There's Experimental Work On A Vulkan Renderer For KDE's KWin
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 20 February 2018 at 12:58 PM EST. 31 Comments
KDE --
There is an experimental branch of KDE's KWin window manager / compositor with support for Vulkan compositing.

Over the past week Fredrik Höglund has begun work on KWin Vulkan support so this low-level, high-performance graphics API could be used for compositing rather than OpenGL. So far he charted out a lot of the fundamental Vulkan code and the necessary infrastructure work along with some basic features like for being able to render window shadows and porting some other window effects over to Vulkan.

The work in its still very early stages can be found via this Git branch but for now likely wouldn't be useful or do much for end-users not wanting to help out with development. It will certainly be interesting to see where it goes. It's worth pointing out the work so far is being led by Fredrik Höglund who is not a no-name developer but rather a longtime KDE contributor and has also contributed to Mesa routinely as well. Back in 2015 is when KWin maintainer Martin Flöser discounted the idea of Vulkan support for KWin, but he also didn't think that Vulkan drivers would mature that quickly either.

Anyhow, it will certainly be interesting to see what comes of this Git branch for KWin Vulkan support. So far we haven't seen GNOME's Mutter compositor / window manager pursue any Vulkan support, but the GTK 4.0 tool-kit does have a maturing Vulkan renderer. For the Qt5 tool-kit, there is the Vulkan enablers as of Qt 5.10 but not yet any mainline support for rendering of Qt interfaces with Vulkan.

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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 10,000 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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