Some of my applications don't work on Ubuntu 17.10 Wayland. How can I switch back to Xorg?

  • Out of curiosity - which applications? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Oct 28 '17 at 12:38
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    Shutter 1, for example. – orschiro Oct 28 '17 at 15:57
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    I can add x11vnc to the list – Gabriel Glenn Nov 23 '17 at 9:09
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    gparted does not work anymore, either, and according to this answer ( askubuntu.com/questions/961967/… ) Wayland is to blame. I found this page looking for a solution, as a system on which I can't modify partitions is pretty f'ing useless. – Matthew Najmon Feb 23 '18 at 18:35
  • I can add configuring "Devices > Display Arrangement" to the list. It does not work properly in Wayland. Every time I wake my laptop I have to configure which external monitor should be on the left and which on the right - it just doesn't remember. – Marecky Mar 6 '18 at 7:57

When you boot your system and get to the GDM login screen you should find a cogwheel (⚙️) next to the sign in button. If you click on the cogwheel you should find an Ubuntu on Xorg option which will start an Xorg session instead of a Wayland session.

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    I don't even see that option on my machine. I just see Ubuntu on Xorg and Unity. – Raffi Khatchadourian Nov 6 '17 at 20:53
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    This cogwheel doesn't appear for me! What am I doing wrong? – Aloso Dec 17 '17 at 21:09
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    Wayland IS compatible with my system. I am using Wayland, but I want to switch to Xorg, because gparted doesn't work with Wayland – Aloso Dec 17 '17 at 22:36
  • @Aloso Hmm... not sure what's happening, but you might want to see this in order to make GParted work in a Wayland session. – pomsky Dec 18 '17 at 5:32
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    @Marecky It should remember your choice for the next time. So no need to use the cogwheel every single time. – pomsky Mar 6 '18 at 8:05

If you wish to do it permanently, edit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf and uncomment the line:


by removing the # in front of it.

Save the file and then on reboot you will never see the cog asking for which session to use.

EDIT: Apparently @doug beat me to this answer. I didn't see it earlier - It was in a comment that was hidden initially.

  • Sorry, Ubuntu newb here - I don't have an /etc/gdm3 directory. Anywhere else it could be? – John Smith Jan 16 '18 at 9:15
  • @MichaelKupietz what display manager are you using? ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1831388 – Sam Thomas Jan 16 '18 at 20:22
  • Works like a charm. Finally making hangouts usable. On the Debian test release the file is: /etc/gdm3/daemon.conf – Esamo Jul 31 '18 at 14:03

You may want to remove wayland session to prevent accidental logins.


Your package maintainers will be proud of you if you do it as follows:

sudo mkdir /usr/share/wayland-sessions/hidden
sudo dpkg-divert --rename \
      --divert /usr/share/wayland-sessions/hidden/ubuntu.desktop \
      --add /usr/share/wayland-sessions/ubuntu.desktop

What this does is to instruct the package manager to remember a new location for the file. This has several advantages over the other answers:

  • It guarantees a future package install/upgrade won't revert your change
  • It works with other display managers (lxdm for example lists .backup entries)
  • You can revert it easily if you change your mind with:

    sudo dpkg-divert --rename --remove /usr/share/wayland-sessions/ubuntu.desktop


Source: https://askubuntu.com/a/500813/602695

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    One could also simply edit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf & uncomment #WaylandEnable=false It will not be overwritten without user consent if at all – doug Oct 21 '17 at 19:24
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    @doug Your answer will only work with gdm3 though, one may be using LightDM -as I do-, My answer will work for both LightDM and gdm3. – Artyom Oct 23 '17 at 7:07

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