Running Wayland On Ubuntu 11.10

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 25 August 2011. Page 4 of 4. 6 Comments

Next up is a video demo from Wayland when manually launching the Wayland compositor in Ubuntu and then using the "wayland-run" command to launch the various Wayland demo clients within the active compositor window. When executing wayland-run, if no arguments are specified, a random demo will be selected (of the ones mentioned earlier in this article).

Yep, Wayland is still working, and there is even a nice segmentation fault at the end of the video. Wayland in Ubuntu 11.10 is a toy.

Aside from Intel's MeeGo-on-Wayland plans, the next major milestone for Wayland will be the KDE efforts for Wayland that involve the KDE Software Compilation running on this lightweight display architecture in the 2012 calendar year. This was announced back during the Berlin Desktop Summit and covered by Phoronix. The KDE for Wayland work began this year as part of a KWin GSoC project to begin cleaning up KDE's compositing window manager to make it less dependent upon X11 and more friendly/abstracted to other display servers. Canonical though is most focused on the support of Wayland by GTK and Compiz.

For end-users, do not look for any meaningful integration of Wayland within Ubuntu before the 12.10 release in more than a year's time. Ubuntu 12.04 is a LTS (Long-Term Support) release, which prevents Canonical from making any ambitious changes during that development cycle, and Wayland plus related dependencies simply will not be ready for a show-time performance in the next six months.

Next October by the time of Ubuntu 12.10, Wayland and the related components will hopefully be ready so that the first phase of its rollout can take place. Canonical will first likely ship Wayland when running on top of an X.Org Server, in order to stave off any problems with graphics drivers not being ready or hitting other snags with Wayland running directly on the hardware. A release or two after that (Ubuntu 13.04 or Ubuntu 13.10), if Wayland is to survive, it will then be running natively at that point. This is similar to the approach that KDE is taking in supporting Wayland. Developers also need to ensure that legacy applications (and those simply not yet ported to Wayland) can still handle their X11 interactions fine when nested within Wayland.

At this point don't look for anything exciting to happen to Wayland within the Ubuntu world prior to Ubuntu 12.10, but Ubuntu 13.04 may really end up being the sweet spot when this interesting free software project, which I was the first to report on back in 2008, may finally go mainstream to the Linux desktop.

Wayland will also likely end up being discussed at XDC Chicago 2011 development conference in just two weeks. While on this topic, be sure to participate in the 2011 Linux Graphics Survey.

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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