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Old 06-30-10, 07:24 AM   #1
Tommi A.
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Location: Helsinki, Finland
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Default Dragging a window on Ubuntu Linux desktop results in screen tearing

I have installed Ubuntu Linux and the latest proprietary graphics drivers on my laptop and when I drag a window around the screen or watch a video with lots of movement I see screen tearing.

The same problem persists even if I enable "Sync to VBlank" in the NVIDIA X Server settings.

My system specs.

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M G
GPU drivers: NVIDIA version 195.36.24 (from Ubuntu's proprietary hardware drivers)
display: 1366 x 768 @ 60 Hz laptop LCD display (there is also a HDMI connection but I'm not using it)
computer: Acer 5737Z laptop
OS: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, 64-bit
Kernel: Linux 2.6.32-22-generic
GNOME 2.30.0

Below is a screenshot of the Firefox window tearing while being dragged from left to right.


Last edited by Tommi A.; 06-30-10 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Added explanation about screenshot.
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Old 07-02-10, 06:16 PM   #2
hvbakel
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Default Re: Dragging a window on Ubuntu Linux desktop results in screen tearing

Try installing "CompizConfig Settings Manager" and in "General options" go to "Display Settings". Disable "detect refresh rate" (automatic detection doesn't work for the proprietary nvidia driver) and instead set it manually to match the refresh rate of your screen (e.g. 60 Hz). Finally enable "Sync To VBlank" in the same tab and you should be good to go.
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Old 07-05-10, 06:10 AM   #3
Tommi A.
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Default Re: Dragging a window on Ubuntu Linux desktop results in screen tearing

Really? Sounds like a driver bug so I decided to report my problem straight NVIDIA on their driver feedback page.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvbakel View Post
automatic detection doesn't work for the proprietary nvidia driver
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Old 07-05-10, 02:55 PM   #4
hl_
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Default Re: Dragging a window on Ubuntu Linux desktop results in screen tearing

If you disable DynamicTwinView (see the driver documentation), automatic refresh rate detection should work. VSync is still disabled by default, but I don't know why.

compiz seems to work most smoothly, however, if you manually set the refresh rate to a multiple of the real refresh rate (i.e. 120/180 Hz) and enable VSync.
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Old 07-07-10, 06:54 AM   #5
Tommi A.
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Default Re: Dragging a window on Ubuntu Linux desktop results in screen tearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by hl_ View Post
If you disable DynamicTwinView (see the driver documentation), automatic refresh rate detection should work. VSync is still disabled by default, but I don't know why.
This sounds like something I could try!

But first: I noticed I wasn't using the latest stable version of the NVIDIA x64 display driver so I downloaded and installed version 256.35. It works well but the screen tearing is still present so I'm going to try out your suggestion.

According to the driver documentation Dynamic TwinView can be disabled by setting the "DynamicTwinView" X configuration option to FALSE.

I did this by editing xorg.conf and then restarting Ubuntu.
Code:
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Here is my xorg.conf file:
Code:
# nvidia-xconfig: X configuration file generated by nvidia-xconfig
# nvidia-xconfig:  version 256.35  (buildmeister@builder97.nvidia.com)  Wed Jun 16 19:15:05 PDT 2010

Section "ServerLayout"
    Identifier     "Layout0"
    Screen      0  "Screen0"
    InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
    InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
EndSection

Section "Files"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Mouse0"
    Driver         "mouse"
    Option         "Protocol" "auto"
    Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"
    Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
    Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Keyboard0"
    Driver         "kbd"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Unknown"
    ModelName      "Unknown"
    HorizSync       28.0 - 33.0
    VertRefresh     43.0 - 72.0
    Option         "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    Option "DynamicTwinView" "False"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth       24
    EndSubSection
EndSection
Afterwards I also went to System-->Adminisration-->NVIDIA X Server Settings and enabled Sync to VBlank (in XServer XVideo Settings) and Sync to VBlank and Allow Flipping (in OpenGL Settings).

Unfortunately this didn't help and the same screen tearing still takes place.
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Old 07-07-10, 07:27 AM   #6
Tommi A.
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Default Re: Dragging a window on Ubuntu Linux desktop results in screen tearing

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvbakel View Post
Try installing "CompizConfig Settings Manager" and in "General options" go to "Display Settings". Disable "detect refresh rate" (automatic detection doesn't work for the proprietary nvidia driver) and instead set it manually to match the refresh rate of your screen (e.g. 60 Hz). Finally enable "Sync To VBlank" in the same tab and you should be good to go.
I tried this but I still get the same screen tearing as before.
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