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Wayland is a new windowing protocol for Linux. Utilization of Wayland requires changes to and re-installation of parts of your system's software. For more information on Wayland see its homepage.

Warning: Wayland is under heavy development. Support can not be guaranteed and it may not function as you expect.


Currently Wayland will only work with on a system that is utilizing KMS.


Just install mesa from extra, wayland will be installed as a dependency.


As Wayland is only a library, it is useless on its own. To use it, you need a compositor (like Weston), Weston demo applications, Qt5 (or Qt4 with QPA enabled) with Wayland plugin, and/or GTK+ with Wayland support.



You need to install weston from community-testing.

Note: If you get the following error: "Failed to create XKB context", install xkeyboard-config: # pacman -S xkeyboard-config


Now that Wayland and its requirements are installed you should be ready to test it out. Try switching to a terminal and running:

$ weston-launch
Note: There may be some trouble with keyboard & mouse not working unless this is ran as root.

You may also try exporting the following, if having problems with hardware drivers:

$ export EGL_DRIVER=/usr/lib/egl/egl_gallium.so

Then at a TTY you can run the demos. To launch a terminal emulator:

$ weston-terminal

To move flowers around the screen:

$ weston-flower 

To test the frame protocol (runs glxgears):

$ weston-gears

To display images:

$ weston-image image1.jpg image2.jpg...

To display PDF Files:

$ weston-view doc1.pdf doc2.pdf...



You need to build and install qt5AUR from the AUR, which contains QPA (Lighthouse) support.


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=/usr/lib/qt5/bin:$PATH
$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/qt5/bin
$ qmake
$ make

And run it by executing the compiled binary:

$ export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/qt5/bin
$ export QT_QPA_PLATFORM=waylandgl
$ ./binaryname

Qt Compositor

There is ongoing work to make Qt-Compositor, a base layer to make custom Qt compositors on top of Wayland.

Other GUI libraries

(page from official website)


You need to install gtk3 from testing, which has the Wayland backend enabled.

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.

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 wayland.


The Clutter toolkit has a Wayland backend that allows it to run as a Wayland client. The backend is 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. Further development upon Benjamins work was done by Andre Heider in his wayland branch of libsdl.


EFL has complete Wayland support. Please see here for details.

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 this 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.


Ubuntu desktop shell Unity, using Compiz window manager, was announced to be ported to Wayland.

Pure Wayland

Some really quick notes on installing a pure (no X11) wayland system on Archlinux. (by elethiomel@gmail.com) This is from source and installed into /usr/local. May break your system. You have been warned

First install a base Archlinux install with base and base-devel. Do not install xorg or any of its libraries


$ yaourt -S libffi
$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/wayland/wayland
$ cd wayland
$ ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local
$ make
$ make install

DRM and Mesa

$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/git/mesa/drm
$ cd drm
$ ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local
$ make
$ make install
$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa
$ cd mesa
$ CFLAGS=-DMESA_EGL_NO_X11_HEADERS ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local --enable-gles2 --disable-gallium-egl --with-egl-platforms=wayland,drm --enable-gbm --enable-shared-glapi --with-gallium-drivers=r300,r600,swrast,nouveau --disable-glx --disable-xlib
$ make
$ make install


$ git clone http://anongit.freedesktop.org/git/xorg/util/macros.git
$ cd macros/
$ ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local/
$ make
$ make install


$ git clone git://people.freedesktop.org/xorg/lib/libxkbcommon.git
$ cd libxkbcommon/
$ export ACLOCAL_PATH=/usr/local/share/aclocal/
$ ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local/ --with-xkb-config-root=/usr/local/share/X11/xkb
$ make
$ make install


$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/pixman
$ cd pixman/
$ ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local/
$ make
$ make install


Note - no glx/gl or xcb - EGL only.

$ yaourt -S libpng
$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/cairo
$ cd cairo
$ CFLAGS=-DMESA_EGL_NO_X11_HEADERS ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local/  --disable-xcb  --enable-glesv2 
$ make
$ make install

xkb files


a) Copy from an existing system a set of xkb layouts

$ scp -r /usr/share/X11/xkb to /usr/local/share/X11/


b) build xkeyboard-config from git with --prefix=/usr/local and --disable-runtime-deps


$ git clone git://anongit.freedesktop.org/wayland/weston
$ cd weston/
$ CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include/libdrm/ -DMESA_EGL_NO_X11_HEADERS" ./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr/local/ --with-cairo-glesv2 --disable-xwayland --disable-x11-compositor --disable- xwayland-test
$ make
$ make install

See also

External links