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#1 2018-11-16 22:25:10

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

After an update with pacman a few days ago, XFCE is unusable.  The mouse pointer doesn't appear.  Most applications don't start at all or open a plain white window.  Logging out of XFCE freezes the entire system with a black screen.  The only way to shutdown (if XFCE has been started) is to physically power off the PC.

The only unusual thing about my installation is that I downgraded virtualbox and virtualbox-guest-iso to the prior version (5.2.18-1) a few weeks ago.  I had difficulty mounting the old ISO for some reason and found the old version in the filesystem, which I deleted.  I also ignored subsequent updates to the (only) the virtualbox package.  Probably not a great idea in hindsight.  hmm

-----

To troubleshoot, I upgraded virtualbox (and reinstalled its related packages), but still had the issue.

I've scanned through the Xorg.0.log and pacman.log files, and the only thing that stands out (to me) are the nvidia driver errors in the Xorg log.

/var/log/pacman.log (pastebin)
/var/log/Xorg.0.log  (pastebin)

I realised that both nvidia and virtualbox have DKMS modules on my system.  So I tried rebuilding all DKMS modules, unsuccessfully:

# dkms autoinstall --all
Error! Could not locate dkms.conf file.
File: /var/lib/dkms/vboxhost/5.0.14_OSE/source/dkms.conf does not exist.

So I deleted the 5.0.14_OSE module (as I also had the 5.2.22_OSE version installed) and tried again, but get a different error.  Omitting the --all option appears successful, but had no apparent effect on the problem.

# dkms remove vboxhost/5.0.14_OSE
# dkms autoinstall --all
Error! echo
Your kernel headers for kernel  cannot be found at
/usr/lib/modules//build or /usr/lib/modules//source.
Error! echo
Your kernel headers for kernel  cannot be found at
/usr/lib/modules//build or /usr/lib/modules//source.
# dkms autoinstall
# 

I've tried re-installing linux-headers, dkms, the dkms modules, other recently-installed linux and xorg updates, and re-generating mkinitcpio images; all to no avail.

I'm not really sure what else to try.  Can any Arch gurus offer any hints...?

Last edited by esuhl (2018-11-16 22:26:20)

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#2 2018-11-16 22:46:11

twelveeighty
Member
From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2011-09-04
Posts: 454

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

While I don't think your Xfce problems have anything to do with virtualbox, let's start with that one first: the reason virtualbox is not working is probably because you missed virtualbox-host-dkms in your downgrade. virtualbox, virtualbox-host-dkms and virtualbox-guest-iso should all be at the same version.

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#3 2018-11-16 23:37:58

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

twelveeighty wrote:

While I don't think your Xfce problems have anything to do with virtualbox, let's start with that one first: the reason virtualbox is not working is probably because you missed virtualbox-host-dkms in your downgrade. virtualbox, virtualbox-host-dkms and virtualbox-guest-iso should all be at the same version.

Yeah, thanks.  I realise that in hindsight.

The first thing I did was to update virtualbox so everything is now the latest version, but (as above) I can't get XFCE working again.  :-(

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#4 2018-11-17 00:32:40

twelveeighty
Member
From: Alberta, Canada
Registered: 2011-09-04
Posts: 454

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

Assuming virtualbox is happy again, now make sure the nvidia DKMS driver is the correct version and built successfully. If that's the case, but there's still an issue with the new version, see if you can downgrade that driver? I don't run nvidia, but I assume you can downgrade that driver in general?

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#5 2018-11-17 07:53:37

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

The xorg log is dated:

[    39.980] (==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Fri Apr  6 04:26:17 2018

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#6 2018-11-17 15:25:34

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 16,274

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

seth wrote:

The xorg log is dated:

[    39.980] (==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Fri Apr  6 04:26:17 2018

Esuhl, How do you start xorg?  Depending on how you start it, it may not be running as root.  You may want to be looking in ~/.local/share/xorg/ for that log instead.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
---
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

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#7 2018-11-19 03:23:20

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

twelveeighty wrote:

Assuming virtualbox is happy again, now make sure the nvidia DKMS driver is the correct version and built successfully. If that's the case, but there's still an issue with the new version, see if you can downgrade that driver? I don't run nvidia, but I assume you can downgrade that driver in general?

The DKMS module versions correspond with the package versions I have.  I reinstalled nvidia-dkms, and tried again.

Then I downgraded nvidia-dkms, nvidia-utils and lib32-nvidia-utils from v410.73 to v410.66 (which I know was working), but unfortunately the problem remains.

ewaller wrote:
seth wrote:

The xorg log is dated:

[    39.980] (==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Fri Apr  6 04:26:17 2018

Esuhl, How do you start xorg?  Depending on how you start it, it may not be running as root.  You may want to be looking in ~/.local/share/xorg/ for that log instead.

Ah!  My PC boots into bash, then I run startx.  This is my ~/.xinitrc (pastebin).

And this is my ~/local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log (pastebin), which is just a few days old (by the looks of it).  I'm not sure if the nvidia-related warnings indicate anything...? :-/

Thanks everyone :-)

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#8 2018-11-19 08:34:35

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

The xorg log looks mostly fine.
Try to "exec xterm" (assuming xterm is installed) or to DISable the compositor, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xf … te_manager
If you still get a clean powerdown,  post the journal (incl. kernel messages) from an affecetd boot. Otherwise seek to ssh into the machine and check dmesg for GPU/framebuffer issues.

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#9 2018-11-19 23:59:48

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

seth wrote:

The xorg log looks mostly fine.
Try to "exec xterm" (assuming xterm is installed) or to DISable the compositor, https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xf … te_manager

From that wiki page, I tried this:

$ xfwm4-tweaks-settings
These settings cannot work with your current window manager (unknown)
$ xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/use_compositing -s false
$ 

The system crashed on shutdown, so I pulled the plug and rebooted, ran the above xfconf-query command again (just to be sure), started X and... IT WORKS!!!  (You're a genius! :-D )

However, when I log out of X, the Xorg server lists all sorts of error messages.  (Previously there were none.)  I'd love to understand more about what happened so I can make sure there aren't any underlying issues that will cause a problem in future.

I notice a few "audit" messages towards the end of journalctl -b (pastebin). When the problem first occurred, I also started seeing audit messages appearing on the bash login prompt that appears after booting.  Could that indicate anything?

I can't see anything obvious in ~/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log (pastebin) or the results of dmesg (pastebin)... but I'm not too sure I understand the logs very well.

Is there anything else I should investigate?

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#10 2018-11-20 21:01:09

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

So there seems an issue w/ at least  the xfwm4 compositor. You might try whether compoton or xcompmgr (generic compositors which run in parallel to the WM) cause the same.
There's no major issue in the xorg log (aside your trackball config and /dev/input/mouse0, but the device should be accessible as /dev/input/event3, so no harm) and I don't see gpu related issues in your journal either (the audit logs are now "normal")

As a hunch: I'm not sure how and how well the nvidia driver responds to "fbcon=scrollback:256k"

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#11 2018-11-20 22:08:26

loqs
Member
Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 6,375

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

Is the issue also present under linux-lts?

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#12 2018-11-26 06:35:50

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

seth wrote:

There's no major issue in the xorg log (aside your trackball config and /dev/input/mouse0, but the device should be accessible as /dev/input/event3, so no harm) and I don't see gpu related issues in your journal either (the audit logs are now "normal")

Thanks -- I've fixed the trackball settings now.  The only entry I really don't understand is the first line.  The file exists and a quick google suggests that the permissions are correct, so I'm not sure why it couldn't be opened (or whether it matters):

[   258.072] (WW) Failed to open protocol names file lib/xorg/protocol.txt

---------

seth wrote:

As a hunch: I'm not sure how and how well the nvidia driver responds to "fbcon=scrollback:256k"

I've used that setting with nvidia for a long time and it's been fine thus far.  I've removed it for now, but had no effect on the issue.

---------

loqs wrote:

Is the issue also present under linux-lts?

Aha!  No, it isn't!  The xfwm4 compositor DOES work properly with linux-lts!  Amazing!  :-)

However, I still get lots of errors/messages when I exit from X into bash.  I've looked into each of them, and I think they're mostly benign and not related to the compositor issue.  I've manually typed out and re-formatted the messages here (is there an easier way to capture them?):  http://sprunge.us/BStmkK

---------

seth wrote:

So there seems an issue w/ at least  the xfwm4 compositor. You might try whether compoton or xcompmgr (generic compositors which run in parallel to the WM) cause the same.

I tried compton with the standard linux kernel and that works too!  So, yes -- it looks like either a problem with the xfwm4 compositor and/or the linux kernel.

---------

Is this a bug that I should report?  Should I do further troubleshooting to rule out anything else on my system that could be contributing to the problem?

Thanks everyone :-)

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#13 2018-11-26 08:06:42

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

The protocol.txt error is "normal" for rootless Xorg instances and - for the moment - harmless.
The errors are not problematic in and by itself (https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1615700) but

An output is set on the panel window (DVI-I-2), but it looks  like the driver does not support output names. 

sounds interesting:

xrandr -q

Do you have any randr calls by the xfce session? Does the xfwm4 compositor "work" if you start it while the session is running?

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#14 2018-11-27 08:03:40

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

seth wrote:

Do you have any randr calls by the xfce session?

I don't think I've done anything with RandR settings myself.  I can't see any references to it in the usual files (.xinitrc, etc.) -- is that what you mean?

seth wrote:

Does the xfwm4 compositor "work" if you start it while the session is running?

No.  The screen instantly goes black leaving just the mouse pointer visible.  I can still move the pointer and switch to other non-X virtual consoles.  If I do sudo shutdown -h now, several processes stall for several minutes a time, and eventually I have to unplug the machine.  This is the first place the shutdown process stalls (in case it's relevant):

A stop job is running for Session 1 of user esuhl...

I also tried turning compositing off in the virtual terminal after X crashes, but that didn't seem to do anything.  I then killed all relevant processes, but for some reason I couldn't kill Xorg or xfwm4 (both with a PID of 1).  If I then switch back to X (CTRL+ALT+F1), the entire system immediately freezes.  Otherwise, staying in the virtual console and trying to shutdown never completes.

I tried toggling some of the compositor values (disabling shadows and enabling vsync) before enabling compositing, but it made no difference.

I'm really puzzled as to why no one else (seemingly) is having similar issues...  Surely a fair few people out there must be using xfwm4 compositing on a similar set-up...  :-/

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#15 2018-11-27 08:29:14

FelledTreeNo9
Member
Registered: 2015-05-05
Posts: 23

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

I've just now done my monthly update and hit a similar issue.

Don't have much new to add at present except to confirm very similar symptoms - startxfce4 went to a blank screen, subsequently only my dmenu keyboard shortcut kinda worked, quitting the desktop (by killing xfce4-session) froze the computer needing a hard power cycle. Disabling the xfwm4 compositor before starting the desktop makes all those problems go away, turning it back on makes them all come back. Alternative compositors compton and ortle, work. Alternative window manager openbox, works.

I'm literally about to go to bed now but I'll be back later smile

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#16 2018-11-27 09:02:31

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

@esuhl, PID1 is the init process.
Does the problem remain if you replace the nvidia packages with the nvidia-390xx ones?

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#17 2018-11-27 10:39:48

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

seth wrote:

Does the problem remain if you replace the nvidia packages with the nvidia-390xx ones?

Yes, it does.  So presumably not a video driver issue...?

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#18 2018-11-27 13:23:00

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

Unlikely.
You could also try nouveau (kernel module, you'll probably want to use the modesetting driver) and check the journal or xsession log (or wherever xfce dupms its errors) for GLX related complaints.

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#19 2018-11-27 15:30:17

FelledTreeNo9
Member
Registered: 2015-05-05
Posts: 23

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

If I start the desktop with compositor switched off, SSH in with another machine and watch dmesg, then on the main machine start the compositor (with the xfconf-query command), then at that moment this appears in dmesg:

[  144.772483] BUG: unable to handle kernel NULL pointer dereference at 0000000000000080

followed by registers and stack trace etc (full log: http://sprunge.us/eHYYVr).

Again I don't have much time to experiment right now, but a cursory google has led me to this bug report: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1650224

where it sounds like they may have already fixed the problem in the upstream kernel.

Last edited by FelledTreeNo9 (2018-11-27 15:31:59)

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#20 2018-11-27 18:08:31

loqs
Member
Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 6,375

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

If someone affected could test if https://cgit.freedesktop.org/drm-misc/c … b6f19bb6d4 does resolve the issue.

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#21 2018-11-29 17:01:02

Rickrock
Member
From: The Netherlands
Registered: 2014-11-23
Posts: 44

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

FelledTreeNo9 wrote:

I've just now done my monthly update and hit a similar issue.

Don't have much new to add at present except to confirm very similar symptoms - startxfce4 went to a blank screen, subsequently only my dmenu keyboard shortcut kinda worked, quitting the desktop (by killing xfce4-session) froze the computer needing a hard power cycle. Disabling the xfwm4 compositor before starting the desktop makes all those problems go away, turning it back on makes them all come back. Alternative compositors compton and ortle, work. Alternative window manager openbox, works.

I'm literally about to go to bed now but I'll be back later smile

https://bugs.archlinux.org/task/58662

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#22 2018-11-29 20:04:39

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 8,912

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

@Rickrock, that's a different bug and was fixed in june by an update of the xorg-server.
Comments #19 & #20 are very promising, though.

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#23 2018-11-30 08:23:39

FelledTreeNo9
Member
Registered: 2015-05-05
Posts: 23

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

loqs wrote:

If someone affected could test if https://cgit.freedesktop.org/drm-misc/c … b6f19bb6d4 does resolve the issue.

I've just built a kernel (4.19.5-arch1-1-custom) with that patch, and it does resolve it for me. Xfwm compositor works normally again.

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#24 2018-12-05 15:08:45

esuhl
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2009-09-16
Posts: 99

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

Apologies for the delay in replying.

loqs wrote:

If someone affected could test if https://cgit.freedesktop.org/drm-misc/c … b6f19bb6d4 does resolve the issue.

That's all a bit over my head, I'm afraid.  :-/

In the light of your findings, FelledTreeNo9, is this something that's going to be fixed upstream, so I can mark this thread as "solved"?  Or would it help if I learnt how to apply and test that patch too...?

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#25 2018-12-05 15:32:19

loqs
Member
Registered: 2014-03-06
Posts: 6,375

Re: XFCE unusable after update (DKMS?)

It is in linux-mianline 4.20-rc5 https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/ke … 81b5ef6384
It is marked for backporting to stable but is not in the queue for 4.19.7 as of writing.
To backport it yourself see Patching_packages#Applying_patches

git clone git://git.archlinux.org/svntogit/packages.git --single-branch --branch "packages/linux" #clone the arch PKGBUILD
cd packages/trunk #use the latest version
curl -o 23a336b34258aba3b50ea6863cca4e81b5ef6384.patch 'https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/patch/drivers/gpu/drm/drm_auth.c?id=23a336b34258aba3b50ea6863cca4e81b5ef6384' #download patch to PKGBUILD directory
### add 23a336b34258aba3b50ea6863cca4e81b5ef6384.patch to the sources array of the PKGBUILD
updpkgsums #needs pacman-contrib
makepkg -rs
pacman -U linux-4.19.6.arch1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz linux-headers-4.19.6.arch1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz #assumes latest release is still 4.19.6

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