It's approaching the one-year anniversary of when Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu is going to deploy Wayland with Unity, eventually. As those know that pay attention to the continual flow of information from Phoronix regarding the next-generation Wayland Display Server and Linux graphics drivers in general, it's being developed at a brisk pace and with several key open-source projects now betting big on its adoption, but how's it playing in the soon-to-be-released Ubuntu 11.10?
While Wayland may appear this year on Intel's MeeGo Tablet UX 1.3 release, Wayland is not playing any official role in Ubuntu 11.10. Similar to what is found in Ubuntu 11.04, Wayland is packaged up and is available from the universe repository on the "Oneiric Ocelot" release in updated form. Found in the Oneiric repository is wayland-demos, libwayland-dev, libwayland0, libwayland0-dbg. The wayland-demos package contains a sample compositor and a few demo clients for Wayland. Obviously, libwayland0 is the Wayland library/infrastructure itself, libwayland-dev offers up the development files, and libwayland0-dbg is just there for the debugging version. What is found in the repository right now is a snapshot from 31 May 2011, which due to the feature freeze and this package not being hugely important (and no imminent official Wayland release), this will likely be the same snapshot making it into Ubuntu 11.10 final. This is a rather old snapshot, with there being a fair amount of activity in the Wayland Git repository since that point, but most developers concerned about Wayland development will likely be building Wayland themselves.
Not found in Ubuntu 11.10 is the enabling of any experimental GTK/Qt/Clutter back-ends that support Wayland or any actual useful applications (like the upcoming Google Chrome for Wayland) that can run within a Wayland server. The included Wayland compositor can also run within an existing X.Org Server session, which makes it easy to try the few demos without causing problems for production systems or worrying about KMS and driver support.