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Thread: Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    13

    Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

    Hi Friendly Ubuntu Users!

    This problem has been dogging me for about 10 months now. The problem comes and goes but lately it has been worse so it is time to post and seek help.

    I have an Acer Switch 5 which is a touch screen laptop. The screen has been flickering on me. Sometimes to the point that the computer is unusable. But normally it is tolerable.

    I have tried mostly used Ubuntu 19.04 and more recently 19.10 but I have also tried Linux Mint (most recent) and the same thing happens. This is a video I took showing what it is like with Linux Mint but it is the same with Ubuntu. Mint is based on Ubuntu, so this is not surprising.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/rCw2bBV9S3EALCxR8

    It is not always this bad.

    I don't know a lot about the hardware, but this is what lspci shows:

    Code:
    lspci
    00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v6/7th Gen Core Processor Host Bridge/DRAM Registers (rev 02)
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 620 (rev 02)
    00:04.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v5/E3-1500 v5/6th Gen Core Processor Thermal Subsystem (rev 02)
    00:05.0 Multimedia controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v5/E3-1500 v5/6th Gen Core Processor Imaging Unit (rev 01)
    00:13.0 Non-VGA unclassified device: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Integrated Sensor Hub (rev 21)
    00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP USB 3.0 xHCI Controller (rev 21)
    00:14.2 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Thermal subsystem (rev 21)
    00:14.3 Multimedia controller: Intel Corporation Device 9d32 (rev 01)
    00:15.0 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Serial IO I2C Controller #0 (rev 21)
    00:15.1 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Serial IO I2C Controller #1 (rev 21)
    00:15.2 Signal processing controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP Serial IO I2C Controller #2 (rev 21)
    00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP CSME HECI #1 (rev 21)
    00:17.0 RAID bus controller: Intel Corporation 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode] (rev 21)
    00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PCI Express Root Port #7 (rev f1)
    00:1d.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PCI Express Root Port #9 (rev f1)
    00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Intel(R) 100 Series Chipset Family LPC Controller/eSPI Controller - 9D4E (rev 21)
    00:1f.2 Memory controller: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP PMC (rev 21)
    00:1f.3 Audio device: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio (rev 21)
    00:1f.4 SMBus: Intel Corporation Sunrise Point-LP SMBus (rev 21)
    01:00.0 Non-Volatile memory controller: Intel Corporation Device f1a5 (rev 03)
    02:00.0 Network controller: Intel Corporation Wireless 7265 (rev 59)
    I suspect I have a driver issue. The Additional Drivers tab in Software and Updates does not show a proprietary driver available.

    I have no idea if I had the issues with stock Windows because I went straight to a dedicated Ubuntu install.

    It only affects the built in touch screen. The external monitor is fine via the USB C port.

    Looking for any tips on things I can try.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by DarrenO; 1 Week Ago at 04:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    13

    Re: Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

    Code:
    inxi -F
    System:    Host: darreno Kernel: 5.3.0-19-generic x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: Gnome 3.34.1 Distro: Ubuntu 19.10 (Eoan Ermine) 
    Machine:   Type: Tablet System: Acer product: Switch SW512-52 v: V1.09 serial: <root required> 
               Mobo: KBL model: Guam_KL v: V1.09 serial: <root required> UEFI: Insyde v: 1.09 date: 12/21/2018 
    Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 36.8 Wh condition: 36.8/39.0 Wh (94%) 
    CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5-7200U bits: 64 type: MT MCP L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
               Speed: 800 MHz min/max: 400/3100 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 800 2: 800 3: 800 4: 801 
    Graphics:  Device-1: Intel HD Graphics 620 driver: i915 v: kernel 
               Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.5 driver: i915 resolution: 2160x1440~60Hz, 1920x1080~60Hz 
               OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel HD Graphics 620 (Kaby Lake GT2) v: 4.5 Mesa 19.2.1 
    Audio:     Device-1: Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5/E3-1500 v5/6th Gen Core Processor Imaging Unit driver: ipu3-imgu 
               Device-2: Intel driver: ipu3-cio2 
               Device-3: Intel Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio driver: snd_hda_intel 
               Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.3.0-19-generic 
    Network:   Device-1: Intel Wireless 7265 driver: iwlwifi 
               IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: 7c:2a:31:02:80:0f 
               Device-2: Realtek RTL8153 Gigabit Ethernet Adapter type: USB driver: r8152 
               IF: enx00e04c003a00 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 00:e0:4c:00:3a:00 
    Drives:    Local Storage: total: 238.47 GiB used: 12.12 GiB (5.1%) 
               ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Intel model: SSDPEKKW256G7 size: 238.47 GiB 
    RAID:      Hardware-1: Intel 82801 Mobile SATA Controller [RAID mode] driver: ahci 
    Partition: ID-1: / size: 233.24 GiB used: 12.12 GiB (5.2%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2 
    Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 32.0 C mobo: N/A 
               Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
    Info:      Processes: 282 Uptime: 4m Memory: 7.54 GiB used: 2.27 GiB (30.1%) Shell: bash inxi: 3.0.36

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    13

    Re: Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

    Whoa. 2 views in a week. Tough crowd

    I am trying to figure out if this is a hardware or a software issue. If it is hardware, I am under warranty for another month and I can try to get Acer to look at it. I would rather not have to install Windows to confirm that it is a hardware issue, but that is the only way I can think of doing it.

    My flickering issue is very random. It will be totally fine one day then the next day flickering away. I tried installing Debian with Gnome, Ubuntu (my prefered OS), and Mint but they all exhibit the same behaviour.

    I wondered if it is related to my wifi adapter and some interference issue. Currently using the computer with Wifi disabled to see if that helps. I guess this would be a hardware issue if it works.

    I can't figure out this screen for Wifi. Is it using a proprietary driver or not? It says my wifi is not working, but if I "turn it on" it works fine (this screen does not change).
    Edit: images not displaying.
    Under software and updates in the menu it says:
    Intel Corporation Wireless 7265 (Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265)
    This device is not working.
    {unchecked and greyed out} Using iwlwifi driver backport in DKMS format from backport-iwlwifi-dkms (open-source)
    {unchecked} Continue using a manually installed driver
    {checked and greyed out} Do not use this device

    Then underneath it says "No proprietary drivers are in use".

    This wifi stuff is a long shot, but no flickers on the display so far.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by DarrenO; 2 Days Ago at 03:05 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Reykjavík, Ísland
    Beans
    13,150
    Distro
    Xubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine

    Re: Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

    Maybe besides the point: Number of views is always equal to number of posts in the thread. An old bug.
    I don't think it helps with your main problem but I at least I'm now raising your number of views by one.
    Bringing old hardware back to life. About problems due to upgrading.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts.
    Don't use this space for a list of your hardware. It only creates false hits in the search engines.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Sunny Southend-on-Sea
    Beans
    6,913
    Distro
    Kubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver

    Re: Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenO View Post
    The Additional Drivers tab in Software and Updates does not show a proprietary driver available.
    The Intel graphics drivers are all open source. As far as I'm aware Intel's network drivers are all open source, too.

    I've not experienced the issue you're having: the touchscreen I have just worked out of the box.

    A mechanism that might cause the issue you're having might be that the refresh rate for the display is unexpected - perhaps to save power - and that's causing the graphics stack to get confused about when the screen blanks should happen. That's largely guesswork, though, and I don't know how one would fix it other than BIOS updates and looking into how Intel / Mesa are handling refresh rates. There have been changes there, with variable refresh rates and so on, but I don't know the details because it's not something I've had to deal with.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Beans
    13

    Re: Screen flickering - Acer Switch 5

    @mörgæs. Thanks for helping me feel less alone in the Linux wilderness.

    @CatKiller. Interesting points. I have night light turned on. Wonder if that might have something to do with it, or perhaps automatic brightness adjustments. I'll disable both and see what happens. Maybe I can disable power saving modes. I'll have a look.

    This problem is completely random and I can go a day without any issues, but then it is back the next day.

    I'll keep probing.

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