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Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment 133

jones_supa writes: Software developer Pavlo Rudyi has written a blog post about his experiences with the various desktop environments currently supporting Wayland. The results are not a big surprise, but nevertheless it is great to see the continued interest in Wayland and the ongoing work by many different parties in ensuring that Wayland will eventually be able to dominate the Linux desktop. To summarize, Pavlo found Weston to be "good," GNOME is "perfect," KDE is "bad," and Enlightenment is "good." He also created a video from his testing. Have you done any testing? What's your experience?
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Fresh Wayland Experiences With Weston, GNOME, KDE and Enlightenment

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  • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:33PM (#51496533) perfect? Did he not upgrade? Gnome used to be perfect. Now, not so much.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kthreadd ( 1558445 )
      The first iterations of GNOME 3 was perhaps a bit rough but that's understandable when you're fixing so much at once. Around GNOME 3.8 things got better and since 3.14 it has been really good. If you haven't tried GNOME in a while then now is a good time to look at it with fresh eyes.
      • I've tried newer versions of it. It still sucks. It's completely minimalistic, there's barely any configuration settings, and it's buggy as hell. I hate it. The only reason I use it at all is because that's what my work machine comes with, and there's no easy way to install KDE (it's CentOS7).

        Honestly, I feel like Gnome is just like Windows Metro: a UI that I hate that people are trying to force on me. On the Windows side, it's MS trying to force their shitty UI on me through their market dominance and

        • Re:Gnome... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @04:59PM (#51496717)

          RHEL/CentOS 7 used to have GNOME 3.8 and I agree that was far from perfect. Red Hat recently updated it to GNOME 3.14 in the RHEL/CentOS 7.2 update, so that should have fixed most of the issues. Sure if GNOME just isn't for you then that's a matter of taste, it's not something wrong with GNOME by itself.

          By the way, try sudo yum groupinstall 'KDE Desktop' if that's what you want.

          • By the way, try sudo yum groupinstall 'KDE Desktop' if that's what you want.

            No can do, I don't have internet access on that system.

          • Re:Gnome... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mattventura ( 1408229 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @07:50PM (#51498113) Homepage
            But the thing is, Gnome was for me, but then they needlessly took it in an awful direction. If something goes in a different direction, what it tells you is that you're no longer part of their target market and should probably seek a different solution because they no longer want you as a user. I personally jumped ship to XFCE during the awkward window where there really wasn't a good Gnome 2 fork/clone, and haven't looked back.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Same. Happily running XFCE w/ Compton on Debian here.
              It's simple, stays out of my way and doesn't crash every few days.
              Which is pretty much all the "User Experience" I want from a desktop environment.

          • by caseih ( 160668 )

            Releasing 3.14 might have fixed Gnome issues, but it sure made things crappy for the other desktops on CentOS or RHEL7. Now a lot of formerly useful gnome apps that were used in other desktops like Mate or Cinnamon just look like garbage with client-side decorations in these other environments. At best they don't fit in anymore and at worst they look like rubbish as not all gtk3 themes' CSD works that well.

            It's looking like Mint's Xapps push is a good thing because the Gnome 3 apps, many of which were use

        • Yes, there are fewer customization options for Gnome 3. The area less explored and talked about is the availability of extensions. You can tweak almost any aspect of Gnome 3 through an extension. The extensions get easily broken with newer versions and since the ecosystem is nascent, it will take few more years to get a mature API. Little customization, like removing the top panel completely can be done with an extension script containing only a couple of lines of code.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Try MATE if you haven't already. It runs well on most the major distros now. It's basically GNOME 2, but still supported. Cinnamon is also pretty great; it feels like what GNOME 3 should have been.

          • Right now, I'm happy using KDE4.x (12 I think, I forget) on Linux Mint on my personal computer.

            It's my work computer that I have issues with. I can't choose the distro there, nor do I have much choice over the UI (I can only use what's available on the install disc, I'm not allowed to bring in new software and it's not network-connected).

        • by KGIII ( 973947 )

          Might sound odd but I really like LXDE. Cinnamon, based on Gnome, isn't bad. I have that on a couple of boxes and VMs. The missus uses Mint Cinnamon. But, I really like LXDE. As my preferred distro is going to LXQt, I'm not sure if I'll like it - I've no tried the beta yet, not even in a VM.

          • I like LXDE too, but after trying out XFCE, I prefer it as its requirements are only slightly higher and it's a lot more customizable.
            • by KGIII ( 973947 )

              Yeah, I'm not really worried about requirements? I do have older hardware but that's only kept around for nostalgia or out of inertia. The laptop I am sending this message with has, for example, 64 GB of RAM. I guess it's technically more a mobile workstation. It's made by Titan and was pricey but it is oh so sexy.

              Lubuntu is moving to LXQt. I'll probably adjust. If I can't then I'll see about XFCE or Cinnamon. Cinnamon can be absolutely stunning. At any rate, the change to LXQt is due in 16.04 and I'm looki

        • by jc79 ( 1683494 )

          I personally find I'm much more productive using recent Gnome than any other DE (I'm including OS X and Windows in this). I've never needed to configure something that gnome-tweak-tool didn't have a setting for, and I think I've been through at least two Fedora releases without needing even that. For me, the minimalism is a good thing as it means I'm not tempted to get distracted from what I should be doing by fiddling around with a gazillion options or rearranging widgets.

          DIfferent strokes for different fo

      • by Anonymous Coward

        ..If you haven't tried GNOME in a while then now is a good time to look at it with fresh eyes.

        Have done, still terrible (makes me nauseatingly nostalgic for it's older incarnation, which I disliked quite a bit).

        You cannot polish a turd, no matter how much duraglit you use in the mistaken belief that it is really a shiny thing of great value..

      • Don't worry. Soon they'll throw away again and start from the ground.
      • I'd expect fractional releases to fix bugs, but not redo a broken concept.

    • Poster just means that Wayland support is perfect, I think. In any case, GNOME 3 has gotten better. I tweak it, and yes I wish that wasn't needed for pleasant use, but once tweaks are added GNOME works reasonably well.
      • by Uecker ( 1842596 )

        After hesitating for years, I switched to xcfe. It is such a relieve from all the new crap.

        • After hesitating for years, I switched to xcfe. It is such a relieve from all the new crap.

          I didn't wait. I went to xfce the first time I installed Mint. I want pretty applications and lots of xterms. Pretty desktop not required.

      • Is there a tweak to put the menus back on the application windows (I'm serious)?

        • by tao ( 10867 )

          I think what you want might be the setting "Show application menu" in the "Top bar" category found if you use gnome-tweak-tool. If you choose NOT to show the application menu in the top bar, it'll show up in the application window instead.

      • by lhowaf ( 3348065 )
        I think you're right about the poster's intent. However, IMHO Gnome 3 is still that built-for-tablets bullshit that has no place on a computer. Just let the user have a desktop paradigm for cryin' out loud. Yeah, I know...I can use a different desktop. I do.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Stopped reading right there...

  • X11 has not aged well, as it was extended in a way which violated it original design idea. Therefore, I can understand that someone tries to make a new composition manager and protocol. However, it seems to be a large effort to get all the stuff running on this new graphics stack. Still cannot wait that it works.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Saturday February 13, 2016 @01:39AM (#51499231)
      Rubbish - extensions were put in as a mechanism so that it could age well.
      Also how is a dumb framebuffer and asking others to do compositors to work with it "new"? It's video game console and MSDOS territory.
      The Wayland developers don't push it as new they push it as more simple. Please try to keep up with the topic you are a fan of.
      • by Uecker ( 1842596 )

        It is essentially an abstract remove buffer management system, which is still exactly what is needed. So I would say it aged very well and with xrender and more recently DRI3 is supports modern use just cases very well while maintaining compatibility. Wayland is indeed simpler but also breaks compatibility. If Linux distributions make the mistake to adopt it as a replacement for X, this will cause a lot of pain for many of us for almost no gain. I have to disagree in one point though: Wayland developers (at

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          Wayland developers (at least one of them) push it as far superior as X by spreading FUD about X

          Using the new "gedit" startup time as evidence that X is slow instead of that gnome3 is slow is a shining example - if it was the fault of X then the older "gedit" that starts extremely quickly would not be so quick.

          Mr Stone has publicly held up screenshots of Rasterman's Enlightenment v0.16 as items of ridicule to demonstrate how X has so many features he thinks it should not need. I doubt that went down well s

      • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

        Why are you needlessly passive aggressive? You could instead argue, but you only claim stuff and denounce what they do. Here is the thing. X11 was a network transparent protocol for drawing. Later additions like DRM, however, were not network transparent any more. The basic idea behind X11 was that it did not matter where the program run, you could display it anywhere. So maybe Wayland is not the best solution for a graphical interface protocol on present day graphical devices. You can debate that, but plea

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )
          You've been misinformed on that point. Unless you have an environment designed to depend upon local 3D acceleration hardware then the network transparency works as designed. Gnome3 is currently broken in that way, as some complained when it was first released, but very little else that runs on X is. The gnome3 stuff still works remotely but performance is terrible. Actually the local performance of gnome3 is dismal as well (see Daniel Stone's comments about "gedit" taking a long time to start) but faste
          • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

            To my knowledge KDE and GNOME both use extension functionality which works better locally including the use of pixmaps. What I know about Wayland is that solves this problem by not addressing network transparency at all. That is an acceptable approach when you only want to execute things locally. Like Mir, Waylan/Weston are one building block for a new display stack in Linux. I personally think we also need a network transparent drawing and interaction layer which allows to transfer UI to a remote machine w

            • by dbIII ( 701233 )
              Yes, but note it's not X that is broken but instead a reliance on high performance local hardware to give barely adequate performance. It is not an X issue at all. It appears to have had the effect of driving people to other window managers and back to gnome2.

              I would expect an X11 benchmark

              To date the Wayland people have been unable to supply benchmarks to compare performance with X11 benchmarks, which is fair enough from the developers of a project in early stages, but the fanboys loudly scream about per

  • by neuro88 ( 674248 ) on Friday February 12, 2016 @05:33PM (#51497049)
    I read the article a few hours ago on my way to work, and I don't recall it being mentioned that the KDE port to Wayland is very much a work in progress, but this is slashdot and no one readons TFA's anyway so it's worth mentioning here. Of course the KDE port to Wayland isn't going to be very good as in a work-in-progress and more of a technology preview at this point.

    I've been meaning to try Gnome 3 under Wayland... This blog post makes me even more interested. Although I should probably try Gnome 3 under X11 first so I have a basis for comparison.
    • Yes, just like with ODF multiple implementations of a standards specification like Wayland are essential for compliance testing. KWin has always been a very customizable, modular window manager, and so the scope of it's massive low-level re-write into a Wayland compositor/client without feature-loss is quite daunting. But the KDE developers are using this opportunity to finally fix lots of legacy problems, such as the inherent insecurity of the desktop screen-lockers [] due to X11. It's going to take months be
      • Most of the screen locker insecurity complaints are made obsolete by the compositor extensions. If you're running a compositing WM, it intercepts all events before passing them to the windows, and all window operations before drawing them to the screen.

        I don't see why a screenlocker imlemented in a compositing WM would be at all insecure.

        Even in the case of grabs, etc, the compositor intercepts the events, because it needs to be able to mangle the coordinates because the windows don't know where they are.

  • I got into the Linux as a desktop thing in around 1997. I got out in 2007 when Apple made BSD as a desktop work.

    I do agree that Linux as a desktop has gotten better since then, especially on laptops. I have recently used systems based on Mint and Ubuntu.
    I still think Linux that while Linux is making progress, it's not exactly catching up.

    In my view the fundamental problem with Linux on the desktop is that the common kernel and GNU environment do not provide enough functionality. This means that KDE, Gnome,

    • I do agree that Linux as a desktop has gotten better since then, especially on laptops.

      I have to disagree. These days there are a shitload of problems specifically on laptops: suspend/hibernate, hotkeys/leds, screen brightness adjustment, power management, graphics switching, audio pin mapping, touchpad...

  • Who gives a crap that these desktops don't work with "Wayland"? Just run them under X11. Then you get network transparency and the functionality of tens of thousands of other GUI applications that have been written over the last 30 years.

  • What is Wayland?

    • Wayland is a protocol, just like X11 is.

      You can read about why Wayland is better here []. To put it simply, one of the things Wayland is supposed to do is take out the middle man, sort of like buying shoes online and skipping the cost of the store.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.