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I am having problems with display. The terminal screen will randomly go black for a moment and sometimes different windows will go transparent or the view will become off like everything will be diagonal. These come and go. I've tried reinstalling ubuntu. Does anyone know what might be happening or where to start in diagnosing the problem?

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Its difficult to help without a lot of technical detail. The problem could well be transparency - which I have found does not work very well in some configurations. Generally transparency is controlled by xcompmgr, compton, compiz or kwin. I've not had much luck with these (long term) winth my nvidia system or my Intel graphics system. Killing the transparency driver means loosing transparent/translucent backgrounds but generally fixes the desktop. Under (xcompmgr at least, I suspect the others as well) you can re-enable xcompmgr to bring back the transparency and the windows will redraw correctly - at least for a while.

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