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I am trying out Ubuntu 22 LTS on my new laptop with the intent of installing it beside windows. Everything looks fine except when I click on Firefox it comes up garbled as in the attached pic. I am concerned that there might be some compatibility issues with my display hardware. Maybe it is a Firefox specific issue?

Anyone experienced this before?

Firefox garbled:

Firefox garbled

Here are the specs:

specs

If I go ahead and install and Firefox behaves like that, I will not be able to download and install anything.

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1 Answer 1

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Like most graphical glitches, this is a GPU hardware acceleration problem. Your Mendocino iGPU is too new. It was released September 2022 but you are trying to install an OS released April 2022. Luckily the CPU/software part of things usually works so we can use that and get the Firefox preferences screen to show up:

  1. Close all Firefox windows

  2. Open terminal, and run the following. The errors don't matter.

    LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 firefox
    
  3. Go to ☰ > Settings > General > Performance

  4. Uncheck "Use recommended performance settings" then "Use hardware acceleration when available"

  5. Close Firefox

  6. Open Firefox normally

LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 only applies until you close Firefox. Firefox should work with hardware acceleration disabled, but if it still doesn't, you could put export LIBGL_ALWAYS_SOFTWARE=1 in ~/.profile and relog, at a high risk of system lag. The GL stands for OpenGL, which is what most traditional programs use for GPU acceleration.

Once you install Ubuntu, you should run the usual sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade . Even though the disabled hardware acceleration looks crisp, you may get some lag when scrolling. To get rid of the lag and use the GPU again, install the newer drivers by adding https://launchpad.net/~kisak/+archive/ubuntu/kisak-mesa and rerunning the usual upgrades. That PPA has the latest mesa GPU drivers for AMD/Intel, so it would support your 2022 September computer just like Ubuntu 23.10 would. Then you can reenable hardware acceleration in Firefox, and see if the graphics work after reopening.

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  • Wouldn't HWE kernel at least help? Feb 27 at 9:36
  • 1
    HWE would help with things that are in the kernel, but GL drivers are in userspace.
    – James_pic
    Feb 27 at 10:07
  • Is Mesa updated along with the HWE kernel, or is it tied to GA? While Mesa is associated more with desktop setups, GPUs are used to accelerate deep learning and crypto mining, though these applications predominantly use NVIDIA cards and Mesa lacks implementation for NVIDIA's proprietary GPGPU APIs (aka CUDA).
    – mcendu
    Feb 27 at 11:39

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