Ubuntu: Why is my screen flickering on my fresh ubuntu install (possible graphics driver issue)?



Question:

I'm trying to install Linux to dual-boot with Windows on my 2016 Razer Blade Stealth. However I'm running into issues with every single distro I've tried. The only distros I've actually been able to successfully install are ubuntu variations (Ubuntu LTS 16.04 and Lubuntu 16.10). However with both of those variations I get this awful screen flickering issue (click the link to see a video of it).

A peculiar thing about the issue is that the screen does not flicker at all when my finger is on the trackpad (this is demonstrated in the video). Or when I'm running ubuntu and I have a secondary monitor connected. Also I do not experience this issue at all when running Windows.

jack@jack-Blade-Stealth:~$ sudo lshw -C display    *-display                      description: VGA compatible controller     product: Intel Corporation     vendor: Intel Corporation     physical id: 2     bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0     version: 02     width: 64 bits     clock: 33MHz     capabilities: pciexpress msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom     configuration: driver=i915 latency=0     resources: irq:276 memory:db000000-dbffffff memory:90000000-9fffffff ioport:f000(size=64) memory:c0000-dffff  jack@jack-Blade-Stealth:~$ uname -a  Linux jack-Blade-Stealth 4.8.0-32-generic #34-Ubuntu SMP Tue Dec 13 14:30:43 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux  

I believe it has something to do with the graphics drivers. I have Intel HD Graphics 620. I looked up downloads for drivers but the Intel site said that most distributions come pre-installed with intel graphics drivers. There were several packages I could install but I'm pretty new to Linux and I wasn't sure which package to download or how to use it.

Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.


Solution:1

  1. really new hardware requires newer software -> use 16.10
  2. it seems an issue related to PSR (panel self-refresh), try disable it -> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Intel_graphics#Screen_flickering
  3. since the issue seems video-related and you are using integrated one (intel), try to disable other features, such as power-saving one, if enabled by default -> https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Intel_graphics


Solution:2

No need to upgrade to 16.10; 16.04 LTS is running the same kernel as 17.04. Download the Intel Linux Graphics Update Tool (version 2.02) and run that. They have extensive instructions on their webpage on how to do it. This will bring you completely up-to-date. After that, you can start to debug. FYI: I also have the screen flicker - it is likely an issue with the Ubuntu Kernel.


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