ChamferWM Still Appears To Be The Most Capable Vulkan-Powered X11 Tiling Window Manager
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 10 December 2019 at 03:27 AM EST. 29 Comments
VULKAN --
While we are approaching 2020 and the four year anniversary since the Vulkan 1.0 launch, one aspect that has been a bit disappointing has been the lack of not seeing quicker uptake by various Linux window managers / compositors in at least offering a Vulkan code path. One of the best examples of a Vulkan-powered compositor with that has been the independent ChamferWM.

Going back to 2018 was some experimental Vulkan renderer work on KDE's KWin but that didn't go anywhere yet. There is hope for the future with more Vulkan work happening on tool-kits (GTK4, Qt6) and the like, but no immediate plans of offering Vulkan-based compositors by the prominent Linux desktop environments. It's a bit understandable though as no desktop trying to appeal to the masses would yet target Vulkan-only due to the reduced GPU/driver scope (and otherwise having to also support existing OpenGL code) and no viable CPU-based Vulkan implementation yet. But in any case, for those wanting an efficient, Vulkan-focused X11 window manager the ChamferWM is the primary project I am aware of.

I last wrote about ChamferWM in the summer when covering its progress as a Vulkan-powered X11 compositor. Thankfully, the project is still alive.

In the months since last checking out ChamferWM, there has been more shared memory handling improvements, VK_KHR_incremental_present support for only updating changed areas of the screen for more efficient rendering, various window management improvements, and other code enhancements.


Those wanting to toy around with a Vulkan-powered X11 window manager over the holiday downtime can find the latest code for ChamferWM on GitHub. For Arch Linux users, Chamfer(WM) is available from AUR.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com 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 OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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