You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

NVIDIA getting geared up to support hardware accelerated XWayland

By - | Views: 16,172

Looks like 2021 really could properly be the year of Wayland on the Linux desktop. For plenty it already is but NVIDIA have been a sore spot and it looks like they're moving forward now too.

NVIDIA's Erik Kurzinger has submitted a Merge Request to the xserver GitLab titled "Xwayland: Support hardware accelerated rendering with the proprietary NVIDIA driver", with the two patches included "intended to accompany upcoming support in the proprietary NVIDIA driver for hardware accelerated GL and Vulkan rendering with Xwayland". Kurzinger continues to mention that once a driver is out with the needed hooks, this code should "just start working".

The patches are being sent out to be considered, so that they can get some feedback and see if there's any substantial concerns about their approach to it.

As for the performance of it? They expect it to be "on-par with native X11 based on the benchmarking I've done", although there's "an annoying extra copy required for presentation of windowed applications, but the impact doesn't appear to be significant" and you shouldn't see it for full-screen applications as long as the compositor works with the zwp_linux_dmabuf_v1 interface.

Why is all this important? With Wayland coming along to replace X11 as a big shakeup for Linux as a whole, you need XWayland to provide that backwards compatibility to enable existing applications and games to continue working well into the future.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
31 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
49 comments
Page: 1/5»
  Go to:

Hori 7 Jan
Finally. It was just a matter of time. IDK why there had to be all that drama preceeding it. It was pretty obvious that they had to eventually support it, Wayland is here to stay, and will eventually replace X11 entirely.


Last edited by Hori on 7 January 2021 at 9:40 am UTC
Any clues as to how this night affect laptops? Particularly when using reverse-prime?
On a slightly unrelated note, Nvidia is the only one benefiting from this: https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=HDMI-Closed-Spec-Hurts-Open
3zekiel 7 Jan
Stupid question: will nvidia setting work also ?
Because right now it is a bit of a sore sport, I tried already with patches from Adam Jackson, which kinda worked - albeit not wonderfully - but I had no Nvidia settings, and no Gsync.
As a all time NVIDIA user I must say that the idea to go AMD all the way have grown on me recently. AMD have to go and do some really stupid move to change my mind... but if that were to happen I simply would not upgrade hardware at all :D
Eike 7 Jan
I didn't look into Wayland yet, but XWayland is not the real thing, right?
Is it impossible for my graphics card vendor to do full Wayland support while keeping its driver closed?
3zekiel 7 Jan
Quoting: EikeI didn't look into Wayland yet, but XWayland is not the real thing, right?
Is it impossible for my graphics card vendor to do full Wayland support while keeping its driver closed?

What do you mean but "the real thing" ? If you ask whether a full X server will run, answer is no.
Nvidia already has wayland support, using standard egl extenstions. Rest of the Linux world uses custom (GBM) extensions. Then it becomes a question on who is right or wrong in this story. Nvidia says everyone else uses eglstream, Linux world says yes, but GBM has been there for quite some time. Both are kinda right. And neither solution is technically perfect either. Discussion to converge on a third solution that would be better for everyone have begun quite some time ago, but never converged I think ... That being said, code divergence is nothing dramatic here, there's not much difference between supporting one or the other.

As for Xwayland support, there has been some patch to make it kinda work for some time already, but it is not real good... I guess this is the "real" patch, the one that will completely and cleanly work. Red Hat has been spearheading full (x)Wayland support with Nvidia since at least 2 or 3 Fedora releases, so I guess this time it should be all in shape for Fedora 34. Also, the fact that red hat is dropping X server maintenance probably accelerated the movement from Nvidia, since only red hat still maintained it, meaning they basically declared the "time of death" by deciding to do that. And so, it will be Wayland or Wayland pretty soon now.

So it is completely possible for Nvidia to support wayland with closed source driver. It was just 1/ not wanting to support not standard egl stuff (right or wrong) 2/ probably thinking that as long as X still lived, why bother.


Last edited by 3zekiel on 7 January 2021 at 2:08 pm UTC
Very happy to finally see Nvidia gearing up for Wayland in some form, X11 has been a thorn in my side in many aspects for far too long.

I hope the longstanding tearing issues with Nvidia GPU's can finally be fixed together with Wayland support.
Hori 7 Jan
Quoting: sbolokanovAs a all time NVIDIA user I must say that the idea to go AMD all the way have grown on me recently. AMD have to go and do some really stupid move to change my mind... but if that were to happen I simply would not upgrade hardware at all :D

For me too but honestly it's not there yet IMO... AMD's still at 1st gen RT and we know how useless Nvidia's 1st gen RT was. Same goes to whatever AMD calls their DLSS equivalent - which IMO is the biggest advantage Nvidia has.

1st gen tech is usually "bad" and it's a much better move to wait until 2nd gen. And Nvidia is already there :(

Not that it matters though, it's all purely theoretical anyway until there is some physical thing people can actually buy...

EDIT: Oh and I do actually expect AMD to put really big pressure on Nvidia in the next generation. The current one is actually amazing, despite what I said earlier. Not in that it's "better" (as I said, "IMO" it's not), but because it got so close in such a short amount of time. The jump they made compared to their last gen is, in my opinion, quite extraordinary and I certainly did not expect it to be this big! Sure, there it wasn't perfect, but still impressive.

Even if I will end up not adopting AMD I will still be happy and hopeful for them. Competition is key! Just look what they did to Intel. It's been so long since CPUs were as exciting as they are now and make real, meaningful upgrades.

Sure, Nvidia might have not stopped innovating, like lazy Intel did, but their position of dominance still spoiled them in other ways, and no matter which company is the dominating one, it does descend into laziness and harmfulness if they stay as the "only" choice for too long.


Last edited by Hori on 7 January 2021 at 12:48 pm UTC
BielFPs 7 Jan
Quoting: EikeI didn't look into Wayland yet, but XWayland is not the real thing, right?


No and yes, "XWayland" is like a container using X11 to run applications which doesn't support wayland natively, but since is isolated to the rest of the system, you can still benefit from some wayland advantages (alt + tab and alt + f4, for example, is way more responsive than x11).

Also, X.org developers will now work with only XWayland support instead of x11, so probably we'll have a optimized x11 running inside XWayland in future updates (and less bloated too)


Quoting: EikeIs it impossible for my graphics card vendor to do full Wayland support while keeping its driver closed?

Presuming is Nvidia you're talking about, right now the answer is yes because Nvidia proprietary drivers can't run GBM.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts