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XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release 83

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the almost-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes that XWayland is nearly ready to be merged into the main X.org tree "X.Org Server 1.16 this summer should support XWayland, the means of allowing X11 applications to run atop Wayland-based compositors without the need for any application/game changes. With the revised design, XWayland has generic 2D acceleration over OpenGL and a cleaner design compared to earlier revisions. With GNOME 3.12 having better Wayland support and Plasma Next around the corner, it looks like 2014 could be the year of Wayland's take-off!" The patch series emails have more details. The big news here is that XWayland is ditching its old DDX model for one based on Glamor. eliminating the need for any X.org drivers to be written to support X11 on Wayland: "Finally, the last patch adds the Xwayland DDX. Initially Xwayland was an Xorg module that exposed an API for Xorg video drivers to hook into so that we could reuse the native 2D acceleration. Now that glamor is credible and still improving, a much better approach is to make Xwayland its own DDX and use glamor for acceleration. A lot of the code in the Xorg approach was busy preventing Xorg being Xorg, eg, preventing VT access, preventing input driver loading, preventing drivers doing modesetting. The new DDX in contrast is straight-forward, clean code, only 2500 lines of code and neatly self-contained." It does not yet have direct rendering or any acceleration, but those patches should come soon.
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XWayland Aiming For Glamor Support, Merge Next X.Org Release

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  • HALLELUJAH! (Score:5, Funny)

    by krewemaynard (665044) <krewemaynard AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:27PM (#46585607)
    The Year of the Linux Desktop is upon us!
    • Re:HALLELUJAH! (Score:4, Informative)

      by H0p313ss (811249) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:28PM (#46585623)

      The Year of the Linux Desktop is upon us!

      Again?

    • by Anonymous Coward
      What's a "desktop" grandpa?
      • by fishybell (516991)
        Ironically, in the post-desktop era, UNIX started out the leader, with Linux fairly quickly taking a commanding percentage of deployments. It is now Microsoft who is so far behind that the odds seem insurmountable.
      • A desktop computer is a computer that hooks up to a TV and is controlled with a mouse instead of touch. It lets you do two things that most tablet computers can't do. One is split the screen so that you can have two or more things showing at once, so that the calculator app doesn't need to cover everything else up. The other is let you make apps. You know all these apps you run on your tablet? Someone made them on a desktop computer. There are also laptops, which look like a tablet with a keyboard but run

  • "It does not yet have direct rendering or any acceleration, but those patches should come soon."

    How many projects are in the same state?

    • That is why I hate open source sometimes: too many parts missing or unoptimized. Still waiting for proper vectorized TRIM support for Linux kernel, instead of it trimming each sector individually.
  • I'll keep using my working computer.
    • Until your working computer no longer works because A. its hardware fails, or B. operating system and web browser makers no longer issue security updates compatible with your computer.
      • by Kremmy (793693)
        Hardware failure can't be avoided, but I think we can do better on the software side of things. I mean, if the Wayland project keeps going strong and the efforts to Not Break Everything keep progressing, we could end up with a case where X.org simply has a Wayland driver and while all the issues that can exist may exist, we can bypass a lot of the heartache if the project continues going smoothly. This article gives me hope that we're not destroying everything in this process.
  • It does not yet have direct rendering or any acceleration, but those patches should come soon.

    The patch series emails have more details. The big news here is that XWayland is ditching its old DDX model for one based on Glamor. eliminating the need for any X.org drivers to be written to support X11 on Wayland:

    Glamor provides 2d acceleration using openGL.

    • by Kremmy (793693)
      This part kind of aggravates me, honestly. There's a chicken-and-egg problem when it comes to diddling with every relevant part of the stack and how they communicate with the driver layers. The most important part as far as maintaining compatibility and supporting existing systems is making it so that common (legacy is the wrong word) API layers continue to function utilizing the new back-ends, but the logistics of where that begins and ends are very much in flux with this development process. OpenGL is a n
  • by dbc (135354) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @01:57PM (#46585895)

    OK, so I need to buy a clue here... does this move the ball forward with respect to being able to run an X-Windows client application on one node, and set the display back to a Wayland-based display server running on another node elsewhere on the network?

    • by robmv (855035) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:26PM (#46586253)

      Yes, XWayland can be compared to an X Server running on Windows or over OS X, it translates X to the native display, in this case Wayland

    • Actually, you just want VNC: tightvnc, vnc4 or vino. It works so much better for any major application, especially if it uses any recent X extensions

      • by sjames (1099) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @03:57PM (#46587093) Homepage

        Actually, I do *NOT* want VNC. My objective is to run an X app on a server that itself has no video capabilities at all and have that window appear fully integrated on my workstation desktop. I do not want a window that contains an entirely unneeded desktop that contains the app window that I actually want.

        VNC does not work better for that application, at all.

        • by washu_k (1628007) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:20PM (#46587255)
          Neither VNC or RDP require that the server have any local video capabilities. It is quite possible to run a Windows server headless.

          RDP can remote single applications and has been able to for years. No full desktop required.
          • RDP can remote single applications and has been able to for years. No full desktop required.

            Do you happen to know how RDP handles windows that occur outside the root of the first window in single application mode? Does it "just work" with a new client-side window?

          • by sjames (1099)

            Vnc requires most of the things a full X server installation require and it's a bit clunky to use as a bonus. Compare to "ssh me@server -c MyXapp".

            What do you recommend for forwarding a single app from Linux server to Linus workstation?

        • In that case what you want is xpra [xpra.org]. Each window is rendered off-screen and forwarded individually, as a compressed video stream (x264 if it's available). You can detach from the xpra server and reattach later, from the same client or a different one, with all your applications intact. A lot like how Wayland remoting will work, really, except that in Wayland it will be better integrated due to not needing to support all the legacy parts of X11.

          • by sjames (1099)

            I do use xpra sometimes when I need the extra functionality and it works well. My point ws that VNC is a non-starter for that need (it works well for other situations, especially for providing remote user support).

            As for Wayland, the only thing I've seen there is experimental support for running the full blown Wayland server and compositor on the server and it will use RDP if you want to view it remotely. It's hard to tell though since it's all very hand wavey at this point.

            • As for Wayland, the only thing I've seen there is experimental support for running the full blown Wayland server and compositor on the server and it will use RDP if you want to view it remotely.

              Well, you will need a Wayland compositor on the server, since Wayland is a local/shared-memory IPC protocol. The compositor will take the place of the xpra server, and communicate with a proxy (Wayland client) on the user's machine. It doesn't have to merge the windows into a single desktop, however. The current RDP backend in Weston is limited to the desktop mode, but if you can forward a complete desktop then there's nothing technically difficult about forwarding an individual window; it's just a matter o

      • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @06:18PM (#46588363) Homepage Journal
        No one WANTS VNC. The very idea of POLLING for changes is pretty much the worst approach to a remote display that you can come up with.
    • by sjames (1099)

      Essentially, it takes the Xorg server and adds a video driver that causes it to be a Wayland client.

    • Do you really care about remote X protocol, or do you want a remote window with the app on it? 'Cause Wayland checked in per-app RDP a year ago and making a chromeless RDP viewer ought to be pretty straightforward (if it doesn't exist already). ssh handles X specially - handling RDP specially could be something it adds.

      For some people the distinction matters, but for others it's good enough (or better), depending on which needs more bandwidth, as X can sometimes be an unreasonable pig on the wire (see als

      • by dbc (135354)

        Really care. I want a headless box running legacy X applications to be able to display across the network without a noticeable increase in latency.

  • by unixisc (2429386) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:03PM (#46585955)
    ... a part of X11 or a part of Wayland? Where exactly does it fit?
    • Re:Is XWayland... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Shimbo (100005) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:26PM (#46586251)

      XWayland is the X server for Wayland, so that you can run traditional X applications on Wayland (as opposed to Qt etc. applications, which will talk directly to Wayland). http://wayland.freedesktop.org... [freedesktop.org]

    • Re:Is XWayland... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @03:43PM (#46586999) Homepage

      Client X11 apps speak the X11 protocol to XWayland, XWayland speaks the Wayland protocol to Wayland so it's basically a big compatility shim. From Wayland's side it's just another client and if you use an X11 server you don't need it, it's not really part of either. Maybe the closest analogy is WINE, if you use Windows or run native Linux applications you don't need it. But if you want to run Windows applications on Linux you need WINE, likewise if you want to run X11 applications on Wayland you need XWayland. Basically you take an X11 server, stop it from talking to actual hardware and makes it draw to a Wayland window instead.

    • by AvitarX (172628)

      from TFS it sounds like it's part of x.org, it's all the same developers.

      I assume it's a server that kicks to Wayland, similar to Xnest kicking to X.

  • Is it just me? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:04PM (#46585961)

    Is it just me, or is the Linux graphical stack insanely complex? Every time I read about it, they've introduced three new acronyms.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by neuro88 (674248)
      At this point, it's mostly just you. All this work going on vastly simplifies the stack. Wayland compositors are much simpler than the entire X stack (which has to be supported even though much of it isn't used). Unfortunately, X still needs to stay around in some capacity so we can still play our proprietary games ,etc.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        At this point, it's mostly just you.

        That's just not the case. I have been amused at the proliferation of Linux graphics stack diagrams that have emerged on Wikipedia as contributors try to explain this stuff. There are six (nice) distinct diagrams on this page [wikipedia.org], for instance. The fact is that rendering graphics is hard and lengthy pipelines tend to emerge and unless you have your head in it for some reason it appears "insanely complex."

        This [wikipedia.org] diagram actually illustrates where Glamor fits into the graphics stack. In simple terms, Glamor uses

  • by jgotts (2785) <jgotts@NoSPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @02:39PM (#46586403)

    Anything without acceleration is an experiment. It doesn't matter how many lines of code you've written, or how efficient it seems. 100% of the required functionality is acceleration.

    Acceleration is why X is being replaced by Wayland. 2D X11 requires a separate driver for every different type of hardware. 3D X11, from what I read by the Wayland people themselves, has three different APIs. For a long time, the only drivers with good 3D acceleration were proprietary drivers from AMD and nVidia.

    I want Wayland to succeed, but I feel that it's still a long way off. The devil is in the acceleration. Think about the time spent by XFree86 developers over the decades writing acceleration code versus everything else, and that's the part we're missing right now. I'm not very clear on just where the acceleration is missing, but it sounds like it's missing in a foundational piece.

    • by Xtifr (1323)

      Think about the time spent by XFree86 developers over the decades writing acceleration code versus everything else, and that's the part we're missing right now.

      The Wayland developers are, for the most part, the X developers, so they not only have access to all that existing X driver code that took so long to write, they're the folks who best understand that code, and know how to adapt it to a new environment. They're standing on the shoulders of giants (and in some cases, are the giants).

      The biggest changes we should expect to see are in the API. Under the hood, I expect to see a whole lot of code that's identical to the current Xserver, or nearly so. As I underst

      • Re: acceleration (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @09:56PM (#46589615)
        This again? Two guys that worked on bits of Xorg are not collectively "the X developers". There are plenty of others out there working on stuff other than a nice tear free framebuffer for a phone. There are plenty of others that don't laugh at "running that app from 1996", who don't laugh at shaped windows, who don't bite the hand that is actually adding some wayland support and who have something better than a half finished presentation with no screenshots to show off their work.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      It's not quite as bad as it sounds, the actual hardware drivers are still accelerated and exposed as OpenGL, it's just that XWayland doesn't make use of it. If you look at this diagram [wikipedia.org] it's the line between the X-server and libDRM that's broken when you use XWayland instead because Wayland can't talk directly down to that level. XWayland needs to be rewritten to accelerate graphics using OpenGL instead, then it'll hook into the green box above libDRM and all will be well. Luckily for the Wayland project so

    • by maestroX (1061960)

      I'm not very clear on just where the acceleration is missing, but it sounds like it's missing in a foundational piece.

      Yup. Beat around the bush. Yadda Yadda about compatibility layer upon compatibility layer to keep features before acceleration. Just start anew & solid and the rest will follow.

  • With Wayland/Mir people should consider pushing X totally on user space, like Xming,VcXsrv,XDarwin (and XPhoton R.I.P.) with an SDL fallback.
    • Re:X from user space (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjames (1099) on Wednesday March 26, 2014 @04:02PM (#46587127) Homepage

      X has always been in userspace.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        X has always been in userspace.

        That's a serious overstatement.

        X.org runs as root and directly maps parts of the PCI address space into its address space. It has the same amount of raw metal access as the kernel; it's a kernel which runs on top of another kernel.

        • by sjames (1099)

          If it runs as a user (even root), it runs in userspace. It is a privileged user, but that's not actually the same thing.

          While not typically done, there is no reason it can't be split into a part that maps the PCI device and a part that requests specific access to those parts.

          If you can put up with a performance loss, Xorg CAN be run on top of the framebuffer device as non-root [debian.org]. This ha been doable for years.

  • Where can I get WaylandX? This would be much more useful.
  • Wayland is supposed to reduce code complexity.

    Is XWayland, running on top of Wayland actually less complex than X on its own?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wayland is a fraud.

      It's advertised as a way to make things less complex. But it lacks critical functionality from day 1, it's already due a rewrite to support OpenGL properly (which I'd say is PRETTY BASIC FUNCTIONALITY), and certain other feature requests, like remote apps, get contradictory and often ridiculous responses, from "You don't need that" ("But I use it!) "Then you're just wierd, fuck off weirdo" to "Oh, in Wayland we'll be turning each window into a live H.264 video stream! That'll have no l

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