So I have recently switched to Ubuntu 18.04. LTS and I'm getting a lot of screen tearing especially during video playback on e.g. YouTube. Could anybody help me fix this? Note that I'm completely new to Linux.

  • 3
    What's your video card? Nvidia, AMD, or Intel? May 7 '19 at 17:04
  • 2
    Have you installed any video drivers? Open Software & Updates, Additional Drivers tab, and tell me what you see.
    – heynnema
    May 7 '19 at 18:46

For Firefox do this:

  • Type "about:config" on the address bar.
  • Search for layers.acceleration.force-enabled (default is false). This forces Hardware Acceleration to turn on.
  • Change it to true by double-clicking.
  • Save and restart Firefox.
  • Worked like a charm. Thanks! Mar 28 '20 at 0:31
  • 4
    What is this actually doing?
    – Ross
    Jul 26 '20 at 2:01

There is a video here that fixed it for me. The short version for Ubuntu 19, is that I had to open "Startup Applications" and add a new item with the command:

nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceFullCompositionPipeline = On }"
  • 1
    This helped on Kde Plasma with tearing when dragging windows and also on chrome when scrolling and watching videos.
    – Ralf
    May 25 '20 at 10:02
  • 2
    If you have a dual monitor setup, you'll need something like: nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="DP-0: nvidia-auto-select +1680+0 { ForceFullCompositionPipeline = On }, DVI-I-0: nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceFullCompositionPipeline = On }"
    – Greg Bell
    Jan 3 '21 at 2:34

Make sure that you have hardware acceleration enabled in your browser and supported by your GPU driver.

Google Chrome / Chromium

  1. Go to SettingsAdvancedSystem.
  2. Check Use hardware acceleration when available.

For debug open this URL (paste it into your address bar):



  1. Go to PreferencesPerformance.
  2. Un-check Use recommended performance settings.
  3. Check Use hardware acceleration when available.

For debugging, open this URL (paste it into your address bar):


and look for Graphics info.

Checking GPU drivers

To check what driver is in use open terminal and run:

lspci -v | less

then press /, type VGA and press ENTER.

In the VGA section you'll see your video card model, available drivers and drivers in-use.


01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation [GeForce] (rev a1) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
        Kernel driver in use: nvidia
        Kernel modules: nvidiafb, nouveau, nvidia_drm, nvidia

Depending on your graphics card you may want to switch between open source and proprietary driver.

Open source drivers are better for 2D rendering, but have lower performance for 3D acceleration.

Switching drivers

Go to System settingsUpdatesSettingsAdditional drivers.

You should be able to also open this tab via terminal with:

/usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/software-properties-gtk --open-tab 2

Then you can switch between drivers, then reboot your PC.

Intel graphics

For Intel integrated graphics go to: https://01.org/linuxgraphics/downloads/

NVIDIA screen tearing

You may find these answers useful:

  • 1
    For chrome I needed to also enable flag chrome://flags/#enable-accelerated-video-decode
    – vozman
    Dec 3 '20 at 20:48

If you have an Intel driver (check with lspci command) simply create a file:


with content:

Section "Device"
  Identifier "Intel Graphics"
  Driver "intel"

Then reboot.

This helped me to remove screen tearing and flickering.

  • 1
    I think, we need to run "sudo update-initramfs -u" command after writing that content as suggested. Unless I am wrong but AM I WRONG?
    – Pranav
    May 8 '20 at 5:24

I used to have the same problem and I fixed it just simply by changing the refresh rate in the display settings. Instead of using 60Hz I used 59.96Hz

Display Settings screen shot


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