Try Wayland on Ubuntu 17.10 Live USB

My current laptop is a Dell XPS 15 with a 3200x1800 screen.
While I’m at work I use two external 1920x1800 screens.

I’ve tried many Linux distributions, but none of them has a good support for multiple displays with different pixel densities.
So I have no choice Windows here I come.

After the news “Wayland Confirmed as Default for Ubuntu 17.10“ I was excited: one of the features of Gnome3 over Wayland is the support for my “not usual” configuration

I’ve downloaded the latest ISO and created a Live USB and… Reboot

Strangely there was no scaling at all, the density of the main screen was copied to all the others.

Even worst I was not able to configure correctly my external monitors (on the left and one in portrait mode).

I fast search and with the command:


I’ve found out I was still using X11.

In my opinion not the best choice to force me to install the full operating system to test one feature; especially now I can’t afford to format and reconfigure the entire machine.


Here is how I’ve tried Wayland on Ubuntu 17.10 Live USB without the need of installing.

Warning: I can’t assure this will actually work on your machine.

Step 1: Exit from the X11 Environment

You need to log out from the current session and go back to the login screen.

Once here press CTRL + ALT + F6 to open a terminal that is not emulated in the windows manager.

Here log in with the user ubuntu, which is a default user with administrator privileges.

Step 2: Stop GDM3

GDM3 is the GNOME Display Manager and is the responsible to orchestrate the display server and the desktop environment.

To stop it run:

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm3 stop

Step 3: Change GDM3 configurations

Configure GDM3 to use Wayland by editing the configuration file /etc/gdm3/custom.conf

Change the line

# Uncoment the line below to force the login screen to use Xorg

as follow

# Uncoment the line below to force the login screen to use Xorg

Also disable the automatic login feature.

Changing the line


as follow


Step 4: Restart GDM3

To start GDM3 again it run

sudo /etc/init.d/gdm3 start

Step 5: Go Back to the Graphical Environment

To go back to the graphical environment and try Wayland press CTRL + ALT + F1

At this point simply log in and have fun.

Carlo Bernashina