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GNOME Wayland status under Fedora 20 Alpha

If you want to try GNOME Wayland in Fedora 20 (currently Alpha) there are some good and some bad news. The bad news is that you can’t (at least with an easy way!), since XWayland package hasn’t yet arrived in F20 repositories. The good news is that prior to the stable Fedora release on the upcoming December, XWayland package should be on place and ready to try it as a Tech Preview.

Full GNOME Wayland will -possible- arrive in Fedora 21 and GNOME 3.12 and I think they will share dates with Canonical as they will also ship their Display manager (Mir & XMir) on Ubuntu 14.04 and Unity 8 (originally planned for 13.10, but they postponed it).

Running GNOME Wayland in Fedora 20

To try GNOME Wayland under Fedora 20 you have two options.

You can either compile XWayland in F20 but in this case you should also recompile Mutter-Wayland to point to the new Xwayland binary because by default it looks at /usr/bin/Xorg. Not really recommended :)

The easiest way is to make a JHBuild installation and follow the instructions here:

Of course you can just wait for XWayland to arrive in Fedora 20; unknown when but it should be before December.

XWayland package provides compatibility on applications with X dependencies, and starts a rooteless  X Server that translates X windows into Wayland surfaces.

XWayland is also a hard requirement of Gnome-Shell on Wayland because Gnome-Shell is still an X11 Window Manager in addition to being a Wayland compositor.

GNOME On Wayland

Running GNOME on Wayland gives a similar experience as running on X11. You can run Wayland or X11 applications without noticing any difference. Because I wasn’t up to date with whats going on on Wayland Port, its status was a really nice surprise. You could almost work on it, if it wasn’t crashing so often ;)


Shell on Wayland –I couldn’t screencasting :(

 There are known bugs, and there are more bugs

Wayland on proprietary Drivers

I don’t know much about it, but you certainly can’t run Wayland on proprietary nVidia and AMD/ATi drivers. When I had tried Weston (a couple of months ago), I had to disable nVidia for making it work. I think I read somewhere that when GNOME Wayland would be ready it will automatically use the Open Drivers, at least since nVidia provide binaries for Wayland (which I have no clue what’s going on this story).

That was just some brief info for the guys that want to try Wayland in Fedora 20!

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  • Sean White

    Not only does Gnome 3.10 look nice but with this Wayland port obviously doing well it can only mean good things. As I am an arch user I have to wait for the packages to cycle through the testing repo before I can get cracking but I have a spare Intel based laptop that currently has nothing on that I might try gnome over vanilla wayland (ie. no X11). it’ll be interesting to see what I can do

  • David

    “crushing” should be “crashing” :)

    • alex285

      Thank you :)