Window flashing

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Window flashing

Postby restamp on Mon Apr 15, 2013 6:19 pm

System: 64-bit Linux Mint 14 Nadia, nvidia driver 304.88, Cinnamon desktop.

I'm running the above system, and very sporadically I'm seeing the random flashing of a window on the desktop, or the desktop itself. By "flashing", I mean a seemingly random window (or the desktop) turns completely black for maybe 300-500ms and then restores its previous content. It's unclear what provokes this. It may be related to a video stream (vlc or flash) being active at the time. It's also unclear if it is a Mint problem or a driver problem.

Has anyone else seen this, or experienced something similar? Any ideas? It's rare enough that it's more of an annoyance than a show stopper, but still, I'd like to get to the bottom of it.
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Re: Window flashing

Postby Fuzzy Penquin on Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:11 am

I experience something similar. The flashing I see is more of a strobe light effect, in that the window flashes many times very rapidly for a split second upon opening a program window (web browser, repositories, Cinnamon settings, Home file system, etc). Most days my computer will do it all day long, and a few days it behaves itself and works as intended. Chosen theme (stock Mint X, or third party) doesn't seem to matter. Currently using 32-bit, Cinnamon, Mint 14. No idea what causes this issue. I figured it's a bug that will be fixed in a future update.
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Re: Window flashing

Postby catweazel on Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:03 am

restamp wrote:Has anyone else seen this, or experienced something similar? Any ideas? It's rare enough that it's more of an annoyance than a show stopper, but still, I'd like to get to the bottom of it.

As a general rule, it's caused by a badly written program where the window is set to invisible after it is displayed instead of before. The trick to finding the culprit is to selectively disable startup applications and reboot, reboot, reboot, reboot... until it stops. If it's not happening until some time after boot then I'd be looking at what batch jobs are being started at that time. Failing that, keep an eye on the application's you're using. A plan, patience and determination will eventually coax the delinquent application to pop out its cloven hoof and reveal itself.
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Re: Window flashing

Postby restamp on Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:35 am

Thanks, catweazel. Yes, I would not be surprised at all if the problem occurs because of some program running on the box. Or some applet, or the nvidia driver, etc. It is much too infrequent and random to try to provoke after a reboot, though. It affects any window -- gnome-termial (I see these flash the most often because I run a lot of them), firefox, or even the desktop background). As far as I can recall, I have never observed it directly in a window I was working in -- i.e., one that has the focus. I also have a Mint 13 box and don't recall ever seeing the flashing there, but I will pay closer attention the next time I am on it. Actually, I was hoping someone would chime in and say "yeah, I see this, too", but apparently that is not the case.
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Re: Window flashing

Postby tdockery97 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:17 am

I've also had the same problem with the Cinnamon desktop, but only with the proprietary ATI driver installed. Using the open source Gallium driver it behaves itself.
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Re: Window flashing

Postby sjmcc on Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:20 am

@tdockery97

I just purchase a new hp laptop with ati graphics and noticed this same problem. When I use the open source drivers my computer seems to run much hotter. Just curious if you have experienced that at all?
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Re: Window flashing

Postby ergosys on Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:40 am

I've seen this with the Nouveau driver as well as the Nvidia driver, on LMDE with cinnamon, and it's been happening for quite some time, perhaps at least a year. Sometimes it just happens randomly, sometimes actions in one window (scrolling a PDF) cause another window (e.g. gnome-terminal) to flash, or some strange rectangle of the desktop can be affected.
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