Vertical motion lines on video playback, all versions/hardware.

Simon Steinbeiß simon at
Wed Jul 23 05:37:01 UTC 2014

On Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:32:47 -0500
Jeff Hanson <jeff at> wrote:

> When there is a lot of motion in a video being played back in Xubuntu, we
> get vertical lines that scroll somewhat on the screen. This is apparent on
> all types of laptops/graphics cards. VLC, Firefox, etc.
> This doesn't seem to be the case on regular Ubuntu.
> This is currently the most pressing concern for us to not use Xubuntu in
> our labs. We obviously want to continue to do so obviously. Has this issue
> come up already?
> It's not totally obvious at first, but is a consistent problem we've
> noticed over the past year.
> Would love to hear some thoughts!
> Thank You!
> Jeff Hanson
> 6087519139

Hey Jeff,

this is a well known problem unfortunately. For users of some hardware (I think it mostly helps with Intel) enabling the "Synchronize drawing to the vertical blank" in Settings Manager > Window Manager Tweaks > Compositor helps.
Another option is to try and use Compton – we don't ship this alternative compositor by default for several reasons, one of them being that to get the most out of it, you need to tweak the configuration according to your hardware quite a bit. But still, there are (good) chances that this will help.
And last but not least you can try to use Compiz.

More generally speaking though, there is at least some hope that this will get fixed before everyone moves towards Wayland, e.g. when graphics card vendors implement support for the Present extension of the X11 server. Might take a bit though and there's not much we as a distribution can do to help move that along.


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