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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    To me it looks like Wayland is a big pile of crap. I don't understand why anyone would want to make it the default. – wojci Feb 17 '18 at 21:17
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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

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

#WaylandEnable=false by removing the # in front.

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


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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    @pomsky It was not correct, fixed it now. – Artyom Oct 19 '17 at 15:23
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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

I spent the whole day to fix Mouse pointer invisible problem between Single mouse and keyboard sharing app called Synergy 1.8.8 , I have 2 computers on both had installed ubuntu 18.04 and 18.10, so once I switch from Wayland to xorg now its working perfectly.

Sorry! for the contextless answer but hope it will help someone who is facing the problem.

So to switch back and forth either we can change /etc/gdm3/custom.conf and uncomment the line

WaylandEnable=false by removing the # in front.

or from login window as above described by other friends.

Thank you.

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