I am facing issues with eye strain on Kubuntu 20.10 on a dual booted laptop(vostro 5401). This does not happen on windows 10. The issue also happened on other flavors before kubuntu like Ubuntu 20.04, kubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10 and other distros like Linux mint20.1 and fedora 33.

I think this is an issue with intel drivers and not fonts as it also happens when playing a video. Still I tried disabling font hinting and changing it to full, I also tried disabling anti-aliasing, changing it to greyscale but it didn't work.

I also tried:

  1. Adding i915.enable_psr=0 to the line in /etc/default/grub but it didn't work(https://www.dell.com/community/Linux-General/XPS-13-7390-Ubuntu-Screen-flickering/td-p/7430121)
  2. Adding this ppa(https://launchpad.net/~oibaf/+archive/ubuntu/graphics-drivers) for updated graphics driver but that didn't work either.
  3. Changing distributions as mentioned above
  4. On Ubuntu 20.04, I tried the 5.8 hwe kernel, the 5.4 generic lts kernel and the 5.6 oem kernel but neither of them fixed the issue
  5. Since the issue doesn't happen on windows, I tried copying windows' icc color profile to linux and switching to that but that didn't fix the eye strain either.
  6. Tried changing refresh rate from 60 Hz to 48 Hz and to 56 Hz
  7. Tried changing compositor settings in kde(like switching to opengl 3.1, turning off vsync, changing scale method to smooth)
  8. Increasing and decreasing gamma through xgamma and through kde settings.
  9. Switching to darkmode, changing wallpaper,adjusting brightness, turning on nightmode(nightmode is off in windows).
  10. Switching to intel-media-va-driver-non-free driver instead of intel-media-va-driver.

Graphics part of inxi -Fxz :

Graphics:  Device-1: Intel Iris Plus Graphics G1 vendor: Dell driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 
           Device-2: NVIDIA GP108M [GeForce MX330] driver: nvidia v: 450.102.04 bus ID: 01:00.0 
           Device-3: Realtek Integrated_Webcam_HD type: USB driver: uvcvideo bus ID: 3-6:3 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.9 driver: modesetting,nvidia unloaded: fbdev,nouveau,vesa 
           resolution: 1920x1080~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel UHD Graphics (ICL GT1) v: 4.6 Mesa 20.2.6 direct render: Yes
  • Please describe the actual problem. "Eye strain" is a medical issue/symptom. We can't help with that, but we might be able to help if you can identify the actual problem in Ubuntu. If there's not an obvious problem, like your monitor being set at the wrong resolution, or very small fonts, have you considered that this might be confirmation bias and that correlation ≠ causation?. Also consider the differentiation in tasks between the two OS. Ex: If you use Windows to look at cat videos but use Ubuntu to write code – Nmath Mar 3 at 23:13
  • Unfortunately, I am unable to get more specific than that since eye strain and related headache IS the issue. askubuntu.com/questions/1190609/… and askubuntu.com/questions/580866/ubuntu-eye-strain-problem sugget that I'm not the only facing this kind of problem but those solutions don't work for me. ledstrain.org suggests that this might be an issue with LED screens in general along with PWM and temporal dithering. – R1PTIDE Mar 3 at 23:40
  • You mentioned that you believe it is not the fonts; however there is a problem with fonts in KDE, and this may be a significant contributor to your eye strain (which I have also experienced). Please register at bugs.kde.org, and vote to have this bug fixed: bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=431197. If you and other users vote on this bug (up to the full 20 votes allowed per person), it will motivate the developers know this is a very important bug and that they should devote the time and resources to fix it. – PJ Singh Mar 4 at 2:09

Any OS,you should work longtime you get eyestrain.

  • try the iris, it reduce the direct bluelight.
  • just take a break.

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