At my work where we use X11 servers and in a lab environment, Google Chrome and Chromium Browser display as a grey panel when forwarded through SSH X11.

This is happening on Ubuntu 16.04 & 18.04 and LinuxMint 19.2 & 19.3. Basically I initiate an X11 session like any other:

ssh -X username@xserver##.domain.com 

And I see this bloody thing: Google Chrome Grey Panel

FYI: No other applications seem to do this. Firefox, LibreOffice, Etc work fine.

In the terminal that launches the application, the only clear errors are relating to Google policies and FontService. If anyone has any suggestions on how to resolve this grey panel issue please let me know. I'm willing to attach logs, though be aware that they may be a tad censored for privacy reasons.

  • Ahoy, all applications/software work fine. Only Google Chrome and Chromium Browser do this. It began with version 79.
    – Tmanok
    Feb 3, 2020 at 22:49

2 Answers 2


Ran into the same issue - looks like there's a bug in the chrome version we're running. The solution below worked for me.

Set the following env variables before running google-chrome from an SSH session:

$ export QT_X11_NO_MITSHM=1
$ export _X11_NO_MITSHM=1
$ export _MITSHM=0
$ google-chrome

Found this solution in a bug filed with the chromium team: https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=1048186


The temporary solution I came up with a couple weeks after encountering the issue is fairly simple, a launch flag that indicates a different rendering method.

When launching Google Chrome over X11, using the swift-shaders render bypasses the issue. Here is an example:

ssh -X username@xserver##.domain.com /path/chrome --use-gl=swiftshader

Here is a sample of my launcher:

ssh -Y -f -l username hostname /path/google-79.0/chrome --use-gl=swiftshader
  • works! But the UI reacts unusable slow.. idea what might be the reason? SSH connection has 50MBit..
    – TekTimmy
    Dec 16, 2021 at 8:15

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