Author Topic: SubframeSelector process causes PI and Fedora 29 to become unresponsive  (Read 126 times)

Offline Tony Finnerty

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I built a dual Xeon workstation to take advantage of PI's parallel processing.  A Mac user for 40 years, Windows for data acquisition, recently I installed Fedora 29 / xfce on the workstation and saw a large increase in PixInsight benchmark scores, which I posted to the Benchmarks page less than a week ago.

I've been experimenting with short subexposures, e.g., 5 s, without autoguiding.  That means I must process hundreds to thousands of subexposures, so I was excited that the new SFS process is so much faster than the script. 

When I add, e.g., 1097 frames, the Add Files panel lists all files, but the numbering goes up to only 999 and dots are shown instead of numbers for the rest of the files.  Measurement of 1097 frames takes only 6 m 46 s on the new workstation.  However when I grabbed the left side of the Measurement window to drag it wider to see more detail in the graph, I could move it only a little, then the computer suddenly turned off.  No shutdown sequence - the screen went black, the fans stopped running, and the power button light went off, as if I had pulled the power cord.

In several more reboots and tries with SFS, the response was different sometimes.  The computer remained running and the mouse pointer moved, but PI and Fedora become unresponsive to mouse clicks.  I must kill the computer with the power button.

One time, when I tried to increase the size of the graph window, a Problem Reporting window appeared.  It showed 6 entries, the last of which was "xorg-x11-drv-nouveau" and "System Failure", with a longer message that read "Unexpected system error.  The system has encounterd a problem and recovered.  Name: kernel-core.  Version: 4.20.13-200.fe29.x89_64"  However the computer was unresponsive, as described above.

I tried SFS after rebooting again, this time with 982 files, short of the 999 files where higher frame numbers would not be shown.  There was no change in behaviour, so 999 is not a magic number.

At this point I was too bloody tired, confused by an increasingly wonky computer, and no longer took notes.  Eventually I re-installed Fedora 29 and PI, but the system seemed unstable and I could never got SFS to work.  I tried Xubuntu - same problem.  It happens only with SFS, and only when I try to resize the Measurement window.  I have not tried to continue with the selection and weighting process without resizing the window because I need to see what is going on with hundreds of frames before selecting and weighting.

Offline Juan Conejero

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Hi Tony,

All of these problems are being caused by the Nouveau graphics driver. Unfortunately, Nouveau has a long 'tradition' of instability, and we strongly discourage using it with PixInsight on any Linux distribution. You have basically two options:

1) Use the proprietary nVidia driver instead of Nouveau. This will solve all of these problems, and is the most logical option for a powerful workstation like yours. This is the only solution I can recommend. See this page for a detailed, step-by-step description of the procedure required to get rid of nouveau in Fedora. See this page for another procedure.

2) Run PixInsight disabling all graphics acceleration, including OpenGL. To do this, run PixInsight like this:

cd /opt/PixInsight/bin
./PixInsight.sh --opengl=raster

This should prevent most of these graphics instability problems.

The use of nouveau as the default nVidia driver in most (all?) Linux distributions is very unfortunate in my opinion. I understand the reasons from a pure open-source perspective, but the real thing is, if your machine uses an nVidia graphics card, you'll probably have to replace nouveau with the proprietary driver, sooner or later.

As for the elided frame number when you load more than 999 frames in SFS, we'll make room for one more digit in the next version. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Juan Conejero
PixInsight Development Team
http://pixinsight.com/

Offline Juan Conejero

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More up-to-date information on this issue. The Chromium development team at Google has declared the Nouveau driver unstable. As of Chrome/Chromium 71, Nouveau is completely blacklisted.

Since PixInsight's WebView component (the HTML5 browser integrated in the Process Explorer window, PCC and SFS interactive graphs, etc.) is based on the Chromium browser, this is very relevant also to PixInsight.

What is really incredible is the reaction of Nouveau developers: faking driver vendor information provided by Nouveau to fool Chromium's detection logic. Sad.
Juan Conejero
PixInsight Development Team
http://pixinsight.com/

Offline Tony Morris

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Juan
Thanks for the information, re-installing the correct nVidia driver for my graphics card on my Xubuntu desktop has removed the problems re-sizing the subframe selector graph window for me. I still have problems with the PDF output though which I posted as a bug report.
It has also fixed an issue where PI would not switch focus to an image window sometimes without clicking on the header bar.
Thanks
Tony

Offline Tony Finnerty

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Thank you so much, Juan, for the diagnosis and links to replacing the Nouveau driver with an Nvidia proprietary driver.  That solved the problem and I am very happy with the speed of the new SubframeSelector process.