NVIDIA Continues Discussing Their Controversial Wayland Plans With Developers

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 3 April 2016 at 10:29 AM EDT. 80 Comments
Two weeks ago NVIDIA released their 364 Linux driver with initial support for Wayland and Mir. Some have asked why there aren't benchmarks yet or if GNOME 3.20 on Wayland supports the NVIDIA driver, but the short answer is the NVIDIA developers are still debating their implementation preferences with upstream Wayland developers.

On the same day as releasing the 364 Linux driver, NVIDIA developers published patches for Wayland's Weston so that the NVIDIA proprietary driver would work with the Weston compositor.

NVIDIA's patches aren't being too well received by upstream developers. Intel's Daniel Vetter had even wrote, "I don't expect you'll ever be able to sell this [current implementation approach] to the community and get it merged."

The short explanation is that NVIDIA's Weston patches make use of EGLDevice and EGLStreams for managing buffers where as the current Weston makes use of Mesa's GBM (Generic Buffer Manager) in place of these EGL extensions. NVIDIA went for a different approach rather than writing a GBM implementation for their proprietary driver. A more thorough explanation and critique of NVIDIA's Wayland approach can be found via this mailing list post by Daniel Stone.

The discussion is still ongoing with NVIDIA's EGL-based approach being further analyzed, but for now none of the code is mainline for supporting NVIDIA's proprietary driver by Wayland's Weston. Of course, once any support does land or NVIDIA shifts their Wayland support approach, you can expect to read about it on Phoronix.
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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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