SDL Tries Again To Prefer Wayland Over X11

Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 29 November 2022 at 05:20 PM EST. 30 Comments
At the start of the year SDL attempted to prefer Wayland over X.Org/X11 thanks to the maturing Wayland support for this widely-used software/hardware abstraction layer by numerous cross-platform games. But that change was later reverted over ecosystem challenges around Wayland. Now as we approach the end of the year, SDL is again trying to prefer Wayland over X11.

Ethan Lee has re-merged the change to prefer Wayland over X11, when the SDL library is built with Wayland support enabled. The hope is now that the SDL code and the broader Wayland driver / compositor / associated ecosystem code is more mature and good enough to have it be used by default rather than going the X11/XWayland route. Of course, some games may still have hard X11 dependencies to deal with on their own.

The change has been merged to SDL mainline Git. SDL Git is where SDL3 development has now kicked off.

This change of Wayland over X11 by default is a nice change for the breaking SDL 3.0 release, which is where a lot of old/obsolete code is being removed, API improvements, possible PipeWire by default, and other significant changes are being made for SDL3 as what will be a big modernization upgrade over the very successful SDL2.
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