XWayland 22.1 is out with DRM lease support helping VR on Linux

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XWayland, the way to run older games and applications that don't yet have native Wayland support has a brand new release out, bringing new features. XWayland is needed, as a large amount of software will take time to move from X11 to Wayland, and some might never do it.

As per the official version 22.1.0 announcement on the mailing list, the highlights of what's new includes:

  • DRM lease support
  • Enables sRGB fbconfigs in GLX
  • Requires libxcvt
  • Refactoring of the present code in Xwayland
  • Implements support for touchpad gestures
  • Support for xfixes's ClientDisconnectMode and optional terminate delay

The big one being DRM lease support, which we mentioned in a previous article. One area this will really help is Virtual Reality (VR) HMDs on Linux, as developer Drew DeVault explained in a previous blog post giving some background to it all.

In short: it should mean that you're able to play VR games of all sorts on Wayland, when they're run through XWayland. All part of the package of ensuring everything works on Wayland, which is over the next year going to quickly expand across more distributions by default over the ageing X11.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Kithop 16 Feb
Going to give this a try with my Vive later - I believe the just-released KDE Plasma 5.24 added the DRM leasing bits to Kwin, I'm running `mesa-git` (and just did a fresh rebuild this morning), and the latest 5.17 kernel RC. Been running purely Wayland for months, now, but VR was the one thing I kept going back to Windows for.

The 'fun' part will be figuring out if I need to use the HDMI port hooked up to my laptop's APU (and reverse PRIME), or if I can use my USB-C to DP adapter that's hooked straight up to the dGPU, as my lappy is MUX-less.
slaapliedje 16 Feb
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Nice! I have to wonder, is there anything else they should be working on besides VR support? Not that I don't support VR, just seems like getting all the feature set of Xorg would be a tad more important. Then again the beauty of Open Source software is people can work on what they want to.
MayeulC 16 Feb
Great, I'll finally be able to use my VR headset with X clients under sway :D

Quoting: slaapliedjeNice! I have to wonder, is there anything else they should be working on besides VR support? Not that I don't support VR, just seems like getting all the feature set of Xorg would be a tad more important. Then again the beauty of Open Source software is people can work on what they want to.

I don't really understand your question. Is it about wayland vs Xorg?

This news is about XWayland, allowing X client to use a Wayland feature (well, X had it before TBH): DRM lease.

Wayland has all the features a regular user cares about, although some protocols are still unstable or underused (looks at gnome and their D-Bus APIs for stuff like screenshoots, also KDE to a lesser extent).

A few features are still being worked on, like HDR. IIRC, color management was something missing, and I heard that graphical tablet support could be better.


Last edited by MayeulC on 16 February 2022 at 6:10 pm UTC
skinnyraf 17 Feb
Awesome, now I just need a budget VR headset with inside-out tracking that works on Linux :)
slaapliedje 17 Feb
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Quoting: MayeulCGreat, I'll finally be able to use my VR headset with X clients under sway :D

Quoting: slaapliedjeNice! I have to wonder, is there anything else they should be working on besides VR support? Not that I don't support VR, just seems like getting all the feature set of Xorg would be a tad more important. Then again the beauty of Open Source software is people can work on what they want to.

I don't really understand your question. Is it about wayland vs Xorg?

This news is about XWayland, allowing X client to use a Wayland feature (well, X had it before TBH): DRM lease.

Wayland has all the features a regular user cares about, although some protocols are still unstable or underused (looks at gnome and their D-Bus APIs for stuff like screenshoots, also KDE to a lesser extent).

A few features are still being worked on, like HDR. IIRC, color management was something missing, and I heard that graphical tablet support could be better.
Oh, I read it wrong as if Wayland was getting the feature. XWayland being just the wrapper to load X clients, that makes more sense.

I think I noticed in Gnome that whether you're running Wayland or Xorg, it still says X11 in the 'About' field (or xorg, I'd have to look again).
slaapliedje 17 Feb
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Quoting: skinnyrafAwesome, now I just need a budget VR headset with inside-out tracking that works on Linux :)
Sure would be nice if there were such a thing as a budget VR headset that doesn't sour the experience on the better VR experience.

What I'm looking forward to is some multi-monitor madness like in Minority Report! Almost have that with... and the program name escapes my mind, but I got it working with KDE :)
MayeulC 18 Feb
SimulaVR perhaps?

I bought my HTC vive second hand for 200€, you just have to settle for something else than the last gen, just like "patient gamers" :D
Kithop 19 Feb
Just confirming that the combo of up-to-date kernel, mesa-git, Plasma 5.24, and now this XWayland update means SteamVR seems to work with my Vive under Wayland, though I'm getting this bug: https://github.com/ValveSoftware/SteamVR-for-Linux/issues/430

Kudos to all the teams involved here, but... that's it. I literally have zero reason to ever use the Xorg session again; Wayland's just better. :D It even works better with my DisplayPort monitor with 10-bit colour that used to come up with a very psychedelic rainbow artifacting in the previous version of Plasma.

Now we just need Wayland-native SDDM (or for me to try a different greeter). ;)

But yeah, going to try a couple different VR games (getting into VTOL VR lately) and see if they work under Proton here too.
skinnyraf 22 Feb
Quoting: MayeulCSimulaVR perhaps?

I bought my HTC vive second hand for 200€, you just have to settle for something else than the last gen, just like "patient gamers" :D

$3500 for SimulaVR is steep even if it is a standalone work-oriented headset. As you said, if you want VR in Linux, you can be like a "patient gamer" and buy used headsets, or pay premium. Unfortunately for me, I don't have good spots for base stations, so inside-out tracking is a must, so no Linux VR yet. The most promising option is Quest 2 and ALVR, though it still means selling my soul to Facebook/Meta.
MayeulC 22 Feb
[quote=skinnyraf]
Quoting: MayeulCI don't have good spots for base stations

Not even on tripods? I screwed them on some wooden mezzanine pillars when I first got them. I've moved elsewhere now, and I don't really have free space for VR anymore :/

If I were to empty the living room, I guess I could use tripods, or stick them to the wall, maybe even drill the wall (a single screw should be plenty already.

It's true it's one more thing to set up, but in my case the most annoying step always was to clear up some space.
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