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Wayland vs X11

The last few threads on Wayland are from 3 or more years ago and i’d like to know what do you guys use and why, I’ve been reading a bit on Wayland and it seems to be too problematic to use on some specific areas (multi monitor support, video games, screen sharing and even clipboard).

Is anyone here effectively using Wayland/Weston as their main environment? And if so, how is your experience?

I use Xorg.

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Wayland yeah but I only rock a crappy laptop, so can’t really comment on any special use-cases.
Works fine for the average Joe, some arbitrary GUI frontends won’t launch but that’s hardly an issue - just run them in Xephyr.

The vast majority of people will see zero benefit from Wayland.

The vast majority of native applications that exist now were written for Xorg. Until those apps are all ported, Xorg needs to be maintained, even if that’s only in the xorg-xwayland stack.

Until the Wayland developers get their heads out of their asses and add support for the features that Xorg users already use, Xorg is still needed. (Fortunately, it appears they are working on a remote desktop API… Good. They insisted in the beginning that it wasn’t needed.)

I still use Xorg, and plan on using it for a while.

The best thing that Wayland development has done for the Linux community was get developers to tell Nvidia to fuck off. If that’s all that comes from it, Wayland has my complete support. :slight_smile:

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Using Xorg and XWayland. Still a bunch of problems with both, but by the time Wayland finally decides to add the functionality people want they will probably have decided to make X12.

Wayland team seems to want to be just a low level compositor with “stuff” sitting on top of it. That is what Wayland was meant to be in the first place, not a replacement for X. You can use it instead of X for basic things, but once you hit a certain complexity we are back at needing functionality that falls into X’s domain and goes beyond the scope of the Wayland project and why I think there will be a X12 at some point or something that sits on top of Wayland to reach the functionality of X.

Wayland seems to have changed over the years to want to be an X replacement but only time will tell where that one will go. Going to be funny if it does end up replacing X and 10-15 years from now we are all talking about how buggy and bloated Wayland is and that we need to replace it…


Gonna replace X for security reasons for sure, we’re moving towards containerization, and wayland is one piece of that puzzle.


Yeah, i also don’t get the idea that wayland devs want to replace X, even if everybody says so. If they are going for that, they sure don’t act like it.

Have been running Wayland on Fedora for a couple of weeks now. No Problems so far. But no real benefits either. I’m using 3 1080p Monitors connected to a Laptop. Intel Integrated Graphics. Wayland seems a bit more consistent in terms of display switching between docked Monitors and internal screen, that’s it. You loose redshift and color pickers (the big ones for me personally). And i can’t remap my mousebuttons/scrolling like i normally do for my trackball.

At home, i run on nvidia, so wayland is a big nope.
As someone who consistently is running 2 or more screens, often mixed resolution, dpi and refreshrate, wayland would provide major benefits, if nvidia would support it. I truly believe that wayland will be the future. The current problem is, that the benefits are only felt by very few people. You basically need to be running something that needs mixed dpi, mixed refreshrate, fractional scaling or something like that and not be on Nvidia. And even then you are currently making some sacrifices. Since 1080p is still the majority and most people aren’t rocking 144Hz Screens or more than 2 displays where they’s care for perfect scaling (especially on Linux), most won’t need wayland.

So for now: If you aren’t on Nvidia, give it a try. Chances are you won’t feel a difference. If in doubt, use X11 and watch wayland progress from the sidelines. Wayland will get there. It’s just a very integral and big part of our systems to replace, so it takes time. Especially when all other components need to adapt to it.

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That’s mainly because X11 and wayland have different scopes. I feel like it’s a bit of a “reverse systemd”. Wayland intentionally doesn’t want to be a drop in X11 replacement. They wanted to focus on the whole Display and compositing stuff and leave the rest to someone else. It’s a completely different approach. That’s also why adoption is slow and taking it’s time. Everyone needs to figure out who to implement it and what else is needed to drop X11.

I use the panning functionality via xrandr occassionally. I’m not sure if a wayland equivalent exists. Last time I looked, I couldn’t find one at least.

What exactly do you think is missing other than no remote desktop integration. Imo its fair for wayland not to have that. X11’s remote desktop feature is dog slow, so not even that much of an upside.

I run wayland on my notebook now and so far everything worked. I know gparted is a thing that needs a workaround on wayland, but thats not because of missing features but rather because of tighter security constraints per default. JavaFX used to need a workaround with 11.0.0 now with 11.0.2 it works.

The problem is maybe more that there is not really a big upside to using it. I mean it was there out of the box I probably would not bother switching to it. On my desktop especially, because NVIDIA. So thats a thing make NVIDIA make wayland work and all seems fine to me. Not sure the wayland team can do much about that by themselves.

How much of an issue is this actually? I’m on Nvidia so I don’t really notice, but how much is actually directly based on X for open source applications? Most applications tends to be either GTK-2, GTK-3, or QT-4 or QT-5, so Wayland should be supported for those applications. Last time I checked I think Wine was the only big one that didn’t have a Wayland backend (but claimed its architecture was ready for it and only needed someone to do it if I remember correctly).

Still xorg where applicable. I recently went through trials and tribulations of getting 144hz working and Wayland is still out of the question for that.

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how much is actually directly based on X for open source applications?

Almost none. If you’re using Free Software, you’re probably good.

The majority of stuff that’ll have problems are older, proprietary apps. For an end user, this probably isn’t a concern. If you’re GOG, it might be. :slight_smile:

Wayland. It fixes the tearing on Firefox even though I think it still uses the xwayland to render that.


Except for potentially better performance, less bugs, better security, etc. Ditching decades-out-of-date APIs, etc.

Apps written for X11 can/will continue to work just fine via a shim, just like any other platform that can run X11 applications via an add-on X server. e.g., XQuartz on macOS, various X servers for Windows, etc.

There’s no need for WAYLAND to support X11 itself - at all.

Those bitching about lack of remoting in wayland - have you actually made use of X11 over the network on a regular basis? It’s shit… VNC, RDP, plenty of other options that are simply way better.

But again. If you really want to do X11 remoting, you can do so via an X server without needing to keep X11 and all its legacy crap as the default display system.


I just figured out a few things that don’t work on wayland. Gpick and shutter. It’s not so easy to find color pickers and screenshot programs that work on wayland.

Does anybody know something good?

The elementary OS color picker looks decent, but who knows if that will work. ElentaryOS is based on ubuntu 18.04, witch last time I checked is shipping xorg.

Otherwise I might just switch to xorg on my notebook too. As I said before there does not really seem to be a benefit. So, not much point. I’m just using it because it was there out of the box.

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I use X but I’m sot happy about it.

My number 1 grip with linux is tearing on the desktop. Wayland fixed that maybe 3 years ago now on Fedora.

Hasn’t been an issue for me since about 2013 when they added DRI 3.