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Ubuntu IT Linux Technology

Ubuntu Is Switching to Wayland (omgubuntu.co.uk) 227

An anonymous reader shares a report: Ubuntu is to ship Wayland in place of X.Org Server by default. Mir, Canonical's home-spun alternative to Wayland, had been billed as the future of Ubuntu's convergence play. But both Unity 8 the convergence dream was recently put out to pasture, meaning this decision was widely expected. It's highly likely that the traditional X.Org Server will, as on Fedora, be included on the disc and accessible from whichever login screen Ubuntu devs opt to use in ubuntu 17.10 onwards. This session will be useful for users whose system experience issues running on Wayland, or who need features and driver support that is only present in the legacy X.Org server session.
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Ubuntu Is Switching to Wayland

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  • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:02PM (#54264501) Journal

    ..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...to focus on the cloud. It sounds much more hip to say "No way in fuck would I use ubuntu on the cloud" as opposed to "No way in fuck would I use ubuntu on my phone".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:04PM (#54264525)

    As long as Linux can remember where I positioned my monitors after I put the laptop back into the docking station, and as long as I can wayland-over-ssh, and as long as there are performance gains, then I don't care.

    I'm sure this post will be littered with "I hate change" type posts where people lament the loss of X for no other reason than passion and nostalgia, and I'll have to dredge through loads of nonsense before someone actually puts together a point-form list of pros and cons comparing Wayland to X

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:28PM (#54264763) Homepage Journal

      Network transparency. X11 has it. Wayland doesn't. Wayland's devs tend to handwave the problem, either claiming it will somehow be implemented once they work on the other laundry list of things they want first, or claiming it's a niche requirement nobody wants or uses.

      On top of that they're doing the #1 thing you're not supposed to do in development: completely rewriting a working system.

      X11's main flaw is that it's supposed to be inefficient. It might be, but I've never noticed any significant difference between user interface performance on Ubuntu vs Windows or Mac. I think much of it is "This sub-nanosecond operation that is only called once or twice every frame takes THREE TIMES AS LONG under X11 as it should!" type purism.

      I'm not happy about this.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:36PM (#54264819)
        X11 is a turd. The future is using javascript and rendering to HTML. Rust, go, python, and all the other important languages can be compiled into javascript which runs everywhere - the browser, the desktop, the server, the phone, chromebooks, and even embedded devices that only have 4 GB of RAM.
        • by cfalcon ( 779563 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:06PM (#54265071)

          > The future is using javascript and rendering to HTML. Rust, go, python, and all the other important languages can be compiled into javascript which runs everywhere

          I 3 this troll. Please make a slashdotmeme outta this. This is app-guy levels of amusing. Which isn't saying much, but it is saying something.

        • X11 is a turd. The future is using javascript and rendering to HTML. Rust, go, python, and all the other important languages can be compiled into javascript which runs everywhere - the browser, the desktop, the server, the phone, chromebooks, and even embedded devices that only have 4 GB of RAM.

          ... and such a system written in such would probably still be faster and more efficient than X!

          • ... and such a system written in such would probably still be faster and more efficient than X!

            I know you meant it as a joke, but I remember NeWS and Display PostScript.

            X should not stand for all time, but there's a reason it won that particular battle.

        • by sconeu ( 64226 )

          You're wrong. The future is clearly Apps apping apps to app apps!!!!!

      • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:56PM (#54264989)

        How this will be solved in the long run remains to be seen. In the short run, toolkits that support Wayland still support X11. Mainly I'm talking about GTK and Qt. Thus KDE, Gnome, GTK, and Qt apps will all run either on Wayland or X11 without recompiling. So for many people, remoting needs can be accomplished by simply using X11 on Wayland and tunneling X11 over SSH. Simply ssh into your remote machine and run the apps. Locally on wayland things are silky smooth, remotely they still work, though a bit choppier (X11 over ssh isn't fast enough for anything but LAN anyway... I use X2Go for WAN remote X11 stuff.

        Of course in the long run if Wayland is successfull the X11 backend bits will languish in the toolkits and this will not be a sustainable future. I think essentially RDP will be adopted as the standard remoting protocol for wayland desktops. This will be used to forward individual apps or whole desktops. RDP is already a lot faster than X11 over ssh, due to the way X11 works and the fact that all modern toolkits essentially just push bitmaps these days anyway.

        Before criticizing Wayland and extolling X11's virtues, consider watching this talk by Daniel Stone who was formerly intimately involved with X.org and seems to know hist stuff. He makes a good case for Wayland. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        • by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:22PM (#54265209)

          Before criticizing Wayland and extolling X11's virtues, consider watching this talk by Daniel Stone who was formerly intimately involved with X.org and seems to know hist stuff. He makes a good case for Wayland. https://www.youtube.com/watch [youtube.com]?... [youtube.com]

          I can't second this enough. This should be required viewing before any of the anti-Wayland people spout their bullshit rhetoric.

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          watching this talk by Daniel Stone

          You mean the one where he "forgot his cables", at a conference where he could have borrowed some from one of the 2000+ attendees?
          Also note how he used the dog-slow gnome3 version of "gedit" as his "proof" that X is slow.
          Finally, take not that the context is about tablets, phones etc and not desktop systems. He had trouble with X on a phone display.

      • by harrkev ( 623093 )

        X11's main flaw is that it's supposed to be inefficient. It might be, but I've never noticed any significant difference between user interface performance on Ubuntu vs Windows or Mac.

        Try tunneling X over a VPN connection from home to work. It sucks for most applications. Apparently there is a lot of "back and forth" between the client and server where latency is multiplied by orders of magnitude.

        This was years ago, but I installed NoMachine's NX server (version 3.x) and things worked very smoothly, almos

        • by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:28PM (#54265253)
          You might be interested in XRDP: http://www.xrdp.org/ [xrdp.org]

          I haven't used it in a few years, but I remember really liking it.
          • by harrkev ( 623093 )

            From the screen shots, it looks like XRDP is another one that shows an entire desktop, just like VNC. Thanks, but I will pass. I like solutions that are "windowless" where, on a Windows client, the Linux windows work just like Windows windows (if you know what I mean).

            My current company has "Exceed On Demand" which works just fine, but is NOT open source, or even affordable for the average person.

        • This was years ago, but I installed NoMachine's NX server (version 3.x) and things worked very smoothly, almost as fast as being local. NX eliminates a lot of the "back and forth" in "X" which demonstrates that you don't really need that extra overhead in the first place.

          I had a similar experience with lbxproxy. However, this was in the days when everything was Xt/Athena/Motif/whatever. QTK and Qt may have changed things.

        • by caseih ( 160668 )

          Years ago most people began using FreeNX which used some open source parts of NX under the hood. Lately I have found that X2Go [x2go.org] is the direct descendant and replacement for NX and FreeNX. Give it a try.

      • Do all my X commands work in Wayland?
        xwd? xidle?
        Can I automate a Wayland GUI input using simple command lines like xwinifo, xte, etc?
        And, of course, most importantly, xroach and xdaliclock. :)

        X has years of development behind it, solid, works well, many features.

        • Re:X also has stuff! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:52PM (#54265465) Journal

          Not to mention window managers. One thing we'll sadly lose is the richness of the X window manager ecosystem. That's not a techincal argument against Wayland.

          • Or X was so horrible you needed an X Window Manager.

            Yes you can still have GUi's if you wnat in Wayland. Infact it is easier to make one as X11 is quite archaic, old, and difficult to work with.

            • by dbIII ( 701233 )

              Or X was so horrible you needed an X Window Manager

              It was designed to be modular like that.
              Just imagine what linux would be like if there was no choice other than to use gnome3. I do not think it would be a popular.

          • by Lenbok ( 22992 )

            We are already losing the benefits of X window managers via the rise of client-side decorations. Where once you had a nice consistent interface to all the windows on your desktop via the window manager of your choosing, now you end up with an inconsistent mess, with some having their decorations and behaviour handled by the window manager, and some directly provided by the app.

            For example most of the newer gnome apps draw their own crappy window decorations, and when I drag the windows near the top of the s

      • Why are you using X just to bring up a remote xterm window? Just ssh in.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I agree with this. The "x11 is bloated" nonsense came from a book in the 1980s when computers had 2 MB of RAM. Its a myth because its far more efficient than Windows 10. The 1980s era X11 myth is long outdated and has no relevance in modern context.

        What Wayland is supposed to do could have been done with X extension, mainly, what would be needed as far as I know is a way for X apps to be able to synchronize with the refresh rate of the display so it can draw a frame and have it ready for the next refresh, b

        • by hublan ( 197388 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @06:17PM (#54266361) Homepage

          You do realize that most of the folks that started Wayland were originally long-time X hackers, right? There has to be a reason why they gave up trying to get X11 to behave properly, besides "because it's bloated".

          Education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

        • Kill X11 with FIRE!

          Read the Unix Haters Handbook entry on X and how it can't do the things people think it can for GUI here [art.net]?

          OpenGL is a great reason to dump Xorg. No DRI BS on MacOSX or Windows. It just works and no freaking emulating network protocols and HUUUUGGE latencies emulaing client/servers from the 1980s underneath.

          • by Tupper ( 1211 )

            If the designers of X-Windows built cars, there would be no fewer than five steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed the same principles -- but you'd be able to shift gears with your car stereo. Useful feature, that.

            Seeing this old quote always makes me laugh---soon afterwards cars started having additional speed controls and putting them next to the windshield washer or on the steering wheel, next to the controls for the stereo.

      • by Uecker ( 1842596 )

        Network transparency. X11 has it. Wayland doesn't. Wayland's devs tend to handwave the problem, either claiming it will somehow be implemented once they work on the other laundry list of things they want first, or claiming it's a niche requirement nobody wants or uses.

        Well, it is a niche requirement and they simply do not care about the few users - even denying that they exist (I use it everyday and remotely over ssh and it works well for me). The aim of all these efforts in not the desktop anyway, but mobile or embedded devices. For the desktop Wayland will have no advantage. But they still somehow convinced a lot of people who do not understand anything about how that X somehow limits performance of the graphics stack so it must be replaced.

        On top of that they're doing the #1 thing you're not supposed to do in development: completely rewriting a working system.

        If they would just rewrite

        • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:57PM (#54265501) Journal

          There is no fundamental benefit with respect to performance as Wayland and modern X clients basically work in the same way when operating locally.

          I think what he's referring to is this:

          For a "modern" X system (i.e. using a compositing WM---though I don't use one), the event (say, mouse) goes to X, to the compositor program, back to X and then to the focussed program, compared to the old version of X where it goes from X to the program directly. I think Wayland, not having the compositor as a separate program, skips one of those steps.

          I've seen that touted as an advantage of Wayland, but FFS, context switches are FAST, and the time taken to process events is down in the microseconds. It shaves a few microseconds of latency off events happening at 10s per second, and for which the minimum perceptible latency is about 0.05 seconds.

          The advantage is therefore so minute as to to be irrelevant and touting it as a big advantage is pure FUD. I agree with the GP.

          • So, that's what happens for people with a 2.5GHz Sandy Bridge or better and Intel graphics or nvidia with proprietary driver.
            Great, fine, but not all far of "works on my machine". How about dual core 1.0GHz AMD laptops? (Bobcat and Jaguar CPU, the latter using the same technology as Playstation 4)
            The 3D desktops are slow. And we're asked to like it and believe they're more efficient since the GPU "off-loads" compositing tasks. Ha hahahaha.

            • I think you've misunderstood. Nothing I said was related to the actual drawing of graphics. That was all about how events are passed from the input device to the focussed program. You see: the compositing WM can in theory apply arbitrary warps to the window positions, so the events always have to go via the compositing WM.

              Unless one isn't running a compositing WM of course.

              A compositing WM is NOTHING to do with graphics drawing mechanisms. It's that an entire window subtree is diverted to render into a buff

          • When an application is drawing stuff, there's plenty of cases where you have to wait for round trips from the application to the XServer too. Plus the application, X and window manager can all manipulate the same properties of a window, so there are plenty of cases where you can't be certain what will actually happen.

            I prefer to think of wayland returning to the unix philosophy of doing one thing and doing it well. It takes over the job of rendering multiple windows on a single desktop, and forwarding mous

        • To me, desktops like Gnome 3 and Cinnamon use too much CPU and thus are undesirable.
          I thought, Wayland ought to make the CPU load drop and allow to run those 3D desktops on modest hardware well, like Windows does. But I'm not so sure and it is the open source world's Duke Nukem Forever anyway. E.g., it's been long enough my graphics card has been deprecated already. Even if Wayland is released, then we'll have to rely on hobby developers to make the drivers compatible and then stable and/or efficient.
          There

      • While Network Transparency is really cool, it's useless in an environment where network connectivity isn't guaranteed. I haven't seen a single system in years now that makes use of it.

        I've personally used it lots of times, and I would hate to lose that functionality because in specific situations, it is overwhelmingly better than the next closest option. But when it comes to, say, a desktop user that needs to VPN into work and connect to a remote machine, Network Transparency becomes a liability. The las

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          Check out Xpra [xpra.org]. It's like screen for X. You can attach and detach as desired including recovery from a lost connection. It looks a lot like regular old X forwarding otherwise.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        For the millionth time, no X11 applications use X11 drawing primitives, and schlepping bitmaps will work just as well under Wayland as X11.

        You can fucking start Weston as a headless RDP server you fucking moron RIGHT (fucking) NOW. (Fuck!)

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          For the millionth time, no X11 applications use X11 drawing primitives, and schlepping bitmaps will work just as well under Wayland as X11.

          Repeating something completely incorrect a million times does not make it correct.
          The Wayland advocates with a clue make sure they carefully say no "modern" X11 applications use X11 drawing primitives so that they can use some badly broken Gnome3 applications as their example. You've left the "modern" weasel word off your claim so that makes it incorrect.

      • or claiming it's a niche requirement nobody wants or uses

        The claim has largely stood up. They welcomed efforts for people to work on this feature and no one stepped up. Then they even introduced sample code for RDP implementations that could run per application, and no one stepped up.

        If this was really the killer feature that everyone requires, then it should be easy to get either volunteers or funding to make it happen. So far none of the users have stepped up. That's not to say you don't find it important, but the way people were talking when Wayland first came

        • by dbIII ( 701233 )

          If this was really the killer feature that everyone requires

          It's already available in one project so why would the people who want it go and work on another project where people are actively hostile to those who request the feature?

          Wayland first came out it was like the world will end

          Initially Wayland had some stated goals that are different to what they have now. Linux only, no choice of window manager, no ability to run existing applications, no remote access and a few others (single monitor only and run

      • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @05:44PM (#54266165) Homepage Journal

        X11's network transparency is not terribly useful. It doesn't allow detach/reattach of sessions, so you're forced to exit every program and start them back up again at the new location. While this was very memory efficient back in the 1980's, it's not a very good user experience when dealing with unreliable wireless networks.
        And if you've used GTK2 and other widget libraries in the last 10 years, you'll notice their network performance is pretty terrible. Network transparency is kind of useless if none of the software is designed around it. There are too many round-trip messages going on these days to deal with the broken parts of X protocol and in giving fancy user interaction.

        VNC is slow, but it's what most people use because it works in a way that is convenient. NoMachine/NX/FreeNX is a technically better alternative, although it's not very popular. (being proprietary doesn't help)

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        "On top of that they're doing the #1 thing you're not supposed to do in development: completely rewriting a working system."

        Where did you ever learn a stupid rule like that? Some systems cannot be extended or modified beyond their current state without a massive effort. At that point, rebuilding it for future mods should certainly be considered. Just about any Agile project will shortly reach a point where the dirty snowball needs to be pissed upon until melted and rebuilt anew from scratch.

      • Network transparency. X11 has it. Wayland doesn't.

        Yeah, this is pretty much a showstopper from my perspective. IMHO, that's probably X's *BEST* feature is it's ability to render across networks.

      • Re:X11 SUCKS (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @06:53PM (#54266519) Journal

        Quotes from the Unix Haters Handbook here [art.net].

        Let's desconstruct here your arguments X11 myths:

        Myth: X Demonstrates the Power of Client/Server Computing

        Fact: "The database client/server model (the server machine stores all the data, and the clients beseech it for data) makes sense. The computation client/server model (where the server is a very expensive or experimental supercomputer, and the client is a desktop workstation or portable computer) makes sense. But a graphical client/server model that slies the interface down some arbitrary middle is like Solomon following through with his child-sharing strategy. The legs, heart, and left eye end up on the server, the arms and lungs go to the client, the head is left rolling around on the floor, and blood spurts everywhere.

        The fundamental problem with X's notion of client/server is that the proper division of labor between the client and the server can only be decided on an application-by-application basis. Some applications (like a flight simulator) require that all mouse movement be sent to the application. Others need only mouse clicks. Still others need a sophisticated combination of the two, depending on the program's state or the region of the screen where the mouse happens to be. Some programs need to update meters or widgets on the screen every second. Other programs just want to display clocks; the server could just as well do the updating, provided that there was some way to tell it to do so.

        The right graphical client/server model is to have an extensible server. Application programs on remote machines can download their own special extension on demand and share libraries in the server. Downloaded code can draw windows, track input eents, provide fast interactive feedback, and minimize network traffic by communicating with the application using a dynamic, high-level protocol.

        As an example, imagine a CAD application built on top of such an extensible server. The application could download a program to draw an IC and associate it with a name. From then on, the client could draw the IC anywhere on the screen simply by sending the name and a pair of coordinates. Better yet, the client an download programs and data structures to draw the whole schematic, which are called automatically to refresh and scroll the window, without bothering the client. The user can drag an IC around smoothly, without any network traffic or context switching, and the server sends a single message to the client when the interaction is complete. This makes it possible to run interactive clients over low-speed (that is, slow-bandwidth) communication lines."

        Other fun tidbits that made me chuckle

        " How to make a 50-MIPS Workstation Run Like a 4.77MHz IBM PC

        If the designers of X-Windows built cars, there would be no fewer than five steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed the same principles -- but you'd be able to shift gears with your car stereo. Useful feature, that.
        - Marus J. Ranum, Digital Equipment Corporation

        X-Windows is the Iran-Contra of graphical user interfaces: a tragedy of political compromises, entangled alliances, marketing hype, and just plain greed. X-Windows is to memory as Ronald Reagan was to money. Years of "Voodoo Ergonomics" have resulted in an unprecedented memory deficit of gargantuan proportions. Divisive dependencies, distributed deadlocks, and partisan protocols have tightened gridlocks, aggravated race conditions, and promulgated double standards.

        X has had its share of $5,000 toilet seats -- like Sun's Open Look clock tool, which gobbles up 1.4 megabytes of real memory! If you sacrificed all the RAM from 22 Commodore 64s to clock tool, it still wouldn't have enough to tell you the time. Even the vanilla X11R4 "xclock" utility consumed 656K to run. And X's memory usage is increasing."

        Dude if there ever was a case f

      • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        Yeah, they often say that no one wants that, while the last couple of decades of jobs I've had, that's pretty much the only way anyone worked. I assume it's the same disease that makes devs think that people liked Unity.
      • by slack_justyb ( 862874 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @08:14PM (#54266897)

        I'm going to start where a lot of people don't usually start. The actual people who maintain X11. They hate the code base, they just simply don't want to deal with the tangled mess that it is. Seriously go look at a dependency graph of just the xserver [wordpress.com] or a slightly higher level view of the state of things. [slidesharecdn.com] Point, no one wants to maintain this mess. Anyone feeling frisky in doing so is strongly encouraged to do so, but the majority of developers who have worked on this in the heyday have long since left the building. The sheer pool size of people working on X is low and fresh blood in the development pool is best described as anemic. Fewer developers working on one project and more on another project pretty much seals the deal on the direction. Arguments of X being better falls on non-existent ears. You want to talk to an X developer? Head over to Wayland, that's where you'll find a lot of them.

        Next in line is that X is ineffective at one of the things that it's suppose to do, draw stuff on your screen. (Not even going to touch multi-monitor, sleep, touch input, etc all which have had extensive hacking to get it working and thus resulting in patches of code with serious bus factor one issues.) X11 lacks pretty much everything we take for granted in a modern GUI. Want anti-alias text? Well X11 doesn't do that. Want the concept of an alpha-channel? Not present in X11. Quite literally, X11 does nothing in the way of anything that say KDE, GNOME, Unity, Cinnamon, or whoever wants. Instead, your chosen toolkit is using a library that builds in memory the bits that need to be drawn and if your xserver supports RENDER, your toolkit just gives a stream of bits over to X11 via that method, and X just forwards it on to either the card or to a compositor, which by the way X11 doesn't have a concept of, hence the reason you need one external to the xserver. At some point someone said, if every toolkit is just building bits by themselves and then having X forward it on, why not just cut out the middle man? Why have this extra layer that we keep having to build ad-hoc extensions for? (RENDER, XDamage, RANDR, XFixes **yes literally an extension to fix stuff but mostlly to turn a lot of old X11 stuff off.) All of these wonderful extensions are in reality short circuiting old cruft in a code-ugly fashion. Add in new complexities being added to video cards, functionality that's difficult to eventually get working, and yeah everyone is ready to put the old girl out to pasture. X11's lack of so many things is a roadblock to tapping your card's fully ability, which is why most of the time we're happily ignorant of all of the by-passing of huge parts of the core of an xserver, with the prolific set of extensions that come automatically built into your distro. (which is why a lot of folks never notice and just think that this is the way X was built, but nothing further from the truth could be said. Try building an xserver from source.)

        Now let me move on to your points

        Network transparency. X11 has it. Wayland doesn't.

        If you are using X11 over ssh, you aren't using X11's network transparency. What you are doing is streaming pixels across ssh, but you aren't using anything remotely looking like core X11 protocol. On the remote side, Cario, Qt, Mutter, or someone is drawing pixels and then that gets wrapped into a generic X11 package and sent to you to open up and then have your computer decide what to do with the newly received pixels. There's no commands like "Window A is currently at location x,y. It has a button at rx, ry relative to the top-left corner of the parent widget, blah blah blah." Nope, it's just "here's pixel one, here's pixel two, here's pixel three..." There's no distinction in X between a button in an application running on a remote server and a picture

      • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

        I am an ambidextrous mouser, mainly because early in my computing career I found mousing on the right hand was leading to RSI type pain. I started using a left mouse as well and the problem went away. Now all my machines have two mouses (apologies if I am using an incorrect plural).

        The issue is with where the select and menu click is on a mouse. If you use a right handed context then your index finger is on 'select' and your middle finger is on 'menu'. If you are a left handed user you have to switch the m

      • by Ramze ( 640788 )

        There's no hand-waving. Wayland isn't meant to replace every X11 feature, and the devs explicitly say the reason Wayland doesn't have network transparency is because it's beyond its scope and Wayland can support it over an X11 session on top of Wayland -- or through any current VNC/RDP protocol... or even a new one that bypasses X11 entirely and accesses Wayland at a lower level than an X11 session would (which might be superior to an X session since it would allow less overhead and more optimizations).

    • Think of how much progress could have been made on Wayland if the effort that was put into Mir has been added to efforts on Wayland.

      I remember when Mir was getting started that many wondered why Canonical put the effort into Mir instead of contributing to more universal projects. Looks like Canonical is reaping what it sowed by starting its own projects instead of just working on existing projects.

      While I think Canonical's intentions with Unity and Mir were not as benevolent as they portrayed, have to remem

    • GTK3 and QT5 work on Wayland. Most users won't really notice a difference between X.org and Wayland. Other than some of their old applications no longer work without some extra steps (XWayland)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:08PM (#54264557)

    With Ubuntu's switching to PulseAudio, to systemd, to GNOME 3, and now to Wayland, what is it that makes Ubuntu different from Fedora?

    The only difference I can think of is where an installation ISO would be downloaded from, and typing "apt-get" instead of "dnf" to install packages.

    Those are really minor differences.

    So what's the point of using Ubuntu if it uses the same kernel, the same init system, the same windowing system, the same desktop environment, the same sound system, and pretty much all of the same userland software that Fedora does?

    At least things like Unity and Mir made Ubuntu somewhat unique. But now Ubuntu has basically become Fedora with just a different name. Why would anyone even bother using Ubuntu now?

    • by Merk42 ( 1906718 )

      ...But now Ubuntu has basically become Fedora with just a different name. Why would anyone even bother using Ubuntu now?

      If that's the case, why would anyone use Fedora instead of Ubuntu?

      • Because Fedora is the baby version of RHEL, and RHEL is the first distro that all enterprise software vendors certify against in preference to literally everyone else.

        You might see Ubuntu Server. You might see SLES. You will never not see RHEL.

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        To the extent that you're even asking the question, the answer doesn't matter - use whichever you like. The closer Ubuntu is to Fedora (and other distros as well) in terms of the big underlying stuff, the easier it is to target all of those distros for 3rd party apps, and that's what matters. There still aren't many 3rd party Linux apps, and the race seems to be on between having decent 3rd party support - and not needing it, because 'all you need is a web browser'. But still, there's that occasional nee

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:27PM (#54264747) Homepage Journal

      With Ubuntu's switching to PulseAudio, to systemd, to GNOME 3, and now to Wayland, what is it that makes Ubuntu different from Fedora?

      Gratuitous privilege escalation enabled by default.

    • Because let's pretend that Ubuntu didn't use sysvinit, Gnome2 and all those pesky incompatible sounddaemons from hell for several years before they even begun to look at upstart, pulse or Unity.
    • For me, what makes or breaks a distro is that they take time to customize the desktop manager in their vision that fits with the OS. Some distros I really enjoyed and found the DM very efficient but then you install it vanilla and it is completely different, whether it was a menu module like Mint has or what not. Another OS that comes to mind that works well is Elementary OS, even though that is Pantheon.
    • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:09PM (#54265111)

      First of all, most distros have always had the same window system, X Windows. The reason for this is that since all applications and window managers which are GUI, have to talk to the WIndow System, its important to have standardization around the same API. Otherwise you end up with a MESS of an app that works on one distro not being able to run on another distro or having to run 10 different windowing systems, because each application ends up being tied down to one or the other. You also have to have video hardware drivers and those have to plugin to the window system as well. If we are going to change the core window system, all of the distros had better agree to it or else we will end up with a fractured ecosystem like above. Now, because of X's design of leaving look and feel to the Window Manager, you can completely change the look of the user interface by changing the window manager, which does not affect applications. This is why you can use the same apps regardless of what WM you use. Wayland should and will continue this philosophy.

      All of what I said also applies to the sound server, as well, so it was important to standardize around pulseaudio if we are going to have a sound server, which is a good idea. The alternative to a sound server would be to incorporate that kind of functionality into the kernel, its better to have it in a user process rather than to add further complicated code to the kernel, as with X.

      As for systemd, rather than to rehash all that here: please read this: http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/the-biggest-myths.html. Basically, systemd is a big improvement over what we had before and the criticisms are mostly myths.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Ubuntu LTS releases include five years of support over Fedora's 14 months. And Ubuntu has about three times more open source packages in the default repositories.

    • Ubuntu is PulseAudio since years ago. It's systemd, because Debian picked it. So, still a Debian derivate. And it was Gnome until switched to in-house Unity. It planned to use Wayland even before Fedora (but then the NIH syndrome). What makes Unity different is still the same: reliable LTS, larger use base, friendly community, easy of install, wide drivers support, almost everything working out of the box.
  • I was trying to push through some patches and updates to weston to supply weston-rdp as a back-end. Combine weston-rdp with Xwayland and an X11R6 session manager wrapper and you've got Xrdp working again.

    So what next? Get lightdm integrated with weston-rdp as a session manager back-end and stick the Xrdp proxy server up front to call lightdm as the session manager. Wayland can switch session managers without tearing down, so Xwayland and Wayland clients can switch to your console Wayland display or to

    • That would be... pardon my french... fucking amazing.

      Microsoft may otherwise be a bunch of flaming douche canoes, but they did a really good job on RDP and I wish I saw it on non-windows platforms.

    • Congrats, so you've got one remote desktop just like running VNC like it's 1999!
      It's a start, but a lot of people who use X to run applications remotely wish to run things from more than one host.
  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWW ( 79176 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @02:27PM (#54264745)

    Ubuntu ditched the bad idea that was Unity. Time to ditch the bad idea that is systemd....

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      its been discussed before, every myth about systemd has been debunked: http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/the-biggest-myths.html. Since you can still use SysV init with systemd, there really is nothing for you to complain about because you can use sysv init type startup for your services if thats what you want.

      systemd is a major improvement over what we had before, more modular, easier to read configuration, more flexible.

    • Ubuntu ditched the bad idea that was Unity.

      The bad idea that was Unity was competing with Gnome 3.0's interface.

      Time to ditch the bad idea that is systemd....

      The bad idea that is Systemd is actually called upstart and they ditched that a while ago in favour of something far more feature complete and better suited to running an OS, Systemd, while at the same time succeeding in their original goal which was to migrate away from the dumb legacy that pretty much every distribution has put some kind of effort into getting rid of at some point.

  • From what I've read:

    _ it's not safer
    _ it's slower
    _ it's still has issues (tearing & software compatibility)

    And all this ignoring the remote capabilities advantage of X11.

    So why the push ? Ubuntu thought it was looking too good getting rid of Unity ?

  • I haven't paid any attention to the Wayland/Mir development for quite some time. When they were introduced the stated plan was not to support any sort of remote display natively. Has that gap been closed? Or is that one of the "features ... only present in the legacy X.Org server session"?

    Personally, I use remote display of X clients regularly. Not daily, but close.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      I haven't paid any attention to the Wayland/Mir development for quite some time. When they were introduced the stated plan was not to support any sort of remote display natively. Has that gap been closed?

      The way X does it through draw calls will never happen, because Wayland doesn't draw. I'm not sure how far they've gotten on detecting damaged sections and compression, but it's all bitmap based. I did read something to indicate they were considering a "smarter" rdp where you did the composition on the other end so you could move windows around without lag. I think it should also be possible with client support to expose a bigger virtual window that you have a viewport into so you could have smooth scrollin

    • Re:Remote display? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SumDog ( 466607 ) on Wednesday April 19, 2017 @03:30PM (#54265269) Homepage Journal

      They say it's not the job of Wayland; that you can run X11 on top of Wayland to get X11-ssh forwarding or someone at sometime down the line will magically invent their own rendered (maybe RDP based, maybe something else).

      I can't really take this project seriously until they address this pretty critical issue. I don't have any issues with X myself. I use i3 and xrander and everything pretty much works the way I want it to. I don't play games in Linux; I have a windows laptop for that (Steam for Linux still kinda blows). Would nicer multi-monitor support for laptops be good? Absolutely! But with the track record of systemd taking over with no alternatives (I still run Gentoo/systemv and Void Linux/runit .. runit is awesome and amazingly simple btw) I'm going to hold off as long as I can.

      I don't hate new things either. Lately I've been trying out Vivaldi over Firefox. I'll try new things, but I hate seeing all this half-assed garbage just breaking the Linux desktop.

    • You run an X server as a Wayland client:
      https://wayland.freedesktop.or... [freedesktop.org]

  • All that work porting xeyes to Wayland, down the drain.
  • It would have been Mir but you open source people are just soooo anti-social! Mark said you anti-social people just hate and mainstream because you are haters who love to hate and then he cried because you killed Mir with your hate. Nevermind the technical discussions about the merits of each display manager, WHY WOULD YOU MAKE MARK CRY?! ;)

  • Many moons ago I switched from Mandrake to Kubuntu, then to Xubuntu, then to MintXFCE where I have been for the last several years. XFCE fits my needs, and I don't object to change unless it really causes me pain. I really don't care for systemd, and since I have run it I have noticed some insane shudown times and other weirdness since it installed. But for the mostly transparent to me.

    I haven't had to hand-edit any X config files for a very long time, so I am happy with how it works. As long as Wayland

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