Hi I saw lots of posts here regarding Ubuntu eye strain issue. But none could answer my question. I use Intel i5 processor, AMD radeon Graphics card.

When I use my Win 7, there is no issue with my eyes for long time, but as soon as I use Ubuntu for even less than 1.5 or 2 hours, it makes my eyes dull. It makes eye strain, causes dryness of eyes.


When I try the xrand -r 120, it says that the refresh rate is not available for the size.

I use a sony vaio 15 inch led laptop

  • 3
    Could you cite some of these posts? Your question doesn't posit why Ubuntu might give you eye strain.
    – Oli
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:32
  • Please check update. Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:34
  • 1
    To talk to someone use the @ like this @username. Then they will get the message.
    – blade19899
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:51
  • I have the same problem, and I don't know why. Unity isn't really friendly towards the eye. Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 16:19
  • 1
    I think i am only guy in this world that i can understand your issue. As i found is- when i swtich windows to linux and after few days again switch to windows i feel better on my eye on windows. The issue is only linux GUI renders on diffrent way on hardware low level i think. Windows did good job on graphics i think Commented Aug 13, 2018 at 12:52

6 Answers 6

  1. Don't use an overly bright wallpaper for your desktop. Select a less bright wallpaper, like the default Ubuntu wallpaper for better contrast between the open window(s) and the wallpaper.

  2. Don't autohide the Launcher so that it will be there when you need it. Only put the most frequently used icons in the Launcher so you won't have to search through too many Launcher icons to find the icon you need.

  3. Use an LED monitor or screen. It's brighter, the colors are better, and it's easier on the eyes. Whether you are using a desktop or a laptop, use a screen that's a comfortable size for you.

  4. Close all the window curtains and blinds and turn off the lights when you're using the computer.

  5. Continuation of 4. -- Learn to touch type. It's distracting to have to look at the keyboard while you're typing.

  6. If you can touch type and you're using a desktop computer, use an ergonomic keyboard to help you know what keys your fingers are on without looking at the keyboard.

  • Please check update.I am getting eyestrain -.1) I use other windows like chrome most so no use of setting good / bad wallpaper , 2)I dont have autohide lanuncher 3)I use led lappie 4) Its night sir 5) I dont have any issue while using lappie's keyboard Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:36
  • If I have to do support on a 13" computer, it drives me nuts. I can't find the mouse cursor!
    – karel
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:41
  • 15 inch lappie , please check update Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:43
  • Admittedly, I did post my answer quickly before the update, so I'm going come back and possibly revise my answer after I've thought about it more.
    – karel
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:58

I experienced eye strain when I switched to ubuntu from windows. I am using HP-250 g3 notebook with intel HD graphics. Reducing the gamma makes the screen look more soothing to the eyes.

xgamma -gamma 0.7

You can set gamma anywhere between 0 and 1, but 0.7 seemed optimal in my case.


Not sure what your talking about, but, maybe this will help:

f.lux is a computer program developed by Michael and Lorna Herf. It adjusts a computer display's color temperature according to its location and time of day, based on a user specified set of longitude and latitude geographical coordinates, a ZIP Code, or a city name.

Install by typing this into your terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kilian/f.lux
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fluxgui

You will see an icon appear in the unity-panel after a restart. Click and configure your timezone.

  • Do you think it will adjust refresh rate ? Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:48
  • @jQuery.PHP.Magento.com It will adjust the color temperature to be easy on the eyes! Meaning the eye problem? Will be fixed. Hopefully.
    – blade19899
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:50
  • Hey netherland dude , I feel fresh now :) Thanks SIR :) In return you can contact me for any PHP ,jQuery , mySQL and that kinda stuff -> stackoverflow.com/users/3326275/jquery-php-magento-com Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:56
  • @jQuery.PHP.Magento.com If that helped you, please accept this answer thank you. And, Zal ik zeker doen :)
    – blade19899
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 15:57

I can confirm there is a severe eye strain on debian based systems (not sure about others) and it is not the cause of UI elements (color temperature, font sizes, etc), rather there is something else.

One of the solutions which could work for some is monitor/panel back-light PWM Frequency adjustment as explained by the following: http://devbraindom.blogspot.lt/2013/03/eliminate-led-screen-flicker-with-intel.html

However, although I was able to set backlight and get my laptop's panel specifications to set the right maximum frequency, solution didn't solve the underlying eye strain issue. And unfortunately this just brings me down to the conclusion that linux is not good DESKTOP OPERATING SYSTEM, as the human-machine interaction element is inadequate, due to its main focus not on user, but rather specific functionalities and community ethos. Luckily, windows 10 is moving towards direction where it will allow to use its great DESKTOP OPERATING SYSTEM and access great functionalities of linux. While mac os x is perhaps the top of the mountain for those who want unix functionalities and top desktop experience.


OSX and W10 have several (downloadable) GUI apps to help control redshift for eye strain. As you know, long hours before the bright screen emitting blue light can be very irritating for the eyes. On W10, I got EyeSaver, but could not figure out something useful for Ubuntu.

f.lux, redshift and calix are pretty messy and elaborate to begin with and the customization of redshift is messy too. This is of course my opinion and you are free to try them out.

With the new OS (19.x and 20.x) this is pretty simple. I was relieved when I found out.

For updated OS like my Ubuntu 20.04 - you just need to got to Settings<Display, where you must toggle to Night Light and set it manually.

I set it from 00:00 to 23:59 (practically the whole day!)and adjust the redshift slider.


for me it was FONT issue + Old Glasses Prescrition + Non-reflective glasses.

I reduced the font in my VSC IDE and overtime it strained my eyes.

Action Steps:

  • Updated Ubuntu Nvidia drivers (helped little bit)

  • I also changed my Glasses Prescription to more Exact one AND got Reflective Lenses with new Prescription / Glasses... MASSIVE DIFFERENCE...

  • In short term, while I was waiting for new Glasses I changed the font AND was using Eye Drops (hylo-forte) and it helped a lot...

But my best guess is that it was: Font + Old Glasses Prescription + Non-reflective glasses... Ubuntu just highlighted those issues... its was nothing to do with Windows vs Ubuntu...

cause on windows I was mostly playing games and watching movies, while on Ubuntu I was doing Programming...

OTHER THINGS I DID (which helped a little bit, but did NOT solve the issue completely):

  • lower brightness of ALL monitors to absolute minimum
  • use ONLY dark theme for everything
  • install Dark theme for Chrome

Bottom line: with above steps, my issue is GONE NOW.

I can use Ubuntu and Windows and it doesn't strain my eyes anymore, no matter how long I am on the computer.

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