Seeking some advice after two years of using Linux (GUI trouble)


Please bear with me. While I try to keep this short and simple, it will be a lot of text in order to provide as much information as possible. My hope is to get my system properly running once and for all.

Here is an fpaste link: fpaste output

My current hardware:

  • Monitors: 2x Philips 328P6VUBREB/00 32" 4K (connected using DP)
  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix X570-F
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
  • Cooler: NZXT Kraken X63
  • RAM: 4x 8GB G.Skill Trident Z DDR4 3600Mhz
  • Storage: 2x Corsair Force Series MP600 1TB (RAID 0 configuration)
  • GPU 1: XFX Radeon RX 6800 XT Speedster MERC 319
  • GPU 2: ASUS GeForce RTX 2070 DUAL EVO V2 (intended for VM)
  • Soundcard 1: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (internal, onboard disabled)
  • Soundcard 2: PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 (external)
  • Network card: ASUS XG-C100C (onboard disabled)

No overclocking other than turning on XMP to get proper RAM clock speed.

Currently running Fedora 35 with KDE.

I’m not primarily a gamer, and thus my main focus isn’t running games on this computer.

What I have been dealing with:

I started using Linux two years ago after spending around one month in Windows 10 (when Windows 7 went EOL.) My distribution choice landed on Fedora due to it having some of the latest and greatest, but rolling out updates after some stability testing.

At the time I had an nVidia RTX 2070 and my GUI user experience was poor. I spent countless hours trying other desktop enviroments and trying out various tweaks. The main issues were screen tearing and general choppy motion. Fast forward a year and I bought a AMD RX 6800 XT and the user experience was a night and day difference.

Up until this point, I have always had a single monitor setup. While buying the AMD card, I splurged and bought two monitors. Not only that, they were even 4K.

While the AMD card solved the screen tearing and such, new issues came. Now the GUI scaling were all over the place. I have spent even more time experimenting with various desktop enviroments and settings. No matter what I seem to try, some applications end up being super tiny or too big.

My best success so far has been KDE (which is also my preferred desktop enviroment). Everything is retained in the proper scale, but some applications are not upscaled properly. They are noticably pixelated or blurry.

Another problem I have had for many months now is that my system seem to have developed dementia. I noticed around christmas that I gradually got less updates and reached a point where I got no updates. At that time I were running Fedora 33, while the current version was 35. A bit strange the system didn’t prompt me in some way to upgrade when a major version came out. Regardless, I did the upgrade in two stages rather than jumping directly.

After performing the system upgrade the desktop enviroment doesn’t retain settings, especially the monitor setup. Every time the monitors power down or I reboot, primary and secondary switch place. Icon size and location also change with this. If I have any windows up, they also get resized to the tiniest size possible. Sometimes the primary (secondary after waking up) has a super low resolution and doesn’t allow me to move the pointer to the other monitor.

As mentioned, I just want to get my system properly working now. A full reinstall would be best at this point. Should I change to an even more bleeding edge distribution? Scrap the 4K dual monitor setup and get a single 1080p monitor again? Any suggestions are welcome if it can solve my system/desktop problems.

First off, you could have used the force composition pipeline in your old nvidia server settings.

Second, fedora is meant to be upgraded as soon as new versions come out (every 6 months). You have a leeway of about a few months if you are behind, meaning about 2 fedora versions behind (Fedora 34 since we are at Fedora 36 now). Afterwards, it gets an end of life tag and you wont get updates anymore - you actually lose the ability to update.

Pardon my very late reply to this topic. The past week got a lot more busy than I anticipated!

As far as I recall, I did try that setting when I used the nVidia card. The end result still wasn’t satisfactory in my case.

Perhaps many of my current problems is the result of being behind on the system upgrade. I have a habit of running dnf upgrade at least once a week to have packages up to date. The system upgrade part slipped my mind, as I expected to be prompted if a major version were available.

I suppose the best route would be to just do a clean install and see how everything behaves after that. Still a bit uncertain if I might have some hardware incompatibility.

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