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Mint 19.1 XFCE slow with display problems after latest updates

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:29 pm
by br1anstorm
I have a Samsung RF511 laptop with Mint 19.1 Tessa XFCE installed.

Yesterday I ran the latest updates from the Update Manager. This included a kernel update (to and some other large updates (eg LibreOffice). But - having read the forum posts about problems with "mesa" and "xfwm4" - I deliberately unchecked the latest updates offered on those two items only, and went ahead with all the other updates.

Today my system seems noticeably more sluggish. Regular apps (like Firefox....) seem slower to open. In particular, the Thunar File Manager seems to be seriously affected. Using it is like wading through treacle. I have been doing some routine tidying-up, which involves copying and moving files between folders or on to an external drive, and sometimes renaming them. The right-click drop-down menus open, but the commands (eg 'copy' or 'rename') take ages - like up to 10 seconds - to respond.

More worrying, if I have two File Manager windows open and no other apps running (eg to cut and paste files quickly from one location to another) sometimes one or both windows hang or freeze for a while; and when I attempt to minimise, or switch from one window to another, the display only partially disappears, and I get a patchwork screen with only part of the window showing and some black squares or spaces.

These all strike me as the symptoms of a CPU, or RAM, or graphics-support which is struggling or is overloaded and can't cope. I have only previously seen such behaviour when trying to run a modern and resource-hungry OS with demanding graphics, on an ancient and feeble computer. Yet my laptop is surely capable of running Mint 19.1's Thunar without seizing up or freezing the screen? Task Manager doesn't suggest that either CPU (<10%) or memory (<11%) or swap (0%) are heavily loaded.

Here are the system details from inxi - Fxz in the terminal:

Code: Select all

brian@brian-samsungRF511:~$ inxi -Fxz
  Host: brian-samsungRF511 Kernel: 4.15.0-54-generic x86_64 bits: 64 
  compiler: gcc v: 7.4.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 Distro: Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa 
  base: Ubuntu 18.04 bionic 
  Type: Laptop System: SAMSUNG product: RF511/RF411/RF711 v: 14HX 
  serial: <filter> 
  Mobo: SAMSUNG model: RF511/RF411/RF711 v: 14HX serial: <filter> 
  BIOS: American Megatrends v: 14HX.M040.20111020.SSH date: 10/20/2011 
  ID-1: BAT1 charge: 43.0 Wh condition: 54.4/57.7 Wh (94%) 
  model: SAMSUNG Electronics status: Unknown 
  Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5-2450M bits: 64 type: MT MCP 
  arch: Sandy Bridge rev: 7 L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
  flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 19956 
  Speed: 798 MHz min/max: 800/3100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 799 2: 798 
  3: 798 4: 798 
  Device-1: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics 
  vendor: Samsung Co driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
  resolution: 1366x768~60Hz 
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Sandybridge Mobile v: 3.3 Mesa 18.2.8 
  direct render: Yes 
  Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio 
  vendor: Samsung Co driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.0-54-generic 
  Device-1: Broadcom and subsidiaries BCM4313 802.11bgn Wireless Network 
  vendor: Wistron NeWeb driver: bcma-pci-bridge v: N/A port: e040 
  bus ID: 01:00.0 
  Device-2: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet 
  vendor: Samsung Co driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: c000 bus ID: 02:00.0 
  IF: enp2s0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
  IF-ID-1: wlp1s0b1 state: down mac: <filter> 
  Local Storage: total: 2.05 TiB used: 249.32 GiB (11.9%) 
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Hitachi model: HTS547575A9E384 size: 698.64 GiB 
  ID-2: /dev/sdb type: USB model: TO Exter nal USB 3.0 size: 465.76 GiB 
  ID-3: /dev/sdc type: USB vendor: Seagate model: Expansion size: 931.51 GiB 
  ID-1: / size: 53.89 GiB used: 16.57 GiB (30.8%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda8 
  ID-2: swap-1 size: 8.00 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5 
  System Temperatures: cpu: 47.0 C mobo: 47.0 C 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
  Processes: 206 Uptime: 3m Memory: 7.70 GiB used: 766.4 MiB (9.7%) 
  Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Compilers: gcc: 7.4.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.20 
  inxi: 3.0.27 
Can anyone offer thoughts on why these problems are happening? Is there something else in the latest updates (apart from the mesa and xfwm4 updates which I have not installed) which might be causing the sluggishness?

I assume I have the options of either reverting to a previous configuration (I took a Timeshift snapshot before yesterday's update to the kernel etc) or rebooting and choosing in Grub to use a different - older - kernel. But before taking either of those routes I wondered if anyone else had encountered similar issues and/or might be able to spot why my system appears to be struggling.

Re: Mint 19.1 XFCE slow with display problems after latest updates

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:26 am
by ricardogroetaers
to see:
Clem July 5, 2019 at 9:11 am
Thanks Shawn,
It’s fixed: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=297222.

Re: Mint 19.1 XFCE slow with display problems after latest updates

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:54 am
by karlchen
ricardogroetaers wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 5:26 am
It’s fixed: viewtopic.php?f=57&t=297222.
I would not call it a real fix. Reverting xfwm4 from 4.13.0 to 4.12.5 on Mint 19.1 is more a workaround to ensure normal functionality.
The underlying root cause has not been resolved yet.

Anyway, the conflict between xfwm4 4.13.0 and Mesa 19.0.2 should not affect br1anstorm, because he skipped both software updates:
+ replacement of xfwm4 4.13.0. by 4.12.5
+ Mesa update to 19.0.2

Yet, maybe precisely this is the problem here, and both updates should be accepted.

Here on my Mint 19.1 xfce, both are running without issues: Mesa 19.0.2 and xfwm4 4.13.0 (nVidia graphics chip, not Intel though)

Re: Mint 19.1 XFCE slow with display problems after latest updates

Posted: Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:43 pm
by ricardogroetaers
The concepts "xfwm" and "Mesa" are above my level of knowledge. I really do not know what that is.

I only cited the references, if applicable, as they relate to problems in the XFCE environment arising from updates.

I was not affected. I use Mint 18.3 Xfce 64 bit is only apply upgrades of levels 1 and 2.

Thanks for the comment.