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Enable display compositing makes movies draw vertical lines


Description tomasx 2011-02-04 20:05:13 CET

If i enable display compositing on Xfce 4.8, movies in for example mplayer displays wrongly, it is like mplayer can´t render movies fast enough, it draws vertical lines on the screen, it only shows during fast sequences.
If i disable compositing in window manager tweaks everything works as expected. This is reproducable in Xfce 4.6, 4.4 and 4.2 if i remember correctly. It is also reproducable on lots of different hardware, and not necessarily nvidia.

I have a nvidia 8800gt card using drivers 260.19.29.

Yes i know, this can be a Xorg issue, OpenGL issue or whatever issue but i must start somewhere because i´m tired of this problem, i want my compositing! :)

All i wonder is if this is a known problem with compositing in Xfce?
Comment 1 Olivier Fourdan editbugs 2011-02-04 21:33:22 CET
By definition, compositing requires indirect rendering. Xfwm4 uses XRender (not OpenGL) for compositing, it's possible that the NVidia proprietary driver is optimized for OpenGL, dunno, it's proprietary...

If not fast enough for you, disable compositing. I do not see what can be done from the window manager/compositing manager.
Comment 2 tomasx 2011-02-05 00:05:38 CET
Thanks for the Xrender information, didn´t know that. Found this:


The title says it all: "New: Tearing video playback if XRender enabled"

"for xv and the closed source nvidia driver you can enable video texture /
blitter syncing in nvidia-settings and maybe lucky, for nouveau, i've no idea"

I think you can close this one, sorry to bother you. Thanks again for the Xrender information.
Comment 3 tomasx 2011-02-05 20:03:11 CET
After reading up on this "tearing" business alot, i get the impression it is a common problem. I have not found a solution to it, some say it is because of xfwm4 and some blames Xrender and so on.

This bug is the same as "Bug 6371".
Comment 4 Olivier Fourdan editbugs 2011-02-07 11:01:02 CET
BTW, I have no such problem with any of the laptops I have.
Comment 5 bellasnaru 2011-08-06 02:37:56 CEST
Hello, id like to bring this up again. i am using Xubuntu XFCE 4.8 in 11.04 and i recieve this problem in games like secondlife ( SL uses alot of media codecs to run ) and M Player when compositing is enabeld

Now when compiz Was enabled and using opengl. Sync to VBlank, and detect refresh rate all enabled, the problem did not occur.

But ofcourse , compiz been as buggy as it is, cant exit a full screen window without crashing the desktop

so i cant use compiz effectively

The only solution was to completely disable compositing in the Xorg.conf with the compositing extension command set to disabled

So this is not a problem to do with XFCE or there WM, its happening on Gnome, unity, KWin, KDE, and even LXDE, compiz, and even some reports on E17

If you guys google this, you will find reports left and right with multiple attempts at a work around

ive tried every work around and not one has worked

The only WM/Distro's that dont report this issue, are any Openbox distro and gnome 3 + Fedora 15

But this defintaly is a known, very high level, over many different Window managers issue

The problem is something to do with VSync and nvidia's latest 200 series drivers not forcing vsync properly appearently 

and NVIDIA refused to admit that its there fault
Comment 6 bellasnaru 2011-08-06 02:39:44 CEST
sorry for the double post

Id also like to add that VSync works fine on ATi, only a phew old cards got the issue but had an easy CLI command work around

ATi this issue doesnt happen often or at all with the same distro's and setups and WM's

its an nvidia VSync issue
Comment 7 bellasnaru 2011-08-06 02:58:13 CEST
sorry for the ... triple post, im getting this information as i go and thought it might be useful

The same problem occured in kwin, and they found a small solution


Turns out in KWin, if you force KWin itself to force VSync and the nvidia driver, and force some rendering options

It fix's the tearing in video playback
Comment 8 tomasx 2011-08-08 17:28:41 CEST

Well as far as i can see you are mixing up several different reasons for the tearing issue, which i have not yet solved by the way.

The reason for the tearing issue in Xfce is because it uses Xrender for the composite effects, Xrender and vsync is a bad joke, this is why the tearing occur and can easily be seen in videos. vsync just don´t work with Xrender. :(

Now... There is probably several ways to work around this, perhaps ATI users are not affected because of smarter drivers? I have alway used Nvidia and have been troubled by tearing when composite is enabled in Xfce since 2005. So it has NEVER worked with Nvidia drivers. And has nothing to do with the 200 series drivers.
Comment 9 bellasnaru 2011-08-09 05:26:02 CEST
i understand what your saying but if this is an issue why dont you guys change from XRender for the nvidia users or offer an alternative
Comment 10 Seb 2011-12-09 17:55:41 CET
I'm using the onboard video that comes with the i3 530. I also get the vsync type lines in videos when I enable compositing so it doesn't look like it's a nvidia problem.
Comment 11 tomasx 2011-12-10 15:24:23 CET
(In reply to comment #10)
> I'm using the onboard video that comes with the i3 530. I also get the vsync
> type lines in videos when I enable compositing so it doesn't look like it's a
> nvidia problem.

Welcome to the club. :)

I still haven´t found a solution to the problem, i live in a world without composite effects. Pretty frustrating when i think about it because i would really like to explore those nice alpha channel effects.

If you find some solution, please post.
Comment 12 Seb 2012-01-03 23:34:29 CET
I have now installed the opensource ATI drivers on my XFCE/Arch machine and I get the same tearing when I enable compositing. I haven't found any solutions to this problem and have no idea where to begin. Obviously this isn't the end of the world but it would be nice if it got fixed. I'm willing to help test any solutions, patches etc.
Comment 13 tomasx 2012-05-03 08:22:24 CEST
Hi all!

I found this on my way to work this morning, i think this new driver perhaps can fix this tearing issue. I am writing this also as a reminder to myself to check this out. :)

Read this about NVIDIA drivers 302.07 beta:
Comment 14 Adam Nilsson 2012-05-11 01:11:15 CEST

I have problems with video tearing too (in VLC media player) when composite effects are enabled (not when composite is disabled). Running Fedora 17 Beta (64-bit) with NVIDIA driver version 295.49 and Xfce 4.8. My graphics card is a GeForce 9800GT. I have enabled "Sync to VBlank" in NVIDIA X Server Settings. Screenshot here:


If you want to reproduce this problem you really shouldn't play anything below 720p. A 1080p video will do just fine to reproduce the problem. Anyway, I've fixed it temporarily by switching the video output plugin in VLC to SDL. That removes the tearing when in full screen mode but it still tears when in windowed mode. Maybe that helps? I'd be glad if this was fixed cause I really like Xfce but this is getting in my face. Let me know if you need any more information.

Comment 15 Git Bot editbugs 2020-05-29 11:45:39 CEST
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Bug #7237

Reported by:
Reported on: 2011-02-04
Last modified on: 2020-05-29


Olivier Fourdan
CC List:
3 users



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