Gamescope Continues Advancing As Wayland/Vulkan Compositor Backed By Valve

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 16 September 2020 at 02:23 PM EDT. 29 Comments
Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais just provided an update during XDC2020 on the Gamescope compositor work as an evolution of Valve's prior "steamcompmgr" X11 window manager used by SteamOS.

Pierre-Loup Griffais has been working on Gamescope for a number of months now as a Wayland-based, Vulkan-minded compositor for use in potential new SteamOS releases but it's also beginning to work well for desktop use-cases. Gamescope is much more efficient than steamcompmgr thanks to Wayland efficiencies, aims to remove excess copies on present, and for any compositing it makes use of Vulkan async compute. Gamescope in part leverages the WLROOTS Wayland library. XWayland is supported by Gamescope for games lacking native Wayland support.

Thanks to nested Wayland compositing, Gamescope can also work for desktop use-cases compared to SteamOS where games/Steam are just running in full-screen mode. Running Gamescope on the desktop can not only provide speed advantages but also as a means of sandboxing from the desktop, support for virtual screens to better handle differing outputs/sizes in cases like older games not liking some widescreen setups, refresh rate abstraction, and other features.

Gamescope is working quite well at this stage on the desktop at least with AMD graphics drivers. It's getting into good shape and a few demos were provided during the lightning talk. Those wanting to try out Gamescope for Linux gaming can find the latest code via this GitHub repository.
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