KDE On The Importance Of Wayland Explicit Sync

Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 6 April 2024 at 08:45 AM EDT. 105 Comments
With the recent Mesa 24.1 support for Wayland explicit sync with Vulkan drivers, GNOME merging explicit sync support, Wayland-Protocols 1.34 introducing linux-drm-syncobj, and XWayland explicit sync also nearing the state of being merged, there's been much talk recently about Wayland explicit sync. KDE KWin developer Xaver Hugl has written a detailed blog post for those interested in the topic.

Xaver Hugl has written a lengthy blog post explaining why Wayland explicit sync is a big deal and the issues it overcomes compared to the implicit sync model.

Steam on Linux with Wayland

Besides some small-ish performance benefits, the big benefit for end-users with Wayland explicit sync is the NVIDIA proprietary driver being able to support it and in turn ironing out some of the remaining Wayland support challenges for that closed-source driver. NVIDIA on Wayland flickering issues, frame pacing problems, and other challenges will be overcome with the NVIDIA explicit sync driver support paired with the Wayland compositor support and the likes of capable XWayland.
"With the explicit sync protocol being implemented in compositors and very soon in Xwayland and the proprietary NVidia driver, all those problems will finally be a thing of the past, and the biggest remaining blocker for NVidia users to switch to Wayland will be gone."

Those wishing to learn more can read Xaver's blog post for all the details. The KWin merge request for implementing linux-drm-syncobj-v1 for explicit sync remains open with it still undergoing code review.
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