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Re: nouveau driver bugs

On 11/02/2012 04:31 PM, Sven Joachim wrote:
> On 2012-11-02 19:20 +0100, Worrier Poet wrote:
>> On 11/02/2012 10:42 AM, Vincent Lefevre wrote:
>>> On 2012-10-30 12:53:24 -0400, Worrier Poet wrote:
>>>> The guys developing free drivers for the Nvidia graphics cards seem to
>>>> have a lot harder job to do, but they also seem to be up to the task.
>>>> It's coming along slowly, but the nouveau drivers are most certainly
>>>> working well enough for me. I also think that getting rid of the nv
>>>> drivers (useful as they were for a while) was the best thing to do.
>>> The nouveau driver is a bit buggy, one of the most annoying bugs
>>> for me: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=640464
>>> And I wonder whether
>>>   http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=689514
>>> is related.
>>> Both problems are 100% reproducible on my two machines (both having
>>> a Nvidia card and the nouveau driver from Debian/unstable).
>>> Unfortunately it is not possible to try the nv driver on a recent
>>> system.
>> Interesting. I haven't seen any of the described behaviors, though our
>> two Nvidia systems are used almost exclusively by my wife these days.
>> I'll ask her, or maybe experiment with her systems this weekend.
> Virtually all nouveau bugs are hardware dependent; with my NV86 I
> cannot reproduce Vincent's bug or any other in the BTS.  OTOH, some time
> ago I ran into a problem where suspending was broken in Linux 3.5, and
> that bug was specific to _my_ card (it was fixed in 3.6 and 3.5.5).

I suspect that I have saved myself a lot of head-scratching over the
years by eschewing the use of suspend and hibernate features. (Back in
DOS days I actually had an early Toshiba notebook partially melt its
case because of problems with suspend while it was in its carrying case
on board an aircraft.)


But, on the rare occasions I've tried them, those features have usually
worked for me. It always surprises me when they do.

>> We use Xfce 4.8 and its standard WM for that DE (xfwm4). One of the
>> Nvidia cards is an old gaming card, and the other is a high end CAD card
>> (Quadro somethin-or-other).
>> Both of those cards gave us fits using the proprietary drivers under
>> Ubuntu and Gnome a couple of years ago. Weird things kept happening to
>> various parts of Gnome. Since switching to nouveau / Xfce / Debian we've
>> seen no such problems.
>> But I'll try following the instructions in the bug report for
>> reproducing the glitches if I get a chance this weekend, just for my own
>> edification.
> If you can reproduce them, don't hesitate to follow up.  If not, and
> your hardware is different from Vincent's, do not bother.

As you seem to have suspected, I have different hardware, and I'm unable
to reproduce the bug. I didn't persist at it, but my wife says she just
hasn't seen anything to bother her. And she (rightly so) eyes me with
suspicion when I start fiddling around with her systems. Heh.

It's interesting that nouveau's support for cards varies so much in
quality. I also think the proprietary drivers have always varied greatly
in their bugginess in their support of various cards. Because the Quadro
Pro graphics were expensive and probably not so commonly used by Ubuntu
users, I could never get any conversation going with anyone else who was
seeing the incredible glitches I saw with those cards under Gnome. They
were just crazy weird. But I knew it was the drivers because switching
from the proprietary drivers fixed the glitches every time. Every little
change in Gnome in those days made our desktops go bananas when using
the proprietary drivers. It was my dismay over such things that caused
me to look at Debian and decide to go with it as a distribution which
focused on making FOSS work, instead of trying to make proprietary stuff

>> These days, I try to stick with integrated Intel graphics for my own boxes.
> That would be my choice on new systems as well.
>> And, yeah, I did fall back on the nv driver earlier on when nouveau was
>> still pretty iffy. The nv driver was still better for us than the
>> proprietary drivers, but I guess it turned out to be pretty
>> "proprietary" in its own way and had to go bye-bye from Debian. I think
>> it was probably the right way for the distro to go -- even if it did
>> cause a lot of us some pain in the transition.
> One could argue whether it was the right choice to make nouveau the
> default driver in squeeze, but other distributions had already made the
> same decision, e.g. Ubuntu 10.04.
> Cheers,
>        Sven

Well, the switches concerning framebuffer and nouveau in squeeze caused
me to do a little learning. It was actually fun.

I remember you being involved with a number of people in conversations
on this list that helped them (and me) to figure some practical
workarounds during the transitions. You're a useful guy to have around!
Thank you for that!

Best wishes,
the worrier

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