Ubuntu's Mir Display Stack Accomplished A Lot In 2019 For Being Discounted Two Years Ago

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 14 December 2019 at 07:19 AM EST. 8 Comments
It was back in April 2017 that Canonical decided they would abandon Unity 8 and switch back to GNOME. While Mir played a big role together with Unity 8, they continued working on Mir with staffing changes and a shifted focus of adding Wayland support and tailoring it for primarily IoT use-cases and tightly integrated with their Snap packaging concept. Two years later, Mir is still alive and earlier this month marked the release of Mir 1.6. Here's a look back at the Mir highlights for 2019.

Canonical's Alan Griffiths continues leading the Mir efforts and his team had a very busy 2019 continuing to push along Mir even though it's not featured on the Ubuntu desktop right now is still playing a big role at the company due to IoT use-cases like digital signage. Griffiths provided a look back at Mir in 2019 on Ubuntu Discourse. Here were some of the highlights:

- NVIDIA driver support for Mir.

- Support for static display configurations.

- Support for Sway's layer-shell extension protocol.

- Recently with Mir 1.6 adding a Wayland graphics platform it became possible to run Mir as a Wayland client.

- Various integration improvements around Mir with Canonical's own Snap system.

- The MATE desktop environment working on Wayland support by way of Mir lifting.

- The ability for Mir shells to provide additional Wayland extensions.

- Performance testing/tracing of Mir with LTTng.

- The release of the Wayland Conformance Suite 1.0 for better testing.

- Improvements for Mali graphics with Mir.

- Various other Mir improvements like using Musl libc rather than Glibc and other different areas for enhancing Mir's use-cases for the Internet of Things.

Similarly, below is a look at the most popular Mir articles on Phoronix for the year.

Mir Made Good Progress Over The Holidays With Porting To Debian & Alpine, ARM Mali
Canonical's Mir display server is off to a good start for 2019 with a lot of work and pet projects being worked on over the holidays by the developers involved.

Mir 1.1.1 RC1 Has Fixes For PostmarketOS, Demo Shells Using Wayland
Mir 1.1 was released back in December as the first post-1.0 feature update while now preparing for release is the Mir 1.1.1 maintenance milestone.

It's Still A Slow Process For Ubuntu Touch Moving To Mir 1.x / Wayland
Given yesterday's release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-7, you might be curious how this UBports project is moving along with their adoption of the modern Mir 1.x that provides Wayland support... Unfortunately, it will still be a while before that is being shipped in production on Ubuntu Touch.

Ubuntu Touch OTA-8 Won't Move To Mir 1.1 + Unity 8 Due To Qualcomm Binary Blob Issues
The Ubuntu Touch community team has put out their latest questions/answers about this effort continuing to let the Ubuntu effort live on for mobile devices like the Nexus and other hardware as well as looking ahead to get this mobile operating system running on the likes of Librem 5 and Pine64 phones.

SDL 2.0.10 Released With New APIs, Drops Mir In Favor Of Wayland
As the first Simple DirectMedia Layer release of 2019, SDL 2.0.10 has debuted today for this library that's widely used by cross-platform games including as part of the Steam run-time.

The MATE Desktop Is Becoming Quite Usable On Wayland Via Mir
The MATE desktop environment is becoming usable on Wayland thanks to its support being provided by the Mir display stack.

UBports Ubuntu Touch Continues Pursuing Mir/Unity8, Broad Device Support
Ubuntu Touch OTA-8 was released earlier this month while the UBports community developers continue working to further along this Ubuntu-based mobile Linux OS.

Ubuntu Touch Nearing Updated Unity 8 + Mir, But Not Yet Full Wayland
Those at UBports continuing to independently advance Ubuntu Touch have put out a fresh status update on their work, including the long-awaited Unity 8 and Mir upgrade.

It's Becoming Easier To Develop New Wayland Extensions For Mir
The Mir 1.2 release was aiming to make it easier to develop Mir servers with custom Wayland extensions easier, but in dog feeding the work, Canonical's long-time Mir developer Alan Griffiths realized some shortcomings in the experience.

Mir 1.3 Released With Wayland Improvements, New AL Features
Mir 1.3 was released today as the newest version of Canonical's project making it easier to write desktop shells with Wayland support.
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Michael Larabel

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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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