Wayland in Fedora Update

As we are approaching Fedora Workstation 21 we held a meeting to review our Wayland efforts for Fedora Workstation inside Red Hat recently. Switching to a new core technology like Wayland is a major undertaking and there are always big and small surprises that comes along the way. So the summary is that while we expect to have a version of Wayland in Fedora Workstation 21 that will be able to run a fully functional desktop, there are some missing pieces we now know that will not make it. Which means that since we want to ship at least one Fedora release with a feature complete Wayland as an option before making it default, that means that Fedora Workstation 23 is the earliest Wayland can be the default.

Anyway, here is what you can expect from Wayland in Fedora 21.

  • Wayland session available in GDM (already complete and fully working)
  • XWayland working, but without accelerated 3D (done, adding accelerated 3D will be done before FW 22)
  • Wayland session working with all free drivers (Currently only Intel working, but we expect to have NVidia and AMD support enabled before F21)
  • IBUS input working. (Using the IBUS X client. Wayland native IBUS should be ready for FW22.)
  • Touchpad acceleration working. (Last missing piece for a truly usable Wayland session, lots of work around libinput and friends currently to have it ready for F21).
  • Wacom tablets will not be ready for F21
  • 3D games should work using the Wayland backend for SDL2. SDL1 games will need to wait for FW22 so they can use the accelerated XWayland support).
  • Binary driver support from NVidia and AMD very unlikely to be ready for F21.
  • Touch screen support working under Wayland.

We hope to have F21 testbuilds available soon that the wider community can use to help us test, because even when all the big ‘checkboxes’ are filled in there will of course be a host of smaller issues and outright bugs that needs ironing out before Wayland is ready to replace X completely. We really hope the community will get involved with testing Wayland so that we can iron out all major bugs before F21.

How to get involved with the Fedora Workstaton effort

To help more people get involved we recently put up a tasklist for the Fedora Workstation. It is a work in progress, but we hope that it will help more people get involved and help move the project forward.

UpdatePeter Hutterer posted this blog entry explaining pointer acceleration and what are looking at to improve it.

15 thoughts on “Wayland in Fedora Update

  1. My current frustration with Fedora and terminal emulations is the following.

    Gnome allows me to tweak the CA setting to put the Euro symbol onto the E key. In virtual terminal, this is E key option is not carried through.

    Newer Canadian CA keyboards from vendors have the Euro symbol physically embossed and sharing the E key.

    The Yuan (Yen) symbol is used by China, Japan and Hong Kong. That symbol is the second or third most used symbol, and the option should be to share it on the Y key. (I manually modify the /user/share/X11/xkbd/Symbols to permenantly assign the yen to third level Y, and as well, the Euro to permenantly share the 3rd level E key. But these are not carried through to the Virtual ttyn terminals.

    I am prepared to be involved with Wayland testing and to help test this and other stuff. (I am wanting to be retired from being retired).

    I can dedicate 2 drives of 1 terrabyte size. for testing. I always test with real drives. — No surprises that way. VMs sometimes fix things that with real hardware, show up broken.

    • Usign GNOME shortcuts for that is a hack, and as such it’s going to raise problems. The right solution is to create a new keyboard layout, maybe call it CA_EURO or something.

      I use the CA_ES layout and the € sign works just fine.

  2. Great to see things going forward, even if it will not be complete before f21.
    But will basic things like clipboard manager and dnd support in Gtk be ready for f21?

  3. Wahoo! This is exciting news. How is performance? Is Wayland faster then X?

    • Well some operations are certainly smoother and the Waylands design should be ‘faster’ than the one of X. But we haven’t done any benchmarking so far and of course what the definition of ‘faster’ is not clear. And even if we agreed what metrics to use for faster that wouldn’t automatically translate into a faster that matters to you. For instance if something takes 1 millisecond in X and 0.2 milliseconds in Wayland, then the difference might not actually be something you notice as a user even if I the percentage performance improvement is big.

      Anyway, we will look into what benchmarking can be done, but to me the true value of Wayland is the improved features and abilities it will bring as we go forward as opposed to the performance improvements it will bring.

  4. “XWayland working, but without accelerated 3D (done, adding accelerated 3D will be done before FW 22)”

    This is supposed to work since this commit http://cgit.freedesktop.org/xorg/xserver/commit/?id=2f113d68f6c1572576bc57ecca12e44cc9e438eb … its not in rawhide yet (but will be in xserver-1.16) … I have not managed to get it to work in local jhbuild builds though but krh said that it ought to work so probably just something with my build environment.

      • Great to hear! I only have Intel hardware myself so I am not able to test or verify anything else, but if we have AMD and Noveou covered already that is a big step forward. Thanks for looking into this!

        • No idea if it uses my NVIDIA or my INTEL graphics, because I have NVIDIA Optimus, but it worked for me without installing any special or additional packages right out of the box.
          NVIDIA Maxwell btw.

  5. I’ve not tested any desktop with wayland yet. Will clipboard and DND work across toolkits?

    • Well we are not switching to Wayland as default before that do work, but I don’t know the exact state at this point in time.

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