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Arch Linux Wayland Gnome with NVIDIA

·2 mins
Matt Moore
Matt Moore
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I had some difficulty setting up Wayland under gnome on my Alienware x17 R2. For reference, here’s my configuration:

Alienware x17 R2
OS: Arch Linux x86_64 
Host: Alienware x17 R2 1.15.1 
Kernel: 6.7.1-arch1-1 
Uptime: 44 mins 
Packages: 1175 (pacman) 
Shell: zsh 5.9 
Resolution: 5120x2160, 3840x2160 
DE: GNOME 45.3 
WM: Mutter 
WM Theme: Adwaita 
Theme: Adwaita [GTK2/3] 
Icons: Adwaita [GTK2/3] 
Terminal: kgx 
CPU: 12th Gen Intel i9-12900HK (20) @ 4.900GHz 
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU 
GPU: Intel Alder Lake-P GT2 [Iris Xe Graphics] 
Memory: 8982MiB / 63959MiB

Note: My laptop has an Intel and NVIDIA GPU in it. There are ways to get both chipsets to work, but I haven’t had the time to look into it. Additionally, since this laptop is huge and has a beefy graphics card, I tend to leave it plugged in at my desk all the time. Consequently, I decided to simply disable the Intel GPU from the BIOS, leaving the NVIDIA GPU running all the time instead.

In other words, YMMV depending on your specific hardware configuration.

Enable modeset by adding kernel parameters via Grub

Edit this file:


and add nvidia-drm.modeset=1 and nvidia-drm.fbdev=1 like this:

GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="loglevel=3 quiet nvidia-drm.modeset=1 nvidia-drm.fbdev=1"

Save and exit the file. Next, regenerate grub config:

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Then reboot.

If Wayland still doesn’t load (Continues to use X11):

I had an issue with a udev rule that prevented Wayland from loading, even with the kernel parameters above. I found this article on the Arch Wiki.

In short, as it mentions, there was a udev rule that was causing my issue. So I overrode the rule as mentioned to get this to work:

ln -s /dev/null /etc/udev/rules.d/61-gdm.rules

Next, make sure GDM isn’t configured to disable wayland. Remove the file /etc/gdm/custom.conf.

Finally, reboot.

Final Notes

After getting GDM/Gnome/Wayland to play together with the proprietary NVIDIA drivers, I found a number of applications that were rather annoyingly glitchy. Chromium and Steam were wonky, and ended up crashing from time to time. Consequently, I ended up switching back to X11, which is far more stable at this time, at least with my hardware.

I am quite hopeful to see Wayland get better. Indeed, on an older desktop (also with an NVIDIA GPU), I found that Wayland was more stable. So hopefully soon Wayland will be better with my newer laptop.