Archive for the ‘Xgl’ Tag

Swing problem on Xgl and openSUSE/Linux

I installed NetBeans 5.5 on openSUSE 10.2 and found out that Swing applications are not rendered properly. The installer dialog itself appeared like an icon and I had to resize it. The IDE itself was either appearing as an icon or it would scale past the screen size. The “New Project” dialog (or any window/dialog for that matter) also displayed the same behaviour and were not appearing in the centre of the IDE. I created a simple swing GUI application and realized that the JOptionPane message dialog was also not appearing in the center. I checked if I was using a very old JDK and found that my default JDK was – Java 6 build 105.

Many hours later (sigh) I found out that Swing applications have rendering issues with Xgl.

Bug ID – 6429775: Xgl/Compiz/Java 1.5/Swing problem

Everything worked fine once I disabled XGL. But having got used to the cool way of working using Xgl I just couldn’t keep it disabled for long.
Fortunately, this bug seems to have been fixed in Java 6 update 1. So I downloaded it and everything worked like a charm.

openSUSE 10.2 and Xgl

Last week I installed openSUSE 10.2 on my laptop and I’m very impressed with this linux distro. I have been planning to install linux on my laptop (along with Windows and Solaris) so that I could check the user experience of a Swing application project that I’ve been involved with.

I have been using Red Hat/Fedora for few years now but the recent buzz around other linux distros viz. Ubuntu, openSUSE, Mandriva etc. piqued my interest to try them out. The difficult part in a linux installation is deciding which linux to install. I discussed with few friends of mine – each one recommending the one they use. I did some reading on the web.. distrowatch is a very good resource. Finally I zeroed on openSUSE 10.2 .

The installation was very smooth.. a bit time consuming though. I really liked the admin/setup tool – yast (Yet Another Setup Tool).

openSUSE provides most of the applications one needs out of the box.

  • OpenOffice for office applications
  • Firefox as browser
  • Evolution as email client (which I replaced with Mozilla Thunderbird)
  • Gimp for graphics
  • Real Player and Totem for playing movies. I prefer VLC media player, so I installed it later.
  • Helix Banshee for playing MP3s and syncing with IPod. It’s an excellent player although I’m struggling with the iPod syncing part due to the iPod Raid bug. Will look for the openSUSE fix later.

Configured Compiz/Xgl for the jazzy stuff 🙂

openSUSE has a very active community presence and have good documentation online viz. articles, blogs etc.
Getting XGL to run required installing NVIDIA drivers and some tweaks here and there. I found the following resources very useful:

Using Xgl on SUSE Linux
Xgl Troubleshooting
Linux Display Driver – x86
Nvidia Installer HOWTO for SUSE LINUX users