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Frustrated with Mint 16

Discussion in 'General Linux Discussion' started by booman, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I'm getting really frustrated with Mint 16!
    It seems almost every game I test in PlayOnLinux is having some kind of stuttering problem and its really getting on my nerves.
    i'm really leaning on Pulseaudio as the root of the problem but I am unable to confirm if it is.
    So far no one has posted similar problems with my guides, so I really think its my system.

    This all started back in January when I upgraded to Mint 16
    I tried Borderlands 2 and Neverwinter first and PlayOnLinux debug would report "buffer underrun" errors all over the place. Both of them were running really slow even though previously on Mint 14 I didn't have any issues.

    I followed a few guides by Daerandin, Allenskd and Wine concerning .asoundrc modifications.
    I thought it was working because the "buffer underrun" errors are gone, but now I'm still getting stuttering problems again.

    Any native Linux games are not affected at all. So this is either a PlayOnLinux, Wine or Pulseaudio problem.
    Here is a list of games that have this problem:
    • Fallout 3
    • Borderlands 2
    • Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force
    • Neverwinter
    • Tron 2.0
    • Risen
    • Sid Meier's Pirates
    The only reason I havn't posted this earlier is because the last 3 guides were native Linux games and ran perfectly. Daerandin confirmed that Elite Force ran fine on his Arch machine.

    I really hope Ubuntu 14.10 is going to have a fix for this because I don't even want to test games with performance problems like this. Mint 17 is going to be based on Ubuntu 14.10 so we'll see.
    Daerandin has mentioned the Pulseaudio 5 is having a lot of problems too, so I don't know what really needs to happen to fix this, but its so frustrating.
  2. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    I can feel your pain. That is one problem with the open source world, it does not benefit from the same kind of testing that proprietary operating systems go through. This means that sometimes something will be broken for someone.

    The issues I had with PulseAudio 5.0 were mostly solved for me. Editing /etc/pulse/daemon.conf to add the line

    default-fragment-size-msec = 5

    and the restarting pulseaudio solved all my problems with Timidity and Munt. Furthermore, some people that experienced stuttering sounds also reported this to solve the problem. You could try it if you'd like, although it is difficult to know exactly what causes these problems.

    PoL works with PulseAudio 5.0 as long as I use 64-bit wine. So far I have only had problems getting one game working, the Batman games since they require DotNet which does not seem to work in 64-bit wine. To workaround that I just temporarily use a .asoundrc that let wine output directly using Alsa.

    I doubt you can ever find yourself in a situation where things are perfect when using a Linux distro, and I have simply accepted that sometimes there will be stuff that does not work as it should.

    Have you tried any of your games that you know should work without issues? Just to make sure that this is not a problem that has recently appeared. If other games you have played in the past work as they should, then it definitely only affects certain games.
  3. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I read about that default-fragment-size-msec also. Even tried it, but wasn't really sure if that fixed my problem.
    How do I check which Pulseaudio I am currently using?

    The only game that seems to be running well is Crysis Warhead... of all games why does that one run well? Seriously, its a resource hog and still runs decently. There are little bits of stutter, but it actually plays pretty smooth.

    I was frustrated the most with Borderlands 2, I had it running so smooth in Mint 14 and after upgrading it was unplayable.
    I'm testing Risen right now because I just purchased it on sale at GOG.com
    I've always wanted it after playing the demo years ago. But now its stuttering so much that its also unplayable. I have a feeling its only my system.

    I'll try that default-fragment-size-msec again and your .asoundrc to see if I can be absolutely sure its Pulseaudio. You never really know with all of these Wine versions.
    I've had games run slow like Alan Wake, but didn't have this "stutter" like I'm seeing now.
    I'm getting desperate because I want to make sure my guides really work for everyone.
  4. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    The easiest way to know if pulseaudio is being used or not is:

    • Install pavucontrol and have it open in one workspace
    • Launch a game from PoL in another workspace, make sure you have sound
    • CTRL-Alt-[arrow key] to the workspace where you have pavucontrol open
    • Check the Playback tab in pavucontrol, if you see output from wine, then it is using pulseaudio
    pavucontrol.png

    If you don't see this in the Playback section, despite having sounds from the game, then it means wine is not using Pulse on your system.

    If you use the .asoundrc I posted in PlayOnLinux forums, then you will not see this in pavucontrol when the game is running, since pavucontrol only recognize audio output going through PulseAudio.
  5. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Awesome, I will definitely try this tonight.
    Thank You
  6. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Nice test. Yes I definitely see my game in the pulseaudio playback.
    I'm going to try your .asoundrc again.
  7. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    After trying .asoundrc and checking pavucontrol again I confirmed that PlayOnLinux wasn't using Pulseaudio.
    I also did default-fragment-size-msec = 5 but that probably doesn't matter now that PlayOnLinux isn't using Pulseaudio correct?

    Fallout 3, Risen and Tron are better, but in Tron I was noticing "pops" in the audio.
    Fallout 3 and Risen are still a bit slow, but still a major improvement.
    I will continue tweaking this until it finally runs nicely!
  8. mrdeathjr28

    mrdeathjr28 Active Member

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    On my case audio normally works good but i use 32bits mint version

    But on fallout 3 if you have mp3 music files, game crash on 20 to 30 minuts on game, if you rename music folder game runs without problems

    :)
  9. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    ah, I think I did have a crash this morning. More like a lock up.
    I didn't realize it was related to the music. I'll definitely rename the music folder.
    Thank You
  10. mrdeathjr28

    mrdeathjr28 Active Member

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    yes for disgrace this problem affect various titles as morrowind, oblivion, where if you disable mp3 work without problems

    :)
  11. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Strange because I didn't have problems with Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind or Fallout 3 in Mint 14.
  12. mrdeathjr28

    mrdeathjr28 Active Member

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    On skyrim dont have this problem because this game use other format for music

    Hopefully in future mp3 stay better more sopported than stay today

    :)
  13. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Correct, when PulseAudio is not being used then that setting will not make any difference.

    Also note that when you make such a change to /etc/pulse/daemon.conf then it will not take effect until PulseAudio is restarted, which can be done quickly with:

    Code:
    pulseaudio -k && pulseaudio --start
  14. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I'm still having a problem. I have tried your .asoundrc script and games are still slow.
    I have tried Wine's suggestion with .asoundrc and changes in default.pa but still slow.
    I have even confirmed that pulseaudio isn't running and games are still choppy.

    I tried the changes in daemon.conf:
    Code:
    ; default-sample-format = s16le
    default-sample-rate = 44100
    ; alternate-sample-rate = 48000
    default-sample-channels = 2
    ; default-channel-map = front-left,front-right
    
    default-fragments = 2
    default-fragment-size-msec = 5
    But games still run slow....
    What is the deal?
    Is there a way to downgrade to an earlier version of Pulseaudio?
    Does Mint 16 completely rely on Pulseaudio 5?
  15. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Issuse with Pulse have existed long before version 5.0. I strongly doubt that Mint use the new version as it was released during last month. Most likely mint is using pulseaudio 4.0.
  16. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    You are absolutely correct!
    I checked my synaptics package manager and I'm using 1:4.0-0ubuntu6

    So now what?
  17. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Really sucks because what was going on with Mint 14 that made audio work just fine but Mint 16 is having problems?
  18. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Not really that much to do. This could be caused by a number of issues. For now I would say that just hope things are fixed in the next Mint version. Sometimes there are issues with newer versions, this happens and there is not much to do about it.

    If you feel that you have the time and energy for it, you could probably start a topic on some forum more dedicated to technical issues, for example some tech support section on Mint forums. However, it may require a lot of time and effort to find the problem.

    One other thing, you could try some other type of hardware. For example a USB headset to see if the problem persists. If you are using the .asoundrc, then you have to make sure the name of the audio device is specified, otherwise you can just the the USB headset as output default in PulseAudio before starting a game.

    But since new Mint is just around the corner, the easiest thing to do is probably to just wait and try it out when it is released.
  19. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I don't mind waiting, but should I still post my Guides if I'm having performance issues?
    This is why I'm frustrated... the main reason I use Linux is for PlayOnLinux and games. Since my games are having problems related to audio, I'm not sure if others will have similar problems as well.
    I don't want to post guides that don't work of course.

    I can always do guides for native Linux games, but I'm not sure which ones. Most of the games I have are pretty simple installs.
    • Brutal Legend
    • Costume Quest
    • Lugaru
    • Overgrowth
    • Steam Games
    • Desura Games
    • Ravensword: Shadowlands
    • Aquaria
    • Braid
    • Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror
    • Gish
    • Hammerfight
    • Jack Claw
    • Machinarium
    • Penumbra Overture
    • Psychonauts
    • Shadowlands
    • Stacking
    • Trine
    • World of Goo
    • Amnesia
    Maybe I'll do an Overgrowth guide. It took me a while to figure out how to install it.
    Otherwise, I was thinking of doing a Doom 3 native Linux guide, but its almost identical to the Quake 4 Guide.

    Can you think of any native Linux games that are "in Demand" and new Linux gamers would like to have a step-by-step guide on installing it?
  20. allenskd

    allenskd Active Member

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    There are a lot of things of Mint I don't really like... Remember my backup question? yea... I'm moving back home, to the beautiful roots of Debian with full KDE, probably in early May... I might clean up some media stuff before doing the backup. I thought of going Arch Linux but... I don't have the time to fix things up if a package goes wild in the system and ends up making it unbootable... so... Debian (sid) or Stable + Backports all the way. (net install still sucks, I can't find a good mirror)

    You know what's shocking? Linux Mint uses almost 1GB of memory in a fresh boot, Debian? only 500mb... there's something really wrong on what services are running... or something unnecessary got added. I guess that's the price in having a super user-friendly distro.

    I did a guide regarding PulseAudio stuttering issue, it injects dmix (which is a native ALSA plugin), etc etc. I hope this helps you

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