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What It Takes To Write A Wayland Compositor

Wayland

Published on 10 February 2014 03:15 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland
6 Comments

For those curious about what it takes to write a standalone Wayland compositor and the challenges involved, two Enlightenment developers have shared their struggles and accomplishments in making Enlightenment a Wayland compositor.

As shared a few times now, Enlightenment E19 should be in good shape for Wayland and boasts a huge compositor rewrite. Samsung's Christopher Michael and Stefan Schmidt shared last weekend at FOSDEM about their Wayland experiences.

The FOSDEM 2014 talk focused on Enlightenment as a standalone Wayland compositor and making changes to the rendering, DRM handling, input handling, VT handling, and session recovery to eliminate their dependency on X11. Enlightenment is maintaining their X11 support but have cleaned up their code and made it possible to run Enlightenment and EFL without any dependence on X11/XWayland, but XWayland can still be used with Enlightenment for legacy applications.

In the process of their standalone compositor work they have found some missing pieces to Wayland's current support like the XDG Shell could be better but is admittedly still maturing and there needs to be a protocol extension for session recovery support.

The Enlightenment compositor is right now capable of VT switching, input/output device handling, and running Wayland and X applications. Still being tackled by these developers is buffer abstraction for rendering, session recovery, and other work to make the Enlightenment Wayland compositor suitable for day-to-day work.

Find out more details via the PDF slides.

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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