GNOME's Mutter Loses Some Of Its X11 Dependence

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 10 September 2017 at 07:31 AM EDT. 35 Comments
One of the interesting Google Summer of Code projects this year associated with the GNOME project was on reworking the Mutter compositor from requiring X11/XWayland code-paths for starting the Wayland compositor.

Student developer Armin Krezović worked to address the issue that even when Mutter is acting as a Wayland compostior rather than just an X window manager, the X11 support is still present and there's a hard dependency on XWayland being present, even if it goes unused. Armin was partially successful in his summer work in allowing Mutter to act as a Wayland-only compositor, free from any XWayland support if so desired.

Armin was able to make Mutter work on Wayland without any X bits present or XWayland needing to be started. He also had a goal of making Wayland clients start without X11 support being present, but he didn't have time to accomplish that goal.

Those interested in this GNOME Mutter GSoC work can find a recap via this blog post. The patches are currently staged via GitHub. With them, Mutter can be started with a --no-x11 switch if you wish to run Mutter on Wayland without any legacy support.
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