I upgraded from 17.04 to 17.10 on my XPS13 9360 and have, as others, tons of issues. This one now is that the process


has a way to high CPU usage of constantly between 20 and 30%:

PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND                                                                                                     
2026 xxxxxx   20   0 4264020 703284 315308 S  29,6  4,3   9:32.37 gnome-shell                                                                                                 

The used version is

$ gnome-shell --version
GNOME Shell 3.26.1

This happens directly after booting the system with nothing open except a terminal running htop (beside some startup apps such as Dropbox) but clearly no heavy graphics programs. I don't know where to start, here are some information about my graphics card

$ lspci | grep VGA
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation HD Graphics 620 (rev 02)

$ glxinfo | grep -i render
direct rendering: Yes
    GLX_MESA_multithread_makecurrent, GLX_MESA_query_renderer, 
    GLX_MESA_multithread_makecurrent, GLX_MESA_query_renderer, 
Extended renderer info (GLX_MESA_query_renderer):
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) HD Graphics 620 (Kaby Lake GT2) 
    GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted, GL_ARB_conservative_depth, 
    GL_NV_conditional_render, GL_NV_depth_clamp, GL_NV_packed_depth_stencil, 
    GL_ARB_conditional_render_inverted, GL_ARB_conservative_depth, 
    GL_MESA_window_pos, GL_NV_blend_square, GL_NV_conditional_render, 
    GL_OES_element_index_uint, GL_OES_fbo_render_mipmap, 

Please let me know what else I should post in order to trace this issues -- many thanks!

  • If your video card is relatively under powered gnome-shell uses llvm-pipe to use your cpu for 3d effects. You can try an alternate DE or google search to see if there is a solution for your graphics card or work around (you did not tell us much about your system or want is using your cpu).
    – Panther
    Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:06
  • Please post the output of glxinfo | grep -i render Commented Nov 2, 2017 at 15:52
  • 1
    @bb94, for me it turned out that the gnome-shell process went down to below 10% when turning off the system monitor extensions.gnome.org/extension/120/system-monitor. Writing this as an answer now.
    – Christian
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 9:28
  • 2
    @ChristianStump That would be great if I didn't already have it off.
    – bb94
    Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 17:09
  • 1
    @bb94, I'm having the same issue with 20-30% gnome-shell CPU usage (with only terminal open), and I don't have any gnome extensions running.
    – user36196
    Commented Nov 11, 2017 at 0:17

2 Answers 2


It turned out that the gnome-shell process went down to below 10% when turning off the system monitor extension https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/120/system-monitor/.

It also stays below 10% when increasing the refresh time to 1sec, while it went up again as soon as I moved it below 1sec.

  • TopIcons Plus was causing this for me on Fedora 30. Commented May 8, 2019 at 20:06

I have come across the same gnome-shell cpu hog issue and it was kmailservice5 that fires up the cpu when you don't have Thunderbird. Whenever I click on a mailto link, the cpu goes crazy and so does gnome-shell and kmailservice5 does nothing. It's a reported KDE bug and has been fixed since but for other Ubuntu LTS like 16.10, the fix is to uninstall kmailservice5.

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