← Back to team overview

compiz team mailing list archive

[Bug 729979] Re: [nvidia] Windows appear blank white


Ubuntu 12.04 (32bit), Geforce 8800 GTS, NVidia 304.43, Compiz,

I am affected by this bug too. Some days ago I decided to give Ubuntu a
try again.

I started with Ubuntu 12.10, but it was so unstable that I decided to
try 12.04 instead. After installation the system complained vaguely
about internal problems. I just ignored this, went ahead and installed
the recommended NVIDIA drivers (nvidia-current, 295.40-0ubuntu1.1). This
immediately resulted in a very slow system, that after a while became
almost unresponsive. After some minutes it just crashed. So I almost
gave up on Ubuntu.

However, logging into Ubuntu 2D (click the icon in the login window)
resulted in quite normal behavior, so I decided to persist and try the
other drivers (10 years ago I got quite used to the quirks of compiling
and installing NVIDIA kernel modules). The nvidia-173 driver did not
improve things, and neither did nvidia-173-updates. Next I installed
nvidia-current-updates (304.43-0ubuntu0.1). Finally, this one looked OK.

So I went ahead. I installed compizconfig, activated the cube and wobbly
windows. I missed the Dodge Windows behavior, so I installed the fix
So far so good. All was looking fine after some initial trouble, just
like in the good old days.

However, all along I was sometimes looking at a blank or a black or an
incompletely filled window. I was hoping the problem would disappear,
once I had found the right combination of versions (graphics card,
NVIDIA driver, Ubuntu). But no, this bug stays with me, and it bothers
me to the point that I will surrender. I have better things to do ;) .

I read part of the above comments. My experience is a bit of a mix of
them. I restrict myself now to my present configuration.

Window contents are sometimes blank, sometimes black, sometimes black
with some parts visible. Sometimes a window  will  take a few tenths of
a second before showing contents. I have the impression that it is black
then for a short time. Sometimes a window will be black for a short time
before going blank. The Firefox window that I am typing in just now was
black a while ago. When moving the mouse cursor over the window, the
search window got filled in when the cursor moved over it, and next this
comment window got filled in when the mouse moved over it. The rest of
the Firefox window remained black.

Just now I have a Firefox window and a Terminal window. Both have normal
contents. When I click on the Terminal window, both windows go blank
(white). Only their title bars and shadow stay visible. When I move the
mouse pointer over the blank contents of the Firefox window nothing
happens. When I click on the Firefox window, both windows get their
content back.

Now for a little riddle. I again have these two windows. I can click on
any of the two as often as I want in any order, nothing happens to the
contents. How can that be?

Well, in the first situation, the two windows had overlap, and in the
second situation they had NO overlap. Whenever I move a window partly
over another window and click on that other window, both windows go
blank. If I click again on that window, nothing happens. If I click on
the first window, both contents reappear. If instead I resize the second
window its contents reappear on button release, but the first window
remains blank. The window roles are switched now, but in a peculiar way.
If I click on the first window, its contents reappear and the second
window goes blank. If I click on the second window, its contents
reappear, but the first goes blank. So there is a role switch of blank
and filled in too. But only partly, because on resizing a window with
contents its contents do not disappear. And on resizing a window without
contents they appear on button press.

Let me experiment a bit further.  I suspected Firefox at first, as some
others in previous comments. But Firefox is one of the first apps one
needs in case of problems, so this is probably a spurious association.
Let me take two Terminal windows. I cd to different directories, so I
can read in the title bar who is who. I move One on top of Two and click
on Two. Both go blank. Two goes on top of One. I click anywhere outside
One and Two. Two's contents reappear. I click on Two. It gets focus. I
resize it. Its contents remain visible. I click on One. Oneś contents
show and One has focus, is partly on top of Two. Two goes blank. I click
outside One and Two. One loses focus. I click on Two. Two's contents
reappear, One's contents remain. I click on One. Both go blank. I click
outside One and Two. One's contents appear.

This system of two windows has many states and transitions. A window can
be moved or resized. A window resize takes a button press, a mouse move
and a button release. Window contents sometimes change on the key press
and sometimes on the key release.

I pose a simple question: construct three blank windows. There is a
simple answer: put One over Two, click Two, put Three over One and Two,
click Two. This can be generalized to more than three windows. But I
cannot make more than two windows lose their contents at the same time.

Can we think of some simple rules to describe this particular set of
behaviors? My guess is in the following direction:

-- If the focus is gained by an overlapped window, the visibility of its
contents changes (true to false OR false to true). If the focus came
from an overlapping window (in the same overlap set), the visibility of
that window's contents changes too.

-- If a blank window loses focus, its contents become visible.

-- If a window is redrawn, its contents become visible (mouse release at

So what about the black contents? I don't know. I have the feeling it is
a different problem. Something like lazy drawing, that is postponed
indefinitely. But surely it is a quite different bug.

You received this bug notification because you are a member of compiz
packagers, which is subscribed to compiz in Ubuntu.

  [nvidia] Windows appear blank white

To manage notifications about this bug go to: