KDE Plasma 5.17.5 panel ceases working when compositor is turned off

I have searched the forum and failed to find anything about this specific problem, so hopefully this is not a duplicate thread.

A lot of details of the problem are further described here: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=353983

The problem, at least in my specific instance, is that, whenever the KDE compositor is disabled, the panel and everything else in it fails to render properly. It has been confirmed in the link above that it is an NVIDIA driver problem, as people with Intel and AMD graphics do not get the same issue. The only difference is that for some users the problem does not happen consistently, meaning lack of compositor does not always result in the panel freezing for the user. In theory I could have the compositor always turned on, but it does noticeably affect performance in video games.

This has been an issue for a lot of users for over four years now. If at least a temporary workaround exists for this issue, I would like to know.
nvidia-bug-report.log.gz (440 KB)


Not sure this is only an nvidia issue, as I see this with an xps15 I use every day, and don’t even load nvidia drivers on this as they’ve proven so buggy with prime. I’ve been using KDE until a few days ago, where after the last full upgrade of arch started causing hard locks under kde, mostly due to plymouth, but also randomly my main kde panel would just stop responding otherwise. I’ve been attempting mate and cinnamon again as I’m sick of kde for the moment again being so buggy.

Screen compositing is the goddamn devil. Cinnamon is as much crap as kwin so far, and mate can’t handle hidpi scaling yet, making my 4k displays absurd to use. Any time compositing is involved, things go to hell.

I wish someone would figure out a proper Linux DE these days. They’re all unstable messes.

@mikus This sounds unrelated, and you should probably reach out to KDE for other answers. There is a very specific bug that’s very reliably reproducible with nvidia, when games disable compositing, causing KDE panels to lockup.

I had never once seen this issue on any Intel or AMD drivers across years of usage prior to buying an nvidia card, even when using hybrid graphics in a laptop – i.e. bumblebee, though it can occur with nvidia prime.

I do not disagree, but there are real issues across compositors I’ve seen that just frigging hate graphic drivers of every vendor. I saw this with windoze 10, ubuntu/gnome-shell/wayland, arch w/kde/cinnamon/mate with my laptop, and about the same minus windoze on my desktop. Only thing I haven’t tried is a hackintosh to see how it likes either gpu.

I use a very large framebuffer, 11520x2160, ala 3x 4k displays, so it’s a stress test. This is my laptop (igpu hd630) or desktop (gtx1070). Every compsitor fails over time, or the gpu failed the compsitor. I never know which, but seems consistently mutual. I see most any linux DE destabilize over time, but more precipitously in the past few years with every upgrade.

Even an out of box xps15 install of windoze 10 can’t hang with 1-2 4k displays with either/both gpu. Windows would hang, my mouse would stutter around, just always an issue. Killing any compositing and gpu interaction triples my system speed and stability. Who to blame as they point fingers at each other?

KDE is just another os with weird bugs. Much as the author said, my kde panel freezes, usually after enough monitor hotplug events. Sometimes one, sometimes dozens, but I get it commonly too, with or without compositing.