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#1 2021-09-11 03:46:02

plantor
Member
Registered: 2021-09-07
Posts: 6

[SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Hello everyone,

I am having some screen tearing when scrolling through a webpage or document or while watching a video.  As the title says, am using an Intel Iris Xe with the i915 drivers.  I use xorg to run awesome window manager and have picom as a compositor. 

So far, I have tried to disable the vsync in /etc/xdg/picom.conf as well as tried to add the "TearFree" option to an xorg configuration file as per the Intel#Tearing wiki page.  I believe that did not work because the driver that article assumes you to have is the xf86-video-intel driver - does anyone know if that is correct?  I tried generating an xorg.conf and placing it in /etc/X11 and adding the TearFree option there as well to no avail.  When adding that option into xorg.conf I first attempted to change the "Device" section to include the option detailed in this article which just caused xorg not to load - then I added another "Device" section with the option included which allowed xorg to load but did not fix the issue.

I hope I haven't missed anything obvious in my searches that could solve this issue.  Thank you in advance for any help!

Last edited by plantor (2021-09-14 22:06:18)

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#2 2021-09-11 03:49:56

jasonwryan
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From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 30,424
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Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

There is some known issues with the current version of mesa and intel chips. 21.1.6-1 is the last one that worked for me.

Also, the intel driver is awful; for most, kernel modesetting will work better.

Last edited by jasonwryan (2021-09-11 03:50:51)


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#3 2021-09-11 22:07:21

plantor
Member
Registered: 2021-09-07
Posts: 6

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Well enabling early KMS with the i915 driver didn't seem to change anything.  When you mention the intel driver are you referring to the xf86-video-intel one, or are both it and i915 bad?  Am I missing another driver option that is better?  Would it be worth it to try and downgrade mesa to 21.1.6-1?

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#4 2021-09-12 05:40:21

kokoko3k
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Registered: 2008-11-14
Posts: 2,404

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Yes, try to uninstall xf86-video-intel so that modesettong driver will be picked by xorg and/or downgrade mesa.
(edit: ops you did not use xf86-video-intel already and yes, tearfree is its exclusive option)

Have you tried different vsync options from picom?
What if you watch a video without picom via mpv? Does it "tear"?

Last edited by kokoko3k (2021-09-12 07:49:23)


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#5 2021-09-13 02:14:09

plantor
Member
Registered: 2021-09-07
Posts: 6

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

The only vsync options I have found to change was to either enable or disable it via picom - neither setting had any effect on the tearing.  According to the wiki, most of the other vsync options are now depreciated.  I have also downgraded mesa now to 21.1.6-1 as per the above recommendation, but there has been no change to the situation.  Doesn't seem to matter if picom is running or not, things look exactly the same.

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#6 2021-09-13 07:37:15

seth
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Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 52,427

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Please post your picom config and the xorg log, https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Xorg#General
Also, since people have a habit to name any kind of artifact "tearing", please elaborate on what you see - is it one horizontal break across the entire screen? Is it in a static position?
Finally: are there any adapters involved (DP -> HDMI or anything to VGA etcetc.)?

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#7 2021-09-13 20:44:51

plantor
Member
Registered: 2021-09-07
Posts: 6

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Here is the Xorg log: http://ix.io/3yMO

And the picom conf: http://ix.io/3yMP

As to the tearing I'm seeing:  it looks like a single horizontal line that appears whenever I scroll past text, like on a web page and also appears during video playback, but to a lesser degree.  When scrolling, it appears to be almost a small mirroring effect of the text that I'm scrolling through and disappears as soon as the page is still again.  For video, it looks like a horizontal break in the picture.  For both scrolling and video the tear appears in the same spot about one third of the way down from the top of the screen.

There are no other adapters in use here, just video being displayed on a laptop's built in display.  It's an XPS 13 9310 with a 1920x1200 display.  Let me know if there is any other information that I can provide.

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#8 2021-09-13 21:04:21

seth
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Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 52,427

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

[    45.749] (==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Fri Sep 10 20:51:55 202
…
Xorg detected your mouse at device /dev/input/mice.
Please check your config if the mouse is still not
operational, as by default Xorg tries to autodetect
the protocol.
[    45.878] 
Your xorg.conf file is /root/xorg.conf.new

[    45.878] To test the server, run 'X -config /root/xorg.conf.new'

[    45.878] (EE) Server terminated with error (2). Closing log file.

Also

[    45.769] (II) VESA: driver for VESA chipsets: vesa
[    45.865] (++) Using config file: "/root/xorg.conf.new"

You certainly don't want to use the vesa driver and you ABSOLUTELY do not want to run X11 as root (that's not the same as the server process running as root)

Picom uses the Xrender backend which can't vsync - there's a sketchy implementation to run on xrender but keep a glx context around to catch the vblank signal, but for testing purposes you should use the glx backend and only try the hybrid vsync if and when glx works.

But we must first sort out the state of your x11 server above…

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#9 2021-09-13 21:38:45

Trilby
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Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 29,634
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Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

I have no solutions, but can empathize as intel graphics on X has been an absolute nightmare for the better part of this year (and I don't "game" or do anything fancy, it was painful just trying to read text documents or view static websites).  Luckily I'm getting more comfortable in wayland now which has none of the problems I was having under X.

Last edited by Trilby (2021-09-13 21:39:26)


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#10 2021-09-13 22:01:54

plantor
Member
Registered: 2021-09-07
Posts: 6

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Okay I think I gave you the wrong log, from when I must have ran X11 as root when I was bumbling around with setting things up.  It is running under my user account now, as far as I can tell.  Here is the log I should have linked earlier which does not mention vesa and appears to be loading glx: http://ix.io/3yNe

In the above file:

 [    45.749] (==) Log file: "/var/log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Fri Sep 10 20:51:55 2021

And in the one I linked in this post:

[    12.013] (==) Log file: "/home/zero/.local/share/xorg/Xorg.0.log", Time: Mon Sep 13 13:56:03 2021
[    12.015] (==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"
[    12.015] (==) Using config directory: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d"
[    12.015] (==) Using system config directory "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d"

As an aside, to cure my naivety, what is the risk with running X11 as root?

Perhaps making the switch to Wayland is the solution here, as per Trilby's remarks.

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#11 2021-09-14 07:16:00

seth
Member
Registered: 2012-09-03
Posts: 52,427

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Running the X server process has a limited risk, but starting Xorg as root means that you're running the session as root means that you're going to run each and every GUI client (including your browser…) as root.
Do I have to explain why that's a bad idea?

Make sure vsync and dri3 aren't disabled, https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Intel_ … on_(VSYNC) and configure picom to use glx as backend (because again: xrender won't sync anything)
If that doesn't help,… actually disable DRI3 (though what you describe sounds like a genuine tearline)

For video playback please also try

mpv -vo=gpu --video-sync=display-resample video.mp4

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#12 2021-09-14 22:04:55

plantor
Member
Registered: 2021-09-07
Posts: 6

Re: [SOLVED] Screen tearing with Intel Iris Xe, i915 and picom

Thank you for your explanation, seth.

I changed the backend to glx in the picom.conf and left vysnc on in that same file and things are looking smooth now.  Seems to have fixed the issue.

Thank you to everyone for helping me fix this!

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