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GNOME Bug GUI Graphics Ubuntu Games Linux

GNOME Shell Hurts Gaming Performance 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the frame-job dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to recent benchmarks by Phoronix, using the GNOME Shell will cause a large performance hit when running OpenGL games on Linux. Using Unity and GNOME Shell are also hitting various bugs in the open-source drivers."
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GNOME Shell Hurts Gaming Performance

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  • by notsoclever (748131) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @02:15AM (#36316668) Journal
    GNOME shell exposes performance issues and driver bugs, which in principle means that those performance issues and driver bugs will (hopefully) be fixed, making the drivers more robust and performant down the road. How's this a problem?
  • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @02:44AM (#36316812) Homepage
    There's no problem at all, unless of course someone would go ahead and make this the default setting for the most popular and visible Linux distribution for non-techies out there today. But why would someone put together a hack like this and release before it's stable.
  • by bky1701 (979071) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @02:52AM (#36316858) Homepage
    I've not found this to be true. The drivers are buggy - not slow. Speed problems resulting from wine are often from inefficient stopgap code in the Direct X components of wine, or simply games doing things that the wine programmers didn't expect. Direct X is one of the most complicated parts of windows and wine depends mostly on Microsoft-provided documentation and reverse engineering to get it to work. It is really amazing anything can work, I think. Wine is perhaps one of the most impressive programming accomplishments in history.

    But I do have a problem with something. As much as drivers cause problems on Linux, using them as a defense for Open Source failings to provide stable and quality libraries and programs is pathetic. I'm not accusing you of this, but already I see posts on here excusing GNOME because somehow, ATI/NVIDIA drivers are worse on GNOME than KDE... yeah, right. It is part of GNOME's job to make sure their library works with the drivers out there. That might not be right, but it's how it is, and making excuses gives Linux a bad name.

    Guess what? Proprietary developers have to put up with it, too. The hardware makers aren't (generally) singling out Open Source libraries to mess with. They don't sit in dimly kit conference rooms, laughing maniacally from under their black hoods, saying "ha, we got GNOME to look bad today!" At some point, developers (I'm looking at you, GNOME), need to grow a pair and stop complaining about the world around them.
  • by bky1701 (979071) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:04AM (#36316902) Homepage
    Not that long ago I had to actually make a decision as to which window manager to use based on the features they supported. However, over the last three years, I've watched both Gnome and KDE go from stable to hacked together pieces of crap that barely run. I stayed on KDE3 for a very long time after 4 was released, because, as has become common, it was released completely unfinished. However I was forced to upgrade because almost no distro supports KDE3 anymore.

    Well, that was great! Almost every feature I used either gone or mangled. It can no longer render windows properly, causes video playback to jump and freeze, and is now almost entirely unusable with my new video card. Gnome is even worse.

    So, as a strong proponent of open source software, I am really dismayed. I can't even use Linux anymore because no window manager works right with my ATI card, and even before that, were barely usable (older Nvidia) without glitches. How am I supposed to advocate that others use it if I can't?

    I think Linux needs a complete change in focus and methodology, or it is going to end up losing what little market share it has. It is time to stop trying to copy Apple UIs and time to start worrying about stability. This whole batch of project managers has failed us - we need mass forks of major projects.

    But then, what do I know? I'm a windows user, again...
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:11AM (#36316932)

    Disable Desktop effects shut off Compiz. This has been known for a very long time, whether it be Warzone 2100, Quake 4, Doom 3, Unreal Tournament, or Warcraft 3. These "desktop effects" do nothing but slow the box down.

  • There's no problem at all, unless of course someone would go ahead and make this the default setting for the most popular and visible Linux distribution for non-techies out there today. But why would someone put together a hack like this and release before it's stable.

    ::Sigh:: Well, perhaps its due to the fact that this "unstable" hack is not a long term support release. If any other OS Vendor released every 6 months you may find the same situation for the newest releases -- Even with infrequent OS releases what's the saying? "Wait till service pack 1 before you upgrade."

    There are no doubt "non-techies" that accidentally installed an operating system that was not as stable as they would like.

    For this I can make no excuse. If only it were noted somewhere prominently on the download page: "...long-term support (LTS) releases are supported for three years on the desktop. Perfect for organizations that need more stability..." -- Perhaps it would be best to place such text right next to the download options [ubuntu.com], near the giant "Start Download" button.

    If only there were several ways to try out the operating system before installing it, as well as step by step instructions on how to do so; Perhaps these should go on the download page as well?

    Alas, What fools they are! If only they were even more user friendly! Or -- Perhaps they've made it too easy to upgrade. MS wouldn't think of having a single button + admin password upgrade feature... I bet they don't have this problem on Windows.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:23AM (#36316980) Journal

    [all WMs seem to suck now...]

    Use FVWM :)

    I think Linux needs a complete change in focus and methodology, or it is going to end up losing what little market share it has. It is time to stop trying to copy Apple UIs and time to start worrying about stability.

    I wholeheartedly agree (caveats below). The obsession with copying interfaces is getting really annoying now. Back in the day when Win9X seemed to be the thing to copy, I could afford a Windows machine (in fact I had a partition then), but I preferred the unixy UI that Linux had. I found creeping windows-isms an unpleasant change. Now Apple seems to be the thing to copy. I can afford to buy an Apple if I want one, but I don't. I prefer the user interfaces that Linux has available, and so I find the creeping appleism's really annoying.

    It also comes with this rather annoying de-facto assumption that anything Apple does must necessarily be better.

    Ever time I sit down at a new ubuntu install, I find the interface less like what I am used to, and more like interfaces that I actively avoid.

    It seems like the only thing I can do is to keep using Linux while the things I love about it are slowly chipped away by people who seem intent on destroying it for what?

  • by Psychotria (953670) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:29AM (#36317012)

    Before the above comment is moderated away as a troll or something (it isn't by the way), I'd like to completely agree! I used linux almost exclusively from 1994 until about 2009. Then I gave up, despite my ideals, and just installed Windows. I even bought Windows 7 when it came out and am happily using it. Why? Because I just want shit to work. I don't have the time any more to tweak an OS to a point where it almost works; I need to get work done. But even with that considered I was using linux and KDE to develop my open source app using KDE and KDevelop until KDE 4 came out. Yes, yes, yes, I could have changed my development methods and made things work, but I had (and have) very little spare time these days to "set up an environment" so I just stopped developing it. My app didn't even rely on KDE... had nothing to do with it in fact, but my dev environment was KDE-Based and I had no time to adapt. I reckon others may have been in the same position. I still have linux installed, but instead of on my primary partition it's not even on a real partition anymore -- it's in a VM. I can't see that changing in the near future because, as I said, I need to get shit done and not fuck around with tweaking an OS.

  • by multi io (640409) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:40AM (#36317064)

    Unless the bugs are in, say, the nVidia driver.

    ...which, according to TFA, they aren't. In fact, the bugs seem to be in anything BUT the proprietary nVidia driver.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 02, 2011 @04:20AM (#36317184)

    I have been a long time Red Hat (started 6.0) and Fedora user. Due to the limited support cycle of 1 year, I recently had to upgrade my Fedora 13. Decided to go straight to Fedora 15 to avoid the same trouble 6 months from now. Unfortunately, that GNOME 3.0 thing is totally f*cking UNUSABLE. They indeed tried to mimick Mac OS X but then a job very badly done. It is a pity that a couple of arrogant developers think they are usability experts. Same thing happended years ago with the Spatial view in Nautilus, after a few years they also realized they were wrong, a decision that any sane person would have taken from the start. The sole reason I kept dualbooting my Mac with Fedora was because I was accustomed to having launchers on my gnome-panel to open links to web pages via zenity front ends. On GNOME 3 there's unfortunately no panel anymore, they've decided that that was to easy. If GNOME 3 is supposed to be the future then Linux on the desktop is DEAD. Apart from that, even plain simple wired networking didn't work anymore with Fedora 15 out of the box! Goodbye Linux, I am going to port my stuff over and won't look back.

  • by gottabeme (590848) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @04:33AM (#36317230)

    "Almost every feature I used either gone or mangled. It can no longer render windows properly, causes video playback to jump and freeze, and is now almost entirely unusable with my new video card."

    No; no; and no. All the features from KWin 3 are there. It renders windows fine. Video playback is fine.

    "I can't even use Linux anymore because no window manager works right with my ATI card, and even before that, were barely usable (older Nvidia) without glitches. How am I supposed to advocate that others use it if I can't?"

    Sounds like a driver problem to me. My Radeon HD 4770 works fine with Kubuntu Natty. So does my NVIDIA 8400M laptop. I use KDE 4 and KWin and it's fine now, just like KDE 3.5 was--better, even.

    "I think Linux needs a complete change in focus and methodology, or it is going to end up losing what little market share it has. It is time to stop trying to copy Apple UIs and time to start worrying about stability. This whole batch of project managers has failed us - we need mass forks of major projects."

    1. Linux (the kernel--and yes, you need to be specific when advocating changes) is not what your complaint is about (unless it's a driver problem, in which case you should complain to ATI or spend a few bucks and get a slightly newer or different card that has decent drivers--the info you need is out there).

    2. A complete change is not needed.

    3. You are right about one thing: stability is the most important thing.

    4. However, we do not need mass forks. Good grief, man, do you have any idea what that would mean? What are you going to do, clone every developer and install a brain implant so they will do your bidding? What do you even mean by, "This whole batch of project managers"? You're speaking in terms so broad and vague that your words are meaningless.

    I'm afraid your vague anecdote is worthless and irrelevant. Either your video card is so old that it's just not supported anymore by current distributions, or it was too new at the time to have good support, or you happened to use a poorly-configured distro and didn't fix it or try a different one.

    The fact is that hardware support and out-of-the-box configuration in Linux distros has never been better, and it works better and more simply than Windows in most cases. And the fact that you switched back to Windows simply lends credence to the suspicion that you didn't know what you were doing and didn't bother to find out.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @04:37AM (#36317248)

    Or we could simply not use non-free code.

    Yes you could do that if you're a masochist who wants to suffer an inferior, possibly unusable gaming experience. Meanwhile people who want to use their hardware to its potential rather than in some gimped, buggy form will take any driver that's going whether it is open or closed.

  • by DEmmons (1538383) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @05:19AM (#36317376)
    no, you're on to something. I'm neither a windows user nor a KDE user, i like Gnome 2 on Fedora, but my experience is the same. it's supposed to be about personal choice. Gnome 2 was simple and gave room for customization and generally had become something i could proudly show my friends and have them say "oh, this is Linux? it's not hard to use. and the effects look nice! why did i keep hearing Linux was hard?". Gnome 3 with Gnome Shell, or even in fallback mode, is crap. it takes away tons of tools, features, customizability etc. that are sorely missed and gives in return, what? a new ugly interface that no one likes, which is clearly designed for touch screens. why do i need a touchscreen interface for my six-year-old laptop? it means several extra clicks to get anywhere and a first-time Linux user isn't going to intuitively find Firefox or LibreOffice and be able to get to work on it like they can with my current setup. I can see making this interface available as an option for high-end touchscreen computers, but making it the default for everyone with no way to get back the old, useable Gnome 2 desktop? it's unforgivable. I'll hold out until my Fedora 14 install starts showing its age too much and jump to XFCE. note to Gnome devs: there are many people using linux with touch screens - they're using Android. We Gnome users are using actual, proper computers, and we want a proper desktop, or at least one customizable enough to turn into a proper desktop with a little tweaking, and you already made that. wtf is this new crap?
  • by Nursie (632944) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @05:24AM (#36317402)

    I wish more anti-GNU-tards understood this. People have standards - they don't want to have to live with a compromise when working with an entirely open source stack yields great benefits, particularly if there's little (only really gaming) they gain from compromising. It's just how some folks like it.

    The hard-line FOSS type of thinking is not for everyone. It has benefits and drawbacks. If games are more important to you than access to source code then you go for your compromise system.

    Calling people retarded because they have different priorities to you is pretty dumb. When they try and force you to do things that way then feel free to complain, until then I suggest you stick with Windows, sure it's a bit of a compromise, but your games will run just fine!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 02, 2011 @05:39AM (#36317454)
    we call gnutards that way because they buy proprietary hardware and joke themselves about using open source free-as-in-stallmanfree drivers.

    if that's not hypocrisy and borderline schizophrenia, then they're just plain retarded.

    if you value so much freedom and such, why re you using proprietary hardware? because it's better? don't you see a contradiction right there?
  • just gaming? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Errtu76 (776778) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @06:16AM (#36317642) Journal

    gnome-shell hurts productivity as well, taking away all the nice features that were in gnome 2. Like hamster-applet and being able to easily customize .. well, anything! Sure if you know javascript it's cool, but for those who were used to adding items to gnome-panel the new gnome-shell is horribly complex to use and customize.

    It feels like we just jumped 10 years back in time.

  • by MrNemesis (587188) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @07:53AM (#36318196) Homepage Journal
    Sad as it is for me to admit, I'm in complete agreement. I used to have just one windows machine for games, I now have two more windows machines and two less linux ones simply because I also want shit to just work. I still keep linux on my HTPC's (using a light debian/XFCE or fluxbox/XBMC combo) and servers because it's so low maintenance, but for the most part the desktop swiftly started to vanish up it's own arse a few years ago.

    When I started with linux back on mandrake 8, you had the utterly awesome sawfish/sawmill built into Gnome - I played with that for weeks just because it was fun, but when doing Real Work I found that some of those esoteric window functions really did make a huge difference to my workflow. Then metacity was brought in to the exclusion of everything else and I switched to KDE, which had broadly similar WM capabilities. So far so froody until everyone decided that desktops needed to be 3D accelerated because apple had done so (and everyone loved the swooshing dock), so both KDE and Gnome throw the baby out with the bathwater and redesign their WM's from scratch, losing a lot of the functionality along the way (or almost all of it in the case of Gnome 3), because apparently "most people don't use feature X" means the same as "no-one uses feature X". Granted, KDE4 is still pretty configurable and IMHO orders of magnitude better than Gnome 2 or 3 but I still feel like I'm fighting it for attention all the time, when it should really be getting the hell out of the way.

    Windows 7 may try very hard to make you fit into it's "the user is stupid" mould, but with the right reg hacks I can customise it almost as much as I could on my KDE setup; heck, focus-follows-mouse support (an utter deal breaker for me) is waaaay better in 7 than it was in 2000/XP and doesn't cause half the glitchiness in some apps like it used to do. Overall, it's not perfect, but good enough and once the initial pain of configuration was done with (and then exported to a reg file which makes it a 2s change on every other machine) I no longer have to fight it. Throw cygwin + mintty and a few other choice apps into the mix and all of a sudden I've got me the best of both worlds (cue Borg joke).

    My main problem is usability "experts" and neophiliacs who keep telling me that I'm doing things the wrong way, or that "clicking on a launcher is so old hat, that's why we removed launchers! Just open the X menu, start typing what you want to run, and then click one of the programs that show up!" or other such counter-intuitive bullcrapshitturds which for some inexplicable reason have become the default in all the major DE's. Not interested, and yes I have tried it. Not against new ways of doing things by any means, but devs shouldn't expect users to re-learn every paradigm at the drop of a hat because some self-appointed expert says "this new way I just invented is the best for me, therefore it's the best for everyone!" and then someone else sees that as a great way to do away with the old "inferior" method, making it painful to add back. A bit like Wikipedia deletionists actually; "shading the window of type X is not notable enough, and therefore will be removed!".

    Not that I'm singling out Gnome here, almost every non-niche DE/WM I've used in the last few years is guilty of the above, MS and Apple included.

    </second rant of the thread>
  • by itsdapead (734413) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @08:24AM (#36318364)

    If only it were noted somewhere prominently on the download page: "...long-term support (LTS) releases are supported for three years on the desktop. Perfect for organizations that need more stability..." -- Perhaps it would be best to place such text right next to the download options [ubuntu.com], near the giant "Start Download" button.

    If only they went the extra mile and made the giant "Start Download" button default to LTS. If only they warned people that, in Ubuntuspeak, "Latest" meant "Unstable" and "Long Term" meant "anything after six months" and "Support" meant security bug fixes rather than any application updates. If only they hadn't got the reputation as "the Linux for the rest of us" which lets them lead potential "switchers" up the garden path. If only Linux devs were as good at designing GUIs as they are at writing solid systems stuff. If only they'd finish playing (GUI) catch-up with OSX 10.2 and Windows XP before they tried to play catch-up with iOS and Android. If only Linux GUIs didn't still feel like a cargo-cult mishmash of eye-candy ideas from Mac and Windows thrown together by nerds who only ever use a GUI to run 6 copies of vim side-by-side.

    Linux in general has a major problem with its model: the only user-friendly way of installing applications is via the distribution repositories, forcing such people to upgrade their entire OS when they just want to upgrade one application (unless they're lucky and someone backports it). Techies see only openness (I wouldn't run a server on anything else, and I usually end up building all the server-side software from tarballs anyway), but non-techies see a garden with even higher walls than an iPad.

"Only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core." -- Hannah Arendt.

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