2021: X11 vs Wayland in GNOME

As GNOME user in 2021 I’m setting my GDM default to:
  • X11
  • Wayland

0 voters

Just curious about your thoughts and opinions about development status of Wayland as in 2021. I’m currently using X11 because everytime I switch to Wayland to check if it is ready for my normal desktop usage (which I do periodically) I get weird freezes, usually not recoverable. On Intel integrated graphics btw…

Asking about GNOME desktop particularly.

I voted X11, but it’s more complicated than that …
Laptop #1 - ASUS Zenbook Flip, Intel UHD 620 / nVidia GeForce MX150, using optimus-manager that doesn’t play well with Wayland, so using X11
Laptop #2 - Sager NP8658, nVidia GeFroce GTX980M using straight nVidia drivers and using Wayland
Desktop - Old homebuilt frankenmachine with ATI Radeon HD6950 card also using Wayland

… maybe I should have voted Wayland?

I mean so far if you use an NVIDIA card…

I have been using Wayland since 3.36 when i switch to Gnome and EOS. I briefly changed back to kde a few weeks ago but am now back to Gnome and Wayland.

At the moment my gut feel is if you use Gnome and have Intel based graphics card then Wayland is a great option not only for performance but security. As a hobbyist the greatest challenge is determining how mature the Wayland development\architectures is. What is our roadmap, and do we really intend to replace X11. You have to admit that Hardware Manufacturers for whatever reason (e.g. Nvidia) have really been a distraction instead of an ally. So I do keep this in mind when I make my purchase decisions.

I don’t know if it exists, but we really need a Wayland test tools that regular people can run to check for compatibility between builds and easily report the results to some central system.

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My systems currently:

  • GNOME+Wayland
  • MATE+Xorg

Therefore, Wayland for 2021. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Thank you for responses. Yesterday I switched to Wayland on my both machines (PC + laptop, EOS with GNOME, Intel graphics) and so far I did not have any single issue. I am also impressed with cool animations and transition effects :slight_smile:

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If I could I would use wayland as it supports separate scaling for 4k high dpi screens with different resolution. However, I discovered that nvidia/intel hybrid is not working well under wayland.

To me it is a bit mind boggling, I have a thinkpad and can see on the lenovo website that they ship with ubuntu or fedora. I tried fedora, which uses gnome and wayland per default. That was a bad experience, as they have to use the open source nouveau driver instead of nvidia. Come on nvidia, you can do, just support open source drivers…

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X11 for desktop

Wayland for Laptop

reasoning, everything I need to do works perfectly fine or even better on Wayland. Touchpad gestures being one of them.

That said, due to Wayland’s forced vsync, gaming on it is utterly digusting. A completely stuttery mess on high framrates/refresh rate. X has no issue with this so I use that on the desktop.

Also, no Freesync support on Wayland.

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Nvidia drivers v470 should bring support for Wayland and xWayland. AKA Wayland on nvidia soon.


Thanks god!