[qubes-users] KDE high dom0 CPU usage

Quick question:

I decided to try out KDE on 4.0 and was liking it until I noticed the low overall framerate and the high CPU usage of dom0 shown in xentop whenever there’s motion (like dragging windows around). Since I’m using an i7-1065G7, power shouldn’t be an issue, so I was surprised.

Is there any way I can fix this? Has anyone here experienced this?

Not an issue with dom0 KDE here. But I did have this problem with
k/ubuntu on my new AMD Ryzen Thinkpad... graphics driver was not working
and defaulted to a non-accelerated framebuffer mode. In this case I had
to upgrade the kernel to resolve it.

Check output of 'sudo lspci -nnk' and look for the section with 'VGA'.
If it says 'unclaimed' then your graphics driver isn't working. The
'lshw' command can also be used for a different view; it will show the
VGA section with a line 'configuration: driver=<yourGPUkerneldriver>' if
its working or the 'driver' part will be absent if its not working.

lspci -nnk showed VGA working fine, but the output gave me other ideas (lshw not available on dom0). I modified xen.cfg so that i915.alpha_support=1 became i915.preliminary_hw_support=1 but that made things worse. I then switched to a newer kernel (5.6) and saw a minor framerate improvement, but the high CPU usage remained. I removed iommu=no-igfx and saw a better framerate, but again, high CPU usage remained.

I looked around and found that KDE and NVidia don’t mix–at least for the older versions of KDE (https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NVIDIA-KDE-High-CPU-Fix). The KDE Plasma version of dom0 current is 5.10, but the NVidia GPU in my laptop (which is weaker than my iGPU’s) needs 5.16. But the thing is–I don’t remember installing an NVidia propietary driver at all. Anyways, I installed the recommended fix (‘export __GL_MaxFramesAllowed=1’ in an executable script in /etc/profile.d) but that didn’t work as well, so I gave up and uninstalled KDE.

I switch off any nvidia gpus before installation. The company is
anti-open source and I'm not interested in running drivers that are the
result of a cat-and-mouse obfuscation game.

I tried to find ways to disable my Nvidia GPU before my first installation since the i7-1065G7 has a more powerful integrated one but didn’t find anything. The BIOS doesn’t have anything either. I didn’t install any drivers but my display works fine, so am I free of Nvidia drivers?

Oh, and quick question about Qubes VM hardening: I have it installed and working fine on all of my VMs except one, where every time that VM boots up, it automatically starts an xterm window headlined with ‘** VM-BOOT-PROTECT SERVICE SHELL’ . This happens on a debian-10-minimal sys-dispVM when VM-boot-protect (not root) is enabled and disabled. DispVM Template displays the same behavior with an added error line ‘cat: /var/run/vm-boot-protect-error: No such file or directory’. The DVM template has VM-boot-protect-root enabled.

Problem persists after reinstallation of hardening in template. It doesn’t seem like a major error, but it’s bugging me. I’d be grateful for any pointers

Maybe your problem is Opengl not being hardware accelerated. Try
switching to XRender under System Settings -> Display and Monitor ->
Compositor -> Rendering backend

KDE was already uninstalled when you posted this so I can’t test it out, but I’ll give it a try next time. Thanks