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NVIDIA getting geared up to support hardware accelerated XWayland

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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.
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49 comments
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Nanobang 7 Jan
I'd love to use Wayland. I tried it a few years back and it was awesome, especially the way it expanded my laptop's trackpad functions. I've been looking forward to the day I could have Wayland and Nvidia living harmoniously together. (You watch, though. I'll have finally switched to an AMD GPU the week before it happens. Lol!)
x_wing 7 Jan
Quoting: 3zekielNvidia 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.

What do you mean by "everyone"? Nvidia is the only one that adopted EGLStreams, not to mention that they are the ones that created this "standard" that only they implement.
3zekiel 7 Jan
[quote=BielFPs]
Quoting: Eike
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.

The issue has nothing to do with proprietary or open source. Support for Wayland has been here for ages. Support for Xwayland is, as you see, coming to full feature. Is purely technical choices (and lack of discussions when they should have happened...).
3zekiel 7 Jan
Quoting: x_wing
Quoting: 3zekielNvidia 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.

What do you mean by "everyone"? Nvidia is the only one that adopted EGLStreams, not to mention that they are the ones that created this "standard" that only they implement.

I mean other OSes, at least ChromeOS and Android was their argument. I did not say their argument is good either. And if anything, issue is they did not say anything for years and then came and said "we support that and only that"
x_wing 7 Jan
Quoting: 3zekielI mean other OSes, at least ChromeOS and Android was their argument. I did not say their argument is good either. And if anything, issue is they did not say anything for years and then came and said "we support that and only that"

AFAIK, no other OS uses EGLStream (I'm sure Android doesn't at least). Nvidia presented EGLStream as a OS independent solution, but the reality is that it was designed with the sole purpose of adapting to their needs. If Nvidia would want to improve GBM they would sit down with other wayland devs and start discussing a new standard that also works for Mesa drivers.

The big problem here is that Nvidia doesn't want to do a step back or rework in their driver design.


Last edited by x_wing on 7 January 2021 at 3:04 pm UTC
omer666 7 Jan
Quoting: HoriAMD'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 :(
I think dealing with raytracing in its current state is not that simple. To begin with, not that many games implement it. Then, RTX is not always prettier than standard rendering. And finally, Dirt 5 offers better ray tracing performance on AMD, so it might still be a matter of optimisation.

What I do see nonetheless, is Nvidia advertising a technology which is not a thing yet, just like they always did.

Even with this move in the right direction, which makes me really happy, I am tired of running drivers that work like no others. There are always rough edges. This and the current product lineup is driving me away from Nvidia.
3zekiel 7 Jan
Quoting: x_wing
Quoting: 3zekielI mean other OSes, at least ChromeOS and Android was their argument. I did not say their argument is good either. And if anything, issue is they did not say anything for years and then came and said "we support that and only that"

AFAIK, no other OS uses EGLStream (I'm sure Android doesn't at least). Nvidia presented EGLStream as a OS independent solution, but the reality is that it was designed with the sole purpose of adapting to their needs. If Nvidia would want to improve GBM they would sit down with other wayland devs and start discussing a new standard that also works for Mesa drivers.

The big problem here is that Nvidia doesn't want to do a step back or rework in their driver design.

Actually, it was in the pipe at some point, that 3rd, merged better API, but nothing came out of it. And yes, I agree Nvidia does not want to rework their driver, and that is the core of the issue I guess. Also, I understand it is not a technically better all around or anything like that. So yeah... We simply have to deal with it because it's Nvidia.
But I guess changing back must be non trivial for them, otherwise it would be done.
Shmerl 7 Jan
Good, but coming from Nvidia with their money I'd count it as too little too late to affect how Linux gamers will perceive them. Judging by the trend of GOL stats, Nvidia usage is still the majority but it's continuously falling giving place to AMD. Nothing short of Nvidia supporting proper open source drivers will help them in this regard.

Regrading Wayland itself - now the big missing piece is Wayland support in Wine.


Last edited by Shmerl on 7 January 2021 at 4:19 pm UTC
BielFPs 7 Jan
Quoting: 3zekielThe issue has nothing to do with proprietary or open source.

I didn't said that the problem was the driver being proprietary, I said the problem is the said driver not supporting GBM.
BielFPs 7 Jan
Quoting: Shmerlbut coming from Nvidia with their money I'd count it as too little too late to affect how Linux gamers will perceive them.

I wish this was the case, but there's a lot of fanboys using Linux who are defending Nvidia, even when it's obviously their fault that wayland don't work with their graphic cards. Even a half-arsed "fix" from them is more than enough to make a lot of linux gamers to still give them money.

Quoting: ShmerlRegrading Wayland itself - now the big missing piece is Wayland support in Wine.

Fortunately, this only depends of open source software, so it'll eventually become true :)
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