Before switching to Wayland I would minimise all GNOME Shell windows with the following command:

wmctrl -k on

...but both wmctrl and xdotool are X11-only applications. What CLI command can I use to minimise all windows in a GNOME Shell / Wayland session?


  • I know at least on Ubuntu with GNOME you can use the <kbd>Super</kbd>+<kdb>D</kbd> to minimize all windows. Commented Jan 9, 2021 at 19:23
  • @ShaneBishop Gnome 44.1 doesn't detect the Super + D shortcut, in 'custom shortcuts' the combination doesn't return any conflicts with existing native hotkeys. Fedora 38.
    – user598527
    Commented Jun 14, 2023 at 11:06

3 Answers 3



Sadly, this no longer works on Gnome 41 for security reasons

Running global.context.unsafe_mode = true in Looking Glass re-enables the functionality, but only temporarily.

Original answer

As in my other answer regarding wmctrl, we can use GJS through gdbus in Gnome to do this:

gdbus call \
  --session \
  --dest org.gnome.Shell \
  --object-path /org/gnome/Shell \
  --method org.gnome.Shell.Eval \

I will describe a workaround that works for me on my playground Manjaro machine with GNOME3/Wayland. Keep in mind that the process may slightly differ on other distributions.

It is not as perfect as I imagined, but it works.


In this method, I will use ydotool. From README.md:

ydotool works differently from xdotool. xdotool sends X events directly to X server, while ydotool uses the uinput framework of Linux kernel to emulate an input device.

  1. Install it accordingly to your distribution - AUR, Ubuntu, Debian, etc...
  2. You may need to properly set access rights for /dev/uinput and allow the user to access this device. In this case, add a user to the users group and create udev rules file:

Add yourself to users group:

usermod -a -G users $USER

Create /etc/udev/rules.d/80-uinput.rules file with following content:

KERNEL=="uinput", GROUP="users", MODE="0660", OPTIONS+="static_node=uinput"
  1. You need to start /usr/bin/ydotoold socket listener. For testing purposes start in manually, but you probably want to autostart this on login.

  2. GNOME 3 allows you to set a keyboard shortcut to "Hide all normal windows". Go to the gnome-control-center, Keyboard Shortcuts, Navigation, Hide all normal windows. Set this shortcut, for example, to Super + D.

  3. Now, if everything works as expected, you should be able to minimise all GNOME/Wayland windows with the following command:

ydotool key Super+D


Another method could be to use wtype. It seems to use a different approach and provides keyboard events directly to the compositor. The problem is I was not able to make this work with GNOME's default compositor mutter. It may be related to the limitations of XWayland but I'm not sure about this. All I get is the error:

Compositor does not support the virtual keyboard protocol

  • I wonder why no one use sudo addgroup $USER users, much more friendly
    – Pablo A
    Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 18:24

TL;DR You can still do that

While xdotool uses X11 APIs and therefore will not work on Wayland, wmctrl interacts with the desktop environment itself. Therefore, while its commands requiring X11 APIs will not work, you can still use many wmctrl commands in a Wayland session, -k on included.

Tested on Arch Linux using GNOME Shell 3.30.2 and wmctrl 1.07.

  • 8
    It only works with X windows, wayland native applications are not supported (listed).
    – Dyorgio
    Commented Aug 5, 2019 at 0:24
  • Wayland is just protocol that simplifies the graphics stack. Many "applications" are in process of being ported from X to Wayland. May be this wmctrl is connected to XWayland. I am not sure where that function call take place but it did work for me.
    – kasa
    Commented Feb 10, 2021 at 5:13

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