Stepping into the future

Sunday, August 23, 2009 14:54 - GNOME

Sure my laptop was more than five years old and showing its age at times but I was still quite happy with it, unfortunately some mechanical part broke down and the lid couldn't be closed anymore, not practical.

So I now have a Thinkpad, first time I don't go for a cheap assembled computer, first time I get to buy a Windows licence, scratched as soon as I boot it up.

I still do not have migrated everything, but I got my GNOME development environment set up already, and used the opportunity to fix a build issue with nss on 64bits archs, and while I was at it I also fixed xulrunner to build, using the nspr and nss libraries installed by jhbuild. Mozilla built in jhbuild, the next logical step was to check if I could gnome-shell built in my full jhbuild system, and sure it managed without a glitch.

However starting gnome-shell was a pain, way too slow, actually not slow but terribly sacadated, something was really wrong, as the processor showed little activity. It's finally the day after that I looked at it again and took measurements, how strange, the screen is refreshed only every three seconds! Then I checked with a sample Clutter app and it had the same behaviour, so I looked at Clutter debugging infrastructure and read the Running Clutter page, to learn about the available debugging modes but just below there was a note on CLUTTER_VBLANK and I gave it a try.

CLUTTER_VBLANK=none and voila, it works! I could at last try gnome-shell And to be honest I was pleasantly surprised, I only gave it a shot once, months ago, and it sure improved and is quite usable now (in fact I am using it at this moment), and it goes really well with my dark theme. Congrats to the gnome-shell people!

And now the paint has dried, I'll go back to my Sunday paint job...

Green Paint

Last Modification: Sunday, August 23, 2009 14:56

> first time I get to buy a Windows licence, scratched as soon as I boot it up.

Did you call/write to Lenovo to get a refund for the unused licence? In my experience it works with little efforts (although it's still difficult to get the full amount of the refund) and might help Lenovo understand customers want choice and be able to buy a computer without preinstalled software.

> CLUTTER_VBLANK=none and voila

Thanks for the hint, one of my friend (which got the aforementioned refund) has the same laptop as you and this fixed his problems with clutter too.

Comment by jernst on August 23, 2009 16:07

the VBLANK=none is essentially a workaround against some drivers that do not correctly work; if you are using an Intel GPU with the new stable release you'll have to enable KMS (kernel mode setting) to have a proper sync-to-vblank behaviour.

all in all, though, I'm pretty happy that you found the documentation of Clutter useful. :-)

Comment by Emmanuele Bassi on August 23, 2009 20:54

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