Fix Gray Overlay When Video Sharing on Zoom

Are you a Compton/Picom user that has a gray overlay that appears when sharing or recording your screen when using zoom? Here’s a possible fix.

tl;dr

  1. Run pgrep -l "compton|picom" to verify that you are running Picom
  2. Locate your Picom configuration file. It is either at ~/.config/picom/picom.conf or ~/.config/picom.conf. If you don’t have this file, run cp /etc/xdg/picom.conf.example ~/.config/picom.conf
  3. Add "name = 'cpt_frame_window'" to the shadow-exclude = [] list
  4. Restart compositor with pkill compton && compton -b or pkill picom && picom -b, depending on the name of the compositor process

Verifying that you are using comptom/Picom

If you’re a Linux user running a window manager such as i3 or qtile, you probably use Picom/Compton as your compositor. To check this, run pgrep -l "compton|picom" in your shell. If you are running Picom/Compton, the process id and the name of the compositor will show up in the results.

Picom is a fork of Compton, but now Picom is used in favor of Compton. In the case of my system, the Compton process is merely a symbolic link for Picom, so the Compton process is actually just a Picom process but with a different name. For simplicity, I am going to provide instructions for only Picom. I think they should work for both Picom and Compton, but I can’t guarantee it.

Locate Picom configuration file

Next, we will modify the configuration file for Picom in order to resolve the gray overlay issue.

Per the Picom arch wiki page, the default configuration is available in /etc/xdg/picom.conf.example. For modifications, it can be copied to ~/.config/picom/picom.conf or ~/.config/picom.conf. For example, run cp /etc/xdg/picom.conf.example ~/.config/picom.conf if you don’t have a configuration file yet.

Modify the configuration file

Add "name = 'cpt_frame_window'" to the shadow-exclude = [] list. For example, this is what mine looks like:

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shadow-exclude = [
  "name = 'Notification'",
  "class_g = 'Conky'",
  "class_g ?= 'Notify-osd'",
  "class_g = 'Cairo-clock'",
  "_GTK_FRAME_EXTENTS@:c",
  "name = 'cpt_frame_window'"
];

Restart compositor

Run either pkill compton && compton -b or pkill picom && picom -b depending on name of the process discovered earlier. If this doesn’t work, try restarting your computer.

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