Screen-tearing is an issue for many Nvidia users on Ubuntu. Videos are plauaged by a visible ‘tear’ mid way through the screen during any moments of intense action or horizontal panning. Gamers find anything that sidescrolls too much also results in the same issue.

Here’s an example of it: –

Thankfully kopiwe over on the Ubuntu Forums has posted an amazing tutorial on how to finally get rid of screen tearing in Ubuntu – providing you’re using a Nvidia graphics card.

I’ve re-written it here and provided some screenshots for those less confident about changing settings. Please go and thank him in the thread on the forums.

To fix thread-tearing you’re going to need the CompizConfig Settings Manager and Nvidia X Server Settings installed. The later was most likely be installed along with your graphics drivers, the former can be installed using: –

  • sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

or by searching for Compizconfig in the Ubuntu Software Centre.

Step 1

  • Open up the CompizConfig Settings manager via the System > Preferences menu
  • Click the ‘General Options‘ button and go to the ‘Display Settings‘ tab
  • Change the ‘refresh rate’ to ’60’ using the slider (though higher if you’re a gamer, etc)
  • Tick the ‘Sync To VBlank’ check-box

Step 2

  • Open Nvidia X Server Settings Via the System > Preferences Menu
  • Choose ‘OpenGL Settings’ on the left-hand side
  • Check the box next to “Sync To VBlank” to enable it

Step 3
To finish up: –

  • Open Startup Applications via the System > Preferences menu
  • Click on ‘Add’
  • Enter ‘Nvidia Settings’ or similar for the name
  • Enter ‘nvidia-settings -l’ for the command entry.

Now, upon reboot, your new effects will take place and should no-longer see any more of the annoying screen tear issue during videos, etc!

Super thanks to kopiwe once again. This issue drove me mad! Once you noticed it the first time then you noticed it always.

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