't occur in my other distros. Mine is a cinnamon desktop.

Output of inxi -SG: System: .... Kernel 3.2.0-4-486 i686 (32 bit) Distro LinuxMint 1 debian
Graphics: Card NVIDIA G92 [GeForce 9800 GT] X.Org 1.12.4 Res: 1680x1050@60.0hz, 1680x1050@60.0hz
GLX Renderer GeForce 9800 GT/PCIe/SSE2 GLX Version 3.3.0 NVIDIA 304.48

I expect a different driver would make them disappear.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby catweazel on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:39 am

AdamFirst wrote:I have the same dots.

Are you 100% certain of that? As in, the very same number of dots in the very same place?
I expect a different driver would make them disappear.

You should hope so. The dots are more likely to be caused by dying hardware. I suggest a good, long run of memtest86 to isolate RAM from the equation. If the RAM holds up to a battering from memtest then I'd be looking around for a spare video card.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby catweazel on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:41 am

bigj231 wrote:That's a screenshot? I have no idea. If you took them with a camera, I'd say bad screen, but I don't know how they could show up in a screenshot.

The dots show up in a screenshot because the contents of the screen are in RAM, and if the RAM is dying... well, I'm sure you can figure out the rest.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 7:44 pm

If this is the only distro that he's seeing dots, we can probably rule out dying RAM. I've never seen black dots like that on a desktop. Only in 3D applications with fancy lighting. In my experience desktop artifacts move, are red/yellow, and are lines or polygons. If those dots are in the same spot and only on application windows, I'd say it's a bug, either application or driver. If they can't replicate the issue on any of the other major distros, then they might need to consider submitting a bug report.

Is there anything abnormal in the logs? Specifically the X server logs.

Also, I've never seen RAM die on a discrete GPU. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, I'm just saying that the chip itself usually dies first. I've not seen a stock GPU die for quite some time, and those were on-board Intel chips.

EDIT: see this link: https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/topic/527808/linux/black-dots-in-top-left-screen-corner/. It's a bug with the drivers on Debian based distros. Seems to be an issue with plymouth.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby AdamFirst on Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:24 pm

Thanks for the link.

For what it's worth, I don't have the dots in LInux Mint 14 or Ubuntu 11.10, and both are Debian based.

EDIT: I read the links within the link given above, and got to thinking about plymouth. I went to my "Startup Application Preferences" menu and unchecked "mintWelcome". Now I see some temporary screen corruption during boot, but it's gone by login, and there are no more weird dots. Go figure.

2nd EDIT: Dots have returned.
Last edited by AdamFirst on Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby catweazel on Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:48 am

bigj231 wrote:If this is the only distro that he's seeing dots

Outrageous speculation.
EDIT: see this link: https://devtalk.nvidia.com/default/topi ... en-corner/. It's a bug with the drivers on Debian based distros. Seems to be an issue with plymouth.

That's better. There's nothing quite as good as supporting evidence.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:55 pm

catweazel wrote:
bigj231 wrote:If this is the only distro that he's seeing dots

Outrageous speculation


Try reading the 3rd post. AKA reply by OP.
If you're not going to help, lets continue this via PM instead of cluttering up the thread further.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:55 pm

catweazel wrote:
bigj231 wrote:If this is the only distro that he's seeing dots

Outrageous speculation


Try reading the 3rd post. AKA reply by OP.
If you're not going to help, lets continue this via PM instead of cluttering up the thread further.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby dclement on Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:03 am

PMFJI,

wsamh I just wanted to tell you that you are not alone. I too am suffering from the black dots syndrome.

The link in bigj231's post clearly explains the problem. I can add that I find it greatly reduced with the Nvidia 310.19 driver. I don't see these dreaded dots but once in a month or two.

HTH, Daniel
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:18 am

AdamFirst wrote:For what it's worth, I don't have the dots in LInux Mint 14 or Ubuntu 11.10, and both are Debian based.

EDIT: I read the links within the link given above, and got to thinking about plymouth. I went to my "Startup Application Preferences" menu and unchecked "mintWelcome". Now I see some temporary screen corruption during boot, but it's gone by login, and there are no more weird dots. Go figure.

2nd EDIT: Dots have returned.


Sorry I didn't reply earlier. I missed this post. To clarify, Mint is based on Ubuntu (except LMDE, which is based in Debian). Although Ubuntu is based on Debian, they are quite different, and should be considered as such. I don't recall all of the specifics, but I think the only significant similarity between them is the package management system (apt). Ubuntu and Debian do hold different repositories, so that packages have some guarantee of working on a given system. Debian packages on an Ubuntu system do not always work and vice-versa.

As for the dots, It appears to be a bug with the nVidia driver, Debian kernel, Plymouth, or some combination of the three. Submitting a bug report (to debian, nVidia, Plymouth) would be your best bet since the issue is reproducible and affects multiple users. You could try Fedora or any other (non-debian) distro and see if you can reproduce the issue to narrow it down to the common denominator. It seems like it will most likely be an issue with the Debian kernel. You could try installing a different kernel to see if that fixes your issue. Make sure to backup anything important before you try that though.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby AdamFirst on Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:39 pm

I did install a new kernel, although I wasn't trying to troubleshoot the "dots". I currently don't have the dots and think its related to the install of the new kernel, but I can't be sure.

Thank you for the reply.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby wsamh on Thu May 16, 2013 2:59 pm

So how do I install a new kernel? The only kernel listed in the repository is the current one.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby dclement on Fri May 17, 2013 5:22 am

FWIW:

* kernel 3.2.0-4-amd64 / Nvidia driver 310.19; I haven't seen the dots in for a very long while.

* but I have also changed Plymouth theme from Solar to Mint-logo. It may be related.

* as for driver modification, I use the smxi script. I think it also handles kernel upgrades. It's command-line only but menu controlled. But you mustn't forget that if you choose this path, you have to re-run the script on every major update, as another member explained very clearly in this thread (post #7).

HTH, Daniel
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bigj231 on Fri May 17, 2013 6:16 pm

wsamh wrote:So how do I install a new kernel? The only kernel listed in the repository is the current one.

You either have to add a 3rd party repository or find the kernel yourself. I've heard good things about the liquorix kernel. Building from source is also an option.

Dclement's information is good though. I'd look into his suggestions before installing a 3rd party kernel.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby bobw on Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:24 pm

As another data point - these dots also appear in Mageia3 - upper left hand corner.
kernel 3.8.13.4-desktop-1.mga3, Nvidia 319.17 (Linux-x86_64), Xorg 1.13.4

Don't mean to intrude on the Mint community, however, as a Linux user for 10 years, I thought
this to be helpful in possibly getting to the root of the problem.

cheers.
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Re: I am seeing weird dots on my desktop?

Postby dclement on Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:09 am

Hi,

Just noticed the dots seem to be present on LMDE's official screenshots! (top of screen) :)
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