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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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Shmerl 9 Jan
Quoting: TheRiddickEven thought many pro linux users hate nvidia's closed source drivers, this is kind of whats needed for wayland to succeed because like it or not, Nvidia is the most popular GPU today. They set the stage, not AMD. Unfortunately.

On Windows, but not on Linux anymore. That's what I was talking about the trend above. Nvidia trends downwards on Linux for this very reason (i.e. refusal to upstream their driver).
TheRiddick 10 Jan
NVIDIA just needs to release the bios and re-clocking features for (10,20,30 series) Nouveao and then things can get underway for open source NVIDIA. They do not need to release ALL their drivers in open-source form.


Last edited by TheRiddick on 10 January 2021 at 3:58 am UTC
Shmerl 10 Jan
Quoting: TheRiddickNVIDIA just needs to release the bios and re-clocking features for (10,20,30 series) Nouveao and then things can get underway for open source NVIDIA. They do not need to release ALL their drivers in open-source form.

That would be a good first step yes, but they obviously don't want to, so they are a bad Linux citizen and it's a major reason for Linux users to abandon them.
TheRiddick 10 Jan
NVIDIA has a 60-70% GPU market share on Windows, not sure what it is under linux, at least according to steam survey.
Shmerl 10 Jan
Quoting: TheRiddickNVIDIA has a 60-70% GPU market share on Windows, not sure what it is under linux, at least according to steam survey.

You can check GOL trends: https://www.gamingonlinux.com/index.php?module=statistics&view=trends#GPUVendor-top
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: TheRiddickNVIDIA has a 60-70% GPU market share on Windows, not sure what it is under linux, at least according to steam survey.

You can check GOL trends: https://www.gamingonlinux.com/index.php?module=statistics&view=trends#GPUVendor-top
When you think about it, that's pretty dashed fast movement. NVIDIA down 10%, AMD up 10% (so converging by 20%), in a year and a half. When you consider most people don't even change their graphics cards all that fast, the percentage of Linux card upgrades (around here at least) going with AMD has to be huge to push the figures at that rate.
Shmerl 10 Jan
Quoting: Purple Library GuyWhen you think about it, that's pretty dashed fast movement. NVIDIA down 10%, AMD up 10% (so converging by 20%), in a year and a half. When you consider most people don't even change their graphics cards all that fast, the percentage of Linux card upgrades (around here at least) going with AMD has to be huge to push the figures at that rate.

It's still slower than CPU trend, but I think it reflects the situation well. You can notice for example that RX 5700 XT has become the most used GPU among GOL users:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/users/statistics#GPUModel-top

Two most used GPUs here are from AMD in fact (RX 5700 XT and RX 580).

AMD only now reached parity with Nvidia in the very high end, so it probably will even accelerate a bit. Once GPU shortages situation will get better I expect RX 6000 series GPUs usage to start growing fast.


Last edited by Shmerl on 10 January 2021 at 7:36 am UTC
3zekiel 11 Jan
Quoting: Shmerl
Quoting: Purple Library GuyWhen you think about it, that's pretty dashed fast movement. NVIDIA down 10%, AMD up 10% (so converging by 20%), in a year and a half. When you consider most people don't even change their graphics cards all that fast, the percentage of Linux card upgrades (around here at least) going with AMD has to be huge to push the figures at that rate.

It's still slower than CPU trend, but I think it reflects the situation well. You can notice for example that RX 5700 XT has become the most used GPU among GOL users:
https://www.gamingonlinux.com/users/statistics#GPUModel-top

Two most used GPUs here are from AMD in fact (RX 5700 XT and RX 580).

AMD only now reached parity with Nvidia in the very high end, so it probably will even accelerate a bit. Once GPU shortages situation will get better I expect RX 6000 series GPUs usage to start growing fast.

It might get some slowdown depending on DLSS adoption (https://discord.com/channels/277857463384932353/653300722003214348/788105568812138498 it seems Joshie and Doistujin are on it). But eventually, unless Nvidia opens their drivers, AMD and Intel (if they do not screw up their GPU) should become the "Natural" choices.
I think Intel might actually take the lead there if the card is rtx 3070 equivalent, a bit cheaper and with the same driver support as igpu. In that case, you will have same inherent robustness as Nvidia, but even better thx to being open source. Hopefully no blob except for video decoding (which I do on sw) like on igpu too, would be golden. In that case, they might even manage to shove oneAPI everywhere to replace cuda, who knows.
Shmerl 11 Jan
Intel might become a bigger factor, but so far they don't have anything comparable to higher end cards, they seem to be more focused on AI now than on gaming, but may be they'll make something in the near future.

DLSS won't really help Nvidia have an edge for a long time. I think AMD are leading some effort to make a standard method for upscaling, that's not tied to specific hardware. At that point Nvidia will probably rush to make some new hardware specific feature they'll be hyping but nobody will be really using and that thing will go on and on. It becomes more of a marketing game than actual progress unfortunately.


Last edited by Shmerl on 11 January 2021 at 8:35 am UTC
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