Version 1 (modified by ken@…, 4 years ago) ( diff )

Explain why xpresent can be a good idea


using libxpresent

With some AMD Zen APUs (e.g. Ryzen 2500U (Raven) and 3550M (Picasso) xfwm4-4.14.0 produces text which is slow to render (e.g. tooltips are unreadable for a second or two, similar problems in terminals, e.g. text hard to read except when the cursor is on it. Also described as transparency artifacts. see e.g.

The problem might only appear if the machine is a laptop, or perhaps it is related to Display Port outputs (my 2550U uses eDP according to xrandr, my 3400G desktop (Picasso) is connected to HDMI).

The compositor can also get turned off, killing the desktop.

Quoting from that forum, "In xfwm4, glx is the default vblank mode, but it also supports xpresent (which I believe works best for ati cards) and you can also turn it off."

As a workaround, setting the vblank mode to off works (you need to be in X to do this, perhaps using a different windowmanager if the compositor has turned off and is 'sulking' - it certainly gives that impression on _my_ laptop, requiring several reboots to sort it out)

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/vblank_mode -t string -s "off" --create

That appears to work, but setting it to xpresent is probably better, and that requires installing xpresent before xfwm4 (or rebuilding xfwm4 after installing xpresent) :

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/vblank_mode -t string -s "xpresent" --create

building xpresent

The book currently points to source for v1.0.0, but the URL is "convoluted" with no obvious way of checking for newer versions. The homepage is apparently at but that doesn't show any information about releases.

For v1.0.0, and assuming you built X in /usr,

./ --prefix=/usr &&
make &&
make install


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