I installed 18.04 from 17.04 (passing briefly through 17.10, didn't test it and jumped to 18.04) and I am experiencing a high cpu usage on gnome-shell, it takes almost all available CPU time:

$ top

top - 06:23:01 up 40 min,  3 users,  load average: 3,30, 2,85, 2,09
Tareas: 249 total,   1 ejecutar,  195 hibernar,    0 detener,    0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 24,4 usuario,  3,8 sist,  0,0 adecuado, 71,4 inact,  0,2 en espera,  0,0 hardw int,  0,3 softw int,  0,0 robar tiempo
KiB Mem :  8059572 total,  3489680 libre,  2041520 usado,  2528372 búfer/caché
KiB Intercambio:  9868284 total,  9868284 libre,        0 usado.  5901376 dispon Mem 

PID USUARIO   PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     HORA+ ORDEN                                                                                                                                  
23946 lealore   20   0 4043344 454724  98808 S  89,1  5,6   5:37.02 gnome-shell                                                                                                                            
24598 root     -51   0       0      0      0 S  30,0  0,0   1:43.28 kidle_inject/2                                                                                                                         
24596 root     -51   0       0      0      0 S  29,8  0,0   1:43.73 kidle_inject/0                                                                                                                         
24597 root     -51   0       0      0      0 S  29,8  0,0   1:43.56 kidle_inject/1                                                                                                                         
24599 root     -51   0       0      0      0 S  29,4  0,0   1:43.16 kidle_inject/3                                                                                                                         
23769 root      20   0  936456 168344  69492 S   3,0  2,1   0:12.22 Xorg                                                                                                                                   
24154 lealore   20   0  657992  25260  19100 S   1,4  0,3   0:04.05 indicator-multi                                                                                                                        
23900 lealore   20   0   51196   5724   3932 S   0,7  0,1   0:02.29 dbus-daemon                                                                                                                            
24659 lealore   20   0  741896  41592  30524 S   0,4  0,5   0:01.01 gnome-terminal-                                                                                                                        
  265 root      19  -1  167208  56740  55524 S   0,2  0,7   0:02.97 systemd-journal                                                                                                                        

I first used nvidia drivers, then I switched to intel graphics, and still the same behavior. It only stops when switching to Unity shell, but for some reason in Unity I have no sound (!). I saw several reports here and on Reddit, but none provided a solution, not even a clue of what it might be happening. I have no other gnome-shell extension than those that comes with a default 18.04 install, if any.

$ inxi -F
System:    Host: lealore Kernel: 4.15.0-20-generic x86_64 bits: 64 Desktop: Gnome 3.28.1
           Distro: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
Machine:   Device: desktop Mobo: MSI model: H61M-P20 (G3) (MS-7788) v: 1.0 serial: N/A
           BIOS: American Megatrends v: V1.3 date: 01/04/2012
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i5-2310 (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
           clock speeds: max: 3200 MHz 1: 1596 MHz 2: 1596 MHz 3: 1596 MHz 4: 1596 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel 2nd Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
           Display Server: x11 (X.Org 1.19.6 ) drivers: vesa (unloaded: modesetting,fbdev)
           Resolution: 1920x1200@0.00hz
           OpenGL: renderer: llvmpipe (LLVM 6.0, 256 bits) version: 3.3 Mesa 18.0.0-rc5
Audio:     Card Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.15.0-20-generic
Network:   Card: Realtek RTL8101/2/6E PCI Express Fast/Gigabit Ethernet controller driver: r8169
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: 8c:89:a5:a1:ea:02
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 1820.4GB (65.9% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD5000AAKX size: 500.1GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD10EZEX size: 1000.2GB
           ID-3: /dev/sdc model: WDC_WD3200AAJS size: 320.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 23G used: 16G (70%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-2: /home size: 427G used: 217G (54%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5
           ID-3: swap-1 size: 10.11GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda6
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 94.0C mobo: 27.8C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 251 Uptime: 36 min Memory: 2268.7/7870.7MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.3.56 
  • 2
    If you are using GNOME extensions, try disabling them all and check. – pomsky May 15 '18 at 9:54
  • I am not using gnome extensions, not installed by me in any case, perhaps Ubuntu has some to emulate Unity? – Leandro May 15 '18 at 13:08
  • I'm seeing the same issue on my Elitebook 820 G3, gnome-shell regularly spikes the CPU -- currenly 201% in top. – retorquere May 15 '18 at 15:44
  • Same problem on Lenovo Thinkpad x240 .. 16.04 was much more responsive than 18.04. kill -9 seems to help by resetting it, but that's not a viable long-term solution. – Levon May 24 '18 at 10:27
  • Same on Dell XPS13 – Yurik May 25 '18 at 21:13

My problem has been solved by disabling clock seconds. Maybe it has problem with anything with fast refresh rate.

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds false
  • 1
    +1 for "fast refresh rate". Because it happens with system-monitor plugin too: bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-shell/+bug/1773959 – lashgar Oct 2 '18 at 19:38
  • This solved my problem. It was Byobu status bar (refreshed every 5 seconds). – lashgar Oct 2 '18 at 20:00
  • 4
    I think this correlates more with mouse movement for me... Still verifying. But to turn off the seconds: gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds false – fattire Oct 29 '18 at 18:26
  • @lashgar Byobu status refresh rate AFAIK is not related to gnome shell and its plugins (like system-monitor). Let us check by telling where did you change byobu status refresh rate. – Pablo A Jan 14 at 19:49

There appears to be a relevant issue in GNOME with fixes pending. I'm seeing moderately high (30-40%) CPU usage even just moving the mouse around, and these optimizations will supposedly address that:

Unfortunately, as GNOME 3.30.2 is already released, these fixes likely won't make it until 3.32 is released around next March. Given the impact of this issue, I hope the maintainers will consider another hotfix release of the 3.30 series! (@Daniel van Vugt)

Additional references:


What helped me was running ubuntu-drivers autoinstall - seems it may have been the problem with nvidia drivers in my case.

  • 7
    This happens in a VM too. No nvidia there. – Moilleadóir Jun 9 '18 at 13:21
  • If you have a video port on the motherboard plug try plugging into that temporarily (and rebooting) so you can complete this command; then switch back to the nvidia card when complete. – John Mee Feb 28 at 23:12
  • thanks, your answer did it for me! amd ryzen and rtx2080 with the mouse lag. – Magus Aug 14 at 23:04

While animations are nice and eye-catchy, after awhile they might be annoying. To disable animations first install Gnome Tweaks:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Then launch tool either from command line by running


or by using dash and searching for Tweak.

gnome-tweaks was previously known as gnome-tweak-tool. Try that if you are using an older version than 18.04.

On the first tab Appearance there is a toggle switch Animations.


That's it!

Source: How to disable animations in Ubuntu 17.10 or 18.04?

  • 5
    Did not change gnome-shell cpu usage on my system. – lashgar Oct 2 '18 at 19:40
  • With gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-seconds false, I got a message: ``` GLib-GIO-Message: 17:22:50.456: Using the 'memory' GSettings backend. Your settings will not be saved or shared with other applications. ``` But with gnome-tweaks, under Top Bar, I turned off showing seconds. This helped reduce the high CPU usage of gnome-shell on my 18.04 system. – Nicolas Rouquette Jul 4 at 0:31

For what it's worth I was seeing sluggish behavior after running an application like pyCharm then closing it. In my case closing pyCharm then clicking the power button looking icon in Gnome3 in the upper right hand corner took about seven seconds for the dialog box to come up.

I ended up pressing Alt+F2 then once the command box showed typing r then pressing enter. This restarted gnome and everything was snappy after that. I'm still a bit of a linux newb so I'm mainly posting this here in case it helps someone else.

  • I forget this. It's not a solution but it help me. Thanks! – gorlok Oct 3 '18 at 14:35

Running Ubuntu 18.04.1 in VirtualBox 6.0.2 on a Windows 10 Pro 1809 host, gnome-shell CPU usage was vastly improved (especially at rest) by selecting the "VMSVGA" controller in settings. GNOME Shell 3.28.3


Just my personal experience, not sure if related: After install ibus-pinyin (IM), the problem is gone

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