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How To Fix Screen Sharing Issues on Ubuntu 20.04 After Changing Display Manager

Ubuntu 7

Screen sharing is a critical feature for many users, especially in the current era of remote work and online collaboration. However, users of Ubuntu 20.04 might encounter issues with screen sharing after changing the display manager. This article will guide you on how to resolve these issues.

Quick Answer

To fix screen sharing issues on Ubuntu 20.04 after changing the display manager, you need to disable Wayland and switch to the Xorg display server. This can be done by editing the gdm3 configuration file, disabling Wayland, reconfiguring gdm3, and restarting your system. After following these steps, you should be able to share your entire screen during video calls or presentations.

Understanding the Problem

Ubuntu 20.04 uses gdm3 as the default display manager, and Wayland as the default display server. However, Wayland currently has limitations when it comes to screen sharing. When you attempt to share your screen during video calls or presentations, you might only be able to share individual windows instead of the entire screen. This is a known issue with Wayland.

The Solution: Disabling Wayland

The solution to this problem is to disable Wayland and fall back to the Xorg display server, which doesn’t have this limitation. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Editing the gdm3 Configuration File

Open your terminal and run the following command:

sudo nano /etc/gdm3/custom.conf

This command uses sudo to run the nano text editor with root privileges, allowing you to edit the gdm3 configuration file located at /etc/gdm3/custom.conf.

Step 2: Disabling Wayland

In the nano text editor, look for the line that says #WaylandEnable=false. This line is a comment (as indicated by the ‘#’ symbol at the beginning), so it doesn’t currently affect anything.

To disable Wayland, you need to uncomment this line by removing the ‘#’ symbol at the beginning. The line should now read:

WaylandEnable=false

Then, save the file and exit nano. In nano, you can do this by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y to confirm that you want to save the changes, and finally Enter to confirm the file name.

Step 3: Reconfiguring gdm3

After saving the changes, you need to reconfigure gdm3 for the changes to take effect. To do this, run the following command in the terminal:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

This command reconfigures the gdm3 display manager, applying the changes you made to the configuration file.

Step 4: Restarting Your System

Finally, restart your system for the changes to take effect. You can do this by clicking on the power icon in the top-right corner of the screen and choosing Restart, or by running the following command in the terminal:

sudo reboot

Conclusion

After following these steps, you should be able to share your entire screen during video calls or presentations. However, keep in mind that disabling Wayland and using Xorg instead might have some impact on the overall performance or features of your system. Therefore, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences.

If you encounter any issues or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask for help on the Ubuntu Forums or Ask Ubuntu.

What is a display manager?

A display manager is a program that manages graphical user logins and starts the desktop environment after a user logs in. It provides a graphical interface for users to log in and select their desktop environment or window manager.

How do I know if I’m using Wayland or Xorg?

You can check which display server you are currently using by running the command echo $XDG_SESSION_TYPE in the terminal. If the output is wayland, then you are using Wayland. If the output is x11, then you are using Xorg.

What limitations does Wayland have when it comes to screen sharing?

Wayland currently has limitations when it comes to screen sharing. When using Wayland, you might only be able to share individual windows instead of the entire screen during video calls or presentations.

Are there any disadvantages to disabling Wayland and using Xorg instead?

Disabling Wayland and using Xorg instead might have some impact on the overall performance or features of your system. It’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences before making this change.

Can I revert the changes and enable Wayland again?

Yes, you can revert the changes and enable Wayland again by editing the gdm3 configuration file and uncommenting the line #WaylandEnable=false by adding the ‘#’ symbol back at the beginning. Then, reconfigure gdm3 and restart your system for the changes to take effect.

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