Ubuntu – Screen Tearing on Kubuntu 16.04 with Intel Drivers


So, quick background, on Kubuntu and have massive screen tearing issues. I have never had these problems on any other Linux Distros. Videos look really choppy, overall it's not a good experience. I have recently switched over from Windows, and don't know how to update/install drivers on Ubuntu. I just know I have Intel… Sorry if I am being vague, but that's all I got.

Best Answer

I also experienced video tearing with Kubuntu 16.04 on my Intel i7-2600K Sandybridge processor with integrated Intel HD 3000 Graphics.

SOLUTION A: Best solution

  1. Start K -> Settings -> System Settings
  2. Under Hardware section double-click Display and Monitor
  3. Choose Compositor on LHS and ensure:

    Enable compositor on startup:  Checked   # was enabled by default
    Tearing prevention ("vsync"):  Full screen repaints   # was Automatic

    Note: Ignore message "Full screen repaints" can cause performance problems.

    Do not use Re-use screen content on Intel Graphics!

  4. Click Apply

This completely fixed the problem for me. There was no video tearing in full screen or in a window, and there was no artifacting.

See Bug 321589 - Automatic VSync strategy causes tearing


Edit /etc/environment and add the following lines:


Save the file and reboot.

This fixed the problem for me with full screen videos. There is; however, occasional tearing with videos in a window. There was no artifacting with these settings.


I discovered the three variables to try, which were listed as working for NVidia graphics, at the following link: Screen Tearing After Kubuntu Upgrade 15.10 -> 16.04


The above three lines did prevent video tearing, but I experienced some artifacting with some non-video playing activities, such as editing a file with emacs. Hence I experimented some more and found a better compromise.

For a description of these KDE variables see KWin/Environment Variables.

Later on I discovered the Full screen repaints setting which completely resolved all issues for me.

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