I know I could duckduckgo it, but I think we’re at the stage at lemmy where there’s space to ask basic questions.

What is it? Why does it matter? Users at which lunix proficiency level should care about it? Is it just yet another competing standard or is x actually going to die?

  • Jears
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    482 months ago

    Wayland is a Display Server Protocol, meaning it is a specification of how a program wanting to display something like a window communicates with another program, the display server, which handles drawing to the screen.

    It matters because it vastly simplifies and modernizes display server infrastructure.

    X is huge, with many parts from the 80s and 90s that were simply not needed today, creating a fully compliant X Server with all extensions was pretty much impossible, which is the reason pretty much only X.org existed as a full implementation.

    Some benefits for users are no screen tearing, VRR and support for more complicated setups like having multiple monitors all with a different refresh rate, which was a pain in the ass on X but is no problem on wayland.

    X is going to die, especially with the fact that frredesktop and the two big DEs, GNOME and KDE are working on it. Some distros come with wayland by default already.

    • WFH
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      2 months ago

      X is not going to die, X is already dead.

      (great write-up btw ;) )

      • @Toribor@corndog.social
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        22 months ago

        I started learning Linux in 2009/2010 and remember doing hacky weird things in X to get my displays working properly and hearing about how Wayland was going to replace it and make that all easier. I had no idea it was such an ordeal and would still be in a transition at this point.

  • @Cysioland
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    152 months ago

    Yes, X is actually going to die.

  • @take6056@feddit.nl
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    122 months ago

    Explained by someone that doesn’t know the technical side super well.

    1: It’s a new protocol for displaying. The main difference from X11, as I understand it, is a simplification of the stack. Eliminating the need for a display server, or merging the display server and compositor.

    2: Some things impossible (or difficult) with X11 are much better supported in Wayland. Their not necessarily available, as the Wayland protocol is quite generic and needs additional protocols for further negotiation. Examples are fractional scaling & multiple displays with differing refresh rates.

    Security is also improved. X11 did not make some security considerations (as it is quite old, maybe justifiably so). In X11 it’s possible for any application to “look” at the entire display. In Wayland they receive a specific section that they can draw into and use. (This has the side-effect of complicating stuff like redshifting the screen at night, but in my experience that has fully caught up).

    3: If you’re interested, are in desktop application development (but I have no experience in that regard) or have a specific need for Wayland.

    4: I think X won’t die for a long long time if “ever”. I’m not super familiar with desktop app development, but I don’t think it requires more work to keep supporting X.

    On the other hand, most of the complaints about Wayland I’ve heard were ultimately about support. At some point, when you’re a normal user, the distro maintainer should be able to decide to move to Wayland without you noticing, apart from the blurriness being gone with fractional scaling.

    • @Vorter@lemmy.zip
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      2 months ago

      I’m not super familiar with desktop app development, but I don’t think it requires more work to keep supporting X.

      It doesn’t depend that much on desktop application developers, but on GUI toolkit developers. It does need more work for GTK and Qt devs to support both. But the outcome will likely depend not that much on ammount of work as on “political” decisions. RedHat are now somewhat actively forcing Wayland in their distros. They also have their impact on GNOME, so it’s not impossible that due RedHat’s decision GNOME and then GTK (that is now developed mostly by GNOME developers, despite being GIMP Toolkit initially) will ditch X “just because”.

      End user Application developers usually don’t deal much with Wayland or X — they just use toolkits (GTK or Qt for the majority), and toolkits do all the under the hoof work for them.

  • @wiki_me@lemmy.ml
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    112 months ago

    On top of what other said, the wayland project also maintains the wayland protocols repository which includes additional protocols that are approved by a “committee” that includes representatives from wayland protocol implementations (wlroots, kde , gnome , smithay etc). for example now they are working on color management.

    There appears to be a consensus among people working on window manager implementations that X has to go and wayland is the future.

    Wayland has technical benefits, if you want the nitty gritty details see this.

    Basically X11 is bad IPC at this point.

    Also be careful with what you read online, I see misinformation about it relatively often.

  • @Vorter@lemmy.zip
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    112 months ago

    In short, Wayland is a protocol for graphics.

    It’s somewhat similar to X, as its main purpose is the same, however the archivecture is very different, and Wayland is much simpler/barebone.

    If X is going to die or not — only time will tell. For now it can be considered another competing standard.

  • BiggestBulb
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    72 months ago

    I think this is the perfect post to bring up XWayland.

    That being said, I haven’t used it yet (so I can’t comment on whether it works flawlessly)! Can anyone elaborate on their experiences with it? I’m curious on it and don’t have my hands on a Linux machine at the moment

    • Mactan [he/him]
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      12 months ago

      not flawless but barely noticeable that it’s there. only time I’ve ever had issues was with cursor warping in one game

      • BiggestBulb
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        12 months ago

        Interesting, thank you for sharing. I’ll have to give it a go next time!

    • @Miyabi@iusearchlinux.fyi
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      12 months ago

      I have had a problem where some apps will just open to then show up as black. I can’t seem to figure out why its not working. It is what it is.

  • @Moobythegoldensock@lemm.ee
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    62 months ago

    You’ve already gotten great answers on what Wayland is, but as far as who should care:

    Mainly developers and users with niche workflows. People with NVIDIA cards should care a little as initially NVIDIA did not support Wayland, but NVIDIA drivers are catching up so this should continue to improve. Most users should just switch when their DE switches.

  • @nobloat@lemmy.ml
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    42 months ago

    Great answers here. I’d just like to add that X and Wayland are not completing. In fact, most of the Xorg devs are the ones working on Wayland. You can find Wayland mentioned in the Xorg Foundation Website.

  • CarbonScored [any]
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    22 months ago

    Wayland is the fancy new standard that never seems to stably work for me on any of my machines :( Thanks for letting me revert to X in the login screen, GNOME.