Enlightenment 0.19 Lands Full Wayland Support, Its Own Compositor
Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 18 March 2014 at 01:16 PM EDT. 28 Comments
As expected the Enlightenment 0.19 release features full support for Wayland, down to serving as its own compositor and running directly off the DRM graphics device.

Going back to last year has been Enlightenment's "Project Burrito" and having E19 act as its own Wayland compositor (thus not dependent on Wayland's Weston compositor), to top off early Wayland support that was found with last year's E18 release.

There's been many Enlightenment articles on Phoronix this year covering various Wayland changes to this lightweight but powerful window manager / desktop and now the last bits of Wayland support to make it "full" have been pushed.

Most recently covered was the DRM support added to Enlightenment so that it can talk directly -- and render -- to the Direct Rendering Manger graphics devices. Support for running at this low-level is needed for serving as a Wayland compositor and that code is now in place.

Samsung's Chris Michael has pushed the code into Enlightenment Git today that provide the full Wayland support using DRM. This work to Enlightenment and its foundation libraries (EFL) is still considered "highly experimental" but now it's possible to build a full Wayland configuration without any dependence on X11. The developers admit there's likely lots of bugs with their Wayland implementation right now, but a proper call-for-testing will be issued when the code is in better shape.

Update: Chris Michael has clarified the full Wayland support as "everything that current Wayland supports, minus XDG-Shell which is coming." However, some Enlightenment features do not yet function and some Enlightenment modules may have issues running.

Besides the code being a bit rough right now with having just landed in Git, there is currently no XWayland support within Enlightenment for automatically launching legacy X11 apps within a root-less XWayland environment. Until there's this fallback support for using the X11 layer, the real-world use of Enlightenment on Wayland will likely be quite limited. Update: Apparently there is some code written and Chris Michael says it's just not pushed to Git yet.

For those wishing to try setting up an Enlightenment Wayland environment can read the instructions via the Wayland README. The notable Enlightenment commits are captured via Anzwix.

While an official release date for Enlightenment 0.19 is not known, if it ends up being like the release cycle set following the E17 debut, the E19 release will likely come in late 2014.

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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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