I have installed sway window manager on Fedora 27. The system uses gdm as its login manager. But gdm does not provide sway for selection as the login session. Only Gnome, which is also installed on the system, is shown. I did not had this problem with i3wm, when I tried it.

  1. Is sway compatible with gdm?
  2. Does gdm support wayland or only Xorg?
  3. How to configure gdm for sway, or which login manager is prefered for usage with sway?

1 Answer 1


Is sway compatible with gdm?


Does gdm support wayland or only Xorg?

gdm3 itself runs on wayland. It supports both wayland and Xorg sessions.

How to configure gdm for sway?

You are missing an entry in /usr/share/wayland-sessions. This folder contains wayland desktop session entries for display managers in general. (Respectivly, X desktop session entries are located in /usr/share/xsessions).

Create a file /usr/share/wayland-sessions/sway.desktop with this content:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Sway - i3 on Wayland
# Please choose matching path

This entry was missing on my system, too. I've compiled sway from source; wayland-session/xsession entries are rather part of ready-to-use packages. Please make sure the Exec line matches your path to executeable sway.

Note that gdm3 does not show entries in /usr/share/wayland-sessions if your host runs with a proprietary NVIDIA driver. The proprietary NVIDIA driver does not support Wayland. However, the free nouveau driver does.

  • 1
    File should be located in /usr/share/wayland-sessions rather, since Sway is Wayland based compositor.
    – MeanEYE
    Feb 21, 2018 at 18:02
  • @MeanEYE Thank you, I've edited the answer to correct this.
    – mviereck
    Feb 21, 2018 at 18:13
  • 1
    Even though I've added this to wayland-sessions, it still doesn't show up in gdm login options... Sep 15, 2018 at 17:44
  • @JonathanDunlap Did you reboot or only log out?
    – mviereck
    Sep 15, 2018 at 18:20
  • 1
    @mviereck nevermind, I found the Nvidia proprietary drivers do not support Wayland yet... so GDM will not show those types of shell options. :/ Sep 18, 2018 at 20:18

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