[Wine] Wine causes X server restart

L. Rahyen research at science.su
Wed May 13 21:41:25 CDT 2009

On 2009-05-13 (Wednesday) 12:43:25 Clontarf[X] wrote:
> vitamin wrote:
> > Clontarf[X] wrote:
> > > Starting wine or a wine'd program causes an immediate restart of the X
> > > server, returning the the gdm greeting/login screen.
> >
> > Buggy video drivers.
> What I was thinking. Any known stable/non-buggy ATI drivers that you know
> of?

	There is no such a thing (at least not yet). Many people who try to use ATI 
Linux drivers eventually come to conclusion that ATI drivers for Linux are 
unstable and have big amount of major bugs. And I learned this from my recent 
experience too. Instead of telling you "ATI drivers are bad" I will tell you 
whole story so you can understand better why I have such opinion about ATI 
	I always knew that ATI cards have bad drivers so I never purchased them. 
However, few months ago I received a gift - yet another computer to my house; 
the computer wasn't so bad except it was equipped with ATI card. I decided to 
use it (the computer) for SolidWorks: it doesn't work on Wine so you need 
Windows to use it. In the past I used VMWare and using separate computer 
for this purpose (to run programs that doesn't work on Wine yet) is an 
improvement and working on multiple computers is very convenient with good KVM 
	Obviously, first I tried new computer "as is" with ATI card under Windows. It 
wasn't bad... it was horrible. Even when I opened very simple model in 
SolidWorks performance was bad - about 1-3 FPS (at least 30-60 FPS was 
expected) with very heavy tearing (VSync didn't work). Even worse, when 
SolidWorks window was maximized there was heavy corruption in 3D viewport and 
even in small window there was a lot of artifacts.
	In fact, only games on Windows worked well with ATI card... Everything else 
worked bad or didn't worked at all. Obviously, I decided to replace ATI 
card with something better. So I took NVidia card from my another 
computer (running Linux) and temporally inserted ATI card into it just in 
order to see how it will work with Linux.
	Since computer I took the NVidia card from was used mostly for non-gaming 
activities and tasks, I thought maybe ATI card can handle that. I tried to 
install ATI driver for Linux... There was a lot of issues in the ATI driver 
installer such as strange conflicts, problems with compiling kernel module, 
segfaults, and some other issues. After wasting some hours I solved all of 
them: I used solutions published in some forums by other people so all 
problems I encountered was known bugs in ATI driver installer. And that's was 
just ATI driver installation...
	Then I tried to use it (the driver). It is well known that with ATI card in 
Linux you can forget about gaming but I decided to test this myself and now I 
can confirm this: all my games I tested with ATI card in Linux (and I tested 
only games that work with NVidia card perfectly) didn't work with ATI card for 
one or another reason: major graphical glitches (so technically game runs but 
looks ugly), major bugs in the kernel module (so I had either "immediate 
restarts of the X server" like you do or hard crashes of whole system). Yes I 
know there is some games that do work with ATI cards very well but this 
doesn't change the fact that number of games you can run perfectly with ATI 
card in Linux is much less than number of games you can run perfectly with 
NVidia card. So I didn't test ATI card with games in Linux any farther because 
this was pointless.
	Computer where I tested ATI card with Linux have three X sessions running: one 
mine, one for my brother and third one for playing games and watching movies. 
Obviously, there was at least few switches between these sessions per day. And 
in my case ATI card (its driver) failed to work even for pure 2D tasks: major 
bug in ATI kernel module lead to system hard crash once or twice (!) per day 
(usually when trying to switch between X sessions). After few days of testing 
I learned that ATI card is useless (at least for me) in both Windows and 
	Conclusion (from my personal experience): ATI card can only satisfy your needs 
only if you use Windows and all 3D applications you run in Windows are games or 
very simple professional 3D software. In any other case you may and probably 
will encounter major bugs in ATI driver even on Windows. On Linux this even 
worse: even if you manage to run some games or other 3D applications there 
will be a lot of games that run perfectly with NVidia card but run badly or 
not at all with ATI card. Even worse, ATI card is very unstable (1-2 hard 
crashes per day in my case!). As a result, I didn't find any use for my ATI 
card (X1600) and after few days of bad experience replaced it with much better 
NVidia card (and NVidia offers much better drivers for their cards; also 
NVidia drivers for both Linux and Windows work well and are stable).

	Your best option is to buy NVidia card. If you have no money to buy NVidia 
card, your only hope that at some point in the future there will be better 
drivers for ATI cards. I know that ATI put some effort trying to improve ATI 
Linux driver but they need to put much more effort before I ever decide to 
even consider to buy ATI card.
	For now ATI driver for Linux is far from perfect (and from my personal 
experience I discovered that their Windows driver is much better than Linux 
one but far from perfect either) and this is especially obvious when you 
trying to use Wine for games on computer with ATI card.

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