How to Resolve Screen Tearing Issues on Linux

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Resolve Issues Linux

Tearing on the screen can be annoying, especially when you’re trying to get some job done as fast as possible. On the other hand, fixing it is as simple as any other aspect of Linux.

When reading through articles, playing a game, or doing just about anything else in the graphical user interface, screen tearing may be very annoying (GUI). It may make your experience with Linux more difficult and prompt you to consider moving to either Windows or macOS instead.

Put such ideas out of your head for a while because, happily, there is a solution to screen tearing that does not entail switching to a different operating system. Let’s get started on repairing the screen tearing that’s been plaguing your Linux desktop, shall we?

What Exactly Is “Screen Tearing,” and Why Does It Occur?

When you make quick movements on the screen, such as quick scrolling or just dragging around a window, you may see a graphical anomaly known as screen tearing. Screen tearing is often defined by a horizontal crack or tear on the screen.

It is unclear why this takes place, but the display driver—or the monitor, in the instance that the tearing only takes place when playing videogames—is almost always to blame. The reason for this behavior is still up for debate.

Monitors that have a low refresh rate sometimes struggle to keep up with the fast-paced action of high frame-rate videogames, which ultimately results in screen tearing or artifacting.

If you experience screen tearing when going about your normal day-to-day activities, such as watching videos, scrolling through the feed, dragging around applications on the screen, etc., then we can safely conclude that the issue lies in the display driver or compositor configuration. The good news is that the problem is relatively simple to fix, despite appearances to the contrary.

1. Configure the Compositor Settings

Any desktop environment’s tearing issues may be resolved immediately by adjusting the compositor settings. This is true regardless of the desktop environment. A compositor is a piece of software that, for those who are not familiar with the term, is a piece of software that, in addition to stylizing the visuals, provides extra utilities that improve the overall user interface and experience of the desktop.

Compositors come pre-installed with the capability to activate V-Sync and other techniques that prevent screen tearing. Simply go up the Settings menu for your compositor, and seek for an option that is either titled “VSync” or “Tearing Prevention Mode.” Enable it and restart your Linux desktop. The modifications ought to have taken effect, and the screen tearing ought to be eliminated for good!

We strongly suggest that you get a compositor for your computer if it does not already have one installed. Not only will this resolve all of the difficulties you have been having with screen tearing, but it will also give your computer a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

2. Tweak NVIDIA X Server Settings

The NVIDIA settings utility has composition options that reduce and inhibit screen tearing. These settings may be found in the utility.

Launching the NVIDIA X Server Settings program is all that is required to repair screen tearing caused by NVIDIA graphics cards. Within it, go to the Advanced section of the X Server Display Configuration menu.

You will see an option there that says Force Full Composition Pipeline that is not checked by default. Enable it and restart your Linux desktop.

Additionally, you might want to consider developing an application that launches automatically by using the command:

nvidia-settings –assign CurrentMetaMode=”nvidia-auto-select +0+0 {ForceFullCompositionPipeline=On}”

This ought to be sufficient to permanently repair any screen tearing or artifacting that you may be seeing on your Linux desktop.

1. Set X11 to Prevent Screen Tears on Intel and AMD Graphics Devices.

Both Intel and AMD produce hardware that is highly compatible with Linux operating systems. Because of their extremely limited and fundamental feature set, Intel integrated graphics almost never pose any kind of problem. The experience of working with AMD has shown that they are cooperative and simple to communicate with.

On the other hand, in the unlikely event that any of these cards causes your screen to rip, the problem may be easily resolved. Don’t be concerned, just be sure you follow these steps:

  • The cd command can be used to navigate into the /etc/X11 directory.
  • If you are utilizing Intel hardware, create a new file with the touch command and give it the name 20-intel.conf. If you are utilizing an AMD card, give the file the name 20-amdgpu.conf.
  • Include the lines that are listed below in the file:

Section “Device”
Identifier “AMD Graphics”
Driver “amdgpu”
Option “TearFree” “true”

AMD Graphics should be changed to Intel Graphics for Intel integrated systems, and amdgpu should be changed to intel. After writing the file out, you should restart your Linux desktop. The tearing on the screen should stop after doing that.

4. Roll-Back or Upgrade the Display Driver

It doesn’t matter which is worse for your Linux desktop: an unstable update or a display driver that has been discontinued; both may be a pain in the neck when you’re working on tasks that need a lot of graphic processing power or even the most fundamental operations.

You may save yourself a lot of hassle and cure any lingering annoyances like screen tearing by simply installing an update or returning to an older version of your display driver.

Utilizing the Additional Drivers page of the Software & Updates application that comes along with Ubuntu, you may examine the most recent version of your graphics driver. Find the application that corresponds to your desktop environment (whether it be KDE Plasma or another), and then verify the driver details using that application.

Check to see if it is the most recent release or if it is an older version. You may achieve this goal by searching the internet for “latest Linux driver version your card here” and then manually installing the driver on your chosen distribution. Or, if you are using Ubuntu, you may just run this command:

sudo ubuntu-drivers devices

If it’s an old driver, you may install the most recent drivers for your graphics card by entering this command into the command prompt:

sudo ubuntu-drivers manufacturer-driver-version

Rolling back to an older driver follows the same procedure as rolling forward. Simply restarting your Linux desktop should ensure that you are never forced to deal with screen tearing when using Linux.

Make Sure Your Linux Computer Has the Appropriate GPU.

Picking the proper graphics card for your Linux computer is an important choice that will have a significant impact on the system’s overall performance as well as the quality of the user experience it provides. Because of this, we have conducted an in-depth comparison of the features that differentiate NVIDIA and AMD graphic cards from one another, as well as the aspects that they share in common, with the goal of assisting you in reaching a decision regarding which would be more suitable for the Linux system you are developing.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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