X server freezes (except for mouse) with Compiz enabled on ATI Radeon Mobility 9000

Bug #206845 reported by Kris on 2008-03-25
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xserver-xorg-video-ati (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xserver-xorg-video-ati

Following the lead of Nick Bauermeister and at the suggestion of Bryce Harrington here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-video-ati/+bug/195051/comments/29
I'm starting a bug report specific to my ATI Radeon Mobility 9000 problems.

The basics: I'm running Hardy, the latest updates as of the time of writing this (2008/03/25), on an IBM ThinkPad T40 with an ATI Radeon Mobility 9000.

Like other reports, X freezes with nothing working except for the mouse cursor. I can only break the freeze via SysRq REISUB (or waiting, more on that in a minute).

Unlike other reports, I was able to reproduce the freeze by starting Gnome Screensaver Preferences and switching to the "Braid" screensaver. What's strange is that this freeze doesn't trigger the gdb--I have to interrupt with Ctrl+C to run a backtrace. I've also discovered that this freeze will fix itself after some time (anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour in my testing). I managed to get a gdb run that consists of two SIGPIPE broken pipes during login, a SIGPIPE running the actual Braid screensaver, and multiple SIGINT Ctrl+C interrupts during the suspicious freeze with mouse still working. I ran backtrace full each time gdb stopped, either on its own or from my interrupt. The last four or five backtraces are probably the ones of interest, all stemming from the Braid screensaver, subsequent freeze, and (after a long wait) recovery.

Note: Unlike Nick Bauermeister's bug report at https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xserver-xorg-video-ati/+bug/195051 I'm not seeing an error in drmCommandWrite()

Hope this helps.

Kris (kris333) wrote :
Kris (kris333) wrote :
Kris (kris333) wrote :
Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2008-04-19
Changed in xserver-xorg-video-ati:
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Triaged
Kris (kris333) wrote :

I'm starting to think that this might not be a bug in xserver-xorg-video-ati after all. I've been running a test install of Fedora 8 (which also uses the 6.8.0-1 ati driver) for three weeks on the same hardware, and I have yet to see the freeze.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

I don't know if this will fix this specific issue, but I've backported a bunch of high importance patches that upstream recommended, that fix problems sort of like this one, so I think it would be worth the time to test. Please try this .deb and report what you find:


If we can determine that the patches in this deb fix this bug, they may be candidates for backporting to Hardy.

Thanks for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. In the development cycle for Intrepid there have been some vast improvements in the open source ati video driver and we could use your help testing them. Could you please download the latest Alpha CD image of Intrepid and test this particular bug just using the Live CD? You can find the latest image at http://www.ubuntu.com/testing . Your testing can help make Ubuntu and the open source ati driver even better! Thanks in advance.

Changed in xserver-xorg-video-ati:
status: Triaged → Incomplete
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Kris, does the issue go away if DRI is disabled in your xorg.conf? If so, could you then leave it enabled but try this setting?

Section "Device"
   Option "AGPMode" "2"

Also try values 1, 4, and 8 (4 is typically the default). If one of those settings fix it, we may be able to quirk your hardware to use that value instead of the default

Kris (kris333) wrote :

Thanks for following up on this, Bryce. Unfortunately, my ThinkPad bit the dust! I guess I should probably have made a note of that earlier.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Ah, okay thanks for letting us know. Since the hardware is no longer available for doing troubleshooting with, we'll have to close the bug for now. However please feel free to reopen if you or anyone else has the same HW and can reproduce this issue using the latest development version of Ubuntu and is willing to do some troubleshooting with it.

Changed in xserver-xorg-video-ati:
status: Incomplete → Invalid
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