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#1 2011-04-08 00:37:16

MurdersLastCrow
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Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

I love how low-resource Gnome-Shell is compared to my previous Gnome2/Compiz setup, but for some reason all the graphics are garbled and funky looking. So, in essence, I have the capability to run all this stuff, but it's just not rendering right with my card. I'm using an ATi Radeon 9250 card with the open driver (only driver available). I really don't wanna' go buy a new card just to use Gnome3, but the same issue persists in Fedora's test image on kernel 2.6.37 as well as Arch with 2.6.38.

Without further ado, here are some shots of what I'm talking about.

Nasty Desktop
Gnarly Dash

Also, a somewhat related item- when I tried to use the compiz-based Unity desktop, I got an error saying that it requires OpenGL 1.4+, so I'm supposing my video card or driver doesn't exceed this requirement. Could this prevent me from using Gnome-Shell as intended? Is there a rendering mode or option that I completely missed during installation? I haven't been able to scrounge up any extra information to diagnose this, as I don't see any mention of a similar issue throughout the internets.

If anyone has a clue what's going on, any help would be greatly appreciated. Even if it's "yeah, go buy a new video card."

Last edited by MurdersLastCrow (2011-04-08 02:14:49)

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#2 2011-04-08 01:26:33

the sad clown
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From: 192.168.0.X
Registered: 2011-03-20
Posts: 833

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Have you tried a different font?  I don't believe your hardware/software is inadequate, but here is a link that discusses minimum requirements:
http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop- … 00135.html


I laugh, yet the joke is on me

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#3 2011-04-08 02:08:31

MurdersLastCrow
Member
Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Well, I tried to change the fonts, and that didn't help a lot. I've been switching between Fallback with Compiz and GnomeShell all day trying to figure this one out... and I just found out through a very odd circumstance that supertuxkart's latest version is having the same issues, even without a composited environment. It was working just fine before, but I don't play many 3d games so I haven't noticed if there are more glitches like this- I would suspect it's not a Gnome 3 issue at this point.

The issues I'm talking about are the generally garbled 3d text/images. I don't think it has anything to do with the font, sadly. Also, I doubt my card doesn't support more than OpenGL 1.2, or else it wouldn't start in the first place. My only guess is that it's an issue with the open ATi driver, so I guess I'll just keep playing with settings in Xorg or something.

I'll go look into the mailing lists and irc channels for the driver, I guess. Hopefully they know something that could assist us in figuring this out. I'll report back with any relevant details.

P.S. Just realized my card is a Radeon 9250, not 9200. Edited previous posts to correct this.

Last edited by MurdersLastCrow (2011-04-08 02:16:09)

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#4 2011-04-08 03:42:24

MurdersLastCrow
Member
Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Well, turns out that any card with R200 has this issue. There is no Gallium support for these cards, and their development seems a bit lax (at best). So let it be known- avoid R200 and previous ATi cards if you can. They're just not very important anymore, I guess. It's a shame, as I love the ATi open drivers in general.

Thanks for the assistance, sad clown.

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#5 2011-04-08 10:33:29

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Just testing out a Gnome 3 live cd on my laptop with a R200 (ATI Mobility Radeon 9000). I'm of course also seeing the garbled text in the gnome-shell interface and some other graphical quirks. The text is the worst part since it's almost impossible to decipher. I couldn't open your pics, but I'm assuming I'm seeing the same thing.

MurdersLastCrow wrote:

Well, turns out that any card with R200 has this issue.

Could you post a link to wherever you saw this? Curious what else, if anything, was said on the topic.

This R200 is in my laptop so I can't do much in the way of avoiding it. I did some Googling and found the same prognosis you did for Gallium support in R200 cards. For anyone else that was confused, the item in question is Gallium3D.

I'm not sure if the absence of Gallium support is supposed to be a deal breaker, because I think Mesa should be able to handle things if Gallium isn't available. And it seems to for the most part. The major functionality all seems to be working (comparing with my friend's newer laptop where it works perfectly) apart from a few cosmetic glitches, so I'm wondering if there's some workaround.

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#6 2011-04-08 12:19:56

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

I opened a bug report in the gnome-shell section of GNOME's Bugzilla: Bug 647158 - Garbled text and other quirks on ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 (R200).

Let's see what happens.

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#7 2011-04-09 07:11:53

MurdersLastCrow
Member
Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

I gleaned that information from the official ATi open driver irc channel. We discussed it, and it sounds like the developers for R200 are confused and a tad bit unmotivated in what they're doing, seeing as how the card is 'so old' (2003 or so). There is no plan to support Gallium on these cards at the moment. Also, you will see that the garbled rendering isn't merely a Gnome-Shell issue. It happens in all sorts of recent OpenGL applications on these cards.

So, essentially, there's nothing wrong with Gnome-Shell. Also, after modifying rendering modes between XAA, EXA, UXA, and turning KMS on and off, nothing changed (except for a speed decrease). So you're pretty much stuck with compiz for now. As much as I hate to say this, the easiest solution is to get a different video card.

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#8 2011-04-09 15:24:05

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Thanks, that makes the situation quite a bit clearer to me. I prodded a bit more in the bug report I filed, because I was trying to understand if the issue was primarily on the driver side or gnome-shell side. I didn't realize other OpenGL apps were also problematic on r200 cards. Looks like Gallium or bust for the future.

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#9 2011-04-12 14:28:22

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Positive development on the messed up text issue.

The problem was a bug in mesa. A patch with a fix was posted in the thread of the bug I opened (Bug 647158).

Built mesa-git from the AUR with the patch added and it rectified the screwed up text in the top bar, menus, and activities view. Major improvement in usability. Just one other big problem to fix (trying to view the applications section of the activities view fails) and it will be pretty much perfect.

Last edited by veek (2011-04-12 14:30:17)

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#10 2011-04-13 00:42:49

MurdersLastCrow
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Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Really, now? I was also experiencing white 'shadows' around the edge of the windows and other graphical glitches. Also, I was able to get to applications without a crash about half of the time. But if the visuals are okay, I'm fine using Alt+F2 for a bit if necessary. This might also help solve a range of other problems, so I'm going to do what I can to help before switching video cards.

Edit: Read your post about the Fedora Live CD not having the Applications menu issue. I'll do a bit more looking around, but that may be an Arch-specific bug that needs reporting. I'll also try the openSUSE Live CD to see if it persists.

Last edited by MurdersLastCrow (2011-04-13 01:12:05)

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#11 2011-04-13 06:48:54

MurdersLastCrow
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Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Good news! As I tried, unsuccessfully, to install mesa-git with the patches (dependency Hell for the first time), I found that upon reinstalling the default packages, most likely from testing, the text/shadow issue has already been fixed! However, as you can see from those bug reports, there are still some issues rendering corners, and text below a certain point on the screen. Very odd issues, but hopefully approachable. At least now I can use Gnome-Shell without constant sadness. XD

So, issue semi-fixed.

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#12 2011-04-13 09:10:34

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Nice! I'll have to reinstall from testing. Do you have any problems accessing the applications menu or is that just something screwed up on my Arch install?

For the record, I tangled with the mesa-git PKGBUILD for a while before I got it to work.

I had to comment out an autogen option in the AUR PKGBUILD: --enable-shared-dricore. The mesa PKGBUILD in the extra repo doesn't enable the shared dri core.

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#13 2011-04-13 09:49:18

MurdersLastCrow
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Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Turns out, I must've just thought it was working since the search feature worked half of the time. Searching for system monitor or gedit works, but somehow searching for terminal or banshee makes it flip out. And when I click Applications it restarts without fail (the shell- doesn't log me out until I try it a few times). So did you say Fedora's Live CD didn't have that issue? Hrm.

Also, on the second, more general bug report, there's a new 'hack' related to clutter that may or may not work- they can't exactly test it without some hardware on hand, so it might be a good opportunity for us to get involved to bury this issue. Either way I'm bookmarking it.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679579

Last edited by MurdersLastCrow (2011-04-13 09:51:55)

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#14 2011-04-13 13:08:59

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Wow things are turning around fast. That hack totally fixed the application menu. I need to register on the redhat bugzilla and give some feedback.

When I tested using the Fedora LiveCD, the application view worked fine, icons and text (with the text fix applied) showed up nicely. On my Arch install I couldn't open the application view (with or without the text fix), it would try to open and then exit out to the desktop without showing anything.

I applied the hack, which was just commenting out a single if statement, and recompiled mesa-git. Now the application menu is working with all the icons and text, the app search is also working, and performance is much better. Nearly perfect now with a few minor rendering glitches here and there.

I'll post again about how to get mesa-git compiled.

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#15 2011-04-13 13:13:37

wonder
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From: Bucharest, Romania
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 5,937
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Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

@veek FYI the mesa from testing is a snapshot from git smile


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#16 2011-04-13 13:38:03

veek
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Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Hey wonder, ah right, I see that now smile That would be why testing users already received the garbled text fix. It was just a patch the other day, I didn't expect it to get committed so fast.

Now I was just testing another fix that hasn't been committed yet. I've been using the mesa-git PKGBUILD from AUR which is nearly identical to the one in testing. In fact it would have saved me a bit of trouble if I used the testing PKGBUILD to begin with.

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#17 2011-04-14 01:04:46

MurdersLastCrow
Member
Registered: 2010-10-04
Posts: 74

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Some extra issues that I'm pretty sure are connected to Gnome-Shell's rendering bugs on R200 cards. First of all, Minitube, Firefox, and many other applications don't seem to like going fullscreen (the whole screen just becomes white, although the program continues to run and you can interact with it, with the mouse which is still visible). Also, running video in Totem or Minitube has resulted in weird discolorations scattered across the screen- they go away when you maximize the window. Here are some examples.

What the? That's not right...
Moving the window might fix i... oh my.
Well that's 'better'.

You seeing anything like this, veek? I sure hope it's just something weird I did.

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#18 2011-04-15 02:50:31

veek
Member
Registered: 2006-03-10
Posts: 167

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Sometimes I can fullscreen Firefox, but sometimes I just get the full white screen. It seems to be connected to other apps being open. For video I tried playing a couple in VLC and I don't have any problems unless I try to fullscreen, then I get the white box over the video until I move the mouse and I can see video for a bit and then it goes back to white box. If it's not fullscreen I can drag the VLC window around and it keeps playing fine maximized or not.

I'm going to keep an eye on the bugzilla threads and continue posting the errors I'm logging.

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#19 2011-10-19 08:56:00

Stunts
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From: Portugal
Registered: 2009-03-28
Posts: 297
Website

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

MurdersLastCrow wrote:

Turns out, I must've just thought it was working since the search feature worked half of the time. Searching for system monitor or gedit works, but somehow searching for terminal or banshee makes it flip out. And when I click Applications it restarts without fail (the shell- doesn't log me out until I try it a few times). So did you say Fedora's Live CD didn't have that issue? Hrm.

Also, on the second, more general bug report, there's a new 'hack' related to clutter that may or may not work- they can't exactly test it without some hardware on hand, so it might be a good opportunity for us to get involved to bury this issue. Either way I'm bookmarking it.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679579

Sorry for bringing up such an old post, but I believe it is still relevant.
I am using a Radeon 9200 Pro and gnome-shell 3.2. I am suffering from the crashes mentioned above (when clicking "applications" under the activities "menu").
I have patched the current mesa in [extra] with the quoted patch, but it didn't seem to solve my problem.

Is the patch still working for you? Or are you using mesa-git?

Thank you for any feedback.

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#20 2011-11-12 02:34:13

flipelunico
Member
Registered: 2011-11-12
Posts: 1

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

Hello,

I have the same problem (gnome 3.2). someone has solved?

Thanks!

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#21 2011-11-12 18:44:41

Stunts
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2009-03-28
Posts: 297
Website

Re: Gnome-Shell works but looks horrible with ATi Radeon 9250

I have found a work around.
I gave up on gnome shell on this ancient hardware, I just started to use this patch on gdm:

http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/file … list.patch

It basically forces gnome to the fallback mode when using this graphics card.
I know it's not the same thing, but I guess until gnome-shell is built with LLVM (and I am not saying it should, I'm just pointing out this possibility), which seems to work reasonably well with software rendering, I guess we're stuck with fallback mode.

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