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GNOME 3.14 Goes On XWayland With DDX!


Being cautiously optimistic, I see some fantastic things coming on GNOME this year and they’re coming fast. It was a real surprise that GNOME didn’t miss dates for the port on Wayland, on version 3.12. It wasn’t perfect and they didn’t complete all the things they wanted to, but yes it works!

One way (default) or the other (recommended to try) in GNOME 3.14 we will have a fully working Wayland desktop!

While tech-blogs were talking about the DDX (The Device Dependent part of X), it wasn’t 100% sure if GNOME would use it by their next release. Since yesterday JHBuild builds GNOME by using XWayland DDX, and that means there will be a separate XWayland binary.

The plan here is to use Glamor. It doesn’t work yet, since it requires GBM changes.

Giovanni Campanga (Shell Dev)

XF86-video-intel/nouveua/ati/wayland are drivers for the XFree86 DDX, which is used by Xorg. Xwayland will not load the XF86 drivers, but it will use the EGL drivers instead (through Glamor).

The XFree86 is built around the idea that the X-Server owns the hardware for input/output/vts/etc., so the XF86 Wayland driver had to introduce complexity to avoid that which is not needed if the XFree86 is taken out of the equation completely. So the Xwayland DDX is much simpler.

The old X drivers are only for XFree86, and will not see any Wayland-Specific code, because they will not be loaded in Wayland. The old XWayland branches are deprecated.

Hopefully the changes will be available early inside the 3.13.x cycle, to try them though one of the development editions of various distros.

It isn’t clear yet what NVidia will do (and when) but there is some development on their side, and regular communication with Red Hat UX team.

Update: Read more at Jasper St. Pierre blog post!

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