Failed to initialize GEM. Falling back to classic.

Asked by mrk on 2010-06-03

Good day!

After upgrading to gnome 2.30 and xorg 7.5 i have a problem with starting gtg. I'm not willing to file a bug report beacuse i'm not sure if it's a really a bug in GTG or some local problems on my computer. When i try to start gtg from terminal, i see the message "Failed to initialize GEM. Falling back to classic." and this is all. GTG wont start. But gtg is a only app that dont work after upgrade - all the apps that was installed before works fine. Can you please confirm that this is (not) gtg bug, and tell me what debugging info should i provide to realise what's the problem and how to fix it.

Question information

English Edit question
GTG Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Last query:
Last reply:
Luca Invernizzi (invernizzi) said : #1

Hey there!
GTG does not use directly anything named GEM.
There are two things named GEM that I'm aware of in Linux:
 - ruby stuff (which is not the case)
 - graphic stuff (

I think it's a problem among your video card, your kernel and X. It's strange that it happens only with GTG, since it's just another GTK application with no custom fancy graphics.

The most complex thing we do is to draw the colored squares that identify tags (with Pango), but that's about it. It has happened, though, that those squares were giving graphics problem (for people with intel graphic cards, if I recall correctly), but it was not our fault :)

Good luck in sorting this one out!

mrk (cvs-src) said : #2

Thank you. Seems like it was because some changes happened in newer intel video driver, which i use.
I tune my xorg.conf as described here (in Russian, but the only thing that is important it is xorg.conf settings):

gtg now starts and works as before. I get some warnings like this:
(gtg:2347): ClutterX11-CRITICAL **: Display connection already exists. You can only call clutter_x11_set_display() before clutter_init()
(gtg:2347): ClutterX11-WARNING **: clutter_x11_disable_event_retrieval() can only be called before clutter_init()

But all works fine. Thanks.