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I am using Ubuntu 11.10.

At some point through the day today the GUI seemed to downgrade itself. In some applications the text became grainy, and some icon titles on the desktop became difficult to read.

The upside is that performance really improved. I can now switch between my applications much faster than I could previously.

What might cause this? I'd like to be able to repeat it!

UPDATES:

  • I was not aware of changing anything. I certainly didn't install anything new on the PC, and I was not aware of any automatic upgrades

  • My System Settings says the graphics driver is Unknown and the experience is Standard

  • I'm about to reboot the PC and see if the condition persists!

  • I hope its not magic. That would make it difficult to reproduce, wouldn't it?

  • Just noticed the shutdown menu (top right) is missing. Had to start a terminal session to shutdown

  • screenshot

Screenshot

Here's lspci output:

00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX Host bridge (rev 01) 00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 440BX/ZX/DX - 82443BX/ZX/DX AGP bridge (rev 01) 00:07.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ISA (rev 08) 
00:07.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 IDE (rev 01) 
00:07.3 Bridge: Intel Corporation 82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI (rev 08) 
00:07.7 System peripheral: VMware Virtual Machine Communication Interface (rev 10) 00:0f.0 VGA compatible controller: VMware SVGA II Adapter 
00:10.0 SCSI storage controller: LSI Logic / Symbios Logic 53c1030 PCI-X Fusion-MPT Dual Ultra320 SCSI (rev 01) 
00:11.0 PCI bridge: VMware PCI bridge (rev 02) 00:15.0 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 00:15.1 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:15.2 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:15.3 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:15.4 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:15.5 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:15.6 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:15.7 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.0 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.1 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.2 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.3 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.4 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.5 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.6 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:16.7 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.0 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.1 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.2 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.3 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.4 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.5 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.6 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:17.7 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.0 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.1 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.2 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.3 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.4 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.5 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.6 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
00:18.7 PCI bridge: VMware PCI Express Root Port (rev 01) 
02:00.0 USB Controller: VMware USB1.1 UHCI Controller 
02:01.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper) (rev 01) 
02:02.0 Multimedia audio controller: Ensoniq ES1371 [AudioPCI-97] (rev 02) 
02:03.0 USB Controller: VMware USB2 EHCI Controller
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2  
A screenshot would really help here. –  Jorge Castro Nov 8 '11 at 13:48
    
Could be an update, a bug, or even magic. Can you update the question with the output of lspci. –  mikewhatever Nov 8 '11 at 13:51
    
Could you please be more specific like what you did, if a new software was installed ? –  coder Nov 8 '11 at 14:03
    
    
I have this problem sometimes, I just reebot then it's all gone, now idea why. But it works. –  Alvar Feb 26 '12 at 21:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  1. Check if you recently switched from a proprietary graphics driver which supports 3D to a fall back 2D mode.
  2. Check the state of your graphics card driver which might have been knocked out by a kernel upgrade
  3. Try using Unity 2D to get a faster desktop if you don't mind reduced desktop effects.
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