Mir Had A Wild Year From Nearly Being Killed Alongside Unity 8 To Growing With Wayland

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 17 December 2017 at 08:38 AM EST. 13 Comments
It was a heck of a year for Ubuntu's Mir display server from it starting off as the display server to the now-abandoned Unity 8 desktop and it surviving Canonical's cancelling of the Unity/convergence projects to now not only being fitted for IoT use-cases but gaining Wayland support with hopes some will use it as a Wayland compositor. This also went from Mir 1.0 nearly being released and back to the drawing board to Canonical now hiring more Mir developers and adding Mir to other Linux distributions: what a wild ride 2017 has been for this controversial project.

In looking back at all the ups and downs for Mir this year, here is a look at the twenty most-viewed Mir news articles on Phoronix for 2017...

Trying Out Unity 8 + Mir On Ubuntu 17.04

It will certainly be interesting to see what comes of Mir in 2018: will we finally see the "Mir 1.0" release? Will MATE and other smaller desktops pick up Mir for Wayland support? Will Canonical try to fit in Mir as their GNOME desktop's compositor? Or will they end up throwing in the towel if there is no adoption in the near-term? Only time will tell what will happen... But what is certain is you'll be able to read about whatever happens to Mir on Phoronix.

Mark Shuttleworth Makes More Comments On Ubuntu GNOME, Mir, Convergence
By now you have probably read Mark Shutttleworth's Google+ comments from Friday concerning Ubuntu GNOME, including the continuing of Snaps, UBports looking to take over Unity 8, and the desire to move quickly in supporting Ubuntu GNOME. He has now provided more follow-up comments.

With SHA1 Proven Unsafe, Ubuntu's Mir Switches From SHA1 To SHA256
Now that Google has proven SHA1 as unsafe, Ubuntu's Mir display server developers were quick to abandon its usage in favor of SHA256.

RetroPlayer Gaming Support Coming To Kodi 18, Mir Support
While Kodi 17 "Krypton" hasn't even shipped yet, feature work is building already for Kodi 18 "Leia" and it sure should excite those wanting to play games from their HTPC.

Mir Developers See The Door, No Commits In A Week
With switching back over to the GNOME desktop, Ubuntu is migrating to Wayland by default as presumed. But Mir is to be maintained for IoT use-cases, according to previous comments by Shuttleworth. However, it looks like multiple developers from the small Mir team were sent packing and there's been no public commits to Mir in the past week.

Mir Developer Pleads The Case "Why Mir"
Canonical developer Alan Griffiths has been blogging a lot in recent days about the Mir display server. He's been trying to get the community to support Mir and even potentially add native Wayland client support. His latest post is entitled "Why Mir" with many still wondering why they should care about Mir when Wayland has proven to be the tested and widely-adopted path forward.

Mir Developer Hopes Community Will Use It & Add Wayland Compatibility
One of the lead developers on the Mir project at Canonical, Alan Griffiths, has finally opened up about this week's news of Ubuntu dropping efforts around Unity 8 and switching back to GNOME. This also is pretty much definitive that Mir is being dropped and Ubuntu will end up making use of Wayland.

Mir 0.26.3 Released
With Canonical divesting in Mir from the desktop and abandoning their mobile phone/tablet ambitions, we might not see Mir v1.0 ever reached as was anticipated to happen for the Ubuntu 17.10 cycle. However, Mir is still being maintained for IoT use-cases and today is a new point release.

Mir 1.0 Expected To Come Early In Ubuntu 17.10 Cycle
Canonical developer Alan Griffiths has shared a few details about getting Mir 1.0 ready for release.

MirAL 1.3 Adds Support For Workspaces, Background In Miral-Shell
Alan Griffiths of Canonical has announced the release of MirAL 1.3, Mir's abstraction layer to ease bringing up new environments under Mir while providing a stable ABI.

MATE Developers Are Considering Mir-Over-Wayland
MATE developer Martin Wimpress has shared that they are talking to Mir developers about how Mir could be used as a Wayland compositor.

The Story of Ubuntu's Mir Abstraction Layer (MirAL)
More and more recently we have found ourselves talking about Mir's abstraction layer, MirAL. It turns out that this set of interfaces to Mir has advanced from being a hobby project by a Canonical developer to now being a formal project within the organization and more of Unity 8 is making use of MirAL's API/ABI.

More Details On UBports' Plans For Unity, Mir & Anbox
The UBports community are among those planning to fork the work on Unity 8 and they've already made ambitious plans like porting Unity 8 to Wayland. More details were revealed today.

Mir Developer: Anyone Interested In Native Wayland Clients In Mir?
While Canonical is expected to maintain Mir for IoT use-cases, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is expected to use the GNOME desktop on Wayland. The community forks so far of Unity 8 also appear to want to switch to Wayland eventually rather than Mir. In trying to maintain relevance for Mir, longtime Mir developer Alan Griffiths is asking whether the community would be interested in native Wayland client support in Mir.

MirAL 1.2 Released: Mir's Abstraction Layer
Alan Griffiths of Canonical has announced the release of MirAL 1.2 for Ubuntu 17.04 and the Ubuntu Stable Phone Overlay.

Mir's Abstraction Layer Now Has Cut & Paste Support (MirAL)
A few days ago we reported on Ubuntu's Mir now supporting drag and drop while now another important desktop feature has come to Ubuntu's Mir abstraction layer, MirAL.

Ubuntu's Mir Finally Supports Drag & Drop
With Mir 1.0 expected to be coming soon, the developers working on this display server for Ubuntu Linux are tackling the remaining work items, some are larger than others.

There's Been A Bit Of Progress On Vulkan Support In Ubuntu's Mir
When the Vulkan 1.0 API specification was unveiled last February, we were originally told by Canonical that Mir in Ubuntu 16.04 would have Vulkan support but now one year later, Mir in Ubuntu 17.04 doesn't even look like it will have Vulkan support. But at least progress is being made.

Mir Display Server Lands API Changes, Relicenses Headers To LGPL
Canonical's Mir developers are working to get Mir 1.0 released in 2017 and in preparation for that stable milestone they have just landed a number of API changes.

Mircade: An Arcade-Style Ubuntu Game Launcher Using Mir
Canonical developer Alan Griffiths who has long been involved in the development of the Mir display server for Ubuntu has now announced Mircade.

Mir Will Support NVIDIA's EGL Streams Approach
For those wondering about the NVIDIA binary driver support for Ubuntu's Mir display server, Mir appears to be planning its own support for using NVIDIA's EGL Streams implementation that has been criticized by Wayland developers while they continue hoping for a new API that's yet to materialize.
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About The Author
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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