GNOME (Ubuntu 8.10) Freezes on Login (Optiplex GX260)

Art Alexion art at RHD.ORG
Mon Feb 23 05:44:35 CST 2009

I don't think that is your problem if you are having problems at the login screen.  At that point, no desktop effects have loaded.

Art Alexion
MIS/Central Office Support
Resources for Human Development

----- Original Message -----
From: linux-desktops-bounces at <linux-desktops-bounces at>
To: Linux Dell <Linux-Desktops at>
Sent: Sun Feb 22 17:55:32 2009
Subject: Re: GNOME (Ubuntu 8.10) Freezes on Login (Optiplex GX260)

Dell Linux Users:

On Sun, 22 Feb 2009, Lawrence Houston wrote:

> Suggesting a "Conflict" between Ubuntu 8.10's GNOME and the "Higher 
> Functions" of the GX260's On-board Intel Graphics???  If another DELL/GX260 
> User could explain what is going on and what the "Workaround" might be that 
> would be greatly appreciated!!!

Turns out this is a "Known Issue" with the Intel 845G Support contained within 
Xorg's Intel Driver (the 845G worked correctly with Hardy's i810 Driver, which 
has been replace with a more General Intel Driver) and misbehaviour with 

Taken from Ubuntu 8.10's Release Note:

Hangs with desktop effects on Intel 830MG and 845G video cards

There is a bug in the Intel video driver for the older intel 830 and 845 
integrated video cards that are used on laptops like the IBM R30. Desktop 
effects with compiz will not work on those chips and will freeze the system. 
For new installations, please install using the safe graphics mode (press F4 in 
the startup screen) on these systems and disable desktop effects via System -> 
Preferences -> Appearance, clicking on "Visual effects" and choosing "None". 

Although there is an Update for the Intel Xorg Driver (2.4.1-1ubuntu10.3), for 
me it did NOT resolve the issue!!!  One Solution I found was using 
"gconf-editor" to switch GNOME's Window Manager from "compiz" to "metacity":

A Second Solution was removing the "compiz" and "compiz-core" packages:

Although both of the above worked for me, personally I would prefer to see Xorg 
"Fix" their Intel Driver so that it correctly supports the Intel 845G and 
"compiz" could be re-instated as GNOME's Window Manager!!!

Lawrence Houston  --  (dell at

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