Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the old 'intel' Xorg driver

Bug #1867668 reported by Vlad Svitlichniy
152
This bug affects 21 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xserver-xorg-video-intel (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

I've updated to Ubuntu 20.04 a couple of weeks ago, and there are some minor (but pretty annoying) issues with Gnome Shell every time I load the system. The background image has some green/violet/black visual artifacts, and the text elements in Gnome Shell incorrectly display some of the symbol. Changing the background image removes the artifacts until the next reboot (but if I select the previous one without rebooting, then I still see the same artifacts, so it's probably cached somewhere). Restarting the shell via Alt+F2 `r` usually removes the artifacts from the background image, but the text issues are still present.

The issues are reprodicable with and without extensions, with 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 display scaling factors applied, and they are not user-specific (i.e. I was able to reproduce them after creating a new user from scratch)

As far as I can say, only Gnome Shell is affected. All the applications (including Gnome/GTK apps like Geary, Gedit, Tilix, both "native" and flatpak) work fine without any issues

Sometimes, the application icons are also affected (as you can see on one of the attached screenshots)

~> lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu Focal Fossa (development branch)
Release: 20.04

~> apt-cache policy gnome-shell
gnome-shell:
  Installed: 3.35.91-1ubuntu2
  Candidate: 3.35.91-1ubuntu2
  Version table:
 *** 3.35.91-1ubuntu2 500
        500 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu focal/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

~> gsettings get org.gnome.mutter experimental-features
['x11-randr-fractional-scaling']

~> uname -r
5.4.0-14-generic

hwinfo (videocard, monitor):
38: PCI 02.0: 0300 VGA compatible controller (VGA)
  [Created at pci.386]
  Unique ID: _Znp.pq3kk9M9L4C
  SysFS ID: /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:02.0
  SysFS BusID: 0000:00:02.0
  Hardware Class: graphics card
  Model: "Intel UHD Graphics 620"
  Vendor: pci 0x8086 "Intel Corporation"
  Device: pci 0x5917 "UHD Graphics 620"
  SubVendor: pci 0x17aa "Lenovo"
  SubDevice: pci 0x225c
  Revision: 0x07
  Driver: "i915"
  Driver Modules: "i915"
  Memory Range: 0x2ffa000000-0x2ffaffffff (rw,non-prefetchable)
  Memory Range: 0x2fa0000000-0x2fafffffff (ro,non-prefetchable)
  I/O Ports: 0xe000-0xe03f (rw)
  Memory Range: 0x000c0000-0x000dffff (rw,non-prefetchable,disabled)
  IRQ: 161 (64308 events)
  Module Alias: "pci:v00008086d00005917sv000017AAsd0000225Cbc03sc00i00"
  Driver Info #0:
    Driver Status: i915 is active
    Driver Activation Cmd: "modprobe i915"
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
43: None 00.0: 10002 LCD Monitor
  [Created at monitor.125]
  Unique ID: rdCR.R7Dpg_aaVOC
  Parent ID: _Znp.pq3kk9M9L4C
  Hardware Class: monitor
  Model: "LG Display LCD Monitor"
  Vendor: LGD "LG Display"
  Device: eisa 0x058b
  Resolution: 2560x1440@60Hz
  Size: 309x174 mm
  Year of Manufacture: 2016
  Week of Manufacture: 0
  Detailed Timings #0:
     Resolution: 2560x1440
     Horizontal: 2560 2608 2640 2720 (+48 +80 +160) -hsync
       Vertical: 1440 1450 1455 1481 (+10 +15 +41) +vsync
    Frequencies: 241.69 MHz, 88.86 kHz, 60.00 Hz
  Config Status: cfg=new, avail=yes, need=no, active=unknown
  Attached to: #38 (VGA compatible controller)
---
ProblemType: Bug
ApportVersion: 2.20.11-0ubuntu20
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: ubuntu:GNOME
DisplayManager: gdm3
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 20.04
InstallationDate: Installed on 2019-11-07 (130 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS "Bionic Beaver" - Release amd64 (20190805)
Package: gnome-shell 3.35.91-1ubuntu2
PackageArchitecture: amd64
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 5.4.0-14.17-generic 5.4.18
RelatedPackageVersions: mutter-common 3.35.91-1ubuntu1
Tags: third-party-packages focal
Uname: Linux 5.4.0-14-generic x86_64
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to focal on 2020-03-04 (12 days ago)
UserGroups: microk8s sudo
_MarkForUpload: True

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. Please execute the following command only once, as it will automatically gather debugging information, in a terminal:

apport-collect 1867668

When reporting bugs in the future please use apport by using 'ubuntu-bug' and the name of the package affected. You can learn more about this functionality at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ReportingBugs.

Changed in gnome-shell (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
tags: added: focal
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote : Dependencies.txt

apport information

tags: added: apport-collected third-party-packages
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote : GsettingsChanges.txt

apport information

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote : ProcCpuinfoMinimal.txt

apport information

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote : ProcEnviron.txt

apport information

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote : ShellJournal.txt

apport information

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote : monitors.xml.txt

apport information

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote : Re: Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell after upgrading to 20.04

Thanks. Unfortunately that did not attach the information we require. :(

Please run:

  dmesg > dmesg.txt
  lspci -k > lspcik.txt
  journalctl -b0 > journal.txt

and then attach the resulting three files.

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

Thanks. I can see a couple of problems with the machine now, which could cause this bug:

1. You have the old 'intel' graphics driver enabled. That's no longer being maintained and should not be used, especially on newer hardware like yours. Please ensure your Xorg config files do not load the 'intel' driver and if in doubt just uninstall it:

  sudo apt remove xserver-xorg-video-intel

You should be using the newer 'modesetting' driver which is also the default.

2. You have a number of extensions installed:

b'org.gnome.shell' b'enabled-extensions' b"['<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>', 'multi-monitors-add-on@spin83', '<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>', '<email address hidden>']"

so if removing the intel graphics driver hasn't already fixed the bug then please try to uninstall all of those extensions. Yes uninstall and not just disable, because a disabled extension can still interfere with the shell.

Revision history for this message
Vlad Svitlichniy (vsv-dev) wrote :

Thank you, removing both "xserver-xorg-video-intel" package and /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file solved all the issues I had

affects: gnome-shell (Ubuntu) → xserver-xorg-video-intel (Ubuntu)
Changed in xserver-xorg-video-intel (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Won't Fix
Revision history for this message
Soltész András (soltesz-andras) wrote :

Removing both "xserver-xorg-video-intel" and deleting /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf file solved the artifact issues on my Dell 9360 as well.

summary: - Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell after upgrading to 20.04
+ Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the 'intel' Xorg driver on
+ 8th gen Intel hardware
summary: Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the 'intel' Xorg driver on
- 8th gen Intel hardware
+ 8th/9th gen Intel hardware
summary: - Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the 'intel' Xorg driver on
- 8th/9th gen Intel hardware
+ Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the 'intel' Xorg driver
Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote : Re: Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the 'intel' Xorg driver

I'm not sure what's creating that file causing the problems:

  /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Maybe you've experimented with a PPA in the past that modified your graphics packages? You can also find out by running:

  dpkg -S /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf

Anyway, the point is that config file should not exist on a clean Ubuntu system.

Revision history for this message
Amirali Sadeghi (asadeghi) wrote :

Also confirming that removing xserver-xorg-video-intel solved my problem too. I didn't delete xorg.conf file though. Didn't have the 20-intel.conf file either.

Revision history for this message
Jesus Salvo (jesus-m-salvo) wrote :

Also confirming that removing xserver-xorg-video-intel solved the problem for me too.

I did not also have /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf. However, I did have /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/01-amdgpu-pro-px.conf which was trying to load the intel driver that was just removed:

  jsalvo@rig01:~$ cat ~/xorg.conf.d-01-amdgpu-pro-px.conf
  Section "ServerFlags"
        Option "AutoAddGPU" "off"
  EndSection

  Section "Device"
        Identifier "Intel"
        Driver "intel"
  EndSection

  Section "Files"
    ModulePath "/usr/lib/xorg/modules"
  EndSection

Have to remove that file as well and then also do a:

  sudo apt purge xserver-xorg-video-amdgpu-pro

... as the amdgpu-pro was installed when it was on 16.04 LTS, before the upgrade to 20.04 LTS.

summary: - Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the 'intel' Xorg driver
+ Visual artifacts in Gnome Shell when using the old 'intel' Xorg driver
Revision history for this message
NLin TKO (nl-gaijin) wrote :

Removing xserver-xorg-video-intel and 20-intel.conf did not work on my Intel NUC which is being used as a headless server. As it is a headless machine I control it from my PC using Remmina (VNC). The NUC does not have a monitor connected to it. When the NUC boots it searches for a monitor. If it can't find one it won't activate video. If so, Remmina VNC results in showing a black screen. In order to be able to see the NUC's desktop I need to "trick" it during boot into believing that a monitor is connected. This is done through 20-intel.conf. Its contents forces the NUC to believe that displays are connected:

Section "Device"
    Identifier "intelgpu0"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "VirtualHeads" "2"
EndSection

Therefore, removing xserver-xorg-video-intel and 20-intel.conf resulted in that I could not see the NUC's desktop anymore via Remmina.
As an experiment I connected a monitor to the NUC's HDMI port. In this case the artifacts are gone.
I plan to try one alternative solution: plug a HDMI dummy adapter into the NUC's HDMI port. Then I might not need the mentioned code in 20-intel.conf any more. Then remove xserver-xorg-video-intel and 20-intel.conf, hoping that I can connect via Remmina.

Revision history for this message
Alex (elevat) wrote :

I have my minipc server Gigabite Brix 4105 and the monitor is not connected to it. Installed Ubuntu Desktop 12.04.2.
I control it from my PC using VNC and no visual artifacts.

This is done through 20-intel.conf

Section "Device"
    Identifier "intelgpu0"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "VirtualHeads" "1"
    Option "TearFree" "true"
    Option "TripleBuffer" "true"
    Option "DRI" "false"
EndSection

I added the following commands to my startup script:

xrandr --newmode "1920x1080" 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync
xrandr --addmode VIRTUAL1 1920x1080
xrandr --output VIRTUAL1 --mode 1920x1080 --right-of HDMI1
xrandr -d :0 --output VIRTUAL1 --primary --auto

Generate modeline with gtf or cvt (Replace 1920 1080 with your preferred resolution). Here is what I get:
$ cvt 1920 1080
# 1920x1080 59.96 Hz (CVT 2.07M9) hsync: 67.16 kHz; pclk: 173.00 MHz
Modeline "1920x1080_60.00" 173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync

Revision history for this message
Wiktor Nizio (skrzypce) wrote :

Why is it marked as Won't Fix? The obsolete package xserver-xorg-video-intel is installed with the operating system. Please remove it.

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

This bug is marked as "Won't Fix" because it won't be fixed. xserver-xorg-video-intel is old and should not be used anymore. The default built-in driver (called 'modesetting') should be used instead.

I'm not sure how safe it would be to remove xserver-xorg-video-intel from the Ubuntu archive because people upgrading from older releases where it was the only driver, might still have config files that depend on it. Not being able to find the driver specified in your config file would cause bigger issues than just "visual artifacts", like not being able to log in.

Revision history for this message
NLin TKO (nl-gaijin) wrote :

Follow-up on my comment #22: I installed a HDMI plug to my Intel NUC. Then removed the xserver-xorg-video-intel and 20-intel.conf. After reboot the plug was detected and the visual artifacts were gone.

Revision history for this message
Wiktor Nizio (skrzypce) wrote :

In Ubuntu Unity 21.04 Beta xserver-xorg-video-intel is installed by default, but doesn't cause artifacts. In a test version prior to Beta it did cause them.

Regarding #25, I suggest removing it from the installer. I don't mind archives. I reported it against Ubuntu Unity:

https://gitlab.com/ubuntu-unity/ubuntu-unity-issues/-/issues/85

I was told "it will be replaced by a update or needs to be remove at Ubuntu's end.".

Revision history for this message
Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

The package being installed does not mean it is used. Xorg will use the correct driver 'modesetting' by default.

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