Jolla Brings Wayland Atop Android GPU Drivers
Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 11 April 2013 at 01:42 PM EDT. 62 Comments
Jolla, the start-up company built around former Nokia N9 engineers developing the Sailfish OS for mobile phones, might be dating Wayland. Jolla's Chief Research Engineer has made it possible to run Wayland atop Android GPU drivers. Additionally, it's being done with glibc rather than Android's Bionic libc derivative.

Carsten Munk, the Chief Research Engineer at Jolla, has been working on a solution to enable the use of Wayland on top of Android hardware, particularly with its GPU drivers. However, as part of it, for the operating system to not depend upon Google's Bionic libc library.

Right now the patches aren't out in the wild but Munk is planning on putting them out under LGPLv2.1. He sees this work as potentially benefiting not only the Sailfish OS but also OpenWebOS, Qt, KDE, GNOME, Hawaii, Nemo, Mer, EFL, etc. The code to this point is at a stage of being able to handle a QML compositor on top of Wayland while rendering to Qualcomm's GPU Android drivers.

The motive for engaging this work is that most device manufacturers are only willing to work with Google's Android and not supply drivers for X11 or Wayland or other platforms. In Carsten's first blog post he documents at a low-level all of the different components and his experience in working with them. The second yet-to-be-posted blog entry will cover his actual implementation for achieving Wayland on Android GPU drivers. Until then, he's shared this video of Wayland on Android GPU drivers and using libhybis:

This is rather interesting work. Canonical's Mir Display Server can also run with Android graphics drivers. Canonical's reasonings for supporting Android drivers with Mir were much the same reason with device manufacturers largely only caring about Android. Carsten's work though does go to show the adaptability of Wayland. It's been looking like Jolla would use Wayland for Sailfish OS and with today's information, the situation is still looking positive in that direction.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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