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Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity [SOLVED]

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Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity [SOLVED]

Postby Mastodonian » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:15 pm

Recently I've run into a huge issue that is making my Linux experience a nightmare - screen tearing.

Regardless of the distrobution or desktop environment I constantly get screen tearing (even with Openbox) . I get it when I scroll through web pages. It's especially noticable when I move windows, it fragments on the sides. When I make boxes there are blocky anomolies. I can't play video games either because there is always screen tearing. I would seriously switch to Ubuntu 13.04, in all its spyware glory, as long as it didn't have this issue.

Both of my computers are suffering from this issue. Both run high-end nVidia graphics cards, a GTX 580 and a GTX 765M. Even my laptop, which I purchased from System 76, is having the exact same issues with tearing.

Here's what I've tried-

Tweaking nVidia settings - Prefer Maximum Preformance, OpenGL sync to vblank, Image settings on high preformance, antialiasing Override Application Set to max, Anisotropic Filtering on, also turned to max, Texutre sharpening

Switching Window Managers - Kwin makes it less noticable. I can get it to go away sometimes when I mess with the settings, but most of the time the tearing is back within a few seconds. Major tearing even with Disable Effects for Full Screen Windows is checked.

dcompmgr and Compton - I still get tearing unless I turn them to their most basic settings (with shadows I still get tearing). Both of them turn off when I start a game, rendering them useless.

It's been awhile since I used Compiz, but I can't remember any tearing when I used it. I still have to turn it off if I want to play a Steam game, so I get tearing anyway.

Adding this to /etc/enviroment -


CLUTTER_PAINT=disable-clipped-redraws:di­sable-culling
CLUTTER_VBLANK=True



Nothing seems to work. With Linux Mint on my laptop it isn't detecting the graphics card and when I sudo apt-get install nvidia-current it won't load the X server when I restart. I'm going to try several other "Buntus" before I just try 13.04 and see how it runs.

Update - The standard Driver Manager in most Ubuntu based distrobutions doesn't seem to be detecting my graphics card on my laptop. It shouldn't be an issue with that, since I've run Arch on it before with the most up to date drivers and still got major tearing.
Last edited by Mastodonian on Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:55 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby pam » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:44 am

Are you using Ultimate Edition 3.4 or 3.5?
You will have to install a new kernel for bleeding edge hardware and even new gcc for gtx 765M.
You could get it working via 3rd repository but its best to install the latest or the last stable drivers from nvidia website.
Nvidia cards do not detect resolutions correctly and can cause various problems like screen tearing etc.
Indeed the GTX 580/765m are extremely powerful.
Try this and see whether screen tearing goes away-- viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9297&p=77816&hilit=nvidia+installing#p77816
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby Mastodonian » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:13 am

Okay, I think I've narrowed it down.

On my main Arch system (on my desktop) I was running XFCE, which has a horrible compositor. I was able to fix it using Compton, but it's disabled when I start a game. To solve the issue my go-to window manager was always Kwin, which also suffers from screen tearing issues but I've heard they are being fixed in 4.11.

Since my Steam install broke and XFCE just isn't working for me anymore I think I'll switch over to something else on my desktop.

On my laptop I was able to fix the screen tearing - I installed Elementary OS Luna as a "buntu" test and was able to get the drivers (319) and by modifying the /etc/environment file. I don't know how it would work with Ultimate Edition, since a test in a live CD didn't detect my video card and I know for a fact updating 3.4 Lite breaks a lot of the desktop.


pam wrote:Are you using Ultimate Edition 3.4 or 3.5?
You will have to install a new kernel for bleeding edge hardware and even new gcc for gtx 765M.
You could get it working via 3rd repository but its best to install the latest or the last stable drivers from nvidia website.
Nvidia cards do not detect resolutions correctly and can cause various problems like screen tearing etc.
Indeed the GTX 580/765m are extremely powerful.
Try this and see whether screen tearing goes away-- http://www.forumubuntusoftware.info/vie ... ing#p77816


Currently I'm using neither, but I think I'll try 3.4 since it comes with Unity and Cinnamon, both of which I think I've figured out how to fix. It should be able to work on my desktop.




Wouldn't Compiz make it worse for gaming? I've been able to erase most tearing on the desktop, but it's always present while gaming.
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby tanmay.01 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:36 am

Use gala with xfce .. Might stop the tearing.

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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby ryanvade » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:21 am

If you switch Kwin Compsiting type from OpenGL 2.0 to 3.1 and the Qt graphics system to Native it fixes many tearing issues.
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby Mastodonian » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:12 am

Alright, I have KDE 4.10 working fine on my desktop. As for my laptop I was able to download the right drivers (319.45), but I can't remember how to kill the X server. I've tried several different methods, but each returned with an error message. How do I do this? Running sudo apt-get install nvidia-current will cause the X server to crash on restart, I know that for a fact, and I'd rather have more up-to-date drivers.
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby Xanayoshi » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:22 am

In kde it is ctrl+alt+F1 to get out of x.
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby pam » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:23 am

To kill X in KDE do as follows:
press ALT+F2 to open krunner, next type this in:
Code: Select all
sudo /etc/init.d/lightdm stop

OR if you are using kdm then type as below:
Code: Select all
sudo /etc/init.d/kdm stop

You will be directed to a tty.

NOTE: The above method will work on Ultimate Edition and Ubuntu derived distros only but wont work on other distrobutions because lightdm is the default display manager in ubuntu.

Do not install by apt-get if you have downloaded the drivers from nvidia.com. Instead go root and bash it at the terminal. Bashing a binary file will execute it...
Code: Select all
sudo su

Code: Select all
bash Nvidia............ .run
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby ryanvade » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:50 am

Either Xanyoshi's KDE shortcut or ctrl+alt+F1 and
Code: Select all
sudo service lightdm stop

For the latest Nvidia drivers (325)
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install nvidia-325

If nvidia-325 is for some reason not in xorg-edgers...use this repo instead:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

then update and install nvidia-325...
You may also want to upgrade Xorg...which is in those repos...
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Re: Screen Tearing Is Destroying My Sanity

Postby Mastodonian » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:40 am

ryanvade wrote:Either Xanyoshi's KDE shortcut or ctrl+alt+F1 and
Code: Select all
sudo service lightdm stop

For the latest Nvidia drivers (325)
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install nvidia-325

If nvidia-325 is for some reason not in xorg-edgers...use this repo instead:
Code: Select all
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates

then update and install nvidia-325...
You may also want to upgrade Xorg...which is in those repos...


I was able to get the nvidia 325 drivers, but I'm still getting a nasty tear across the top of my screen. I've already made all the appropriate tweaks and I assume this is from the drivers since I wasn't getting any tearing on the 319 ones.

I still can't get the X server to close, I keep getting "Process not found" messages. I remember I did this before by booting into recovery mode, how can I solve this?
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