Nouveau is a driver for Nvidia graphics cards, created by
information gleaned from reverse-engineering. As such, the
driver is based on incomplete information or worse. Thus there
is a lot of problems with this driver - the newer the cards, the
more problem you'd probably get. If you can help it, the
recommended solution is to use the proprietary Nvidia graphics
If running proprietary driver is not an option, here are some
solutions that you can try, depending on the problem you
/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-nouveau.conf contains some
configuration workarounds for the nouveau driver. They are
commented by default (that is, they are all prefixed by the hash
(#) character), which means they are not active. To activate
them, you need to remove the hashes.
The configuration comes in blocks or sections. A section starts
with "Section" and ends with "EndSection". You must remove (to
activate) or add (to de-activate) hashes for a complete section,
not only to a part of them.
The file above contains multiple sections, one for each
workaround. Each workaround address a different problem. Please
ensure that you only activate one of them. If you
enable multiple sections, the result will be unpredictable.
The first workaround (the first section in the file) is to
address tearing - activate this section, restart X, then run compton, and see if there is any
The second workaround (the second section in the file) is to
address freeze, locks-up, or screen artifacts. Note that
enabling this section can actually cause artifacts to become
worse, so you need to give it a try.