Wayland is a new windowing protocol for Linux. Utilization of Wayland requires changes to and re-installation of parts of your system's software. Therefore this article will assume you are familiar with ABS - The Arch Build System, or at the least the ideas behind PKGBUILD and makepkg. For more information on Wayland see its homepage.
Currently Wayland will only work with on a system that is utilizing KMS.
You need to build and install AUR. Replacement of the Mesa stack is required because the stock one does not support Wayland.AUR, AUR and AUR from
As Wayland is only a library, it is useless on its own. To use it, you need the demo applications (wayland-git in AUR), Qt with QPA (Lighthouse) support and Wayland plugin, and/or GTK with Wayland support.
Now that Wayland and its requirements are installed you should be ready to test it out. Try switching to a terminal and running:
# wayland-compositor -b /backgroundimage.png
Note I was having trouble with keyboard & mouse not working unless this was run as root
You can also try:
if you have troubles with nouveau driver.
Then at a TTY you can run the demos:
Should launch a terminal emulator.
Moves a flower around the screen. This tests the frame protocol.
Runs glxgears on Wayland.
Loads the image files passed in the command and displays them.
Displays PDF files. This needs to be passed file URIs (file:///path/to/pdf).
You need to build and install qt-qpa from AUR. It contains a development version of Qt 4.8 compiled with QPA (Lighthouse) support. It installs into /opt/qt-qpa because it's binary incompatible with non-QPA version of Qt (like the stock one).
At first, you need a working Wayland compositor, like the one from demo applications, or an experimental version of KWin.
Then compile any qmake-based Qt project:
# export PATH=/opt/qt-qpa/bin:$PATH # export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/qt-qpa/lib # qmake # make
And run it by executing the compiled binary:
# export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/qt-qpa/lib # export QT_QPA_PLATFORM=waylandgl # ./binaryname
There is ongoing work to make Qt-Compositor, a base layer to make custom Qt compositors on top of Wayland.
Other GUI libraries
With GTK+ 3.0, GTK+ gained support for multiple backends at runtime and can switch between backends in the same way Qt can with lighthouse. The Wayland support is on the upstream GTK+ master branch but disabled by default. To try GTK+ on Wayland, check out gtk+ and pass
--enable-wayland to configure:
# git clone git://git.gnome.org/gtk+ # cd gtk+ # ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-x11-backend --enable-wayland-backend --enable-debug=yes # make
When both Wayland and X backends are enabled, GTK+ will default to the X11 backend, but this can be overridden by setting the
GDK_BACKEND environment variable to
The Clutter toolkit has a Wayland backend that allows it to run as a Wayland client. The backend is a bit out of date, but it's in the master branch of the main repo and can be activated by passing
--with-flavour=wayland to the configure script.
Benjamin Franzke is working on a port of SDL to Wayland, it's available in his sdl-wayland repo on freedesktop.org.
Window managers and desktop shells
The KDE Wayland support is expected to come in three phases, with the first two phases expected to be completed next year during the KDE SC 4.8 and 4.9 development cycles. Please see here for details.
Also, there is early work to make it possible to run KWin (KDE's window manager) on Wayland.
GNOME will be ported to Wayland in a future version.
MeeGo will be ported to Wayland in a future version.
Ubuntu desktop shell Unity, using Compiz window manager, was announced to be ported to Wayland.
For more information you can see the ongoing forum discussion on Wayland.