Sway 1.7 Nears Release With Less Abrasive NVIDIA Option, Zero-Copy Direct Scanout

Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 9 January 2022 at 06:14 AM EST. 25 Comments
Sway 1.7 is up to its second release candidate for this popular i3-inspired Wayland lightweight compositor.

Sway 1.7 kicked off its release candidate phase in late December. Notable with Sway 1.7 is adding support for zero-copy direct scanout for better performance when rendering full-screen windows.

Sway 1.7 also has better support for virtual reality (VR) headsets via DRM leasing support on Wayland, xdg-activation-v1 support as some additional Wayland protocol work, and various other compositor enhancements.

Up to now Sway has hidden its NVIDIA driver support behind a "--my-next-gpu-wont-be-nvidia" command line flag. With Sway 1.7 that is being changed to just "--unsupported-gpu" for enabling the NVIDIA support. This comes with NVIDIA's 495+ proprietary driver stack finally uspporting the GBM API. NVIDIA's binary driver finally supporting the Generic Buffer Manager interface means greatly improved Wayland support with that API being preferred by more Wayland compositors -- such as Sway -- rather than the EGLStreams approach NVIDIA pushed along for years.

As for this Sunday release of Sway 1.7-rc2, there are various fixes -- including crash fixes. Source downloads and the list of fixes in Sway 1.7-rc2 can be found over on GitHub. Given the past release rhythm of Sway, there may be another possible RC before v1.7 is christened but in any case look for the stable release within the coming weeks.
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