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  1. #1

    Trouble with GTK apps: experiencing keyboard lags in GTK textboxes

    Hello, everyone.

    I am a Linux Mint 17 user, and I am experiencing a very odd problem with text input in GTK apps.

    After some OS updates my keyboard started to lag in erratic, almost unpredictable patterns. For example, I just type some text, and everything goes fine. But then, after nth-keypress, the letters I type appear on the screen with a noticeable lag; Sometimes the current letter doesn't appear on the screen until I press the next one. Another way to make the button appear is to wait for a few seconds, which is very annoying and absolutely unacceptable.

    At first I thought that it has something to do with my keyboard. I even tried changing the 'autosuspend' option for the USB port my keyboard is connected to, to no avail. I tried another keyboard, it didn't help.
    But then I realized that some programs are not affected by this strange behaviour.

    • Thunderbird
    • Gedit
    • Gajim

    Not affected:
    • Vim/GVim
    • GNOME terminal
    • Browsers (Firefox, Chromium) - no matter which text inputs inside the browser I use

    I am not sure if I am posting to the right forum, because at first it appears like a problem with my keyboard, but my observations make me think that it has something to do with GTK text box widget.
    What can I do to fix that problem?

  2. #2
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    open a terminal and type "top", and leave it open.
    when the lag happens, see what is eating your resources.

    also try qt applications (e.g. vlc) to prove your claim that it's a gtk issue.

  3. #3
    I made quite a few experiments with top and htop, and tried monitoring which processes take too much of the processing power and system memory.

    I can say that cinnamon (mint's GTK+ -based desktop environment), Xorg and chromium processes usually stay "in the top of the top". When I see the lag, there is no significant change in %CPU and %MEM, there is nothing that catches my attention.

    I tried a few Qt text editors - they don't seem to be affected by this. Also, even Nemo/Nautilus (file managers) lag when I input text in search box or some other textbox. This happens occasionally and I still can't find the exact reason.

    Another thing is that I am using a wireless keyboard, and I even replaced the batteries (because at first I thought it has something to do with dying batteries), but then I noticed that even with the full battery there is still a lag. And some programs have no lags at all, which is also confusing.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Linux Guru
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    well, it sounds like it really is a gtk or cinnamon issue.

    i would try with a normal (wired or built-in) keyboard just to be sure, and then i would look for places to open a bug report.
    maybe cinnammon bugs?

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