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Screen blanks while computer is in use, but user input can redraw the screen #2399

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andrewdavidwong opened this issue Oct 27, 2016 · 32 comments

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@andrewdavidwong
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@andrewdavidwong andrewdavidwong commented Oct 27, 2016

Qubes OS version (e.g., R3.1):

R3.2

Description:

Issue separately reported by two users:

Gaijin wrote:

I'm encountering seemingly random screen blanking while I'm using Qubes
3.2 (updated from a fresh install of rc3). The screen will blank and
momentarily show the logon. Yet if I move the mouse or use the keyboard
only the active window will show. Changing desktops, clicking on other
windows, or moving the active window around will redraw the rest of the
screen.

I never had this issue on this hardware with R3 or R3.1. I'm running
dual monitors off an nVidia GTX 560 Ti. The screensaver is set to blank
the screen and require a login. That's the screen that keeps popping up.
Sometimes it gets so frequent that I need to reboot the system and the
problem will go away for a while.

On 2016-10-26 05:43, John Maher wrote:

I'm getting the strangest thing on my screen. I'll be working and the XScreenSaver dialog pops up (indicating the screen is locked) and the screen goes black. However, the screen is not locked. I have to move a window around to redraw my screen. This has always happened since I started using Qubes about 3 weeks ago. There appears to be no pattern that prompts this response. Bizarre! Any thoughts?

@zby
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@zby zby commented Dec 5, 2016

I am also experiencing this. A screenshot attached. It looks like this happens most on heavy used workspaces - that is workspaces where I have Firefox with lots of tabs.
screenshot_2016-12-04_16-18-18

@andrewdavidwong
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@andrewdavidwong andrewdavidwong commented Dec 5, 2016

Thanks for the screenshot, @zby. That's helpful.

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Dec 9, 2016

I have to report the same problem. First it was the xlockmore which I deleted off the system and it just switched to another screen lock program. Its blanking the dual monitor system but not actually locking anything. I have been turning off and deactivating and even removing all screen lock/saver programs but nothing seems to help.

If i use the desktop pager it forces a refresh and clears the screen, momentarily, and it just blanks it again in about five seconds. Moving any graphic components or the mouse clear the screen where it gets redrawn, which is why the pager works becaus that forces a complete refresh. I play whack-a-mole for a while, and it's ok for a while, and then its back again, over and over. Just writing this note it blanked about ten times or more. Often I can't even clear the screen fast enough to keep up.

@ghost
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@ghost ghost commented Jan 16, 2017

@andrewdavidwong I no longer experience this issue, was it solved?

@andrewdavidwong
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@andrewdavidwong andrewdavidwong commented Jan 17, 2017

@e5f3c2ea895af0f27667: I'm not aware of any specific fix for this. Perhaps as a byproduct of something else?

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Jan 17, 2017

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Jan 17, 2017

@ghost
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@ghost ghost commented Jan 19, 2017

@andrewdavidwong @StevenLColeman42 Strangely enough, I noticed the issue again today (it happened only once).

@zby
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@zby zby commented Jan 22, 2017

Recently it indeed somehow diminished - but not vanished.

I noticed that a sure way to trigger it is to watch videos or have lots of windows (for example small chat windows) that are frequently popping up and being deleted.

@miero
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@miero miero commented Feb 21, 2017

This issue seems to be related to the PrintScreen key. I can change/clear content of that "pop-up" screen by pressing PrintScreen multiple times, each time with mouse cursor on different monitor.

BTW: This might be relevant: I'm using two monitors, rotated left by 90, radeon driver.

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Feb 21, 2017

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Feb 24, 2017

It started again...

When I play with the "File" menu in Libreoffice in my current Disp2 VM, the system 100% reliably kicks right into this xlock blank screen saver, thus displaying the .xlockrc "text" file from my Dom0 environment. I can play with other VM's app menus without any problem, which is how I am able to write this.

In the mean time Dom0 'xdg-screensaver status' returns 'disabled', and other fairly random movement on the cursor over apps sometimes causes the Dom0 xlock screensaver to kick in. No screensaver apps even exist in any of my VM templates.

After shutting down all VM's except Disp2, and the one I am writing this email from, the screensaver mayhem has stopped. Oddly if I open the Libreoffice file menu that was giving me the initial problem and then switch desktops that same file menu appears on whatever desktop I am on without the Libraoffice app window attached. This Disp2 VM was originally spawned from my email VM when opening a verifiable valid document attachment and had been sitting there quietly for several hours while I tended to other business.

@opalraava
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@opalraava opalraava commented Feb 26, 2017

I have the same issue, and also the same screen as the posted screenshot, its quite annoying... It doesnt seem to have anything to do with the graphics driver tho, i've got the same thing on two different gpu's.

@jpouellet
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@jpouellet jpouellet commented Feb 26, 2017

This seems very weird. An ltrace of the gui-agent, gui-daemon, and dom0 x server while experiencing this weird behavior might shed some light on what's going on.

Also, I'm curious if there's a correlation between experiencing this issue and your system (dom0 and/or restored backups of templates) being upgraded from pre-r3.2-release vs being a fresh install.

@opalraava
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@opalraava opalraava commented Feb 27, 2017

I've always been on R3.2 on both my old and new rig.

But I think I found something. I've disabled compositing in Settings>Window Manager Tweaks>Compositor. SInce then I've not seen the xscreensaver screen pop up on me.

I've got many windows open with animating gifs etc, trying to trigger the issue, and then I run yumex in dom0. With compositing on it gives me garbled screens of other apps (but not the xscreensaver screen), and when I disable compositing, everything displays as normal.

I'm not sure what to do now... I would love it if somebody else could confirm that disabling compositing fixes it, but a bug in the compositor somehow doesn't seem like an odd place for this kind of bug? If there is something I can do I'd be happy to help.

@zby
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@zby zby commented Feb 27, 2017

Yeah - switching off composing seems to work for me. I waited for the problem to happen then switched it off and it disappeared - this is not definitive - because it sometimes disappear with any screen operation, but the probability is high.

opalraava thanks a lot!

@opalraava
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@opalraava opalraava commented Feb 27, 2017

Thanks for the confirmation zby :o)

I'm currently trying if the bug stays away if I keep the compositor enabled, but disable all the 'drop shadow' settings in the compositor settings tab, but that's just trying to dig a bit deeper. I found a page on the Archwiki where they talk about similar kinds of bugs, and that you can start xfwm with a --compositor=off parameter.

I'm not sure if this is a Qubes issue, I mean I can't imagine we have anything to do with compositors.

@ghost
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@ghost ghost commented Mar 15, 2017

Way I found to replicate this issue: start many applications in many VMs, and then suspend your computer multiple times.

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Mar 17, 2017

@opalraava
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@opalraava opalraava commented Mar 19, 2017

Have you disabled the compositor? (Settings>Window Manager Tweaks>Compositor)

jpouellet added a commit to jpouellet/qubes-doc that referenced this issue Mar 19, 2017
@jpouellet
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@jpouellet jpouellet commented Mar 19, 2017

I do remember having rectangles of stale content in 3.1 with KDE. Never happened for me in 3.2 w/ Xfce though.

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Mar 19, 2017

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Mar 22, 2017

@modulistic
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@modulistic modulistic commented Apr 22, 2017

Hey, I am getting mad with this issue today.

I can say that I killed the xscreensaver process (in dom0) and the issue is still happening.
After that, I still experience the issue. After it happens, I can confirm the xscreensaver process is still gone (in dom0, it has not been restarted).

I'm on an up-to-date R3.2. I have a second display attached to my laptop, using both side-by-side.

In the screenshot you can see the unlock dialog from xscreensaver, along with some rectangles with the stuff that has refreshed on the open windows. But if xsreensaver is not running, who is painting the X root window? It should not be something that can be triggered from an appVM.

screenshot_2017-04-22_12-20-11

@StevenLColeman42
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@StevenLColeman42 StevenLColeman42 commented Apr 22, 2017

@modulistic
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@modulistic modulistic commented Apr 24, 2017

Hey, thanks Steve!

For the record, in R3.2 with default XFCE destop, the compositor settings can be found under Qubes Menu > System Tools > Window Manager Tweaks, in the "Compositor" tab.

@miero
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@miero miero commented Jun 14, 2017

(with enabled compositor) the issue is occurring more often if there is high CPU & disk load ... for example every 3 seconds

@opalraava
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@opalraava opalraava commented Jun 15, 2017

If the problem is in the compositor, it might work to toggle more detailed settings in the compositor settings and perhaps pin down in what subsystem of the compositor the bug is?

@miero
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@miero miero commented Aug 4, 2017

This seems to be a reliable way to trigger this issue.

  1. enable compositor in "Window Manager Tweaks" dialog.
  2. open "Window Manager" configuration dialog
  3. switch between Biz and Blackwall styles (on each switch between them the screen gets corrupted)

Maybe some windows manger styles will not trigger this issue...

@macdanny
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@macdanny macdanny commented Mar 16, 2019

This issue is happening for me as well. What is interesting is that it only started happening once I installed a second video card in my workstation. I have been using Qubes for only a few weeks but in that time I did not ever have an issue until the day after I added a second card.

I have an HP Z820 with an nVidia Quadro 5000. With only that video card installed, everything works well. But the Quadro only supports two monitors and I have three. The problem started happening the day after I added an additional video card to utilize my third monitor.

I had an old Radeon HD5570 lying around. That's the supplemental card I tried first. It worked several hours in my work day but it starting having issues late in the afternoon and these issues made the system unusable because it was blanking the screen every few seconds. I had to uninstall the supplemental card to keep working.

I was suspicious of the HD5570. It was in a parts box and I was not sure if it worked. I had tried a different card in the same box and it didn't work at all. So I thought the issue was with my video card. I bought a Radeon Pro WX 2100 card to use as a supplemental card. That was on Wednesday night. It worked fine for a couple of days but today it started doing the same screen blanking thing.

I deliberately chose a Radeon card because it was aligned with the Qubes hardware recommendations. But now that I am sitting here writing this and realizing that both cards that failed are Radeon cards, maybe that is the source of the issue.

I may exchange the Radeon Pro WX 2100 for another nVidia based card to see if it improves things. The system requirements favour AMD over nVidia but that contradicts my direct experience. It's not conclusive but it's grounds for further study.

With the compositor disabled everything works well (so far - it's only been a few minutes but it seems like it will work). I tried enabling the compositor but disabling the options underneath ... nothing helped other than disabling the compositor entirely. On the plus side having the compositor disabled seems to make video playback more smooth.

@StevenLColeman42 thank you for communicating that disabling the compositor fixes this issue. It was driving me nuts.

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