Trying Out Ubuntu GNOME 16.10, Wayland Session Not So Great
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 13 October 2016 at 12:04 PM EDT. 22 Comments
With today's Ubuntu 16.10 release one of the exciting spins we've been looking forward to is Ubuntu GNOME 16.10, which has an experimental Wayland session available but is not the default. I spent a few minutes trying out Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 this morning.

Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 ships with gnome-session-wayland installed by default so you can easily log-in to the Wayland-based session from the login manager, but it's not used by default -- Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 still defaults to the X.Org Server session.

Of Phoronix readers, there's been a few reports of not being able to login to the GNOME Wayland session. On a clean install of Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 with an Intel Skylake system, I ran into no problems logging into the session, seems users are having a problem with LightDM/SSDM.

While I was able to start the GNOME Wayland session, right away I realized my mouse cursor wasn't working... Keyboard input was working fine, but no cursor. Strange as I've used this same exact Intel Skylake desktop on Fedora with Wayland and other Wayland test scenarios before, even with the Mir Unity 8 experimental testing too.

I can navigate to benchmarking via the Phoronix Test Suite with just the keyboard, but unfortunately, none of the graphics tests would run. They wouldn't work either over XWayland or for the SDL2 tests when setting SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland. So I wasn't able to run any GNOME Wayland vs. X.Org benchmarks on Ubuntu GNOME 16.10. So long story short, the Wayland session on Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 isn't as well-baked as what can be found on the upcoming Fedora 25 where it's using Wayland by default or even with the current Fedora 24 release when opting to use the GNOME Wayland session.

But outside of the Wayland session, the GNOME 3.20~3.22 stack on Ubuntu GNOME 16.10 has been working out fairly well:

Those wishing to try out the latest Ubuntu GNOME spin can download it from or specifically here.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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