Observations on Mageia 7

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Observations on Mageia 7

Postby jiml8 » Dec 23rd, '19, 22:18

Getting to Mageia 7 from Mageia 6 was horrid, but now that the deed is done the result is generally pretty nice. I have a few comments.

The biggest positive I see is that there have been a LOT of memory leaks fixed in KDE in M7. That is a huge improvement which should have a major impact on stability for systems that are up for a long time. So far, I won't commit myself on that; mine has been up and down a fair amount as I deal with this issue and that issue, At the present time, it has been up for about 3 1/2 days and I don't see any leakage from the major KDE components (kwin_x11, plasmadesktop). I have seen some leakage in chromium. There may have been some leakage in firefox; not sure. And the fact that I am not sure actually is a substantial improvement. There was also a race condition in the desktop effects when entering expo mode. So far, since the upgrade, that really very annoying problem has not bitten me; maybe it is fixed. I can hope so anyway.

I also had some intermittent issues regarding some of the features of plasma. I won't enumerate them because they seem to be gone now. I have this idea that there was some configuration things in M6 that are changed in M7 and they caused occasional problems until, in the normal course of things, KDE/Plasma rewrote those files, likely during a logout or reboot.

The biggest negative I see are the browsers. Both firefox and chromium are Pissing. Me. Off. Both browsers are incorporating more and more user security, and they are doing it their way. Well, their security changes are colliding with MY security protocols in a big way and, as I study how they are doing it, I want to disable that and continue to do it my way because my way suits my purposes better than their way does. But I can't disable their protocols totally, and I therefore have some non-functioning capability that I have not totally figured out. I am having similar problems on all my virtual machines. Similar, but not identical. Some functions won't work in M7 but will work in OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 or Mint 18. So, for now, when I hit a problem in one environment, I try it in another environment. If it works there, I keep on going. Ugly, but for now workable.

Maybe I will give Opera a try...

Changes in the network-scripts are biting me. VLANs are no longer being handled correctly. A route is being written that effectively disables the vlan. I have a pretty good idea what is going on there but I have not yet decided on the best way to handle it. I am inclined to say that the change in scripting has improperly broken VLANs but it could be that my VLANs on this box are not properly configured and the misconfiguration was tolerated by earlier versions of Mageia but is no longer tolerated. In any event, I restore the vlan by just removing the route.

The documentation on this subject seems to be very distro-dependent and some of it is contradictory. I've been following the Redhat model since that is the ancestor of Mageia, but maybe I need to reconsider that. I have found no documentation at all on this subject for Mageia.

Given that testing this will involve at least several reboots, I have given it a low priority to sort out. When (eventually) I do that, I likely will write some documentation.

On bootup, the boot process hangs for about a minute as the system "waits for hotplugged networks to start". This entire workstation is configured with static networking. I don't use network-manager here, and I have removed all interfaces from ifplugd. The way I use the system, any of that automated networking really gets in the way. So, I would love to kill that hotplugged networking thing, but I have not figured out how. I've rooted around in /lib/systemd but don't have it figured out.

Again, it is a bootup thing so gets a low priority.

Also, on bootup, sddm won't start. I keep getting kicked into some other desktop manager (lxde?). I have to move to a console, log in as root, and start sddm. I used MCC to enable sddm on startup, but it doesn't seem to work. Every time I check on it, sddm has been disabled again. In fact, I can go into the system services section on MCC, check the "on boot" box for sddm, select OK, and leave that section. Go back into it and look, and "on boot" for sddm is unchecked.

I have not yet dug into that. Where does MCC save its config information for system services?

So, that's where I'm at. I expect the reduction in memory leaks will make the system a lot more stable. At least, I hope it will. Other than the browser issues (which are multiple and not fully understood at this time) the other issues are (mostly) minor annoyances.
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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby jiml8 » Jan 5th, '20, 22:51

I believe I have the problem of sddm not being set to start on boot solved.

In MCC on the services control page, I found that xdm was enabled on boot. I turned off xdm, then exited the service manager, then re-entered the service manager, then set sddm to start at boot, then exited the service manager again.

When I re-entered the service manager, sddm was listed as starting at boot.

I will note that if I turned off xdm, then turned on sddm, then exited the service manager, it did not work. xdm was turned off, but sddm was not turned on. I had to do it one at a time for it to work.

I have not rebooted to confirm this. But the fact that it shows as set to start on boot is encouraging.
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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby jiml8 » Jan 5th, '20, 23:31

I was gone for a week and, as usual, I left my workstation running and logged in with one VM running, and the display locked.

I do this because I often access the workstation remotely, I need the email client running to receive and process my email, then forward some of it to my phone, and sometimes I need that VM as well.

I am back now, and sunday is usually system maintenance day. So, today while doing maintenance I noticed that dbus was running away, showing memory usage of about 1.4 GB. I have seen this problem intermittently in Mageia 6. It does not happen all the time or even most of the time, and it invariably leads to a crash if I don't restart the desktop.

Well, I had a bunch of updates pending, so I went ahead and did them. I tried to log out of KDE and the logout utility refused to start - probably related to the dbus problem. So I just rebooted.

So there is at least one intermittent KDE problem that is not fixed. Dbus is still running away, at least occasionally. Why? I don't know.
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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby martinw » Jan 6th, '20, 22:39

Normally the active display manager is selected via the /etc/systemd/system/display-manager.service soft link. drakdm should create that link, but that might have got missed during your difficult upgrade.
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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby jiml8 » Jan 16th, '20, 19:40

It has now been more than a month since I made this upgrade.

Now, for a very long time, there has been a bug in KDE that would bite me periodically. I described it here:

Since the update, this problem has not occurred even once. I hesitate to say it is gone, but I have not seen it at all.

This is a good thing.
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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby uberzilla » Feb 21st, '20, 20:42

Rather then starting another thread - as I am just adding my observations - I am adding here. I tried to install Mageia 7 and 7.1 32 bit on a Dell D620, and a D430. I kept getting installation errors. Never had a chance to run down the problem. The reason for the interest in 32bit is that Mageia is the only distro left supporting the old XARA project. That old project is built on the most efficient memory handling system in vector programs - so that ancient piece of software is still more then usable today. In 32bit - it works perfect. In the 64bit version in the Mageia repos - the blend tool and another tool crash the program. I have not had a chance to look into that - and doubt I ever will. I was going to install Mageia in 32bit and see about using a PAE kernel - installing on a Dell E6420 with 8 gigs ram - solely to have XARA. Can't win them all and it is the nature of linux that you have to be ready to fix some things yourself. No time - so I left it at that for a long while. I just put Mageia 6 in 32bit back on the D620. Note: I had trouble testing Fedora (29 or 30 -ish) in 32bit as well. Then just a little while back - feeling a bit curious - I decided to try Mageia 7 in 64bit on the D620 .... NICE!!! I noticed some better performance and some glitches that were in Mageia 6 were eliminated in 7. I must say the progress in this distro has been exception. I first tested with version 4. One reason I just have a soft spot for this distro is the full installation ISO that allows you to choose what you install. The only critique of that is that including either Mypaint or Krita would round out the full install ISO - as they have basic video editing, coding tool, photo manipulation, and vector ... why not one more step and add a paint program? Being ridiculously picky on that, but after distro hopping I have settled on Ubuntu Studio, Mageia, and Peppermint as my standard distros for most use. I do digital illustration - hence the push for adding one of the paint programs :D That said - the support for Enlightenment is awesome. Another window manager I love working in - Fluxbox. Fricken glad to see Fluxbox is basically supported - and is ripping fast!!! - even in 64bit on an old dinosaur like the Dell D620. If I get the chance - this set up goes on one of my main graphics computers - opposite Windows and Ubuntu Studio. Back on Flux box - if I get the chance to set it up more elaborately - easy to get at network controls and such - it could become the main interface. There is beauty in that uncluttered simple super fast WM. Add the them Crunchy Blue for a perfect them match to the Mageia wallpaper - awesome!
The only odd glitch I have run into - and this is ODD: I work on some freelance sites. Guru is one of them. Using Firefox in Mageia - Guru rejects the login attempts. In no other distros have I had this. I have not had a chance to test the situation. My time is way too limited at this point.
So - late though I am - to the party - kudos on Mageia 7. More stable, seemingly a tad faster - with Fluxbox - it is a rocket!
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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby benmc » Feb 23rd, '20, 08:03

uberzilla wrote:The reason for the interest in 32bit is that Mageia is the only distro left supporting the old XARA project

if you have the time, un-install the x86_64bit version of XARA and install the i586 version.
just be sure you enable the 32bit repos.
it may work better.
I am unfamiliar with the program, but have found that sometimes the i586 version works better than the x86_64 version.

if the crashes are still occurring, do create a bug report.
Even though Mageia is truly a community effort, bug reports do get worked on and issues are fixed.
the trouble is getting the overworked devs to work on it ;)

uberzilla wrote:The only critique of that is that including either Mypaint or Krita would round out the full install ISO - as they have basic video editing, coding tool, photo manipulation, and vector ... why not one more step and add a paint program?

the x86_64 DVD .iso size was limited to fit into a 4Gb USB device (approx 3.66GB), and by extension the i586 DVD.iso, I understand that limit has now been lifted to fit onto a single layer DVD.
unfortunately, all the included desktops put on weight with every iteration, so the approx 700MB gain would be eaten up.
you can always propose that those programs are included in Mga8, as the content of the .isos have not yet been formalized.

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Re: Observations on Mageia 7

Postby uberzilla » Feb 25th, '20, 19:45

Hello and thanks for the response. I did try the 32 bit install but ran into a dependency issue. Might try again down the road.
Normally I don't attach image files but for those who never thought about Fluxbox on Mageia - see attached. I added Crunchy theme - Blue. It can be found by looking up themes for Fluxbox - online. It really is acting faster then any other desktop - and if you like simplicity.
Also in the image - a nod to the reason I like Mageia 6 so much. The screen caps of the memory check in the terminal. By shutting down everything I don't need (at for start up) - you can see how low an overhead in 32bit I was able to get. This is a big thing for old dinosaur laptops limited to 2 gigs of ram.
So if I get a chance to get Mageia 7 32 bit going - it will be interesting. Again - kudos to the team.
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