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I'm not sure I can accurately describe what's happening to my screen here, but here is a screenshot:

what are these borders?

Essentially, what is happening is that when I move my cursor to the edge of the screen, the main screen with windows moves in the opposite direction and reveals the GNOME carpet texture. The location of which the GNOME carpet texture appears seems to be arbitrary (sometimes it is on the left, sometimes it is on the right) though the location only changes through reboots. Occasionally, the GNOME carpet is replaced by a solid white.

I've tried to search Google for this issue but I could not find any search query that can shed some light on this problem (I tried: "debian desktop borders", "debian cursor edge desktop borders" and "gnome texture at desktop border").

I'm using an ASUS NVIDIA GT 710 (2GB) with NVIDIA's proprietary drivers. The screen I am directing output to has an underscan of 48px. Desktop manager is lightdm.

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Some research later, I have come to the conclusion that it is the X display configuration trying to output to my monitor at 1920*1080 instead of the underscanned 1828*1028. This was causing the display to appear to the system as still being 1920*1080, even though the content was fitted to the 1828*1028 display, causing the cursor-at-the-edge-reveals-carpet effect. In essence, the "screen surface" was larger than the "screen size".

To rectify this issue, I set the X display's dimensions to the correct underscanned dimensions of 1828*1028 through the xrandr command:

# xrandr -s 1828x1028

I am yet to figure out how to make this change persist through lightdm restarts. Will update answer when I figure it out.

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