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Another exciting moment for fans of Wayland and the future of Linux, especially if you're an NVIDIA user, as the work to provide hardware accelerated rendering for NVIDIA GPUs was merged in for Xwayland. We've been following this work for a while, as an upcoming NVIDIA driver will have the code in for everything to be in place (likely NVIDIA 470).

To save you clicking around, this is what NVIDIA engineer Erik Kurzinger said about the patches:

These two patches are intended to accompany upcoming support in the proprietary NVIDIA driver for hardware accelerated GL and Vulkan rendering with Xwayland. They shouldn't interfere with the current swrast-based GL support, so once the driver-side changes are out the door things should just start working. I wanted to send these out for consideration first, though, in case anyone has any substantial concerns with the general approach. See the commit messages for further details on the implementation.

Performance should be roughly on-par with native X11 based on the benchmarking I've done. There's still an annoying extra copy required for presentation of windowed applications, but the impact doesn't appear to be significant, and full-screen applications won't have that issue (provided the compositor supports the required zwp_linux_dmabuf_v1 interface).

Since more distributions are moving over to Wayland from the old Xorg, this is a huge and important step. Even Ubuntu is targetting Wayland as the default for the upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 release. Still, it will be some time before all the major distributions have releases out with this new Xwayland support in for NVIDIA. It's possible we will see this land in the likes of Ubuntu 21.10, so more likely towards the end of this year.

You can see the Merge Request here.

Other interesting upcoming work includes another Merge Request that's not yet merged, which would enable the loading of alternative GBM backends.

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21 comments
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Great news. Maybe Nvidia and KDE will properly support Wayland at about the same time
This work plus the 470 driver fixing hybrid laptop things is pretty exciting
iiari 9 Apr
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Quoting: Luke_NukemThis work plus the 470 driver fixing hybrid laptop things is pretty exciting
Absolutely, very big news that allows Wayland to really be a complete solution for nearly everyone now.
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I wonder how much of this is for Redhat. Sure most people don't think RHEL when they think of gaming. But consider NVIDIA just recently opened official repositories for RH (they don't have them for any other distribution) and specifically for Quadro use. The fixes to hybrid graphics could also be down to RH based workstations (think Thinkpad P-series) needing it.

The wayland work also likely due to what I would assume the eventual inclusion in RH 9.x, or possibly a newer 8.x update.

Not that I am a huge Redhat fan, but they do seem to finance a huge majority of the Linux projects in some way.
CatKiller 9 Apr
Quoting: slaapliedjeNot that I am a huge Redhat fan, but they do seem to finance a huge majority of the Linux projects in some way.
Red Hat makes about $ 4 billion a year. The next biggest AFAIK, SUSE, only makes about $ 450 million. If Red Hat weren't using their money to fund stuff, that would really suck.
Sojiro84 10 Apr
Quoting: Luke_NukemThis work plus the 470 driver fixing hybrid laptop things is pretty exciting

What is a hybrid laptop?

Is that what I have on my work laptop? Which is a Intel CPU and also a Intel GPU inside of it and a dedicated NVIDIA GPU?

Right now, on my work laptop, I am using the nouveau drivers because they perform better with KDE and with the nouveau drivers I can also set 2560x1440 as a resolution on my 4K laptop screen.

With the official drivers I cant change it from 3840x2160 on my laptop screen.

Pretty annoying since I don't want to use scaling ever since it never works properly 100% regarding how apps themselves scale.
mike456 10 Apr
Why XWayland and not Wayland? What's the difference? I want to use Wayland for the enhanced security as soon as possible.
CatKiller 10 Apr
Quoting: mike456Why XWayland and not Wayland? What's the difference? I want to use Wayland for the enhanced security as soon as possible.
XWayland is for running X applications (so approximately all games, and legacy applications) on Wayland.

Wayland on Nvidia works approximately fine with some compositors (with the known Nvidia and Wayland issues) but XWayland on Nvidia wasn't hardware accelerated, which makes it not terribly useful. This work is to enable hardware acceleration for XWayland.
Quoting: slaapliedjeI wonder how much of this is for Redhat. Sure most people don't think RHEL when they think of gaming. But consider NVIDIA just recently opened official repositories for RH (they don't have them for any other distribution) and specifically for Quadro use. The fixes to hybrid graphics could also be down to RH based workstations (think Thinkpad P-series) needing it.

The wayland work also likely due to what I would assume the eventual inclusion in RH 9.x, or possibly a newer 8.x update.

Not that I am a huge Redhat fan, but they do seem to finance a huge majority of the Linux projects in some way.

I am a little unsure what do you mean by "official repositories for Red Hat". Just a driver package repo or some other form of repository?

In case of the first: https://download.nvidia.com/opensuse/
The is at least for openSUSE a dedicated repo hosted on the nvidia servers since several years now.

My apologize if I may misunderstand here something. I am just curious what you mean :D


Last edited by Vortex_Acherontic on 10 April 2021 at 11:20 am UTC
slaapliedje 10 Apr
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Quoting: Vortex_Acherontic
Quoting: slaapliedjeI wonder how much of this is for Redhat. Sure most people don't think RHEL when they think of gaming. But consider NVIDIA just recently opened official repositories for RH (they don't have them for any other distribution) and specifically for Quadro use. The fixes to hybrid graphics could also be down to RH based workstations (think Thinkpad P-series) needing it.

The wayland work also likely due to what I would assume the eventual inclusion in RH 9.x, or possibly a newer 8.x update.

Not that I am a huge Redhat fan, but they do seem to finance a huge majority of the Linux projects in some way.

I am a little unsure what do you mean by "official repositories for Red Hat". Just a driver package repo or some other form of repository?

In case of the first: https://download.nvidia.com/opensuse/
The is at least for openSUSE a dedicated repo hosted on the nvidia servers since several years now.

My apologize if I may misunderstand here something. I am just curious what you mean :D
Oh, well I'll be (and yes that's what I meant). I'm not sure how recent the RHEL ones were, but pretty sure when I had checked before last year, it did not exist. kind of surprised that opensuse has one. I mean I could see SLES having it. Is SLES still a thing?
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