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I have an Intel UHD 620 GPU, whose drivers, on 18.04 Bionic, put me in a conflicting position:

  1. if I use the default (either HWE or not) Xorg video drivers (xserver-xorg-video-all, everything works fine, but the videos suffer from tearing;
  2. if I make Xorg use the xserver-xorg-video-intel (removing the other xserver-xorg-video-* packages), I can fix the tearing by setting TearFree in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf, but the system is unstable (I assume due to improper support in the driver version).

On 19.04 Disco, which ships an updated version of xserver-xorg-video-intel (2:2.99.917+git20180925-2, versus 2:2.99.917+git20171229-1), I can get both stability and TearFree, however, there is no way to install the package in 18.04 Bionic (ultimately due to libc).

Is there any way to get the Intel updated drivers on 18.04 (package, compiling, any way)? Alternatively, is there any way to fix the tearing without using the Intel version of the driver?

  • You can install Intel driver enhanced firmware directly this way: askubuntu.com/questions/832524/… – WinEunuuchs2Unix May 23 '19 at 19:51
  • I think Xorg drivers and firmware are different things. If you open the xserver-xorg-video-intel package, there's no file belonging to /lib/firmware. It's actually very easy to install the latest firmware - one can just download the linux-firmware from the disco repository, and install it on bionic, as it has no dependencies. – Marcus May 23 '19 at 20:32
  • I have used tear free in xorg.conf for years as far back as HD3000 on Ivy Bridge I believe. There was no need to upgrade xorg to fix the screen tearing. – WinEunuuchs2Unix May 23 '19 at 21:46
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix It seems to me that you're talking about an UHD 620, without actually owning it. The supposition in the question was correct; installing the latest version solved the issue. – Marcus May 25 '19 at 19:44
  • Correct. Currently I have HD 520 + GT 970M. I'm glad you fixed your screen tearing though, I know how annoying that can be. – WinEunuuchs2Unix May 25 '19 at 20:30
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There's an available PPA that "provides updated X (2D) and mesa (3D) free graphics drivers for radeon, intel and nvidia hardware"; it can be used via:

add-apt-repository -y ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers
apt update
apt install xserver-xorg-video-intel

For reference, the current PPA version (2:2.99.917+git1903011933.6afed3~oibaf~b) fixes the instability problem mentioned.

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This solution also works for Ubuntu 20.04. The xserver-xorg-video-intel that came with 20.04 breaks some Intel graphics cards, including mine (Mesa Intel HD Graphics 510). All sorts of weird visual effects, including not being able to see or click on the window that was on top (instead, a black translucent box). To solve this, first I uninstalled the new xserver-xorg-video-intel driver. This put me graphics down to about 1.5 frames/sec. Not good. Then, after reading this Marcus answer, I was able to install the 2:2.99.917+git1903011933.6afed3~oibaf~b version of xserver-xorg-video-intel. Frame rate back to normal for this machine. There are still a few issues, the biggest being the hours/minutes of the time at the top is often missing numbers, but I can live with that.

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