Tuesday, June 13, 2006

nVidia and MPlayer Don't Like Electric Sheep?

I am at loss once again. I have the latest Ubuntu Dapper Drake and I'm using its nVidia (binary) drivers with hardware acceleration ("nvidia", not "nv"). I have xscreensaver installed (not gnome-screensaver) and electricsheep screensaver (both of them from standard Ubuntu repositories).

Unfortunately, when electricsheep starts, it runs (e.g. it downloads new sheep generations) but does not produce any graphical output at all! The screen is black. The preview window in xscreensaver-demo is black. When I run electricsheep manually in a window, the windows decorations appear (the border and the toolbar) but the window itself is "see-through" (not black), the content is simply not there.

Another interesting observation: When I have mplayer running (it doesn't matter if it's paused and on which workspace it runs, but it must use hardware acceleration), electricsheep works like a charm - standalone or in the preview window! Also, when I reboot the computer (or just the xorg server), electricsheep WORKS but it stops working as soon as I close the MPlayer for the first time.

All other screensavers (3D or not) work without problems. When I change the video driver to non-accelerated one ("nv"), electricsheep also works without problems.

Any ideas? Some nvidia driver flags I could tweak? Or Mplayer? It doesn't seem to matter what Mplayer video driver I use...


Anonymous said...

Well Frantisek, I can only say, the same happened to me. In the end, I somehow figured out, it is not nvidia not liking Electric Sheep, but something wrong with the Electric Sheep. On Breazy, I observed, that the Electric Sheep tended to start normaly for some time, when the session was fresh, but produced no output at all, after running the session for few hours.

As memorysheep is a resource hog, I'm now somehow happy, it does not work now. What is amazing for me, is that everything others I need, is working out of the box, even the WMV video codecs.

BTW - it is a known bug, does not depend on nvidia but on the fact, wheter xv is available. As soon as you run mplayer, it uses xv and thus the electric sheep can run. So something broken in xv.

The bug is documented here: https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+source/electricsheep/+bug/5823

Anonymous said...

I've removed ElectricSheep recently but as far as I remember, try changing the otput method in the ElectricSheep Settings (after pressing the "Advanced" button). I'm sure It can be even done by some command line parameters, ask the man ;) Good luck...