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Out of the blue I started getting these weird borders around my windows. It either happens after coming back from full-screen applications, or after system resume. A reboot fixes this problem, but only temporarily. I have not updated my graphics drivers (not manually, automatically maybe) or had any problems since installing last year.

My video card is a NVIDIA Quadro K1000M, and I've been using NVIDIA binary driver version 375.39 since launch. I have not yet tried tinkering with the drivers, seeing if it would fix the problem or not.

image of white borders

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  • I have the exact same problem, and the weird borders are even wider on my computer. This indeed appeared after a system update which installed the 378 drivers but kept the 375 in use. So I tried with the 378 without luck. My kernel is 4.8.17-040817-generic and my card a 960M. Any help will be greatly appreciated !
    – ddidier
    Mar 2 '17 at 10:15
  • here's a gist for the relevant packages update, or I hope so. @a-stroh : can you try to find common updates in your /var/log/apt/history.log ?
    – ddidier
    Mar 2 '17 at 10:41
8

The culprit is the new version of the NVidia driver. Reverting to 375 doesn't work because IMHO it has also been updated (minor version) and/or its dependencies are a mix of several versions. Anyway:

  1. Remove the PPA. On my computer I deleted the file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/graphics-drivers-ubuntu-ppa-xenial.list pointing to the repository deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/graphics-drivers/ppa/ubuntu xenial main
  2. Remove all the installed NVidia packages, i.e. nvidia-*. On my computer I deleted several packages with apt remove nvidia-361 nvidia-375 nvidia-378
  3. Update the packages list with apt update
  4. Install the last official version (i.e. 367) with apt install nvidia-367

As a side note, I'm always amazed how updates regularly break Ubuntu...

3
  • Thanks, that fixed the issue for me. Same feelings here regarding the updates. Despite this clearly being nVidia's fault, at this stage I am considering not touching anything other than the major security updates with a ten foot pole and only upgrading via LTS releases where everything is thoroughly tested together. Mar 5 '17 at 11:48
  • I sadly must use an unofficial kernel (mainline PPA) to support my laptop :-( Please consider validating my answer
    – ddidier
    Mar 6 '17 at 13:11
  • Completely out of scope, but quoting Linus Torvalds seems appropriate: "Nvidia, Fuck You". Source: youtube.com/watch?v=iYWzMvlj2RQ. Should have bought a different laptop... Thanks for the answer, it helped but gave me different problems with modal windows on top of others.
    – Joe Eifert
    Jul 4 '17 at 12:31
5

Its' not a solution per se, but it helps to get the white borders removed.

We just need to restart the Unity, by using the following command -

unity --replace,

which will restart the Desktop Manager, but will keep are current Session intact.

So no logout/login needed, just call the above command whenever these NVIDIA drivers create your screen unusable.

EDIT-

Have tried this solution only on Ubuntu, so I guess most of the Debian Distro's will work here, but not sure about any other Linux Distro.


UPDATE

Above Solution was a temporary one... As it is true that latest drivers of NVIDIA breaks Ubuntu... I guess u should try the solution in the following link - Strange artifacts along window borders

As nvidia-367 updates itself automatically to nvidia-375, we need to get a stable nvidia-370, which doesn't update itself. This solved my issue, but I am still not convinced, as I still get screen tearing when watching a high-res video...

1

Updating the Nvidia driver to 384.69 solved the issue for me.

In "Software and Updates" open "Additional drivers" tab an there should be "nvidia-384" option available. Select->Apply Changes->Restart

If not then visit: http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html

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