Peter, thanks for the reply...
On 10/5/18 2:54 PM, Peter Robinson wrote:
On Fri, Oct 5, 2018 at 6:57 PM Robert Moskowitz
> I am using a Cubieboard2 with the current image:
> I connect ethernet, serial TTY/USB console, HDMI monitor, kybd/mouse.
> The OS is on a HD and only uboot is on the uSD card.
> The firstboot proceeds normally and then I have to really wait for the
> Initial Setup GUI to fully appear. The mouse is VERY jumpy. I manage
> to click on root password and the Initial screen slowly goes up as a
> window shade, revealing the root password dialog. Very jumpy and slow,
> I manage to set the root password and click done.
> The screen comes down back to Initial and I manage to click on setting
> up the user. Very slow raising of the window shade and very slow
> response in the dialog boxes for setting up the user. Click done then
> finish on the Initial setup screen. Slowly get to the login screen and
> then very slow giving me the default workstation question then getting
> into the session. dnfdragora-updater seems to run forever. I go into
> session startup settings and turn this off. I wish this was the default
> for arm...
> Everything in the DE is very slow. I finally get vncserver working, and
> switch to a vnc client console and that is peppy.
So the AllWinner devices use a MALI GPU and this has no open source
drivers, at least not usable state for desktops, so you're running the
rendering mostly on the CPU and the display side of things is
basically using the HW to blit out the desktop to the screen.
Basically to summarise the HW acceleration here is minimal! Welcome to
the early 2000s level of graphics acceleration basically.
> So I wondered... I grabbed another drive and build the F28-Xfce
> released image and put its uboot on another uSD card. This time Initial
> Setup had decent performance. The window screen went up much smoother.
> Mouse was not jumpy. Dialog entry was decent. Got into the DE
> smoothly. dnfdragora did not take forever to do its initial run.
> So something really wrong, performance-wise with the F29-beta-Xfce. That
> SELinux patch we got a couple weeks ago helped a little.
Also the XFCE Spin rebased from 4.12 which was GTK2 based to 4.13 
which is GTK3 based because GTK2 is ancient and not really maintained
anymore other than the occasional security or bug fix (if it even gets
that these days). The xfce 4.13 release is also a development release
on the way to the 4.14 stable release so it quite possibly could have
issues but overall GTK3 is more reliant on and expects more HW
acceleration so I'm not surprised about your experience at all. It's
also the reason I don't recommend AllWinner based devices to people
that wish to do GUI stuff, their best used for server/headless use
Or getting vncserver working. See my bug reports on this.
> One difference I note is F28 has a swap partition, F29 does not. Now
> during the initial stuff, no swap was used. Now I see 29KB of swap used
> with 86KB memory free.
So we use zram for swap in F-29, it preserves the mSD card due to
wear, and is much faster, this isn't the problem. Basically up to a
max of 50% of the RAM will be allocated to swap using lz4 compression
and we generally see a 4-5 times compression ratio.
This is good to know. I will look into it...