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Old 07-20-09, 10:14 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1
Default Second Life triggers display corruption

My system:

Intel P35 board
Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 @ 2.66 GHz
Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS
Debian 5.0.2 (lenny) 32bit
Kernel 2.6.26
Gnome 2.22.3, Metacity, no Compiz
Nvidia driver 185.18.14 (previously 173.14.9)
Second Life viewer (and previous versions)

Problem description:

Second Life sometimes triggers major display corruption that extends beyond the application window and even beyond the graphical desktop. The problem occurs at random times while the Second Life viewer is running. Sometimes it works fine for many hours, sometimes it goes nuts right after startup, i.e. at the login screen. The corruption starts with some flickering inside the viewer window, then gets worse within seconds. The application doesn't crash but gets unusable because polygons flicker all over its user interface. Here is a screenshot that was saved automatically when I closed the viewer window:

After closing Second Life, the corruption persists:

The text mode console shows font corruption and flickering too. (No screenshot available.)

Rebooting the computer seems to be the only way to restore normal operation.

I don't think it's a heat issue because it occurs at random times, sometimes not at all, sometimes after a few hours, sometimes immediately after application startup. Blender, another 3D application using OpenGL, never triggers this bug.

I think it's a driver bug because the display corruption extends beyond the Second Life application window and persists after closing it, which IMHO should not happen, even if the application misbehaves. I never run it with root privileges.

The problem first occurred after I switched from Ubuntu 8.04 to Debian 5.0 in April 2009. Ubuntu came with Nvidia driver 169.12, Debian came with 173.14.9. Updating to the latest version 185.18.14 did not fix the problem.
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