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Fixing Screen Tearing on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics

Ubuntu 17

Screen tearing can be a frustrating issue for Ubuntu users, especially those who use their systems for graphics-intensive tasks such as gaming or video editing. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to fix screen tearing on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics.

Quick Answer

To fix screen tearing on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics, you can try modifying the Intel Graphics configuration file, replacing the Intel configuration file, using the xrandr command, or disabling the aspect ratio in media players. These solutions have worked for many users, but it’s important to remember that different solutions may work for different users.

What is Screen Tearing?

Screen tearing is a visual artifact in video display where a display device shows information from multiple frames in a single screen draw. This often occurs when the video feed to the device isn’t in sync with the display’s refresh rate.

Causes of Screen Tearing

Screen tearing on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics can be caused by several factors, including incorrect graphics settings, outdated drivers, or issues with the X.Org Server (the display server for most Unix-like operating systems).

Solutions to Fix Screen Tearing

1. Modifying the Intel Graphics Configuration File

One of the most common solutions to this problem involves modifying the Intel Graphics configuration file. Here’s how you do it:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel-graphics.conf

This command opens the configuration file in the nano text editor. If the file does not exist, nano will create it for you.

Next, add the following lines to the file:

Section "Module"
 Load "dri3"
EndSection

Section "Device"
 Identifier "Intel Graphics"
 Driver "intel"
 Option "DRI" "3"
EndSection

Here, the Load "dri3" line tells the system to load the DRI3 module, which is a part of the Direct Rendering Infrastructure (DRI). The DRI is a framework for allowing direct access to graphics hardware under the X Window System in a safe, efficient way. The Option "DRI" "3" line sets the DRI version to 3.

Save and close the file by pressing Ctrl+X, then Y to confirm, and finally Enter to save the changes.

2. Replacing the Intel Configuration File

If the first solution doesn’t work, you can try replacing the contents of the Intel configuration file with a different configuration. Here’s how you do it:

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Replace the contents of the file with the following configuration:

Section "Device"
 Identifier "Intel Graphics"
 Driver "modesetting"
EndSection

This configuration tells the system to use the modesetting driver, which is a generic driver provided by X.Org. The modesetting driver can help resolve screen tearing issues by better handling the graphics hardware’s capabilities.

3. Using the xrandr Command

The xrandr command is a primitive command-line interface to RandR extension, which allows for live (re)configuration of the X server (i.e., without restarting it).

You can use the xrandr command to shift the screen one pixel down and one to the right, which can help prevent screen tearing. Here’s how you do it:

xrandr --output HDMI3 --transform 1,0,-1,0,1,-1,0,0,1

This command tells xrandr to apply a transformation matrix to the output HDMI3. The transformation matrix shifts the screen one pixel down and one to the right.

4. Disabling Aspect Ratio in Media Players

In some cases, screen tearing can be caused by the aspect ratio settings in media players like SMplayer. Disabling the aspect ratio can help resolve this issue.

Conclusion

Screen tearing can be a nuisance, but with the right solutions, it can be fixed. The solutions provided in this article have worked for many users, but it’s important to remember that different solutions may work for different users.

If you’re still experiencing screen tearing after trying these solutions, it may be worth looking into other potential causes, such as fractional scaling settings or outdated drivers.

Remember, the key to resolving any technical issue is patience and a willingness to try different solutions until you find the one that works for you. Good luck!

How do I know if I am experiencing screen tearing on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics?

Screen tearing is characterized by horizontal lines or artifacts appearing on the screen while moving or scrolling. If you notice these visual abnormalities, it is likely that you are experiencing screen tearing.

Can screen tearing be fixed on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics?

Yes, screen tearing can be fixed on Ubuntu 20.04 with Intel Graphics by following the solutions provided in this article.

Do I need to have administrative privileges to modify the Intel Graphics configuration file?

Yes, you need to have administrative privileges (sudo) to modify system files. Make sure to use the sudo command before opening and modifying the configuration file.

What if the Intel Graphics configuration file does not exist?

If the configuration file does not exist, you can create it using the sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel-graphics.conf command. Nano will create the file for you if it doesn’t already exist.

How can I revert the changes made to the Intel Graphics configuration file?

To revert the changes made to the Intel Graphics configuration file, simply remove or comment out the added lines in the file using the # symbol at the beginning of each line. Save the changes and restart your system.

What if replacing the Intel configuration file doesn’t work?

If replacing the Intel configuration file doesn’t work, you can try other solutions provided in this article or explore additional troubleshooting steps such as updating your graphics drivers or checking for any conflicting settings.

Can the `xrandr` command cause any adverse effects on my system?

The xrandr command is a safe and commonly used command for live configuration of the X server. However, if you encounter any issues or undesired effects, you can simply log out and log back in to revert the changes made by the xrandr command.

How can I disable aspect ratio in media players?

To disable aspect ratio in media players like SMplayer, go to the player’s settings or preferences menu and look for an option related to aspect ratio or scaling. Disable or adjust the aspect ratio settings according to your preference.

What if none of the provided solutions fix my screen tearing issue?

If none of the provided solutions fix your screen tearing issue, it is recommended to seek further assistance from Ubuntu support forums or communities. They can provide more specific guidance based on your system configuration and any potential underlying issues.

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