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TextStim lead to "Fatal Python error: (pygame parachute) Segmentation Fault" in Debian Testing


I am using PsychoPy on a Debian PC. Recently I updated from Debian Jessie to Stretch (Testing).
Since then everytime I try to display text via TextStim it leads to the program closing and displaying the following error message:

“Fatal Python error: (pygame parachute) Segmentation Fault”

Surprisingly everything else works - creating windows with only images, playing movies, playing audio files etc. But whenever a text should be drawn, it crashes. I already tried changing the font-parameter in the TextStim-call as well as copying the font files to the source folder (I read an older post on another forum suggesting this for general pygame problems) but it didn’t change anything.

I would be glad if someone had some ideas concerning the source of this problem and a way to fix it.

Thanks in advance.

pyglet is generally preferable to pygame. What happens when you use a pyglet window?

I am experiencing the same issue on Ubuntu 17.04. A very simple script triggers the error:

from psychopy import visual
w = visual.Window()
t = visual.TextStim(w) # this triggers the error

pyglet is generally preferable to pygame. What happens when you use a pyglet window?

This is with a pyglet window. Whenever PyGame is loaded and a segmentation fault occurs, PyGame captures the fault and wraps it in a ‘pygame parachute’. It seems that PsychoPy always imports pygame, regardless of the window type (although I don’t see why), and hence this error. But the problem (probably) doesn’t involve PyGame.

System info:

I’m having the same problem.
“Fatal Python error: (pygame parachute) Segmentation Fault” error when using “text stimuli” on a new Debian Stretch installation. PsychoPy v1.85.2

Did anyone figure out what the problem is?

Should we perhaps merge this and other pygame parachute segmentation fault topics into a single thread or otherwise concentrate our efforts? I would also like to fix this error ASAP

I’m also running into the same problem, has anyone figured out what the problem (or solution) is?

I had the same problem on Debian. In my case, PsychoPy (which was working fine) would regularly crash when I’d lunch any experiment (with the “pygame parachute…” msg appearing on the console). I don’t know exactly when that started, but probably after I updated/installed some Debian packages. The pygame message was quite misleading, as pygame had nothing to do with it. In my case it was a pyglet related issue: a SEGMENTATION FAULT occurred when pyglet would try to set the font for a TextStim (libraries involved: libfontconfig firstly & then libffi). To make it short, I reinstalled pyglet through pip and the problem was fixed.

I hope this helps.


Sorry, I don’t have an installation of Debian Stretch (nor Ubuntu 17.04) to test this but it sounds like the pyglet package on neurodebian needs updating to a newer version to be compatible. Maybe @yarikoptic can help with that.

So try, as Luca suggests, you could remove the copy of pyglet installed by your package manager and install it by pip install pyglet

pip usually has newer versions of packages than debian

best wishes,

Now there is 1.3.0~rc1 pyglet … give it a shot

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I have this issue (PsychoPy v1.83.04) and that version of pyglet, so I don’t think that’s the solution :frowning:

$ dpkg -s python-pyglet | grep Version
Version: 1.3.0~rc1-1

I have just uploaded a released 1.3.0 version to NeuroDebian and Debian sid… try it