Chamferwm: A Vulkan-Powered X11 Window Manager
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 18 February 2019 at 09:03 AM EST. 27 Comments
While we have talked about the possibilities of writing a Vulkan Wayland compositor and there was even a short-lived Vulkan renderer for KDE's KWin, it's also possible to write a X11 window manager around the Vulkan interfaces.

Chamferwm is a new tiling X11 window manager that features a Vulkan compositor. Chamferwm doesn't support Wayland at this point but is written using Vulkan and XCB for the X11 bits. This tiling window manager already supports a lot of standard window management functionality, all rendering is done with Vulkan and there is support for user-supplied shaders for decorations/borders, and support as well for using an external compositor.

This Vulkan X11 window manager is available from AUR for Arch Linux users otherwise there is Meson build system support for those wanting to try it out elsewhere. Those wanting to learn more about this work can stop by the project's GitHub. Chamferwm appears off to a very good start and already appears quite usable.

Hopefully this is just the start of work in 2019 for enabling more Xorg/Wayland compositors with Vulkan rendering support, now that Vulkan Linux drivers are widespread and quite mature. Though I wouldn't expect any of the major compositors/WMs to go Vulkan-only yet considering old hardware support and there not yet being a Vulkan equivalent to LLVMpipe for fallback purposes - the Kazan CPU-based software renderer isn't yet ready to fill that void.
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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 or contacted via

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