Manjaro XFCE: Vastly improved experience with Picom (Compton) compositor
#1
TL;DR: Switched to Picom compositor instead of XFCE's built-in compositing, and everything feels MUCH smoother.

Currently running a vanilla Manjaro ARM XFCE install on my Pinebook Pro. While everything mostly works fine, I've been bugged by how the experience somehow just feels a bit sluggish. In particular, scrolling in Chromium and Firefox is visibly laggy even for fairly lightweight websites.

I would've assumed it's just how the hardware is, but I've seen some videos of Manjaro ARM KDE on the Pinebook Pro that seem to suggest otherwise. Additionally, I happen to have a Chromebook with the same Rockchip RK3399 SoC (ASUS Chromebook Flip C101PA) and browsing and scrolling around on the Chromebook feels much much smoother in comparison.

After some digging around, I started to suspect the lag / sluggishness was related to a lack of OpenGL acceleration in the XFCE desktop. So long story short, I tried switching out XFCE's built-in compositing for the Picom compositor (apparent successor to Compton), and was blown away by how much it improved the experience. Scrolling in Chromium and Firefox felt much smoother, and navigating around apps end menus just felt much snappier.

So really wanted to share this result, and curious to know if switching to Picom may help other Manjaro ARM XFCE users as well.

Steps I used to set up Picom:

1. pacman -Sy picom
2. XFCE Settings -> "Window Manager Tweaks" -> "Compositor" -> uncheck "Enable display compositing"
3. XFCE Settings -> "Session and Startup" -> "Application Autostart" -> add item with the command "picom"
4. Start in current session with "picom -b".

The default settings seemed to work fine for me, so I haven't found the need to create a config file to tweak settings yet.

My setup: manjaro-release 20.07-1 (upgraded from 20.04 install), kernel linux-pinebookpro 5.7.0-3, mesa 20.1.3-1, xfwm4 4.14.2-1

References:

- Using Compton for a tear-free experience in Xfce in Manjaro Wiki
- Picom in Arch Linux Wiki
#2
(07-16-2020, 02:13 PM)jichu4n Wrote: TL;DR: Switched to Picom compositor instead of XFCE's built-in compositing, and everything feels MUCH smoother.

Currently running a vanilla Manjaro ARM XFCE install on my Pinebook Pro. While everything mostly works fine, I've been bugged by how the experience somehow just feels a bit sluggish. In particular, scrolling in Chromium and Firefox is visibly laggy even for fairly lightweight websites.

I would've assumed it's just how the hardware is, but I've seen some videos of Manjaro ARM KDE on the Pinebook Pro that seem to suggest otherwise. Additionally, I happen to have a Chromebook with the same Rockchip RK3399 SoC (ASUS Chromebook Flip C101PA) and browsing and scrolling around on the Chromebook feels much much smoother in comparison.

After some digging around, I started to suspect the lag / sluggishness was related to a lack of OpenGL acceleration in the XFCE desktop. So long story short, I tried switching out XFCE's built-in compositing for the Picom compositor (apparent successor to Compton), and was blown away by how much it improved the experience. Scrolling in Chromium and Firefox felt much smoother, and navigating around apps end menus just felt much snappier.

So really wanted to share this result, and curious to know if switching to Picom may help other Manjaro ARM XFCE users as well.

Steps I used to set up Picom:

1. pacman -Sy picom
2. XFCE Settings -> "Window Manager Tweaks" -> "Compositor" -> uncheck "Enable display compositing"
3. XFCE Settings -> "Session and Startup" -> "Application Autostart" -> add item with the command "picom"
4. Start in current session with "picom -b".

The default settings seemed to work fine for me, so I haven't found the need to create a config file to tweak settings yet.

My setup: manjaro-release 20.07-1 (upgraded from 20.04 install), kernel linux-pinebookpro 5.7.0-3, mesa 20.1.3-1, xfwm4 4.14.2-1

References:

- Using Compton for a tear-free experience in Xfce in Manjaro Wiki
- Picom in Arch Linux Wiki

Much improved indeed - finally smooth scrolling with Firefox! Thank you for sharing this.
#3
(07-18-2020, 02:40 PM)perceg Wrote: Much improved indeed - finally smooth scrolling with Firefox! Thank you for sharing this.

Nice!! Glad to hear it's working for others as well.


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