I've been using OBS Studio under Ubuntu 20.10 (and older) for the last four years (but at a novice level only) with Intel integrated graphics CPU. Used the "official" Ubuntu repository for the original install and stayed current as practical. I upgraded to Ubuntu 21.04 earlier this week and discovered that the preview screen in OBS Studio is blank. The red rectangle border is limited to the OBS Studio app window and none of the other windows are available for selection. Similarly, the Screen Capture setting can be enabled but the corresponding preview window is blank. There is no recorded file (I've checked the output folder as set in app Preferences) when the Start Recording is enabled and subsequently stopped.

My cursory web search revealed similar reported anomalies going back several years. The workaround (inapplicable for my predicament - no NVidia hardware to disable, no Windows OS, only integrated graphics) made sense but naturally I cannot try these under Ubuntu.

I've uninstalled with --purge option and deleted the ./config/obs-studio folder for each of the following installation methods:

  • Ubuntu 21.04
  • snap
  • PPA (with back reference to Groovy since Hirsute couldn't fetch the OBS Studio package)

I remain unsuccessful in using OBS Studio in my accustomed manner with previous Ubuntu releases. The two issues that I have currently are:

  • blank preview screen
  • the window option no longer displays all available windows for selection, only the OBS Studio app window (and a "ghosted" Thunderbird window since it was closed prior to the launch of OBS Studio)

I understand that I have to disable Wayland and revert back to X11 (my "uneducated" guess) but I don't know where to begin. I have read about exporting environment variables but even after executing the command(s) to export the variables and launching OBS Studio, the Screen Capture setting still displays "WAYLAND" and not X11 as the prefix to the title of that selection.

Any guidance will be sincerely appreciated. Thanks.

Kind regards.

  • You login using a Wayland or Xorg session; so that choice is made at the greeter (DM which is gdm3 by default) and not via variables. Sorry I don't use GNOME much & don't use gdm3 so can't advice where it's located (the option doesn't show at first I believe.. but I can't be specific as to what is required for it to show, maybe entry of password but not enter but I'm only guessing) – guiverc May 7 at 3:47

An upgrade from 20.10 to 21.04 indeed automatically has you switch to Wayland. OBS Studio does not (yet) work in Wayland. To switch to X11, log out. Select your username so the password field appears. At that point, you will see a cog wheel in the bottom right of the login screen. It allows you to select "Ubuntu on Xorg". After that, enter your password to log in.

The session you select there remains in effect until you change it (or perhaps until a future upgrade).

  • many thanks for the detailed explanation (& to you too, guiverc). Having read about the Wayland/GNOME changes and understood little, now the subtlety is understandable since the impact was direct for me. Kind regards. – Matha Goram May 10 at 23:25

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