A Vulkan Extension Is Being Worked On To Acquire Exclusive Control Of A Wayland Display
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 16 July 2019 at 06:57 AM EDT. 2 Comments
Drew DeVault of Sway/WLROOTS fame has been dabbling with his first Vulkan extension as part of work with other upstream Wayland developers on DRM lease support and better supporting VR headsets under Wayland.

Being worked on in-step with DRM lease protocol support for Wayland, Drew is also drafting a "VK_EXT_acquire_wl_display" extension for Vulkan. That new extension is akin to VK_EXT_acquire_xlib_display for X11 but for working on Wayland. The existing VK_EXT_acquire_xlib_display extension allows a Vulkan application / game engine to take exclusive control of a display currently associated with an X11 screen. This goes along with the DRM lease support and was spearheaded by Red Hat, Valve, NVIDIA, and Intel as part of Steam VR support on Linux.

Now this work is propagating to Wayland systems but first needs the DRM lease protocol support for Wayland to stabilize followed by getting this Vulkan extension accepted. The DRM lease protocol support has been under review as an unstable Wayland extension but the developers intend to fast-track that to being a stable protocol in order to get the dependent bits written for the Vulkan extension.

Drew last week published his initial bits around the EXT_acquire_wl_display extension as well as having a forked version of Mesa and the RADV driver that support this work. There are also updated bits for Sway and WLROOTS for testing. The open-source XRGEARS demo has also been updated to make use of this extension on Wayland for testing purposes.

Long story short, it hopefully won't be too much longer before seeing better virtual reality head-set support on Wayland.
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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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