NVIDIA. Oh how we love to hate thee.
NVIDIA and its proprietary graphics drivers have long been a bane of users on Ubuntu. If you needed performance, then you had to use the proprietary drivers, as Nouveau just couldn’t keep up. However, the NVIDIA drivers can be fickle to install and keep up to date, and often cause graphical issues like black screens or, as this post talks about, screen flickering.
This bug has been around since Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, and is still present in Ubuntu 14.04.1 – this bug refuses to die. This issue cropped up for me and some other users after a recent kernel upgrade.
There have been numerous attempts to fix it, including going so far as to patch Compiz to attempt to fix this. However, I’m going to be showing you a far simpler method.
To fix this you’re going to need the CompizConfig Settings Manager software. If you don’t already have it installed, press Ctrl+Alt+T to open a Terminal:
Once that terminal is open, enter
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager and hit enter. You’ll probably need to enter your password, but once you do it will install. Don’t close the terminal.
Once installed, go ahead and enter
sudo ccsm. This will launch CompizConfig Settings Manager. It will show you a warning about the program being very powerful, probably say something along the lines of “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility”. Just click okay:
Once it comes up, search for workarounds and select the only option that comes up:
Then, scroll down and select the Force full screen redraws (buffer swap) on repaint option:
Once you’ve done that, you can close Settings Manager, and you’re done! This should have helped if not resolved the screen flicker issue for you!
Obviously, this isn’t an actual solution or bug fix, but it’s a workaround that does its job – stops the dreadful NVIDIA redraw bug from doing it’s horrible deed.