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Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Tries For A Wayland Preview

Wayland

Published on 03 November 2011 04:40 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland
9 Comments

While we're at least a year away from seeing the Wayland Display Server play any semi-serious role in the Ubuntu stack, for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS there may actually be an experimental Wayland preview session available.

Discussed today at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Orlando was aims to provide a "Wayland Tech Preview" for interesting enthusiasts, i.e. Phoronix readers, to provide some early-adoption bug reports and other information.

The aim of this early package wouldn't be for running user-land applications directly on the Wayland Display Server, but rather to nest an X.Org Server inside Wayland. With an X Server inside Wayland, all the normal toolkits and applications would be running over X11. The purpose of this is that the application/toolkit support for Wayland is still very experimental but testing at least X-On-Wayland can provide for spotting areas of needed improvement, hardware issues, etc.

When Wayland is first officially deployed in Ubuntu, it will also likely be using this over-X method. This will likely be the primary method of using Wayland for at least the next one or two years.

Even when toolkits, major Linux applications, and the window managers are ready for Wayland, there will still be support for running the X.Org Server in Wayland in a non-root-window mode so that legacy X11-only software can still be run.

The next steps for providing this optional preview version of Wayland in Ubuntu is setting up a basic Wayland compositor that can be used with an X.Org Server inside, supporting Wayland in the LightDM window manager, and allowing a Wayland session to be started from a desktop session. There's also plans to implement PolicyKt support and a screensaver/lock screen. This initial work will just allow Linux enthusiasts to tinker with running X inside Wayland and to be of some value. There is the (vastly outdated) Wayland package in the Ubuntu 11.10 demo, but it's basically useless for any real tests as it just bundles a few silly demos.

For those not familiar with the state of Wayland or other information about this next-generation display server, see all my Wayland articles/content, with having been the first one to widely unveil Wayland to the public back in 2008.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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