Retroarch with Manjaro KDE stuttering


Hi, I hope anyone can help me with this issue. It’s giving me headaches for a week, and I find no solution. I am running a Manjaro KDE system, updated to latest, and if I run Retroarch in another terminal (using CTRL-ALT-F2 for example) it goes smooth and clean, perfect. All synced, no stuttering. KMS does it’s job. However, if I launch RA from KDE, in the desktop, this happens:

  • Noticeable stuttering.
  • I can’t return to RA XMB (that is, if I press F1 nothing happens, so I have to close RA using ALT-F4).

I think I have tried every RA configuration option: changing video and audio drivers, vsync and so on. Does not matter if using shaders or not, using vulkan gives the same result…

I want to run RA from desktop as I use a launcher (Gamebase). And I can’t run RA from desktop on another TTY.

Any ideas?


you could try compiling with --disable-qt to see if the Qt desktop UI is conflicting with something in your KDE environment.


Thank you! In order to build the same options as the regular version in the Manjaro repositories but without the qt, should I just ./configure --disable-qt or I have to add all the options here?


It should autodetect everything else based on the presence (or not) of the various dependencies.


Ok, I will build it and post the results tomorrow. Thank you for your help @hunterk


Just did the build with --disable-qt… no luck, same behaviour, stuttering.

I found something interesting: the CPU use is higher when I am on the desktop, and the cpu gets hotter so the fans sound more. But, if I switch to console (TTY2) for example, and run retroarch there, the CPU usage is minimal, and no fan noise.


Hmm, okay. I guess the next thing to try would be changing your menu driver to “rgui” from “xmb”


Same with RGUI. What I fixed is the hotkeys changing from x to udev driver. Not really interested in fixing that really now, I just want to get rid of the stuttering, but oh well, nice to have them working in desktop. I am trying also all the audio drivers and options, no luck so far.


I found the problem! It was the compositor + x input driver. If anyone experiences this problem using Plasma KDE desktop (I am on Manjaro distro), just create a script file to launch RA (just save this code to file and the launch it using sh, or editing the desktop launcher accordingly):


qdbus org.kde.KWin /Compositor suspend


qdbus org.kde.KWin /Compositor resume

And change input driver to udev. I also changed audio to alsa to avoid popping.


KDE / Plasma is really not the best DE for gaming. I experienced some serious slowdowns too (especially on Wayland it seems). Now everytime I wanna launch Retroarch, I quit the desktop and goes to KMS which works wonderfully.


I had high hopes with Wayland, just to find out is not up to the task. I had the same problem (worse in fact) in another 4K computer, in which I usually reboot to windows when I want to use RA. Anyway, disabling the composition solves the problem if I do not want to reboot to a windows environment.


Well, the thing is, you cannot disable composition under Wayland, it is part of the protocole… You can only do it on X11.


I thought wayland was the default in manjaro plasma (in fact, if I switch tty it does instantly without blink). The qdbus org.kde.KWin /Compositor suspend works (all window animations and all are suppressed).


I would be really surprised that Wayland is the default on Manjaro Plasma , since the Plasma / Kwin / KDE devs still don’t recommand Wayland as default or for everyday use.


Oh I see. I will check later, but probably I am not using Wayland then, as the installs are just the default ones. Will Wayland perform better with RA?