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How To Detect If An App Runs On Wayland Or X-Wayland

When we launch applications on Wayland session, we can’t really tell if the application window is running Wayland-native or it has X dependencies and it uses X-Wayland. A quick way to find out is to use Shell’s embedded debugger.

[caption id="attachment_26441" align="aligncenter" width="640"]nautilus-x GType:MetaWindowX11[/caption]

Here I’m inspecting Nautilus under Wayland session, and as you can see it runs under X-Wayland.

That isn’t normal, but it happens because Fedora 21 hasn’t enable (yet) by default the Wayland backend for GTK. To activate it:

$ export GDK_BACKEND=wayland

If we run Nautilus again (from the same Terminal), the object type this time will tell us that Nautilus window uses the Wayland surface.

[caption id="attachment_26442" align="aligncenter" width="640"]nautilus-wayland GType:MetaWindowWayland[/caption]

That is a very quick way to see if an application runs native or not under Wayland!

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