Wayland is a protocol for a compositing window manager to talk to its clients, as well as a library implementing the protocol. It is supported on some desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. There is also a compositor reference implementation called Weston. XWayland provides a compatibility layer to seamlessly run legacy X11 applications in Wayland.
- 1 Requirements
- 2 Weston
- 3 GUI libraries
- 4 Display managers
- 5 Compositors
- 6 Troubleshooting
- 7 See also
Most Wayland compositors only work on systems using Kernel mode setting. Wayland by itself does not provide a graphical environment; for this you also need a compositor such as #Weston or Sway, or a desktop environment that includes a compositor like GNOME or KDE.
|Buffer API||GPU driver support||Wayland compositor support|
|GBM||All except NVIDIA||All|
|EGLStreams||NVIDIA||GNOME, KDE (Plasma 5.16+)|
Weston is the reference implementation of a Wayland compositor.
Install the package.
||Zoom in/out of desktop|
||Change window opacity|
||Force Kill Active Window|
||Switch Prev/Next Workspace|
||Grab Current Window and Switch Workspace|
||Switch to Workspace n (e.g. F2)|
||Take a screenshot|
||Record a screencast|
To launch Weston natively (from a TTY) or to run Weston inside a running X session:
Then within Weston, you can run the demos. To launch a terminal emulator:
To move flowers around the screen:
To display images:
$ weston-image image1.jpg image2.jpg...
Weston's outputs differ slightly from those of
$ ls /sys/class/drm card0 card0-VGA-1 card1 card1-DVI-I-1 card1-HDMI-A-1 card1-VGA-2
card0 is the unused built-in video adapter. The add-on adapter
card1 is cabled to one HDMI and one DVI monitor, so the output names are
Following is an example configuration file. Seefor more.
[core] # xwayland support xwayland=true [libinput] enable-tap=true [shell] #background-image=/usr/share/backgrounds/gnome/Aqua.jpg background-type=scale-crop background-color=0xff000000 #background-color=0xff002244 #panel-color=0x90ff0000 panel-color=0x00ffffff panel-position=bottom #clock-format=none #animation=zoom #startup-animation=none close-animation=none focus-animation=dim-layer #binding-modifier=ctrl num-workspaces=6 locking=false cursor-theme=Adwaita cursor-size=24 # tablet options #lockscreen-icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/256x256/actions/lock.png #lockscreen=/usr/share/backgrounds/gnome/Garden.jpg #homescreen=/usr/share/backgrounds/gnome/Blinds.jpg #animation=fade # for Laptop displays [output] name=LVDS1 mode=preferred #mode=1680x1050 #transform=90 #[output] #name=VGA1 # The following sets the mode with a modeline, you can get modelines for your preffered resolutions using the cvt utility #mode=173.00 1920 2048 2248 2576 1080 1083 1088 1120 -hsync +vsync #transform=flipped #[output] #name=X1 #mode=1024x768 #transform=flipped-270 # on screen keyboard input method #[input-method] #path=/usr/lib/weston/weston-keyboard [keyboard] keymap_rules=evdev #keymap_layout=us,de #keymap_variant=colemak, #keymap_options=grp:shifts_toggle #keymap_options=caps:ctrl_modifier,shift:both_capslock_cancel repeat-rate=30 repeat-delay=300 # keymap_options from /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst #numlock-on=true [terminal] font=monospace font-size=18 [launcher] icon=/usr/share/weston/icon_flower.png path=/usr/bin/weston-flower [launcher] icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/32x32/apps/utilities-terminal.png path=/usr/bin/weston-terminal --shell=/usr/bin/bash #[launcher] #icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/32x32/apps/utilities-terminal.png #path=/usr/bin/gnome-terminal [launcher] icon=/usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps/firefox.png path=MOZ_GTK_TITLEBAR_DECORATION=client /usr/bin/firefox #[launcher] #icon=/usr/share/icons/Adwaita/32x32/apps/multimedia-volume-control.png #path=/usr/bin/st alsamixer -c0
[core] xwayland=true [keyboard] keymap_layout=gb [output] name=LVDS1 mode=1680x1050 transform=90 [launcher] icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/24x24/apps/utilities-terminal.png path=/usr/bin/weston-terminal [launcher] icon=/usr/share/icons/hicolor/24x24/apps/firefox.png path=/usr/bin/firefox
Install the package.
When you want to run an X application from within Weston, it spins up Xwayland to service the request. The following configuration is shown above:
High DPI displays
[output] name=... scale=2
Weston uses the default sans-serif font for window title bars, clocks, etc. See Font configuration#Replace or set default fonts for instructions on how to change this font.
Tips and tricks
Weston has built-in screencast recording which can be started and stopped by pressing the
r key combination. Screencasts are saved to the file
capture.wcap in the current working directory of Weston. The WCAP format is a lossless video format specific to Weston, which only records the difference in frames. To be able to play the recorded screencast, the WCAP file will need to be converted to a format which a media player can understand. First, convert the capture to the YUV pixel format:
$ wcap-decode --yuv4mpeg2 capture.wcap > capture.y4m
The YUV file can then be transcoded to other formats using FFmpeg or (see
x264 -h for more).
To switch windows with
Super+Space instead of
desktop-shell/shell.c and recompile .
See details on the official website.
To enable Wayland support in Qt 5, install thepackage.
The Clutter toolkit has a Wayland backend that allows it to run as a Wayland client. The backend is enabled in thepackage.
To run a Clutter app on Wayland, set
To run a SDL2 application on Wayland, set
To use GLFW with the Wayland backend, install thepackage (instead of ).
To use GLEW with the Wayland backend, install thepackage (instead of ).
EFL has complete Wayland support. To run a EFL application on Wayland, see Wayland project page.
Below listed display managers which supports running Wayland compositors. The Type column indicates whether the display manager supports running on Wayland or not.
|GDM||Runs on Wayland||GNOME display manager.|
|LightDM||Runs on X11||Cross-desktop display manager.|
|SDDM||Runs on X11||QML-based display manager.|
|sway||Tiling||Sway is an i3-compatible window manager for Wayland. GitHub|
|Enlightenment||Stacking and tiling||More Info|
|KDE Plasma||Stacking||See KDE#Starting Plasma|
|Orbment||Tiling||orbment (previously loliwm) is an abandonned tiling WM for Wayland.|
|Velox||Tiling||Velox is a simple window manager based on swc. It is inspired by dwm and xmonad.|
|Orbital||Stacking||Orbital is a Wayland compositor and shell (more akin to a WM than a DE) using Qt5 and Weston. The goal of the project is to build a simple but flexible and good looking Wayland desktop.|
|Liri Shell||Stacking||Liri Shell is the desktop shell for Liri, built using QtQuick and QtCompositor as a compositor for Wayland.|
|Maynard||(Unclear)||Maynard is a desktop shell client for Weston based on GTK. It was based on weston-gtk-shell, a project by Tiago Vignatti. Not under development. |
|Motorcar||(Unclear)||Motorcar is a Wayland compositor to explore 3D windowing using virtual reality.|
|Way Cooler||Tiling||Way Cooler is a customizable (Lua config files) Wayland compositor written in Rust. Inspired by i3 and awesome.|
|Maze Compositor||Floating 3D||Maze Compositor is a 3D Qt based Wayland compositor|
|Cage||Kiosk||Cage is a Wayland compositor that displays a single fullscreen application|
|Greenfield||Stacking||Greenfield is a Wayland compositor that runs in a web browser and can display remote applications|
|Grefsen||Floating||Grefsen is a Qt/Wayland compositor providing a minimal desktop environment.|
|Waymonad||Tiling||Waymonad is a Wayland compositor based on ideas from and inspired by xmonad|
|wayfire||Stacking||Wayfire is a general purpose compositor.|
Some of the above may support display managers. Check
/usr/share/wayland-sessions/compositor.desktop to see how they are started.
redshift -m drm -PO 3000
Otherwise some compositors feature this option during runtime:
- GNOME provides features like Redshift out-of-the-box and has Wayland support. Enable Night Light in Display settings.
- Likewise, KDE Plasma provides Night Color which is Wayland-only.
- On Sway 1.0 and other wlroots-based compositors, AUR can be used.
- On Orbital, AUR can be used.
LLVM assertion failure
If you get an LLVM assertion failure, you need to rebuildwithout Gallium LLVM until this problem is fixed.
This may imply disabling some drivers which require LLVM. You may also try exporting the following, if having problems with hardware drivers:
$ export EGL_DRIVER=/usr/lib/egl/egl_gallium.so
Slow motion, graphical glitches, and crashes
Gnome-shell users may experience display issues when they switch to Wayland from X. One of the root cause might be the
CLUTTER_PAINT=disable-clipped-redraws:disable-culling set by yourself for Xorg-based gnome-shell. Just try to remove it from
/etc/environment or other rc files to see if everything goes back to normal.
Electron based applications / VS Code
Try running with GDK_BACKEND=x11. Example alias:
$ alias code='GDK_BACKEND=x11 /usr/bin/code 2>/dev/null'
AUR and AUR support screen recording on Wayland using GNOME screencast feature.
- (20190503) sway) offers an RDP backend since version 0.6 . (used by
- (20180401) mutter has now remote desktop enabled at compile time, see  and for details.
- (20161229) there was a merge of FreeRDP into Weston in 2013, enabled via a compile flag. The package does not have it enabled.
Input grabbing in games, remote desktop and VM windows
In contrast to Xorg, Wayland does not allow exclusive input device grabbing, also known as active or explicit grab (e.g. keyboard, mouse), instead, it depends on the Wayland compositor to pass keyboard shortcuts and confine the pointer device to the application window.
This change in input grabbing breaks current applications' behavior, meaning:
- Hotkey combinations and modifiers will be caught by the compositor and won't be sent to remote desktop and virtual machine windows.
- The mouse pointer will not be restricted to the application's window which might cause a parallax effect where the location of the mouse pointer inside the window of the virtual machine or remote desktop is displaced from the host's mouse pointer.
Wayland solves this by adding protocol extensions for Wayland and XWayland. Support for these extensions is needed to be added to the Wayland compositors. In the case of native Wayland clients, the used widget toolkits (e.g GTK, QT) needs to support these extensions or the applications themselves if no widget toolkit is being used. In the case of Xorg applications, no changes in the applications or widget toolkits are needed as the XWayland support is enough.
These extensions are already included in, and supported by 1.20.
The related extensions are:
- XWayland keyboard grabbing protocol
- Compositor shortcuts inhibit protocol
- Relative pointer protocol
- Pointer constraints protocol
Supporting Wayland compositors:
Supporting widget toolkits:
- GTK since release 3.22.18.
wlroots input inhibitor protocol
Input inhibitor is a Wayland protocol which was defined the by developers of Sway and wlroots and is overlapping Wayland's
Compositor shortcuts inhibit protocol.
Sway and wlroots do not support the
Compositor shortcuts inhibit and
XWayland keyboard grabbing protocols, and it seems they are against adding support for the latter  .
No widget toolkit or application is known to support this protocol.