CodyLoco's Random Rants… A little bit of everything…

11Sep/091

OpenOffice screen lag and artifacts on Ubuntu with Compiz and nVidia drivers fix

OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress

OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress

Since using Ubuntu I obviously no longer use MS Office (although I could, as Office can be emulated in Wine) since OpenOffice can do pretty much everything I need so far.  However, I was having a bit of an annoying problem where the screen seemed to be getting artifacts and text dissapearing and reappearing when scrolling around in Writer (OO's Word) and editing / updating cells in Calc (OO's Excel) was either slow or didn't appear on screen at all.  A quick search on Google came up with this thread on the Ubuntu forums site, pointing to this blog post, in which others have had the problems before, and offered a fix.

The problem is apparently caused by an incompatibility between compiz and the nvidia proprietary drivers, which causes the screen to come out of sync and not get redrawn correctly.  This will obviously only affect people with nVidia-based cards running their drivers.  Luckily, as with most things Linux, there is at least a workaround available, and this one is very easy to fix:

If you don't have it already, install the compizconfig-settings-manager package, which you want to have anyways if you use Compiz desktop effects, either through the package manager or through the terminal:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then open up System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager and navigate to the Utilities section in the screen that pops up.  Click on Workarounds plugin, and enable the “force syncronization between X and GLX” checkbox.  Close the window and your problems will be fixed immediately!