Valve Funded Development Of Xrdesktop - Lets GNOME & KDE Work In VR

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 30 July 2019 at 11:35 AM EDT. 27 Comments
Following the release of OpenXR 1.0, Collabora has announced the release of Xrdesktop, which was funded by Valve.

Xrdesktop is an open-source project that allows for traditional X11 window managers to interact better within a virtual reality space for presenting on VR head-sets. Xrdesktop allows traditional Linux desktops like GNOME and KDE to work on a VR head-set.

We've seen past open-source efforts like Arcan experimenting with a VR desktop while this Xrdesktop is about allowing existing traditional desktops to work more gracefully on VR head-mounted displays.

Xrdesktop doesn't work seamlessly with any existing X11/Wayland compositor / window manager but requires some basic integration as well as a Vulkan driver supporting VK_KHR_external_memory. In the case of KDE KWin support this comes as an effect plug-in while GNOME Shell needs patches against it in order to support Xrdesktop.

Developed as part of Xrdesktop at Collabora is Gulkan as a Glib wrapper to Vulkan, GXR as an XR API abstraction, and libinputsynth for synthesizing desktop input.

Moving forward they are planning on OpenXR 1.0 support, improved Wayland support, better 2D widget tool-kit handling, better 3D widgets, and other possibilities. More details on the Collabora blog.
Related News
About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

Popular News This Week