Wayland display server protocol

Limitations

Some limitations still exist in a Wayland test session. On the one hand, you currently still need to use free graphics drivers because the proprietary drivers adapted to Wayland from AMD and Nvidia still aren't ready.

If you want to test Wayland in a virtual environment, VirtualBox isn't currently an option because the virtual graphics driver isn't yet adapted to Wayland. You'd have to use KVM or VMware Player instead.

Anyone who also habitually copies and pastes using the mouse will be disappointed because this feature isn't yet supported. It can also be a bit annoying that the mouse pointer sometimes needs a few seconds to respond, and you could also experience problems when operating multiple monitors.

All Gnome core packages have already been migrated to Wayland. Other applications such as Firefox are still using the XWayland interlayer [17]. I wasn't able to find any visible differences between native Wayland support and XWayland. The list of apps that still need XWayland (using the xlsclients command) is not always complete.

Conclusions

The appearance of windows and menus is very clean and flicker-free compared with tests conducted six months ago. A Wayland session runs stably in normal operation, but you can also still make it crash in rare cases. This is where X11 usually steps in, but sometimes you are sent back to the login manager. If you can cope with the restrictions described here, you really have no reason not to use Wayland. And, you can report any errors to the developers at Gnome Bugzilla [18].

After seven years of development, Wayland is now in the final sprint to the finish line. The intention of making Wayland a default in Fedora 24 was perhaps a bold plan, given the lack of proprietary drivers, gaps in functionality, and many errors still to chase down. More should be known later in 2016. In any case, X11 will still be around for years – even when Wayland becomes the default in future distributions.

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