KWin Maintainer On KDE Wayland Remains Uninterested In NVIDIA's Driver
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 31 October 2017 at 08:38 AM EDT. 79 Comments
KDE --
KDE KWin maintainer Martin Flöser remains less than interested in supporting NVIDIA's proprietary Linux graphics driver as long as they continue pursuing the EGLStreams approach until the long talked about new memory allocation API is ready.

Martin going back a while has been opposed to supporting the NVIDIA proprietary driver or having to maintain multiple support code paths besides the GBM (Generic Buffer Manager) API used by the open-source drivers. He has resisted adding EGLStreams/NVIDIA support to the KDE/KWin Wayland compositor even while support was worked on for GNOME's Mutter and unmerged patches for Weston.

It's much the same story this year that Martin doesn't want to add support for non-GBM code-paths. But he now says if NVIDIA themselves were to send patches to KWin for adding EGLStreams support, he wouldn't outright resist the patches. Only if these patches come from NVIDIA developers directly would he be willing to merge this support.

It's too bad that the new device memory API to ideally replace the GBM/EGLStreams functionality within Wayland isn't yet ready for primetime use and isn't supported yet by the mainstream drivers.

Martin does also note that KDE Plasma 5.12 will support falling back to QPainter compositing when OpenGL fails. In this case for the next KWin update, it will be possible to run Plasma/Wayland on NVIDIA hardware but without any GPU acceleration.

You can read Martin's latest update on his KDE/KWin NVIDIA Wayland thoughts via his blog.
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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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