random disappearing letters

If you are suffering from random letters dropping off your screen then a short post here on how to workaround this.

Screenshot from 2015-04-22 00:09:46

This particular annoyance occurs for me after a few minutes of boot up – especially if waking up from being suspended.

I’m using Intel graphics – vivid (15.04) HWE on Ubuntu 14.04.  This occurred also when I was using utopic (14.10) HWE.

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

copy and paste (CTRL + INS) the following

Section "Device"
Identifier    "Intel Graphics"
Driver         "intel"
Option         "AccelMethod" "uxa"
EndSection

CTRL+X and answer yes to save and exit.  Finally reboot.

If this happens for you – click the “this affects me” option on this bug-report.

So what does this do? Well, it tells the Intel graphics driver not to use the default SNA code path but instead use the older UXA code-path. The older code-path is a kind of fall-back and isn’t as efficient as the newer SNA graphics.

To go back to the newer graphics either remove the xorg.conf file you created above – or just rename it followed by a reboot i.e.

sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

or

sudo mv /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

N.B. I’ve seen other suggested workarounds such as tweaking the DPI settings and antialiasing changes but these do not work for me 😦

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