Xojo on Ubuntu 14.04


I’m trying to run the Xojo IDE on Ubuntu 14.04 (32 bit) Unity and I am having significant issues with lag and stability (Xojo encountered an error / crash). My machine has 2GB of RAM.

From a lag perspective, there is significant delay dragging and dropping widgets. Right clicking on a button takes up to 5 seconds for a menu to appear.

This is really unacceptable performance for a paid application and is the only application / package I have installed that does this. Everything else is super speedy.

I need to begin a large development project and need to know the timeline for fixing this. If you check the forums, I am not the only person to experience these issues.


There is some problem with Xojo and the Unity/Compiz combination. Unfortunately I can’t be clearer than that. I did some performance testing and published my results here: Xojo on Linux Performance Results

Is it possible to switch away from Unit and go with Cinnamon or XFCE for your desktop IDE? I’ve had good performance results with those desktops on other distributions.

That’s a really good write-up Kevin and I appreciate your thoroughness in testing all those distros. Unfortunately, my laptop is an Acer C720 Chromebook, so there are limits to the distros that will support the architecture (touchpad, suspend, etc). Hence, changing distros is not an option and installing another distro virtually using Vbox will fill the remaining space on my SSD. I do have Mint 17 Cinnamon running on my Dell desktop with the same lag (one second) as in your post.

On a side note, Ubuntu is arguably the most popular flavor of Linux (2nd to Mint on Distrowatch right now with Mint based on Ubuntu) and Unity is the default (and suggested) desktop. I should not need to do a workaround for a paid application that says it supports this OS. There are other cross-platform RADs that run just fine in Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity (Python/QT, Lazarus, etc).

I wish the IDE was faster on Ubuntu, for sure. Note that I don’t have noticeable performance issues with the compiled application. Just the IDE which does a lot of drawing during the development process. I’m hoping that Linux gets a good bit of love when they move to the LLVM compiler and 64bit support. That should be later this year and into 2015. It is part of the roadmap, but I don’t recall the timing/order of things offhand.

Sadly, I may need to vote with my feet as this is Xojo support’s response to the issue…

Imagine if Ubuntu were Windows. Would Xojo suggest I roll-back to XP from 8.2? I think not. They would have certainly solved the issue. Shows their commitment or lack thereof to Linux.

It’s not GNU/Linux, it’s all those different Window Managers which causes the lag. - That’s what they say.
Newer versions of GNOME, KDE, Unity, … were trimmed to be smooth and shiny, not to be that fast (sadly).
It’s the Linux programmers way to conquer Desktops after they took the Servers.
But as you see there’s still a long road to go. Eg: LLVM - it’s only one single step in that direction.

Use older version of Linux WMs and - imho - use the old RB IDE and not the new Xojo IDE might help for the moment.
Flame here
V :wink:

You are correct Thomas. No flames required. :wink: Although, if I were the guy in charge, I would embrace the top 4 or 5 Linux distros (see distrowatch) and make sure the IDE works in each of them using their default desktop. If they have just those functional, I think the 80 / 20 rule would apply. Rolling back is just not an option as there are other applications I use that would not work in an older version.

From my testing, one of the shiniest newest Windows Managers is KDE, and it has virtually no lag for Xojo development. Just a smidge more lag than the light-weight XFCE which is virtually instantaneous. I hate to lump in all of the modern Windows Managers into the ‘bad’ pile, because the performance varies greatly from my testing. It just happens that Unity works extremely poorly with Xojo IDE performance.

I’m about to repave my development (and primary day-to-day) machine to get away from Unity. I’m not going to install an older distro, but I’m going to install a modern distro that has great performance for the things I need to do, including Xojo development. I love choices, and that’s why I run Linux. Not Apple, and not Microsoft. I have the opportunity (and burden?) to make a choice that works best for me.

There was a sad experiment under Windows where shiny interface lead to pitiful performances : Vista.

I tried the latest Ubuntu and the same error was made : overload an otherwise bright system with unnecessary bells and whistles.

I have switched to Mint and the unbearable lag is gone :slight_smile:

As for Xojo Inc. needing to embrace Linux like a religion, I am not so sure it would be best for the company. Linux is a notoriously small market, awfully fragmented, with the smallest market share of all OSes. Not to mention customers sometimes reluctant to pay for software. A company needs a reasonable amount of profit to survive, innovate and support current assets. It would be ill inspired to devote heavy resources on the least profitable platform.

Are you on Mint 64bit or 32bit? I’m considering going Mint 64bit. I want to see the performance of Xojo on a 64bit machine, knowing I won’t be able to use the HTMLViewer (WebKit) and the Feedback system. I’ll have to use a 32bit VM to develop with the HTMLViewer, and use the Feedback system on Linux. Just curious.

Xojo probably won’t behave a lot different on a 64 bit machine since it will still be a 32 bit process on a 64 bit OS

The HTMLViewer won’t work on a 64bit machine (Ubuntu based at least) as they use WebKit 3.x where WebKit 1.x isn’t available that is used in Xojo.

Mint 32 bits. I do not need to use 64 bits for the moment, so I will not impose on myself the unnecessary burden.

That said, I know there are unfortunate people out there who must develop for 64 bits versions of Linux and figure out how to make that work.

Yet again, I find Linux to be extremely harsh on users : Unbuntu decided to go 64 bits version without 32 bits support without any concern over users who had legacy software. I find that preposterous, when both Mac and Windows 64 bits versions transparently support 32 bits applications.

If Linux is to become more mainstream, leaders such as Ubuntu must learn how to serve customers, instead of treating them like … well …

having nothing better to do, and being curious…

i just installed mint 64bit in virtual box, downloaded Xojo, and installed the multi arch 32bit libs,
must say, I’m impressed unto now, seems very quick all round. last time i tried Ubuntu it was unusable.

I’m not sure what Mint is doing that gets it so right, and/or what Ubuntu is doing with Unity/Compiz that makes Xojo so slow. It’s nice to have choices.

What I meant was performance wise it probably won’t be significantly different

I am sure Unity/Compiz spends much too much time being cute, like Vista did. While Mint simply gets the job done. At one point, forcing too much graphic niceties on the user is counterproductive.

Unity with its new separate floating proxy menu has been a very interesting adventure

I switched to Mint when Ubuntu came out with Unity. So far Xojo has been acceptable for me on Mint. It’s still a little slow trying to setup the UI, but it’s not to bad.

Since years i use(d) Ubuntu with all those upgrades to newer LTS-versions and since about 1 year i use Linux Mint 64Bit XFCE on my main machine too. Windows 7, which was on my main PC is in virtualbox now, same with windows 8 as guest on my laptop (host is Mint 32Bit PAE Cinnamon). I tried XFCE, Cinnamon, KDE Plasma and not, Openbox, Enlightment, Gnome and Unity to show me all those effects aso. but pretty soon i switched back to standard XFCE/Cinnamon without all those widgets, notifiers and stuff.

I DO need a fast system to work on and NOT these 3d window sparkles, bothering sounds and B$. That’s why i switched from Windows 8 to Linux too. Even with some of the tools out there to show me beloved good old features again i weren’t working at the same speed. Curiosity urged me to work with all the ‘tiles’ and ‘maximized program windows’ for a while, swiping stuff over and out and round and round.

Oh yes - i still watch all the news and updates Microsoft posts. It might be, they some day go back to basics (eg: old/new/best Startmenu in next version). But atm i prefer to hit Alt+F2 to get my programs started (sorry - no toolbar, no docks) and when i do not know the right name of a program i rarely use, i simply hit Alt+F3 and choose from list. Tabbing through my (autostarted) programs all the time. That’s me!

I’m definately not this ‘power user’ or ‘mainstream customer’ the companies dreamt of as they started to sell their OSes and shiny desktops. I only want to speed up my daily working processes, do my stuff. Linux is helping me with that … and Xojo … and B4A (oops, sorry Xojo guys).

Conclusion of this WoT?
I like to keep all simple.
I like textfiles keeping config stuff.
I like Xojo* and B4A*.
And i love Linux!*

  • even with all it’s rough edges :wink: