X.Org Server Git Lands Support For Hardware-Accelerated XWayland With NVIDIA

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 9 April 2021 at 11:24 AM EDT. 44 Comments
The NVIDIA-led work to allow XWayland OpenGL and Vulkan acceleration with their proprietary driver has just been merged into X.Org Server Git.

The XWayland changes needed to allow the NVIDIA proprietary driver to work in an accelerated manner have landed in X.Org Server 1.21 Git. The main change is xwayland: implement pixmap_from_buffers for the eglstream backend that was merged just a few minutes ago.

Before getting too excited, this support is contingent upon a new NVIDIA proprietary driver release. That much anticipated driver update looks to be the forthcoming NVIDIA 470 Linux driver series.

The other downside is that it may still be some time before you see this NVIDIA XWayland support in released Linux distributions. There still is no sign of the X.Org Server 1.21 release materializing. There are now the XWayland standalone releases derived from the X.Org Server Git source tree but this big feature missed out on making it into the recently christened 21.1 release. Thus it will be waiting until the next XWayland standalone release. Long story short, unless you are running a rolling-release distribution or building bits from source (or third party repositories/PPAs), it will likely not be until this autumn when the NVIDIA XWayland support for Linux gaming and more will be easily found with a supported proprietary driver and released XWayland build.

NVIDIA's recent (X)Wayland work, Ubuntu 21.04 switching to Wayland by default, KDE Plasma on Wayland continuing to mature, and other efforts might finally make 2021 the year of Wayland on the Linux desktop.
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