Firefox Performance On Wayland Is Looking Good - Browser Benchmarks With KDE vs. GNOME

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 20 April 2020 at 08:12 AM EDT. Page 1 of 1. 66 Comments.

Earlier this month I looked at the X.Org vs. Wayland browser performance with Firefox and Chrome. Mozilla Firefox in particular was showing better performance on Wayland, so here are fresh tests of Firefox with using Fedora 32 and testing various X.Org/Wayland desktops.

Using a separate system from the benchmarks earlier this month and switching to the near-final Fedora 32, here are some fresh Firefox benchmarks on both X.Org and Wayland. Firefox was tested on GNOME Shell 3.36 Wayland session, GNOME on the X.Org session, KDE Plasma on both X.Org and Wayland, and Xfce on X.Org was also tested as an additional data point while monitoring the Firefox web browser performance.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite various DOM/graphics-heavy browser benchmarks were carried out while looking at the speed. As a reminder, if you enjoy the daily Linux benchmarking on Phoronix, consider showing your support during COVID-19.

Similar to the previous article looking at the Wayland vs. X.Org performance for browsers, under the WebXPRT benchmark the GNOME Shell and KDE Plasma desktops were both showing faster Firefox performance when running on their Wayland session rather than X.Org. Also interesting was using Xfce on X.Org did deliver higher performance than KDE/GNOME on X11. The default desktop packages from the Fedora 32 repository were used for these tests.

With the Basemark benchmark, KDE led to faster performance and especially its Wayland session led to 7% faster performance than the same desktop under X.Org. Xfce here trailed in last place.

The CanvasMark results were close but seemed to favor X.Org over Wayland for this graphics heavy web test.

MotionMark saw a big uptick when running the GNOME Wayland session but for those test was high variance between runs.

At least from the tests we have been running this month on Firefox 75 and Firefox 76 beta, the web browser on the Wayland session has been working out quite well. More tests coming up.

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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