gnome-shell animations are noticeably stuttery when the Ubuntu extensions are enabled

Bug #1872796 reported by Nicolás Abel Carbone
120
This bug affects 31 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Dash to dock
New
Unknown
gnome-shell (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix
Medium
Daniel van Vugt
gnome-shell-extension-dashtodock (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix
Medium
Unassigned
gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix
Medium
Daniel van Vugt
gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix
Medium
Daniel van Vugt
gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock (Ubuntu)
Won't Fix
Medium
Daniel van Vugt

Bug Description

I have a Dell XPS 9360 with a FHD screen and a Intel HD620 iGPU, running Ubuntu 20.04. On this system animations should be smooth and at 60fps, but this is not always the case.
The applications animation (the icons coming from the bottom left) is specially stuttery most of the time. Sometimes it is buttery smooth, but most of the times it is not. It is difficult to pinpoint when.

Some exploration that may help to find the issue:
* I also have a desktop with 20.04 and a Nvidia 750ti and it seems to be much smoother. This seems to indicate that the problem is somehow related to the Intel iGPU.
* Animations seem smoother under Wayland. But, because of other limitations, I am staying on Xorg for now.
* The application animation is super stuttery the first time it is opened in a session. It gets slowly better with subsequent uses, although never totally smooth.
" The animation is noticeably more stuttery if it opens the “All” applications tab instead of “Frequent” apps. Maybe the number of apps (icons) is a factor?
* Vanilla gnome-session seems to be smoother. Maybe the problem is related to Dash-to-dock or another Ubuntu extension? (In my ubuntu session only default extensions are enabled).

These datapoints are mainly subjective as I have no means of properly measure animations performance.

Don't get my wrong, 20.04 is a clear improvement over 18.04. But it seems there is some room for improvement at least in this hardware.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
Package: gnome-shell 3.36.1-4ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-21.25-generic 5.4.27
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-21-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu26
Architecture: amd64
CasperMD5CheckResult: skip
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
Date: Tue Apr 14 15:23:40 2020
DisplayManager: gdm3
InstallationDate: Installed on 2018-02-23 (780 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS "Bionic Beaver" - Alpha amd64 (20180222)
RelatedPackageVersions: mutter-common 3.36.1-3ubuntu1
SourcePackage: gnome-shell
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Revision history for this message
Nicolás Abel Carbone (nicocarbone) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

> Vanilla gnome-session seems to be smoother. Maybe the problem is related to Dash-to-dock or another Ubuntu extension? (In my ubuntu session only default extensions are enabled).

Yes I have been suspecting the same.

summary: - gnome-shell animations are stuttery
+ gnome-shell animations are noticeably stuttery when the Ubuntu
+ extensions are enabled
Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt)
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt)
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt)
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Probably related to bug 1832812.

Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
tags: added: performance
Revision history for this message
Francois Thirioux (fthx) wrote :

[ThinkPad T480s, iGPU 620 too]

From my pov, Ubuntu extensions do impact the smoothness. Anyway, I do use gnome-session since a long time (I used Ubuntu GNOME, some time ago) and the animations have never been really smooth in gnome. It's somewhat odd that an older Thinkpad (T440s) we own do better (Ubuntu session 18.04).

I do see these (slightly) stuttery animations in overview, especially showing the virtual workspaces dock. It does not (or much less) happen if no window is open. Still here if no extension at all is active.

Revision history for this message
Nicolás Abel Carbone (nicocarbone) wrote :

Another thing I noticed. I installed Ubuntu 20.04 on another laptop, also with Intel iGPU, but lower resolution screen (1366x768) and the animations _seem_ smoother. Also this is a laptop with less software installed, so overall there are less icons to animate too.

Revision history for this message
Marco Trevisan (Treviño) (3v1n0) wrote :

Do you have many indicators running?

If yes, could you try just disabling the indicators extension?

Revision history for this message
Nicolás Abel Carbone (nicocarbone) wrote :

I have 2 indicators running: insync and indicator-cpufreq.

I disabled the indicator extension and it still not completely smooth, there are definitely dropped frames. It _may_ be a little better thou, it is difficult to say (is there a way to profile the framerate of the animation?).

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

I will set up a test environment with actual performance measurements for this bug, but not right now. I don't think there's any additional info we need before then.

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Carlos,

Since it sounds like your issues are not related to extensions, and are not this bug, please click "Hide" on any comments above that may be irrelevant to other readers here.

Revision history for this message
Manuj Chandra Sharma (manujchandra) wrote :

Hi,

I don't know if this is going to help, but I was experience a similar problem in Popos 20.04. In my case, the misbehaving app turned out to be Mega from mega.nz which I use for cloud sync.

Their ubuntu 20.04 deb package causes noticeable stuttering. After disabling the app the desktop becomes smooth again. After enabling it again the computer becomes fast and smooth.

This problem did not exist in 19.10 using mega's deb for 19.10.

The stuttering happens across the board, in every activity randomly.

Thanks.

Revision history for this message
Alex Burdu (alex.burdu) wrote :

Having the same issue on 20.04 running on AMD Ryzen 9 3900x with 32GB RAM and Radeon RX 580, SSD drive

information type: Public → Public Security
information type: Public Security → Public
Revision history for this message
Alex Burdu (alex.burdu) wrote :

The cause for my stuttering was actually this: https://bugs.launchpad.net/indicator-multiload/+bug/1878339

Revision history for this message
Roger James (rogerjames99) wrote :

If you are experiencing this bug. Try the following.

if the directory "/usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/desktop-icons@csoriano" rename it to something else. Then restart the desktop (logout then login).

Please report the results of this test back here.

I am trying to correlate information on the part this extension is playing in various desktop rendering glitches.

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Instead of the above, try just running the 'Extensions' app and disabling 'Desktop Icons'.

Revision history for this message
Roger James (rogerjames99) wrote :

The Extensions app does not appear to work fro the csoriano version of desktop icons. It thinks that it is the rastersoft fork.

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

It works in Ubuntu, which should be all that's relevant here.

Revision history for this message
Roger James (rogerjames99) wrote :

I am running Ubuntu Focal 20.04. The gnome-shell version is 3.36.2-1ubuntu1-20.04.1. The desktop icons version is 20.04.0-2-1ubuntu1-20.04.1. The app does not work. I believe the app is designed to work on per user extensions only.

The desktop icon extension is installed as a system extension in /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions.

See the review by akram87 on the page https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1465/desktop-icons/

But that is not the point. All I am trying to achieve is to gather information about the impact the ubuntu version of the extension has on the desktop rendering. The easiest way for the user to do this is by issuing one simple command.

sudo mv /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/desktop-icons@csoriano something-else

If I am missing something here please accept my apologies.

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

> I believe the app is designed to work on per user extensions only.

That's incorrect. The 'Extensions' app displays those from /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/ as "Built-in" and you can toggle them via the GUI (I just checked again on 20.04). An extension can be installed system-wide and manually disabled per-user, via the GUI. If that's not working for you then please log a new bug about the Extensions app by running:

  ubuntu-bug gnome-shell

Revision history for this message
Roger James (rogerjames99) wrote :

Daniel,

I apologise.

We have been talking about different apps. I have been referring to the browser plugin that talks to https://extensions.gnome.org/. This is because it was the first thing I spotted when I searched on the net. I realise that what you have been talking about the is a standalone app that is accessible via the applications panel or the activities search box.

Yes, the standalone app works perfectly and is packaged with the shell.

The browser plugin does not. I have only tested the Firefox version though. The Chrome one might be better.

Thank you for being patient

Roger

Revision history for this message
Brett Stevens (iwebmedia) wrote :

I've had problems with this bug as well.
I've tracked it down the dock extension. If you install it on PopOs you get the same stuttering.
When I removed the extension the shell returned to normal.

Revision history for this message
Sujit Kumar (therealsujitk) wrote :

Yeah, I'm facing this bug too. It goes away when ubuntu-dock is disabled. I managed to get a video of the glitches I faced:

I've noticed sometimes there is a slight glitch in the animation: (Refer attachments): https://launchpadlibrarian.net/494821177/Screencast%20from%2024-08-20%2009%2014%2030%20PM%20IST%20%28online-video-cutter.com%29.mp4 and https://launchpadlibrarian.net/494952421/Screencast%20from%2025-08-20%2006%2030%2030%20PM%20IST.mp4

Also,I've noticed this when the menu is opened right after an application is opened from the menu (Refer attachment): https://launchpadlibrarian.net/494952547/Screencast%20from%2025-08-20%2007%2026%2042%20PM%20IST.mp4

I opened an issue for this, but it was marked as a duplicate to -> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1876352

Revision history for this message
Sujit Kumar (therealsujitk) wrote :

Another similar bug I faced: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock/+bug/1893060

Please click "I'm facing this too" in case you are.

Changed in gnome-shell-extension-dashtodock (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Medium
Changed in dash-to-dock:
status: Unknown → New
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: New → Confirmed
assignee: nobody → Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt)
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Seems the rendering performance penalty of desktop-icons-ng on my machine is roughly 10%. That's not terrible and especially considering desktop-icons-ng is implemented as a full-screen GtkWindow (not a Clutter widget) in a separate process(!)

If you need better performance then just remove the extension via the 'Extensions' app. I'm really not sure what can be done about compositing it any faster though. Maybe more local redraws instead of global redraws?

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

I should note that desktop-icons-ng living in a separate process is a very good thing. It means CPU and memory usage of the extension is clearly in a separate process from gnome-shell. There's very little desktop-icons-ng can do to slow down the shell, other than redrawing too much of the desktop too often (because it's a big window).

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Let's move to more specific bug reports or else this will stay open forever. Let's also focus on Ubuntu 22.04 performance only...

Starting with bug 1966659.

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-dashtodock (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-ng (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Changed in gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :
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