SDL Still Has A Number Of Issues To Address Before Defaulting To Wayland

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 19 September 2021 at 05:45 AM EDT. 2 Comments
The recently released SDL 2.0.16 brought much-improved Wayland support but it's still not quite good enough yet to have it be the default over the SDL X11 path. However, developers continue working in that direction to eventually use it by default.

Well known Linux game porter Ethan Lee presented at this week's Developers Conference (XDC2021) with the ongoing work to bring SDL's Wayland support up to parity with X11 that it can be the default.

Ethan argues that SDL's "Wayland driver is really close to [being] done" but that some items remain. The remaining work includes keyboard and text related bugs, Wayland surface management still being sort of "weird", and other related items. Some of the Wayland issues are already resolved or at least close to being resolved for the next SDL release. Many of the blockers can be viewed and discussed via this GitHub pull.

The good news is that while not yet the default, switching to the Wayland driver is quite easy... Simply using the SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland environment variable prior to launching your SDL2-using game/app. Testing the Wayland support across a wide variety of games/applications is also part of the process before they will switch over the default.

Those interested in more information on SDL's Wayland progress, see Ethan Lee's XDC2021 presentation embedded below along with the slide deck.

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