KDE XWayland Video Bridge Aims To Improve Linux Desktop Screen Sharing

Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 22 March 2023 at 10:26 AM EDT. 21 Comments
KDE developers David Edmundson and Alex Poi have begun working on XWaylandVideoBridge as a new project to help improve Linux desktop screen sharing for X11-based applications that may try to share the contents of Wayland screens, such as could be the case for some software like Discord, Microsoft Teams, Skype, and others.

X11 applications aren't able to access the window or screen contents for Wayland clients, which causes issues for programs mentioned like Discord and Microsoft Teams. But the in-development XWayland Video Bridge allows for sharing specific (Wayland) windows to X11 clients while users have control over the behavior for security purposes.

While started by KDE developers and focused on Plasma desktop usage, this XWayland Video Bridge should work with any Wayland desktop supporting XDG Desktop Portals and PipeWire streaming along with a working system tray.

David Edmundson showing off XWaylandVideoBridge in action on the KDE Plasma desktop for working screen sharing with Discord.

As for the usage of XWayland Video Bridge, the Git repository sums it up as:
Launch pwbypass it will run in the background. Next time you try to share a window a prompt will appear.
The previously selected window should now be available for sharing. The title will always be "Wayland to X11 bridge" no matter what window is selected.

The system tray icon provides finer control.
Ideally this should be more automatic, but this tool aims purely to serve as a stop-gap whilst we wait for these clients to get native wayland support and for the surrounding wayland protocols to be better. How much more it gets developed depends on feedback and how the surrounding ecosystem evolves.

More details on the early stage XWayland Video Bridge via David's blog.
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