NVIDIA Prepares XWayland OpenGL/Vulkan Acceleration Support

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 7 January 2021 at 06:17 AM EST. 26 Comments
NVIDIA's Wayland support is finally coming together albeit long overdue with DMA-BUF passing support and now patches pending against XWayland for supporting OpenGL and Vulkan hardware acceleration with their proprietary driver.

Pending patches to the X.Org Server's XWayland code paired with a yet-to-be-released proprietary driver update finally allow for hardware accelerated rendering with XWayland.

The XWayland patches were sent in by NVIDIA driver developer Erik Kurzinger who has been involved with many of their Wayland affairs. As to the performance he noted, "Performance should be roughly on-par with native X11 based on the benchmarking I've done. There's still an annoying extra copy required for presentation of windowed applications, but the impact doesn't appear to be significant, and fll-screen applications won't have that issue (provided the compositor supports the required zwp_linux_dmabuf_v1 interface)."

The patches are currently out for review.

This work will hopefully land in time for the start of standalone XWayland releases separate from the xorg-server. Those should begin this spring in time for the Fedora 34 release as likely the first distribution shipping standalone XWayland packages.

With this and other NVIDIA proprietary driver work pending to improve the Wayland support, hopefully by Ubuntu 21.10 we see GNOME on Wayland by the default so that for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is also that shift away from X.Org.
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