Drempels screensaver trashes login sessions

Asked by VanillaMozilla on 2012-02-13

Drempels causes numerous problems, on two different kinds of computers.

On computer 1 (Ubuntu 10.10), the computer invariably requires a hard restart after Drempels kicks in.

On computer 2 (Ubuntu 11.04), there are various symptoms that may occur at any time:
1. The drempels process uses 100% CPU on Intel Core 2 Duo.
2. The computer becomes unresponsive when the screensaver is active. The only recourses are (1) to crash the login session (and all running programs) with <ctrl><alt><backspace> or (2) if one knows the correct incantation, kill the screensaver to save the login session.
3. Multiple processes are generated.
     a. A new drempels process is generated with each change of the display sleep option.
     b. Each change of the display sleep option generates either a new gnome-screensaver-preferences process or a new gnome-screensaver process.

There are numerous reports of problems with this screensaver, e.g. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/rss-glx/+bug/424782 , https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=531728 , https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-screensaver/+bug/479219 , https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-screensaver/+bug/366737 , but they have all been either ignored or closed. This screensaver needs to be removed until it can be shown to work properly. What are the chances of actually getting some action on software that's no good?

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OK, I found some more bug reports on this and marked one or two of them as duplicates.

With the duplicates and marking "affects me", that gets the heat into the top 3.3% of Ubuntu bugs. There are other bugs that aren't QUITE identical, so I'm not marking them as dupes just yet. But it turns out that other rss-glx screensavers, including Euphoria and Skyrocket, are reported to have the same or similar symptoms. It's possible that the whole package is the problem, in which case it definitely needs to be called out and fixed.

Seems to me that we need to find out which ones are involved and duplicate them to an rss-glx bug if that's correct, so we can turn up the heat on these bugs. Suggestions and help are welcome.

Unfortunately, Deco just locked up on me. It usually does not do that. That's in xscreensaver-data-extra, so it means it's probably not an rss-glx bug.

I tried rss-glx Euphoria and Skyrocket. Those did not lock up, but the power management did not activate.

I tried to test Drempels with xscreensaver, but I couldn't get it to show up among the screensaver choices. It's supposed to work.

I note that:
* Ubuntu 11.11 omitted screensavers and tossed out gnome-screensaver out altogether, so maybe they have responded to multiple problems;

* xscreensaver is supposed to work with 11.11, but it doesn't include power management, at least on my Ubuntu 10.11.

I guess we can just toss out screen savers until someone can figure out how to write one that works. (Sigh). Hoping someone who knows something will respond.

OK, I give up. I'm going back to the default Blank Screen or Cosmos.

OK, I give up. I'm going back to the default Blank Screen or Cosmos.