Wednesday, May 9

Ubuntu 12.10 May Get Wayland as a Tech Preview

In a UDS session today, Canonical discussed plans to implement Wayland Tech Preview in Quantal.

Ubuntu 12.04 may get Wayland implemented as a system compositor making overall boot experience more smooth. 

More specifically, a Wayland demo-compositor plus a LightDM greeter wayland backend can be used to start user's X sessions in Ubuntu 12.10.

This will bring a number of benefits:
  • Smooth transitions from the splash screen to the greeter to the session and back again
  • One consistent monitor layout for all stages of the boot
  • LightDM greeter as the lock screen
  • Ensuring that user can never accidentally switch to a locked session
  • The greeter can be shown while the session loads
However, not all video drivers (read proprietary) will support Wayland, so current backend used in 12.04 will also be maintained as fallback/alternative.

Users who prefer open source Intel, ATI and Nvidia drivers will be able to take benefit from this. This system compositor will be able to support hybrid graphics and graphics switching, but work on this will be done after Ubuntu 12.10.

Lots of things have to worked out for Wayland implementation namely maintaining current and new boot forms, maintaining a plymouth wayland backend, modifying LightDM to support Wayland, adding a desktop session to start a Wayland session, supporting VT switching and of course writing a Wayland compositor itself.

Canonical also plans to approach Nvidia and AMD asking them to integrate this into their binary drivers.

Full session notes can be found here.

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