Nvidia+Cinnamon flicker woes

July 23rd, 2023

It used to be a pretty smooth ride with an Nvidia+Mint combination until recently. Unfortunately, things have gone downhill, partially owing to Cinnamon bugs, not to talk about Nvidia’s endless Linux driver woes. The last I checked, the MATE environment didn’t even start with the default settings, so there seems to be something lacking with Mint’s testing on NV hardware. I’ve had flicker problems before on an RTX 2080, but the recent update to an RTX 4060 Ti and 535 series drivers made them noticeably worse – even cards that used to be fine have started exhibiting the symptoms:

Click for an epilepsy-inducing illustration.

The problem is known and may be fixed eventually, but for now you’re left to your own devices. Downgrading to 525 series is one viable option, but of course it shouldn’t even be necessary. Besides, I experienced similar, if not as bad, flicker with them too. As a quick remedy open NVIDIA X Server Settings, navigate to X Server Display Configuration and switch to advanced mode. There tick the Force Composition Pipeline box and apply the settings:

Down there.

If you prefer the command line or want to make a script for toggling the setting on/off, here’s how:

nvidia-settings --assign CurrentMetaMode="nvidia-auto-select +0+0 { ForceCompositionPipeline=On }"

Note that these settings don’t retain themselves unless you save them to the X config file or add them to your startup scripts. Sleep will disable the composition pipeline too. In an optimal world this kind of kludges would be unnecessary, but this is the reality now. Double composition (Cinnamon+Nvidia) might slow things down, but I didn’t notice any actual difference at least yet – games might be affected more. Nvidia’s setting might cap your framerates to the screen refresh rate too, even when running fullscreen. Let’s see how the situation develops.

Ja suomeksi: viime vuosina Mintin ja Nvidian näyttiksen kanssa eläminen ei ole valitettavasti ole ollut enää yhtä huoletonta kuin ennen. Intelin integroidulla ei ongelmia pahemmin ilmene, mutta Nvidialla esiintyy nykyään kaikenlaisia kummallisia vilkutuksia ja välkytyksiä riippuen ajuriversiosta ja alla olevasta raudasta. 535-sarjan myötä ongelma paheni selvästi, mikä lienee taas kerran joku Cinnamonin, X:n ja ajurien entistä huonomman yhteispelin tulos. Yllä ohjeita enkuksi vipatuksen korjaamista varten. Kaksinkertainen kompositointi (Cinnamon+Nvidia) tuskin ruudunpiirtoa nopeuttaa, mutta en mitään sanottavaa eroa kyllä itse huomannut käytännössä.

Filed under: linux,softat

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