The Wayland Discussion/News Thread

So ubuntu 17.10 is the biggest release we’ve had in… Well a while. Fedora and Ubuntu both have wayland packed in with the systems and are out there now. I don’t think there’ll be as many questions about Wayland as there were on AMDGPU, but I’d like for there to be a general discussion and news thread. Just to have it available for those who care about it like I do.

I for one am stupidly excited.

For those who don’t know what Wayland is, its a replacement for X.Org Server in linux, and I think it has a BSD port too? Basically, you have your DE at the front of your desktop, you are staring at it, then you have a compositor behind that, and behind that is your display server, be it X.Org, Wayland, or maybe compton on a mobile device (but thats not a part of this thread hehe). X.Org can handle your display drivers, sound drivers, HID drivers, basically whatever you use to interact with your linux machine. Wayland is the new replacement for X.Org as X is something like 23+ years old now and has a lot of code that we don’t need anymore like vector and ancient polygon drivers.

Theres also XWayland, which is a combo of the 2 systems working together. Its a hack that /sort/ of works, but in my opinion its not as good as just running the one single system.

At the moment Wayland has Gnome and KDE support, though I’m unsure of if theres other desktops that are supported. XFCE is my desktop of choice, so I have to wait for a while before I can 100% it.

For some documents to read about wayland:

If you have questions or anything to add to the thread via links I will appreciate if you find an article that I haven’t to PM me or I’ll just add it to the first post here just like the AMDGPU Info/News Thread and, just like there, same rules apply. No fanboy bullshit, no “But my windows” or whatever. We don’t care. Go away. If you have stuff to contribute to the thread PLEASE do, but don’t fanboy about stuff please and thank you!

More links will be put here as I find them or as they are added to the thread / sent to me.


Will applications need to be rewritten or modified to work on Wayland?

Yes, due to the technical design differences of the Wayland protocol compared with X11, changes need to be made to client applications. In some cases, a simple recompilation using Wayland-enabled GTK+/Qt will be enough; in other cases minor changes are needed; in a few cases where extensive X11 functionality is used directly in the app, it will necessitate more extensive porting work.

This is basically what I was worried about. Developers not knowing what to choose from X, Mir, Wayland, or how to hedge for two or all three. I’m hoping that there’s more here that I’m missing, and that I’m just Y2k’ing this. If I upgrade my machine to Ubuntu 17.10 and everything works as I expect, I’m going to be through-the-roof levels of happy.

Well even in base ubuntu 17.10 you still have X available. Thats not much of a worry. Its like a beta for 18.04.

If I understand this correctly, if you use a graphical framework like GTK or QT or whatever, the framework will handle the calls to X, Mir or Wayland. Basically this means that most programs won’t need to be rewritten because most of them are using some sort of framework and they’ll just bake in support for the other display servers.


So I’ve got a thing. I was using OBS on my laptop (fedora, gnome3, wayland) and just recording 30fps 1080 was using 60% of my CPU. Isn’t wayland supposed to be faster? I switched to gnome3 on X and it used about 25% of my CPU with the same settings. This is very frustrating.

Obs has yet to be optimized I guess.

Minor nitpick, Wayland is actually a protocol while X.Org is a software package. X11 is the protocol that X.Org implements and it’s what Wayland hopes to compete with.

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I got this feeling that Wayland will replace X11 then after sees the Pro’s and Con’s of it they will push X12.

… Is X12 a real thing? I thought that was a joke.

X.Org has a X12 development page, doesn’t say anything about them working on it but they have a list of what they would want to implement and what they would need to fix.

Most of the devs working on Wayland are also X (xorg and 1 xfree86) developers. They know X is long in the tooth. There is still development against X but it is slow and on critical parts.

The issue that you are most likely seeing is thaat some of your apps are running in XWayland because there is not native Wayland version. As a result, you will see some overhead. A lot of the video tools use X bindings which do not exist in Wayland. The best bet for most of these devs would be to use SDL2 as the SDL team is working on Vulkan and Wayland bits. This helps if your tools access the hardware directly and the tools are mostly tool kit (gtk, qt) agnostic.

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Ah, that definitely makes sense. :confused: I guess I’m switching back to X when I need to do screencasts or recordings.

The only thing that sucks (at least with Gnome) right now is that (at least up to Fedora 26) if you have a Nvidia card installed, it won’t use Wayland, even if you pick it manually in GDM and even if you run the Nouveau drivers. :disappointed:

Nouveaux should have always worked because it is has hooks in DRM and KMS which are needed for GBM.

Maybe you had some pieces of the proprietary NV stuff still hanging around?

I tested it by booting from the live image and later actually did a fresh install of F26 and in both scenarios it didn’t work. Even before that, I never even looked at the proprietary driver :wink:

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That is very strange. Are you able to enjoy wayland now?

I have always wanted to see someone actually benchmark NV’s arguments vs nouveau to see if there really was a technical argument of if they were doing their usual, “… the community really need to do things our way because… <reasons!?>”

They still have not released anything to show that their technical argument superior and they have yet to contribute on the new way that will solve issues with EGL Streams and GBM.

Only if I switch to my Intel integrated graphics, but not with the Nvidia card, unfortunately.

That is a bumber. There is a difference for me with daily driving in with wayland vs X. Video playback is the biggets gain. Smooth window movement and scrolling through webpages is better to.

I know this can be achieved with X but I like not having to employ hacks and modify config files.

I am an ATI Radeon user.


With the distros finally adopting Wayland I have my hopes up. With the fully supported systems it is simply a joy. Moving windows, resizing, scrolling etc is so smooth and while I know not all take notice of such things, for me that makes a tremendous difference in how much enjoyable it is to use my workstation.
On a downside - currently only on Intel gpus you get full experience. I’m quite disappointed by the whole Nvidia mess and their “we won’t adhere to standards, we demand you follow our guidelines” attitude. I somewhat hope that maybe in the future Vulkan will be used for this as at least this seems to be the standard all gpu vendors agree on.
Also there are still some kinks - but those are getting worked out (for example until recently there was no client that allowed screen capture).

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