Subject: interesting observations on the Xsun(Mono) Xserver problem....
To: NetBSD/sparc Discussion List <port-sparc@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Greg A. Woods <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/06/2002 14:34:50
As you will all know by now I've been reporting on the ongoing Xserver
crashes I've been experiencing on my sparcstation.

On Friday (May 3) afternoon I rebuilt my GNU Emacs-21 binary from the
new pkgsrc module, using the new graphics/libungif-4.1.0b1.

I noted with interest at the time this note in pkgsrc/libungif/Makefile:

	# need 4.1.0b1 or higher (a bug in 4.1.0 can crash Emacs)

This intrigued me somewhat, though I hadn't had any problems with
emacs-21 crashing of late (though I haven't been using GNUS or viewing
many e-mail'ed GIF images much lately either, not even Xface images as I
only upgraded my VM to an X-face capable version quite recently).

Since then (i.e. since Fri.) though my Xserver has not crashed.  (Emacs
is of course one of the X11 clients I use almost continuously, though I
don't think it was always running or had even been started sometimes
when the Xserver had crashed.)


It might be interesting to see what X11 interactions are different in
the "fixed" libungif.  I suppose a simple test harness and some tracing
with xev might help discover this, though it would also be nice to see
if the the libungif "gif2x11" utility alone (or something simple like
it) can actually trigger Xserver crashes like those I've been suffering.

Unfortunately gif2x11 is not built and installed as part of
pkgsrc/libungif.  Hmmm.... it doesn't seem to work even when I get it
compiled and linked (it only uses libX11, so is certainly simple

	$ ./gif2x11 ../pic/porsche.gif                                 
	X Error of failed request:  BadMatch (invalid parameter attributes)
	  Major opcode of failed request:  72 (X_PutImage)
	  Serial number of failed request:  59
	  Current serial number in output stream:  59

If anyone has any other suggestions for how I might try to reproduce my
Xserver crashes using only libungif I'd appreciate the help!  In
particular if you know of, or have a, small X11 client that uses
libungif I'd appreciate a copy....

In libungif's ChangeLog the only thing I see which seems it could be
related is this entry:

1999 22 Mar Michael R Brown <>
        * util/gif2x11.c: Patch by (who?) to fix lots of memory leeks.
        * util/*.c:

          Patch by David Kaelbling to compile on IRIX 6.x. Basically fixing
          lots of bad/missing parameter passing to printf, scanf and similar.
        * Added pics/welcome2.gif, from Peter Merz which provokes a bug prior
          to patch 19990224 to do with colour map management.  There is still
          a problem with util/gifspnge processing this image, so it will not
          be added to test-unx yet.

and about 8 months later that test was indeed added to the test harness
even though there's no intervening mention of a fix:

1999 5  Dec Toshio Kuratomi <>
        * Update links to the web pages as I have reorganized them somewhat.
        * Add the welcome2.gif to the pic directory and a test that utilizes
          it to test-unx.

Sadly any such fix is are almost three years old now.....

Anyway, I'm going to move my programming and sys-admin activities back
to this workstation and see if it keeps working while I pushing it a bit
harder....  If it doesn't crash by Wed. noon or so, and if no-one has
any better suggestions be fore then, I'll try the "make check" tests....

								Greg A. Woods

+1 416 218-0098;  <>;  <>;  <>
Planix, Inc. <>; VE3TCP; Secrets of the Weird <>