Unable to fix problem with nVidia Graphics

My nephew David has a tower PC which he got someone to build for him some years ago when he was running Windows 7 and used it to play games plus browsing etc. I think it was a good spec at the time.

Processor: 4 core Intel i5-4670K CPU @ 3.40GHz
Motherboard: Z87-GD65 GAMING (MS-7845)
Memory: 16 GB
SCSI Disk: ATA Samsung SSD 840
Graphics: nVidia Corporation GK110 [GeForce GTX 780]

Someone hacked David’s email account a couple of months ago and he asked me to remove Windows 7 and install Linux as I said it was more secure, so I put on Manjaro Xfce as his daily driver and Linux Mint Xfce as a backup. Both installed in UEFI mode.

Everything has been working perfectly since then, with one exception, David told me when he watches movies, there is intermittent horizontal lines which I believe is called screen tearing. He said it makes it difficult to enjoy the movie.

The PC is connected to the HDTV via HDMI cable and it does look great, it’s just the screen tearing that spoils the experience.

I’m still learning linux so not sure how to fix this. I remember I decided to use nvidia drivers rather than open source, here is screenshot of the Manjaro Settings Manager > Hardware Configuration… https://imgur.com/a/DVeIw4W

I had a look online and found these instructions "Configure Graphics Cards"
https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php?title=Configure_Graphics_Cards#

So I opened terminal and tried to run the following commands to identify then install the correct nvidia driver…

[david@MANJARO ~]$ mhwd
> 0000:01:00.0 (0300:10de:1004) Display controller nVidia Corporation:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  NAME               VERSION          FREEDRIVER           TYPE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          video-nvidia            2018.05.04               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-390xx            2018.05.04               false            PCI
    video-nvidia-340xx            2018.05.04               false            PCI
           video-linux            2018.05.04                true            PCI
            video-vesa            2017.03.12                true            PCI

[david@MANJARO ~]$

[david@MANJARO ~]$ sudo mhwd -a pci nonfree 0300
[sudo] password for david: 
> Skipping already installed config 'video-nvidia' for device: 0000:01:00.0 (0300:10de:1004) Display controller nVidia Corporation GK110 [GeForce GTX 780]
[david@MANJARO ~]$ 

so it looks like there is an nVidia driver installed but is it the correct one? I don’t have any experience on this to be honest.

I even tried to install the open source driver …

[david@MANJARO ~]$ sudo mhwd -a pci free 0300
> Using config 'video-linux' for device: 0000:01:00.0 (0300:10de:1004) Display controller nVidia Corporation GK110 [GeForce GTX 780]
> Installing video-linux...
Using default
Has lib32 support: true
Sourcing /var/lib/mhwd/db/pci/graphic_drivers/video-linux/MHWDCONFIG
Processing classid: 0300
Sourcing /var/lib/mhwd/scripts/include/0300
Processing classid: 0380
Processing classid: 0302
:: Synchronising package databases...
downloading core.db...
downloading core.db...
downloading core.db...
downloading core.db...
downloading core.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading extra.db...
downloading community.db...
downloading multilib.db...
downloading multilib.db...
downloading multilib.db...
downloading multilib.db...
downloading multilib.db...
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (16) lib32-libva-1.8.3-1  lib32-libvdpau-1.1.1-2  libxvmc-1.0.10-1  lib32-libva-vdpau-driver-0.7.4-5  lib32-mesa-vdpau-18.0.4-1  lib32-vulkan-intel-18.0.4-1  lib32-vulkan-radeon-18.0.4-1  libva-mesa-driver-18.0.4-1  libva-vdpau-driver-0.7.4-3  mesa-vdpau-18.0.4-1  vulkan-intel-18.0.4-1  vulkan-radeon-18.0.4-1  xf86-video-amdgpu-18.0.1-1  xf86-video-ati-1:18.0.1-1  xf86-video-intel-1:2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1  xf86-video-nouveau-1.0.15-2

Total Download Size:    9.48 MiB
Total Installed Size:  30.29 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n] 
:: Retrieving packages...
downloading xf86-video-ati-1:18.0.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz...
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error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from repo.rhindon.net : The requested URL returned error: 404
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error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from mirror.is.co.za : The requested URL returned error: 404
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error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from mirror.chmuri.net : Operation too slow. Less than 1 bytes/sec transferred the last 10 seconds
error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from mirror.tuchola-dc.pl : The requested URL returned error: 404
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error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from manjaro.mirror.ac.za : The requested URL returned error: 404
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error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from ftp.rz.tu-bs.de : The requested URL returned error: 404
error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from mirror.truenetwork.ru : The requested URL returned error: 404
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error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from manjaro.dcc.uchile.cl : The requested URL returned error: 404
error: failed retrieving file 'xf86-video-intel-1_2.99.917+829+gd7dfab62-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz' from kambing.ui.ac.id : The requested URL returned error: 404
warning: failed to retrieve some files
downloading xf86-video-nouveau-1.0.15-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz...
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error: failed to commit transaction (unexpected error)
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.
Error: pacman failed!
Error: script failed!
[david@MANJARO ~]$

… but there were lots of errors in the output, and I wasn’t even sure if this was the best way to try to resolve the screen tearing to be honest.

I do have experience using a terminal but I don’t know the correct commands to enter to try to resolve this problem so any help/advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

EDIT: I forgot to post the output of "inxi"

[david@MANJARO ~]$ inxi -Fxzc0
System:    Host: MANJARO Kernel: 4.14.40-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 8.1.0 
           Desktop: N/A Distro: Manjaro Linux 17.1.10 Hakoila 
Machine:   Type: Desktop Mobo: MSI model: Z87-GD65 GAMING (MS-7845) v: 1.0 serial: N/A 
           UEFI: American Megatrends v: V1.1 date: 04/26/2013 
CPU:       Topology: Quad Core model: Intel Core i5-4670K bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Haswell rev: 3 
           L2 cache: 6144 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 27208 
           Speed: 3401 MHz min/max: 800/3400 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 3400 2: 3400 3: 3400 
           4: 3400 
Graphics:  Card-1: NVIDIA GK110 [GeForce GTX 780] driver: nvidia v: 396.24 bus ID: 01:00.0 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.6 driver: nvidia resolution: 1920x1080~50Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: GeForce GTX 780/PCIe/SSE2 v: 4.6.0 NVIDIA 396.24 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Card-1: Intel 8 Series/C220 Series High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel 
           v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 
           Card-2: NVIDIA GK110 HDMI Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 01:00.1 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.14.40-1-MANJARO 
Network:   Card-1: Qualcomm Atheros Killer E220x Gigabit Ethernet driver: alx v: kernel port: d000 
           bus ID: 03:00.0 
           IF: enp3s0 state: down mac: <filter> 
           Card-2: Qualcomm Atheros AR9287 Wireless Network Adapter driver: ath9k v: kernel 
           bus ID: 04:00.0 
           IF: wlp4s0 state: up mac: <filter> 
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 3.90 TiB used: 56.72 GiB (1.4%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: SSD 840 PRO Series size: 238.47 GiB 
           ID-2: /dev/sdb vendor: Western Digital model: WD40EFRX-68N32N0 size: 3.64 TiB 
           ID-3: /dev/sdc type: USB vendor: Kingston model: DataTraveler 3.0 size: 29.31 GiB 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 78.24 GiB used: 16.21 GiB (20.7%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda3 
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.00 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda2 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 29.8 C mobo: 27.8 C gpu: nvidia temp: 29 C 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: nvidia fan: 39% 
Info:      Processes: 171 Uptime: 37m Memory: 15.61 GiB used: 1.32 GiB (8.4%) Init: systemd 
           Compilers: gcc: 8.1.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.19 inxi: 3.0.08 
[david@MANJARO ~]$ 

Is some kind of compositor running? The simplest one being the integrated compositor of Xfwm: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Xfwm#Composite_manager It might be worth trying to switch the compositor on and off or, if this doesn’t help, try to install another one like Compton or even Compiz.

Thanks for quick reply @Photon , I don’t have access to David’s PC right now but I will try that next time I visit him.

I had a look on my own PC by searching for “Window Manager Tweeks”, and the window popped up OK, I checked the “Compository” tab and I can see the “enable display compositing” option is currently enabled for me so I guess it will be the same for David’s PC.

I might even phone him tomorrow and try to explain how to do this, and ask him to disable this option. I guess he will need to reboot for the changes to take effect?

No, I think, no reboot is necessary. By the way, if the necessity arises to experiment with different compositors, you can use wm-switcher (available in the AUR) to quickly switch between them.

Thanks again @Photon for quick reply, I had a look on my own laptop in “Add/Remove Software” and found the two compositors you mentioned…

compton (compton) 0.1_beta2.5-11
compiz-manjaro 0.9.13.1.r4143-1

both are available in the community repository.

so if disabling “display compositing” does not work for David, I will install these as another option.

I will also install wm-switcher (AUR) as you suggested, this will help me with switching as I haven’t done this type of thing before, but it does sound like a handy tool to have for this situation.

I appreciate your support @Photon, thanks again, I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.

Just a quick point: installing Linux won’t help secure an email service. Using a strong password and being careful with which sites you log in to is more important than your OS.

5 Likes

You can also check the Nvidia configuration utility (Nvidia X Server Settings).
There is an option at
==> X Server Display Configuration Advanced
“Force Composition Pipeline” and “Force Full Composition Pipeline”
You can check one of the two (and Apply) and try to see if it solved it.
If it did, you can save the configuration Save to X configuration file to the Xorg at /etc/X11/mhwd.d/nvidia.conf as root .

(Are we talking about Xfce? Because the inxi has N/A for desktop. Anyway…)

Turning on nvidia composition pipeline should solve the tearing issues.

The command is:
nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceCompositionPipeline = On }"

To enable on startup

Method 1: The wiki method [Warning: Don’t follow this method it’s broken at the moment as of nvidia 396.24. The system will hang at the login screen.]

Method 2: Creating an entry in Xfce’s autostart menu. Go to Session and Startup, Application Autostart, click on Add.

Fill in the details as such:

Name: Nvidia fix (or whatever you want)

Command:
sh -c "sleep 3 && nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode=\"nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceCompositionPipeline = On }\""

Logout and log back in. To check if it worked, go to NVIDIA X Server Settings (nvidia-settings), X Server Display Configuration, click on Advanced. Force Composition Pipeline should be checked.

The solution is from Nvidia 390.25 & XFCE login problem (workaround) but the delay part was missing (it won’t work without a delay for me, just hangs on login).

Hi @Photon, just quick feedback on your suggestion to switch off compositor.

I popped into see my nephew today (he had day off due to UK Spring Bank Holiday) and I asked him to open “Window Manager Tweeks” and select “Compository” tab and disable "display compositing” option.

He then checked a few HD movies and he could not see any evidence of screen tearing. So it looks like it has fixed the problem.

Big thanks for your help. David is as happy as Larry. He said you have made his day, now he can watch his movies again which he had previously had to stop because the fault was so annoying.

I would also like to thank everyone who made other suggestions. I didn’t need to use them, but I will definitely keep a note of each solution because I am sure they will be usefull for the future in case I have a similar issue. I have installed Manjaro on a few of my friends and relatives computers recently.

Great forum! and great operating system.

2 Likes

Glad that you could figure out this problem!

However, I am wondering if there is a better solution since disabling the compositor leads to the non-availability of transparency or fade in/out effects…

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