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GNOME On Wayland Status On Fedora


GNOME is going to be the first major desktop that they will achieve to make their platform “runnable” in a non-X display server. At least that’s the plan for GNOME 3.14, where Wayland might be the default display server.

By major desktops I mean KDE, GNOME and Ubuntu, and this has nothing to do with the popularity of those projects, but with the amount of software that they are releasing. Wayland may be -already or soon- available in other desktops like Enlightenment E19, which they actually are offering an experimental Wayland Session.

ubuntu-login neon-login

Left: Mir is only available for Unity8 | Right: KDE 5 on Neon ..& I forgot my passwd :(

KDE on Wayland will come in KDE5.x, while Ubuntu is planning to put Mir into production in 2016. Of course you can already try Mir in Ubuntu, while for trying KDE5 your best option is the Neon Project.

Matthias Clasen at Fedora Desktop Lists.

With GNOME 3.12 in rawhide today (or in the F20 copr), it is for the first time really easy to try GNOME with Wayland. You can just select ‘GNOME on Wayland’ from the session chooser on the login screen.

If you do so, you’ll get a desktop that looks just like regular GNOME, and a great many things work just fine. Just be aware of the few things that don’t work yet:

- Drag-and-drop doesn’t work
- No touch support
- some popups (eg entry completion) do not appear

Most seriously, right clicks and double-clicks on applications that are running under xwayland have the tendency to bring down the session.

Of course, we are working on all of these issues. Any help is welcome!

There are some more things that don’t work, and I’ll try to make a screencasting on Wayland.

Matthias continues:

I’ve successfully tried it with rawhide. On intel hw, that is. I forgot to mention that it is probably limited to systems using intel graphics, currently.

That is not totally correct. Wayland should also work with Nouveau and Radeon, but Fedora doesn’t provide support for them yet. We will need to use “xf86-video-wayland” package though “xorg-x11-drv-wayland” driver, which isn’t currently available in Fedora repositories. Long term that will go away, and they will use XWayland DDX.

Of course for our shiny 500$ video card, Wayland won’t be any good, as long as we can’t use the NVIDIA proprietary drivers. Red Hat has ongoing contact with NVIDIA, and there have been discussions for a long time now between Red Hat and NVIDIA engineers, and not only about Wayland support. Still, there is nothing official yet.

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