Screen redrawing problems with the “nvidia” driver and Compiz

Just in case you were experiencing, like me, some very annoying problems with your NVIDIA graphic card while using Compiz, here you have a very useful option to put inside the “Device” section in your /etc/X11/xorg.org file:

Option         "UseCompositeWrapper" "true"

After activating this option (available for nvidia drivers >= 169.xx) I found that the problems redrawing windows I was suffering, specially when scrolling (very annoying, for instance, when chatting through pidging), just dissapeared. And it was indeed a very annoying problem, since it used to happen very often and in almost any window (although not in Emacs ;-) ) in my system, in a way so any information on it just got screwed up so it was completely unreadable… and the only “manual” workaround I had found so far was just to re-scroll the window or select the text I was trying to read, which seemed not to be a very good idea.

Needed to say that I started to see this odd behavior since I “downgraded” my Ubuntu 8.10 down to 8.04 last week (because of some very specific needs), and this strange problem never happened when using Intrepid, so if you’re now using that version perhaps you can just throw this post away to the trash, because then it would not useful at all for you.

But just in case, here you are my two cents, and to make them even more useful, here you are the full configuration of my “Device” section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, which allows me to use a fully accelerated desktop with no problems at all:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Videocard0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "Quadro NVS 140M"
    Option         "AllowGLXWithComposite" "true"
    Option         "UseCompositeWrapper" "true"
    Option         "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps"
    Option         "NoLogo" "true"
    Option         "backingstore" "true"
    Option         "TripleBuffer" "true"
    Option         "AddARGBGLXVisuals"  "true"
EndSection

Hope this will be useful for you as well :-) .

Update: If you’re still suffering these problems even after adding these lines to xorg.conf, you could try to install the nvidia driver through Envy. These steps worked for me (at the end, the annoying problem appeared again, although not so often than before):

  1. Uninstall any other driver you had installed before (through the ubuntu “restricted drivers” manager, or the .run script downloaded from nvidia.com).
  2. Install Envy: apt-get install envyng-core
  3. Shutdown X and install the nvidia driver from a tty terminal: envyng -t

After following these steps, and the simple instructions on screen, by ubuntu hardy perfectly booted up with the nvidia driver v173.14, which seems not to present the same problem.

Let’s see if these new advice helps you too :-)

Love and Hate

Seen in FOSDEM, in front of the GNOME stand:
Gnome love and hate

It looks like a original and very visual idea to put many ideas and visions all together, doesn’t it? Pointless to say I agree more with the “love” side, of course :-)

By the way, I took this picture today, the second and last day of the conference… so now I’m ready to give a full and complete opinion about it, which is that it just was great: I had a very  good time and a lot of fun being there, and not only because of the talks, which were amazing in most of the cases, but also because of meeting people and sharing visions and comments with all of them.

So, it seems now it’s time to get back home, so now I’m going to bed, since I’m very tired and tomorrow I’ll have to wake up early to take the plane.

First day at FOSDEM, first impressions

As planned, I attended today to my first day at FOSDEM ’09, and I have to say my impressions are even better than what I would expected: lots of talks, lots of volunteers, lots of resources to get into (I’d like to congratulate the organization for all the amazing work they have done), and lots of hackers all over the place. In fact, it was sometimes very hard to manage to select and attend to some talks (at least for me, perhaps because I’m a “newbie” here as this is my first year here), since parallelization is very high (and needed, if you think on more than 260 talks taking place in just two days) and timetables are sometimes too tight if you want to move around between different rooms.

But… what the hell? That insane amount of talks and hackers hanging around is exactly which makes FOSDEM great, isn’t it? So, no complaints, only good words for FOSDEM! :-)

As I side note about conferences, I’d like to state I liked a lot the talks I attended, specially those ones in the “GNOME developers room”, which were all great. In a more specific way, I specially liked the talk about the People Framework, which is IMO such an interesting project, which could become a very helpful tool for those kind of people that, like me, suffer the typical problems of having several devices or applications with independent (but related) contact list. Keep going on with that awesome work, guys!

Regarding to the Fosdem Beer Event, needed to say it was just great to be there, talking to so many people (some new people to me, and some already “old friends”) and trying so many different beers, which were very tasty indeed, like the “Delirium Tremens” and “Kasteel”, for instance, which I just loved. The only slightly negative point on this was that trying so many beers didn’t help me to wake up in my best shape precisely, but nothing that a good breakfast and some hours of good talks could not fix :-) .

At last, as a picture is usually better than too much text, here you are one: me in the main entrance.
Me at FOSDEM main entrance

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Just a few hours left for Brussels

As some of my mates here in Igalia, I’m arriving tomorrow at Brussels, in order to attend to FOSDEM ’09. This is my first visit both to Brussels and FOSDEM and I’m very excited and looking forward to arriving there and meeting all the people attending and giving talks in this great event, which I’m sure I’m goint to love.

So now it’s time to get everything ready in my backpack and going to bed soon, since my plane leaves Coruña early in the morning and I’ll need to rest properly to reach Brussels in my best shape. And let’s hope I don’t find any problems in Madrid, where news said they’re in “orange alert” because of the snow (I wouldn’t like to miss my connection or, even worse, to miss Friday in Brussels and therefore the FOSDEM Beer Event ;-) ).

See you there  guys!

Personal web page removed

Just in case you wonder why my personal webpage (formerly at http://people.igalia.com/msanchez) is no longer available, here you are some brief explanations:

  • I don’t see the point of having a so simple webpage when the same thing could be easily got by setting up a WordPress page.
  • I don’t like having two different places to make all the stuff I want available for everybody: a blog for posts, and the personal web for the remaining stuff. Two different places also mean, by the way, two different “things” to maintain and keep up-to-date.
  • I’m not a graphical designer and, no matter what I do, a webpage made and designed by me (I’m talking about the CSS on here, mainly) never will look as good as many WordPress themes out there, like this one I’m currently using, for instance.

So, I just decided today to remove my personal webpage from the internet and set up a redirection to this blog (I don’t like broken links either). But first, instead of just throwing away all the stuff I had in my old web, I’ve merged and moved them into the (already existing) About me and the (newly created) Stuff pages in this blog, respectively, whose hyperlinks you can find in the sidebar.

I hope this change made sense for you too :-)