19.10 - fix screen tearing after upgrade on Nvidia systems by removing the proprietary driver

As you know Ubuntu Mate 19.10 come with a kick-ass feature, no more screen tearing on the nouveau driver. Along with no screen tearing it also comes with faster desktop response.

But as observed on one of my first upgraded systems it did not work, as it already contained an Nvidia proprietary driver. So here is the guide on how to remove any Nvidia proprietary drivers and return to nouveau. This guide was tried and tested on two systems, one already on 19.10 and the other before an upgrade from 19.04.

I wrote this guide to make it easy for others as I invested quite a bit of time finding a correct solution to this situation.

  1. Search for packages from nvidia that you may have installed and remove them all.
    dpkg -l | grep -i nvidia
    sudo apt remove --purge nvidia-*
    sudo apt remove --purge libnvidia-*
    sudo apt remove --purge libnvidia-*:i386
    sudo apt autoremove --purge
    except the package nvidia-common, all other packages should be purged. (In my case this package was not available in current nvidia driver, so not removed.)

  2. Search for the xorg.conf file and remove it as it might contain nvidia configuration.
    sudo rm /etc/X11/xorg.conf

  3. Remove any blacklisting on nouveau from kernel load (which in my case is as follows:)
    sudo rm /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia-installer-disable-nouveau.conf

  4. List available ubuntu drivers for install, and install nouveau.
    ubuntu-drivers devices
    sudo apt install nvidia-firmware
    sudo apt install xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

  5. If you want to be sure that nouveau will be loaded during boot, you can force-load it by adding it to /etc/modules.
    echo 'nouveau' | sudo tee -a /etc/modules

  6. If above does not work OK after restart, you can try and also execute
    sudo apt-get install --reinstall xserver-xorg-core libgl1-mesa-glx

You may also want to remove Compton and Compiz as they are not very useful.

  1. Compiz
    sudo apt remove --purge compiz compiz-core compiz-mate compiz-plugins compiz-plugins-default libdecoration0
    will be removed, also compiz-gnome and libcompizconfig0

  2. Compton
    Probably this is enough for compton removal, maybe one should search more about this...
    sudo apt remove --purge compton

1 Like

Gonna have to try this when I upgrade my laptop!

This sort of defeats the entire purpose behind using the Nvidia GPU on my laptop. I would have no control over its settings and severely diminished performance in games and anything else that requires the features of my graphics card.