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

  • Out of curiosity - which applications? Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 12:38
  • 6
    Shutter 1, for example.
    – orschiro
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 15:57
  • 3
    I can add x11vnc to the list Commented Nov 23, 2017 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. Commented Feb 23, 2018 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
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 7:57

4 Answers 4


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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  • 7
    I don't even see that option on my machine. I just see Ubuntu on Xorg and Unity.
    – khatchad
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 20:53
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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
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 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
    Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 5:32
  • @pomsky I tried all the options in that other answer you linked, and none of them worked, I still can't use gparted. I found this answer from a link from that one, as I continued my search because that "answer" didn't solve the problem. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 18:37
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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
    Commented Mar 6, 2018 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
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 9:15
  • @MichaelKupietz what display manager are you using? ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1831388
    – Sam Thomas
    Commented Jan 16, 2018 at 20:22
  • Works like a charm. Finally making hangouts usable. On the Debian test release the file is: /etc/gdm3/daemon.conf
    – Esamo
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 14:03
  • Any way to change the default without disabling? (but still be able to pick it from the login screen cog) Commented Feb 9, 2022 at 8:23
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    @CiroSantilliПутлерКапут六四事 I don't think so. Its just that it hard defaults to wayland when possible
    – Sam Thomas
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 18:11

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

  • 4
    One could also simply edit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf & uncomment #WaylandEnable=false It will not be overwritten without user consent if at all
    – doug
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 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
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 7:07

May be running app like this can help? Can someone try it? Because I don't know whether that will be helpful to others.

For example you need to run app called Putty from Wayland but it doesn't work because of font called "server:fixed" doesn't exist in Wayland, or may be it doesn't available for some reason. So you can change shortcut or run it from shell this way:

env GDK_BACKEND=x11 putty

Replace putty with something that you need. You need to set varibale exactly with env env GDK_BACKEND=x11, without env it will not work (for Putty at leased)

Found here:

Original: https://askubuntu.com/a/1402103/1586450

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