Wayland is the default display server for Ubuntu 17.10 "on supported systems". But how can I tell if my platform is supported and I'm actually using Wayland?


Open the terminal and type in:

  • This would be the best answer in my opinion, as it doesn't require installing or running another programme. – Tuhin Feb 25 at 20:49
  • Exactly! This is definitely the answer. – yanike Mar 3 at 21:31

You could install mesa-utils-extra and run es2gears_wayland If the app runs, you are running Wayland.

For a fun way to check whether a specific app is using Wayland or XWayland, run xeyes. The eyes will move if the cursor is over an X or XWayland window.

Or run this in a terminal:

env | grep -i wayland

If there is no output, you are not running Wayland.

  • 1
    i sadly can't install xeyes on 18.04 :( – Fuseteam Feb 21 '20 at 11:10

Use that command in the Ubuntu terminal:


Look at the value returned. If on wayland it will return


ubuntu-wayland  #  Ubuntu 20.10  
  • 1
    cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager – jones0610 Jun 28 '17 at 1:45
  • 9
    This answer is not correct for Ubuntu 17.10. – Jeremy Bicha Oct 24 '17 at 21:18
  • 4
    It now says "ubunu-xorg" for xorg and just "ubuntu" for wayland. – krumpelstiltskin Feb 19 '18 at 12:12
  • 4
    @krumpelstiltskin: Running Xorg, getting 'ubuntu' here. – emk2203 Feb 22 '18 at 12:44
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    I got gnome and am running Wayland – code_monk Sep 20 '19 at 21:39

I don't know if this answer generalizes, but I found that running xrandr will show different monitor names if running wayland vs. not:

xrandr --listmonitors
# On Ubuntu: 0: +*eDP-1 4384/344x2466/193+3840+0  eDP-1

# On Ubuntu-wayland: 0: +XWAYLAND0 1920/340x1080/190+0+0  XWAYLAND0

If you execute echo $WAYLAND_DISPLAY, a text (like wayland-0) will be printed only under Wayland.

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