Let's Talk about Wayland... article by Dedoimedo

I know that Dedoimedo has some controversial opinions about things Linux, but he does his job as a writer. He makes one think about the topic he is talking about. I found he brought up some interesting points on the Wayland vs. Xorg debate



I think he has a point, but he’s fundamentally wrong too. I would argue that Wayland can do almost everything the average user needs. Admittedly it’s far less tested (and includes some bugs and breakages) than the 40 year old X protocol. You can surf the web, play (some) games, and watch movies…I do those things every single day under Plasma and Sway (and others) with no Xwayland enabled. And there does exist Xwayland for things that aren’t ported to use Wayland yet.
It is not perfect, but it does work. More people with eyes on it would probably help.
And I believe it IS Nvidia’s fault for not releasing spec documents, for why wayland doesn’t work well for Nvidia owners.

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I completely agree with the article. Wayland is not usable in the way xorg is. It misses a large amount of functionality, for example a lot of my scripts just do not run, because utilities like xdotool, wmctrl etc do not and cannot exist.

Every 6 months I try (and will continue to try) wayland, but it is not user friendly.


Perfectly executed. If it aint broke don’t fix it. If it is broke, fix it with something that actually works. ::mic drop::

The real reason there is drama over this is because people have jobs and are getting paid and need to justify their existence in order to get paid. This is the only real reason anyone would promote a product that doesn’t actually work completely as it should.


But yeah. I agree! Some scripts might meed to re-written for wayland and because of the way wayland is those scripts may not work on every implementation of wayland so you have to one for sway one for kde and one for GNOME…

Not come across that one, there is also ydotool which provides some functionality.

This is an example of what I use:

NEEDED_WINDOW_WINDOW_ID_HEX=`wmctrl -x -l | grep "${NEEDED_WINDOW_CLASS}" | awk '{print $1}' | head -n 1`
if [ -z "${NEEDED_WINDOW_WINDOW_ID_HEX}" ]; then
    wmctrl -s 2
    if ((`pgrep -c vivaldi-stable` == 0 )); then
        bspc desktop -f ^3
	 if [[ "$DESKTOP_SESSION" == "/usr/share/xsessions/bspwm" ]]; then
    ACIVE_WINDOW_DEC=`xdotool getactivewindow`
    if [ "${ACIVE_WINDOW_DEC}" == "${NEEDED_WINDOW_WINDOW_ID_DEC}" ]; then
        xdotool windowminimize ${NEEDED_WINDOW_WINDOW_ID_DEC}
        xdotool windowactivate ${NEEDED_WINDOW_WINDOW_ID_DEC}
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None of the distros has Wayland in the pure form, that is, if any distro sort of say, it defaults to Wayland, it is actually using Xwayland, so without X, Wayland is just not there. None of the distros can release a live distro without X, even if it defaults later to Wayland (Xwayland). As it is, X hadn’t done wrong to any distros I used since 2005, so I will use X until the day, Wayland will come out (in its pure stage) and show that it is better than X, and it can stand on its own legs.

By the way, Dedoimedo is right in his article. True, most times, his style is annoying, but…most times he is right.

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Does Fedora use xwayland?

I didnt even know there is a (x)wayland, couldnt tell the difference.

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Are you sure Fedora does the same? Just a question! GNOME and all the fedora native apps do run wayland native…as does the live iso and installer. At least the gnome one

I have no idea about Fedora today. But, if a distro can run “pure” Wayland, it will be Arch, before others, I believe. Even though Fedora says it is running Wayland, it must be running on top of X. You’d have to download it and check. :slight_smile:

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I would say Fedora is the one other distro that keeps up with times. The GNOME edition does run fully native wayland (I’ve just checked). If you install pipewire (which will be the default in F34) the whole OS and DE out-of the box will run wayland native. GTK3 and GTK4 will run fully wayland native. I disabled xwayland and it’s a smooth experience. Even electron 8 is to be wayland native and QT is already is.

EDIT: NixOS too is a up to date distro…

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A meteor could hit your home any moment. That does not mean you should live in a cave or add ten meters of reinforced concrete to your roof just in case.

:thinking: :thinking: :thinking:


Well, it does run on xwayland. I took the bait and downloaded it to check.
Writing from the live session. (By the way, I won’t install it as it doesn’t have good display resolution, only 100% and 200%.)

OK, here it is,

There’s no wayland, only xwayland.

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This is essentially what I have been arguing all along, and on most Linux forums it always gets shut down:

"…Which is why between Xorg and Wayland and arguments over solutions to problems that no one has, the user will choose the simple thing that works.

At the end of the day, people want to watch movies and play games. Call it sad, vain, stupid, that’s the reality. If they can do this easily, then they will use a product. If they cannot, they won’t. No one is going to wait till 2029 for fractional multi-monitor scaling and no tearing in their videos if they can already do that some other way, be it Xorg, Windows or smartphone. People will choose the most convenient way to satisfy their needs. People don’t care about implementation details, they care about functionality.

And this is where the Linux model as a whole breaks."

This is the thing. Outside the “Linux Nerds sphere”, this is the reality. This is why I label myself as a typical computer user, not a typical Linux user, because this is what the hardcore Linux user don’t get.
For a normal home user, the fact that the browser does it job, syncs to my cellphone and that my games, regardless if they use Origin, Steam, GOG, Xbox Store, Battle.net or Epic will just work without any hands on is what matters.

I use Linux because it amuses me. It literally amuses me that I can make it break occasionally, that is actually my main draw to it. It gives me something else to do in the evenings instead of just reading game forums. I am NOT in it for the open source, the “better” architecture or the lower memory consumtion, I am in it because it keeps my hands busy (plus Xfce feels like W2k having a baby with WXP and being old, it suits me).

My point here is the quoted paragraphs from the article. The Linux community will never grow as long as a majority of the community doesn’t understand what the “normies” need.
Like the vain hope that Linux would grow huge when W7 died, which of course didn’t happen because the people that didn’t bother update their W7 by last year are not computer savvy. They just went and bought W10 or more likely a new computer with W10 and used that one instead. And will use that one until they are forced to update again.


I left my thoughts out of my initial post so people would focus on sharing their views instead of reacting to mine. I think he hit the nail right on the head. In today’s computing world, and I mean J. Q. Public, they want stuff to just work. I do support for people who age from 15 to 75+. On average, that is what I hear the most from them. Neither do they care about the tech, nor do they want to know about the tech. They view it as another TOOL to do what they want. They do not care if it is a Snap or Flatpak, Linux or Winders, Wayland or Xorg, etc… Does it work? If yes, then cool.

That being said, how does this apply to Wayland vs. Xorg, Pipewire vs. Pulse, etc… Every argument I have heard in regards to switching from tech A to tech B has not presented the advantages of switching in a manner that your average tool user can understand and how it is better for them with their use case. Heck, sometimes my eyes roll into the back of my head trying to comprehend what is being said. This is not good.

This leads me into what @Beardedgeek72 said…

This is so true. Even though I have used Linux for years, I sometimes feel that man pages and some tutorials for Linux are written as some sort of intelligence test. “You must be this smart to proceed”. As much as I love and use the reference that is the Arch Wiki, it is a prime example of this. It is written in such a way that it assumes you have prior knowledge about the inner workings of Linux. Is it tedious to write to the “lowest common denominator”? Yes. However, that is the only way to grow. It will never be “The Year of the Linux Desktop” until this is finally understood by the Linux world.


I think that one thing that he’s missing is the fact that X isn’t really meeting people’s needs and doesn’t seem like it will.

Wayland OTOH is listening to people and what they want.

As an example I need differing DPI on my monitor and my 4K TV. Wayland is going to achieve this. I’ve heard no indication that X even plans to address it.

I actually finally got my nvidia machine to boot into wayland recently and it was rough but gave me hope that when the 4.70 drivers come out it could be worth another look.


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How have you checked? xeyes?

Disabling wayland doesn’t work fully yet on GNOME. I’ve only just realised that now (I tried to set via a environment variable and I only just realised that did not do anything sorry about that :disappointed_relieved:) but every app will still run wayland native

Ah!! I got you! That is a much better way of eh cking! Maybe you are right!

However the apps you use will run wayland native! Try xeyes

EDIT : I never knew you could check like that! YOU’VE taught me something new thank you!

Few years ago, a certain person brought in Gnome 3 to a certain distro, and kept on (subtly) attacking the most popular DE that distro had at that time, stating that that DE won’t work well with Wayland and/or will never work with it. Finally the boos man dropped the very successful DE, and save quite a lot of money. Lot of developers lost their jobs due to that. Some developers forked that DE and we have an interesting Mobile DE, also that popular DE sort didn’t die away, some enthusiasts kept it going, and today, it is much better and snappier than the new Gnome with Wayland (hmm…xwayland). What happened to that guy? He is gone few years ago, never to be heard of today. (Oh, don’t ask me for his name. :slight_smile: )

I learnt a lesson after a long while, and came (back) to Arch, that is to EnOS. Here, Arch doesn’t have a favourite DE, all DEs are treated with equal respect, X and Wayland too. EnOS has a favourite DE, but respects all others too.

Wayland came to replace X, some decade ago, but it still can’t replace it. In Linux, we should not replace something, but add to it, for that something once helped us. Without that something, Linux wouldn’t be at the stage it is now.

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