What It Takes To Write A Wayland Compositor
Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 10 February 2014 at 03:15 AM EST. 10 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.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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