I am fairly new to Linux and Ubuntu. Just swapped it with Windows 10 on my ASUS ZenBook S13 yesterday.

I noticed a LOT of screen tearing, not only in videos with fast moves but even when I hover over files in the archive manager or scroll in Firefox (yes, I have already activated the Firefox internal VSync option).

I tried a few things such as Tear Free true in the 20-intel.conf file. This option fixed my tearing issue and brought up another, bigger issue. Just look what it does to my desktop. But these are only on my desktop, not on other windows like the browser and they vary, sometimes they are 3.

Wayland seems to fix this issue too, but there are several reasons why I don't want to use Wayland, such as no fractional scaling, worse anti-aliasing and a weird bug with the cursor where it is double the size on system windows like the Terminal or Settings.

When I activate other options in the 20-intel.conf file, such as Triple buffer true or Accel method uxa, I am unable to log in, only when I use Wayland.

My expectation is, that I can use normal Ubuntu (no Wayland) without any screen tearing.

I have provided information about my VGA controller and the current state of my 20-intel.conf file below.

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 620 (Whiskey Lake) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
        DeviceName: VGA
        Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. UHD Graphics 620 (Whiskey Lake)
        Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 146
        Memory at b0000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
        Memory at a0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
        I/O ports at 3000 [size=64]
        Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [virtual] [disabled] [size=128K]
        Capabilities: <access denied>
        Kernel driver in use: i915
        Kernel modules: i915


Section "Device"
    Identifier "Intel Graphics"
    Driver "intel"
#   Option "AccelMethod" "uxa"
    Option "TearFree" "true"
#   Option "TripleBuffer "true"

This didn't work for me, unfortunately. I was able to fix with modifying my /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel-graphics.conf file to include DRI3, which I found here

Section "Module"
    Load "dri3"

Section "Device"
    Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
    Driver      "intel"
    Option      "DRI"   "3"
  • It works like a charm on my ThinkPad L480 with Intel Graphics 620.
    – stz184
    Sep 9 '20 at 12:09
  • It works fine on Ubuntu Mate 20.04 with Intel UHD 520. Sep 19 '20 at 9:38
  • 1
    It works fine on Xubuntu 20.04 with Intel HD Graphics 4000. Oct 26 '20 at 23:33
  • 2
    Hm, I don't have this file. I don't even see xorg.conf.d dir in /etc/X11.
    – Mikhail
    Dec 10 '20 at 10:48
  • Me neither. It was edited by Jaroslav. Here is on /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    – Jkasnese
    Jan 13 at 17:53

I resolved this issue by replacing /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf with /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf containing the following configuration:

Section "Device"
    Identifier "Intel Graphics"
    Driver "modesetting"

I have no more tearing and I am able to use waylandfree Ubuntu. :)

Hope this helps anyone!

P.S.: I tested the tearing using this YouTube video (epilepsy warning!) and moving windows around as if I had a stroke.

  • Wait, don't mind this answer for now. I suspect the tearing issue comes with the fractional scaling I am using. When I turn that on, I have tearing again and the tearing is removed when fractional scaling is turned off. Let me investigate on this. May 2 '20 at 21:57
  • Ok, just found out that I have no tearing without fractional scaling at all and no tearing with fractional scaling only when I don't move the mouse cursor. So, when I move my cursor, my screen just goes /////\\\////. May 2 '20 at 22:07
  • The tearing occurs only when I scale my display to something rather odd like 125% using fractional scaling. It disappears when I scale it to 100% with activated fractional scaling. May 2 '20 at 22:12
  • Alright, I am tired of testing now (because I need to reboot every time I change the config file and my login password is 23 characters long lol). I will just look if I can file some bugfile somewhere and see what happens (I also found out a bug with the fractional scaling thing where it scales my screen down to 50 or 25% because of Canonicals rather weak programming.) May 2 '20 at 22:29

None of the above worked for me, but I found something simple that did:

xrandr --output HDMI3 --transform 1,0,-1,0,1,-1,0,0,1

This shifts the screen one pixel down and one to the right. I do lose one row and one column of pixels, but it prevents the mouse pointer from hitting the left or top edges, which is what seems to trigger this behavior in my case.


You can try disabling aspect ratio in SMplayer or other player in Xorg, this fixed it for me.

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