This may be more than one problem, but they are both related to Metacity apparently.
1. emerged 2.8 gnome today (non ~amd64) from old 2.6
2. Noticed that under Theme preferences, the images for the themes were grayed out with a question-mark.
3. Selected the Glider theme.
4. Computer wigged out. Looks like the wm was killed and restarted repetitively.
5. The Theme Preferences window redrew down and to the left about 5 times until...
6. The wm died.
7. IF rerun Metacity from the terminal THEN GOTO 5.
8. ran kwm and was able to exit gracefully.
this problem was in concert with a second problem w/Metacity:
1. 3d applications such as GLgears and ut2004 made the entire screen go all crazy. I could reproduce this with ut2004, but with glgears it only screwed up 1x.
2. when i logged in as root and tested with kwm, both applications ran regularly.
3. When i ran gnome w/kwm, both applications ran regularly.
4. I assume the problem is related to Metacity.
Based on suggestions from #gentoo-amd64, I emerged the ~amd version of metacity, restarted, and the bug disappeared. Although the Theme Preferences preview images are still grayed out, I can now select all of them, including the Glider theme and it does not crash. Similarly, ut2004 and glxgears appear to run without incident.
The only problem that remains is the theme preferences preview images are grey with question marks.
Steps to Reproduce:
sorry I'm not on that machine. I don't have emerge info available.
After playing unreal a bit to make sure it works ;)-- I'm back on my machine.. here's my emerge info..
Portage 2.0.51-r3 (default-linux/amd64/2004.3, gcc-3.4.3, glibc-188.8.131.5240808-r1, 2.6.10-gentoo-r2 x86_64)
System uname: 2.6.10-gentoo-r2 x86_64 AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3500+
Gentoo Base System version 1.4.16
ccache version 2.3 [enabled]
CFLAGS="-march=k8 -pipe -O2"
CONFIG_PROTECT="/etc /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/xkb /usr/kde/2/share/config /usr/kde/3/share/config /usr/lib/mozilla/defaults/pref /usr/share/config /var/qmail/control"
CONFIG_PROTECT_MASK="/etc/gconf /etc/terminfo /etc/env.d"
CXXFLAGS="-march=k8 -pipe -O2"
FEATURES="autoaddcvs autoconfig ccache distlocks sandbox"
USE="X a52 aac acpi aim alsa amd64 avi berkdb bitmap-fonts cddb cdr crypt cups divx4linux dvd dvdr esd f77 faad fam ffmpeg flac fortran gif gnome gphoto2 gpm gstreamer gtk gtk2 gtkhtml imlib ipv6 java jp2 jpeg libgda libsndfile libwww lzw lzw-tiff mad matroska mozilla mp3 mpeg multilib mysql ncurses nls nvidia oggvorbis openal opengl oscar oss pam perl php png python quicktime readline sdl ssl tcpd tiff tokenizer truetype truetype-fonts type1-fonts usb userlocales wxwindows xml2 xpm xrandr xv xvid yahoo zlib"
I've got a 6600GT nvidia card fwiw
I had a similar problem after merging Gnome 2.8 (amd64). Rendering applications on the screen was really slow, and the theme images were also replaced by question marks. Disabling the Composite extension in xorg.conf resolved it.
yeah these are known composite issues : composite is disabled for a reason.