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Quickly Emerging Wayland Support For Chrome OS

Google

Published on 19 December 2011 11:29 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Google
2 Comments

For those that haven't noticed, Wayland Display Server support for Google's Chrome/Chromium OS and their web-browser is coming on quick.

Back in August I talked about the Chrome browser being ported to Wayland, but since then there's been much more activity.

As shown last week in a video that was demonstrating Clutter/Cogl being upgraded to work against the latest Wayland, the tool-kit was being demoed while Google's Aura desktop window manager for Chrome/Chromium OS was running. It's already been mentioned in the forums.

Quickly Emerging Wayland Support For Chrome OS


It's no secret that Intel is working on supporting Chrome OS atop Wayland rather than an X.Org Server. Rob Bradford, one of the Intel OSTC developers who worked on the new Clutter code for Wayland, wrote to the Chromium developers about a Wayland desktop port for the Google platform.

Intel though isn't alone and the Wayland support for the Chromium browser has been living in Chromium Git with the first bits going back to this summer. Google Chromium engineers have been working on the Wayland support itself and the recent Wayland-related commits can be found from the Git log with the latest commit being from late November. There's also several Wayland-related bugs for Chromium OS.
[18:38:20] robster: yup:) I'm working on doing a pure aura-based wayland build and was going to kill off the other bits. what sort of port are you working on?
[18:40:28] robster: will keep the stuff around and use an exclude if you need those bits
[18:40:56] robster: i've still got a bunch of stuff queueud up in my local git. can share with you via email if you like
[18:42:53] msb_, okay, cool, i'm working on Wayland at Intel so my interest is to ensure that as we transition to Wayland in "desktop linux" environment we can have a web browser :-)

One of the Google developers who's been working on Wayland Chrome OS support is Mandeep Singh Baines and he confirmed "a pure aura-based wayland build." In the same IRC conversation where this was mentioned, Rob Bradbord mentioned, "i'm working on Wayland at Intel so my interest is to ensure that as we transition to Wayland in "desktop linux" environment we can have a web browser.
It will be interesting if Google decides to deploy the Wayland Display Server in a future release of Chrome OS down the road, which is very well possible since Wayland would be a good fit for such an OS like Chrome.

With Intel having abandoned MeeGo, which was set to be the first major user of Wayland in Intel MeeGo Tablet this year, the Intel Wayland engineering team may be turning to Chrome/Chromium OS as their new playground.

Canonical is also still interested in seeing Wayland used by the Unity desktop, but they aren't devoting any engineering resources to the development of the next-generation display server. They would like to see a basic Wayland preview in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, but no real adoption would take place until Ubuntu 12.10 in late 2012 or more than likely any production use of it in 2013 while slowly transitioning away from the X.Org Server.

Some of the recent Wayland advancements include multi-touch support, a screensaver implementation, triple buffering support, and more. In the past few days there's still been an uptick in Wayland patches landing from developers such as Pekka Paalanen and Tiago Vignatti.

Stay tuned for 2012, which will be a critical year if Wayland is really to succeed on the Linux desktop.

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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