KDE's KWin Begins Plotting Path To Vulkan Support

Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 22 June 2023 at 09:57 AM EDT. 44 Comments
Going back a few years there has been experimental development around a Vulkan back-end for KDE's KWin compositor while now a road-map is being formalized for actually bringing Vulkan support to fruition.

KDE developer Xaver Hugl who has contributed significantly to KWin has begun laying out a road-map for Vulkan. He notes that in adopting Vulkan there is advantages around async compute, better defined behavior, and more control over operations. Making use of Vulkan by KWin will also improve multi-GPU support, more predictable driver behavior, and other modern functionality.

The proposed plan is to make use of Vulkan 1.3 and all extensions that would suit well for KWin purposes while the OpenGL back-end would continue as a compatibility fallback. This Vulkan support would be focused on KWin's Wayland back-end.

This work would include porting shaders over to Vulkan and SPIR-V, porting necessary plug-ins to Vulkan or making use of OpenGL interoperability extensions, and more.

There is no timeline yet for when the KWin Vulkan support is expected to be ready for end-users as it's a long road ahead. Those wishing to see their Vulkan road-map can see invent.kde.org.
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