Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Getting your soundcard to work, using Debian on non-i386 hardware, etc

Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-08-25 18:14

Hi
I've installed Stretch on an NUC6CAYH, which is working nice except for two or three things which I'll post separately to keep things clear. Here I'm concerned with video distortion that occurs mainly when scrolling in web browsers. The same issue was reported at http://nucblog.net/2017/01/apollo-lake-nuc-review-nuc6cayh-33-linux-htpc-conclusions/. I tried his fix but it didn't work with me. The distortion is mainly a slight rippling motion that occurs when strolling.
I am trying to keep this install as stable as possible. Should I try a newer kernel? Or are there other possibilities? Are there other distros that work better with these units?
Code: Select all
uname -a
Linux Ao 4.9.0-3-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.9.30-2+deb9u3 (2017-08-06) x86_64 GNU/Linux


Any help appreciated
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby Segfault » 2017-08-25 20:59

What graphics chipset?
Are you using Intel driver or modesetting?
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-08-26 01:21

Thank you.
Intel describes it as: Intel HD Graphics 500, 12 EUs, 250 MHz base frequency, up to 750 MHz
lspci -v yields:
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00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Device 5a85 (rev 0b) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
   Subsystem: Intel Corporation Device 2067
   Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 376
   Memory at 90000000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16M]
   Memory at 80000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
   I/O ports at f000 [size=64]
   [virtual] Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
   Capabilities: <access denied>
   Kernel driver in use: i915
   Kernel modules: i915


This is a pretty fresh install so I imagine I:m using default drivers.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-08-26 19:58

Well, I guess no ideas yet on this problem.
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glxinfo | grep "OpenGL vendor string"
OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center

would seem to indicate the Intel driver is in use?? No expert here, but just guessing I might have three options.
1. Updating the Intel video driver from the testing repository. Reason for not liking the option: I:m trying to keep a stable system.
2. Trying to install a newer kernel. Reason for not liking the option: Same as above
and
3. Installing the packages https://01.org/linuxgraphics/intel-linux-graphics-firmwares relevant to KabyLake, Reason for not liking the option: Basically I don:t know what I am doing.

This NUC&CAYH unit is new, but not that new. It:s been around at least a half year for testing. Any idea which option I might want to go with first?
Thanks
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby Segfault » 2017-08-26 23:27

There is kernel driver, then there is Xorg driver and there is MESA. How kernel driver loads can be seen in dmesg. How Xorg driver loads can be seen in Xorg log. I think it defaults to modesetting nowadays, you can create a four-line xorg.conf to load the Intel driver if you wish.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby stevepusser » 2017-08-27 00:58

Install inxi, then run inxi -h for instructions on how to upgrade it in place. Then run

inxi -G

to see what driver you're using.

If you wish to try the intel driver, install xserver-xorg-video-intel if necessary, and try a "20-intel.conf" file in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/ (create as necessary) with the contents:

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Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Device0"
        Driver      "intel"
        BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"
        Option      "AccelMethod" "sna"
        Option      "DRI"    "true"
        Option      "TearFree"  "true"
        Option "DRI" "3"



A reboot is necessary.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby Segfault » 2017-08-27 12:35

Xorg reload will suffice.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-08-27 23:07

Thanks for the lead. Here's what I'm getting:
Code: Select all
 inxi -G
Graphics:  Card: Intel Device 5a85
           Display Server: X.Org 1.19.2 drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 500 (Broxton 2x6)
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 13.0.6


What:s the best course to take from here?
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby stevepusser » 2017-08-28 00:37

Try the 20-intel.conf file, that sets the driver to use the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver with "intel". If you want to be very cautious, disable all the other options with a "#" symbol at the start of the line, then enable them one at a time to see what difference they make.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-08-28 04:08

Thanks.
Unfortunately on reboot lightdm would not start until I manually removed the file using CLI. You may have given me a clue though but I'll need to write a file with different commands, or, perhaps as you suggested, commenting them all out but one and seeing how it goes, one by one.
When I have some time, I'll try it.
See I need some research here. I heard Stretch broke with tradition somewhat by not using Intel driver by default, so I wonder what the other options are, what modesetting can do, and could a more recent kernel be of use without breaking stability.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-08-29 23:29

Well, I decided to get a bit braver and installed the 4.12 kernel via testing repository and I uninstalled the Intel driver. This was because no matter what I put in the file in intel.conf Xorg wouldn't start. Curiously things are better. A lot of the distortion is gone. The NUC6CAYH is a new machine so a newer kernel would make some since, even if it does have some negative effect on stability. I get:
Code: Select all
inxi -G
Graphics:  Card: Intel Device 5a85
           Display Server: X.Org 1.19.2 drivers: modesetting (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 500 (Broxton 2x6)
           GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 13.0.6

same as before. But I want to know more about what all this means. I've never been an expert on Xorg. I want to know more about what a modesetting driver is. What would happen if the unloaded fbdev and vesa were loaded? What else could be tried to boost its performance. Perhaps I should start a thread elsewhere as the questions are getting more Xorg specific but first I want to do some research. Anyone who could point me in a good direction would be appreciated.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby shep » 2017-08-29 23:59

What would happen if the unloaded fbdev and vesa were loaded?


I would view fbdev and vesa as alternative drivers which are not being used in xorg. Removing them will not affect xorg but may affect boot screens, etc.
Vesa is a simple, universal graphics driver for which can be used while installing an operating system. NVidea, ATI and Intel chips will generate a display when the vesa driver is used. The display is usually slow and takes some tweaking to support larger displays.
The fbdev is more complex.
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby kendew » 2017-09-01 20:38

Just want to let anyone interested know what I've done so far. First, even if it compromises stability a little, I installed kernel version 4.12.1 from testing. I uninstalled the intel xorg driver as I couldn't get it to work (see above) anyway and tried modesetting. As modesetting wasn't working perhaps because I couldn't figure out how to get it to work, I installed an xorg intel driver via testing (
Code: Select all
apt-get -t
) after writing the appropriate files in /etc/apt/preferences.d and /etc/apt/sources.list.d. Then I created a basic 20-intel.conf file as a test+
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Section "Device"
    Identifier "Intel Graphics"
    Driver "intel"
    Option "TearFree" "true"
EndSection


I didn't use stevepusser's input because before I wasn't getting X to work at all and wanted to put minimal programming to see if it works at first.
It did work and, finally, the tearing was gone! Success!!
But I'm not one to be so easily satisfied. I'd like to try putting more in this file, some of the code stevepusser suggested and maybe other code too. But I'd like a little knowledge first. For example, just to reproduce stevepusser's code here:
Code: Select all
Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Device0"
        Driver      "intel"
        BusID       "PCI:0:2:0"
        Option      "AccelMethod" "sna"
        Option      "DRI"    "true"
        Option      "TearFree"  "true"
        Option "DRI" "3"


What exactly do these options do? How to determine BusID and how will it help? What will sna and DRI offer? Are there other options I might want to try?
Any suggestions very welcome!
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Re: Video distortion on NUC6CAYH

Postby stevepusser » 2017-09-01 22:38

I now believe that the DRI 3 line isn't really necessary, since the driver defaults to that automatically. My file has been living in /etc for a while now...as well as the sna line, according to the Arch wiki I linked to earlier (it's good reading!)
Code: Select all
SNA issues

SNA is the default acceleration method in xf86-video-intel. If you are experience issues with SNA (e.g. pixelated graphics, corrupt text, etc.), try using UXA instead, which can be done by adding the following line to your configuration file:

Option      "AccelMethod"  "uxa"

See man 4 intel under Option "AccelMethod".
DRI3 issues

DRI3 is the default DRI version in xf86-video-intel. On some systems this can cause issues such as this. To switch back to DRI2 add the following line to your configuration file:

Option "DRI" "2"

For the modesetting driver, this method of disabling DRI3 does not work. Instead, one can set the environment variable LIBGL_DRI3_DISABLE=1.


Alternative methods of getting a newer kernel would be the Liquorix kernel, which is currently based on the 4.12.10 release of the vanilla kernel. And a better way to get an updated "intel" driver would be to see if it's in stretch-backports, or, if not, backport it yourself or do it in the openSUSE build service. But checking shows me that the testing or unstable version is currently exactly the same as in Stretch, so I'd have to say that the part of the intel driver that's in the kernel (all the free xorg drivers have a matching part in the kernel) is what's making the difference here.

The options for the intel driver can be viewed in a terminal with
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man intel


or (cool trick here) in a web browser with man:intel in the address bar.
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