Solve video tearing on Intel + Ubuntu (XFCE 4)

For the Unity and GNOME Shell version, check this out.

Having tried out a bunch of DE’s in the past, I find myself moving towards minimalism and speed, and IMO nothing is better suited than XFCE to fulfill those requirements. But just when I thought everything was fine and dandy on my shiny new Xubuntu 13.10 install, video tearing reared its ugly head again. Compositing and tear-free playback just don’t play nice, but Docky (yeah I don’t like the default XFCE panels) requires compositing for all its fancy effects! There is a workaround for this though, and it’s easier than you might think, at least on Intel chipsets. I’ve tested the following fix on an HP laptop running an i5-3210M (with the HD 4000) and 8 gigs of RAM, and used VLC for playback. Before we move any further, let’s get this out of the way – this fix isn’t guaranteed to work, and there’s always a small chance that you might end up breaking your install. If you’re fine with that, read on! Continue reading

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Overriding mouse/touchpad speed in Ubuntu

Laptop trackpads have sucked for a long while now, and will continue to do so in all probability along with the vast majority of laptop displays (atleast they used to be good a while back, remember 1680×1050? Yeah, I don’t either). I’ve been using the Ubuntu 13.04 development release and the slider under Mouse and Touchpad refuses to let me change the default speed of the trackpad, which is incredibly slow. If you’ve faced a similar problem and would like to increase or decrease the speed of your mouse pointer (either the touchpad or a mouse), here’s how you can. Continue reading

Solve video tearing on Intel + Ubuntu (Unity and GNOME Shell)

Video tearing has been the bane of Linux’s existence on desktops and laptops, but the situation is vastly better than what it was a year ago. This post is related to fixing issues with the Intel HD3000 and HD4000 (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge) series of graphics cards in Ubuntu. This is a clean fix that doesn’t involve any PPAs or experimental drivers, and has been tested on my HP Pavilion G4 running Ubuntu 12.04 on an Ivy Bridge i5. Continue reading

Installing CUDA 5 on Ubuntu 12.04

This is a follow up to my previous post which was aimed at CUDA 4.2 on Ubuntu 12.04. Although 12.10 is out, it’s not as stable as I would like it to be – I’d recommend sticking with Ubuntu 12.04 for development unless you have specific reasons to upgrade. With CUDA 5, Nvidia has greatly simplified the installation process for Linux, packaging the CUDA toolkit, the SDK and the development drivers all in a neat little package.

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Installing CUDA on Ubuntu 12.04

This post is now outdated. Please refer this link for an updated version.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to get started with GPGPU computing, you really can’t go wrong with nVidia’s CUDA. It is a parallel computing architecture that harnesses the power of GPUs in order to achieve significant speedups in problems that would have otherwise taken a significantly longer time while executing on the CPU. It is the most mature architecture for GPGPU computing, with a wide number of libraries based around it. This guide is going to cover the installation of the CUDA toolkit and SDK on Ubuntu, along with the necessary development drivers.

NOTE – For CUDA to work, you must have an nVidia GPU which is CUDA capable. If you have an ATI GPU, this guide is not for you. You can, however, look into OpenCL.

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Installing Ubuntu on VirtualBox

NOTE – It is recommended that you have atleast 4 GB of RAM on your machine to ensure that both the guest and host operating systems have sufficient memory for a seamless experience. This guide was written for VirtualBox v4.1.8 on a Windows 7 host.

If you’re one of those people who’ve always wanted to try out Linux, but put it off for fear of messing up your computer beyond repair, virtual machines are a great way to experience it without breaking your existing Windows installation. As a bonus, you can simply delete them when you’re done tinkering and they’ll go away. As simple as that! Read on to find out how you can get started with virtual machines today. Find out how!

Get GNOME Shell on ATI + Ubuntu 11.10

Ubuntu 11.10 (codenamed Oneiric Ocelot) was released a couple months back. Multiple reviews are available on the internet about how Unity (its default desktop environment) has been polished further among various other features, so I’m not going to go into depth on that here.

While a ton of people have complained about Unity, I’ve gotten used to it during the time that I’ve used Natty. However, I was drawn by Gnome Shell as well, and the fact that Ubuntu Oneiric has made it easier than ever to install it pushed me to try it out.

I’ve been using Gnome shell for about a week now, both in Fedora 15 as well as Ubuntu 11.10, and I’ve grown to like it just a little bit more than Unity, for whatever reason (IMHO, it just looks better, take the top panel for instance). Continue reading