gnome-shell - Graphical shell for the GNOME desktop


gnome-shell [OPTION...]


GNOME shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a visually attractive and easy to use experience.

gnome-shell is a required component of the GNOME desktop, i.e. it is listed in the RequiredComponents field of /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/gnome.session. It is started in the window manager phase of the session.



Run as a wayland compositor


Run as a full display server, rather than nested


Run as a nested compositor


Run wayland compositor without starting Xwayland


Run with X11 backend


Wayland display name to use

-d, --display=DISPLAY

X display to use

-r, --replace

Replace the running window manager


Disable connection to the session manager


Specify session management ID


Initialize session from FILE


Make X calls synchronous


Use a specific mode, e.g. "gdm" for login screen


List possible modes and exit


Print version and exit


Display help and exit


/usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/gnome.session, /usr/share/applications/org.gnome.Shell.desktop.


The bug tracker can be reached by visiting the website Before sending a bug report, please verify that you have the latest version of gnome-shell. Many bugs (major and minor) are fixed at each release, and if yours is out of date, the problem may already have been solved.


For further information, visit the website