Xorg vs Wayland for Plasma

I agree with @theriddick–you didn’t really suggest a solution. They explained they are trying to use a specific tool but something is not working as expected, and your suggestion is essentially “don’t use that tool”.

You can test this theory by checking if the issue goes away when set to 100% or 200% scaling.

From what I understand, Plasma 6 is supposed to include substantial improvement for fractional scaling on Wayland. It won’t be released until late 2023 or early 2024, but “developers and adventurous users are encouraged to test” if you want to check it out: https://community.kde.org/Plasma/Plasma_6

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That’s a terrible way to reason about this.

A tool is meaningless by itself, if it is not used for a certain purpose. The purpose ought to determine the usefulness of a tool. No tool is useful for every purpose, and not every tool is useful for a specific purpose. If some goal is difficult to accomplish with one tool, and easy with another, then it is clear what the right tool for the job is.

It’s like asking how to write on paper using a screwdriver and complaining when the given answer is: use a pencil.

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That’s a rather flawed analogy, simply because X11 and Wayland are two different tools that are used for essentially the same purpose. In this respect, they are not similar to a pencil and a screwdriver. In my opinion, your effort to shoehorn the analogy to make your point has not succeeded well.

Wanting to try out Wayland just for the sake of using a more modern and secure graphical display protocol with improved performance and better support for modern hardware and features is reason enough to do it. Finding a bug shouldn’t make their motivation for using Wayland irrelevant.

I think you are trying to impress your own personal opinion onto this person’s experience. You are welcome to dislike Wayland or think it is bad or whatever, but the point still stands: your “pretty obvious” solution is not really a relevant suggestion if the ask is to resolve a bug encountered with the software they are trying to use.


You are right, the analogy is flawed. A screwdriver is actually a useful tool…

Perhaps a better analogy would be this: when people complain that windoze is slow and spying on them, the standard reply is to suggest to them to use Linux. We correctly recognise people who reject that advice and say: “but I want to use windoze, except I want it not to suck”, to be unrealistic.

What is more secure about Wayland? In what concrete way does Wayland improve your security?

I’m genuinely interested to know, I’ve been asking this question for about 10 years (ever since I heard of Wayland, and Wayland was still new and modern) and haven’t gotten a satisfactory answer. The best I ever got was: “Wayland has fewer features, and you can’t abuse a feature that isn’t there.” Sure, if you are willing to do such drastic sacrifices, permanently turning off your computer is even more secure. But the story doesn’t end there. Most of the security exploits are possible on Wayland, too. So you’re sacrificing features for what?

Today, Wayland is a pretty old software standard with pretty limited user base, though certain projects are trying really hard to push it on us, and I suspect their motivations are not with out best interest in mind. But that’s neither here nor there.

In what way is modern hardware better supported by Wayland? Which hardware specifically? NoVidea? :rofl: The OP’s experience certainly does not show that.
You hear people complaining about hardware support for Wayland all the time, OP included. When was the last time you’ve witnessed a complaint about Xorg’s lack of hardware support?

I never said it the OP’s motivation was irrelevant, just… mysterious. Perhaps even unfathomable. But no, not irrelevant.

Split this off from the original post since this discussion does not really help the OP or pertain the problem itself.

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@Kresimir While I get where you’re coming from, the reason for me to use Wayland is simply that Xorg does not have native support for touch screens (which I use frequently). So far I have not found a way to get touch screens to work with Xorg (emulating touch inputs as mouse inputs does not count), hence Wayland it is. And to be fair, on more mature environments (i.e. Sway) it runs without any issues (not counting lack of screen sharing capabilities in Zoom or ‘issues’ with Nvidia hardware).

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I like KDE with wayland simply for the better support of using 2 monitors with different refresh rates. As someone who primarily games on their computer, I prefer actually having the correct hertz on my monitor. I’m unsure if Xorg can do that, and even if it did, wayland makes it seem more seemless to myself (as a new user). That being said, x11 is probably more stable than Wayland (especially when using nvidia like myself) but honestly, I haven’t had any major issues with wayland knock on wood. But with almost everything on linux, your mileage may vary. Go for what works for you afterall.

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Switched to Wayland two years ago and haven’t looked back. For me every missing feature or paper-cut kwin Wayland had was not as bad as the nightmare of X multi-monitor configuration. I’m happy to dive into long hours of configuration sessions for esoteric hardware, but can we have at least display and audio work out of the box? That was one of those things that immediately turned away new users.

In my experience wayland is a solid daily driver nowadays (at least on Intel GPU).

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A pencil is a useful tool as well. That is not the flaw in the analogy. Rather, Wayland and X11 are two different tools that do the same thing, where a pencil and a screwdriver are not. That is where your original analogy falls down.

Since this information is abundantly available on the internet and has been for a long time, I assume you are already familiar with the security benefits of Wayland but feel they do not apply to you in a meaningful way and are therefore irrelevant. But sure, I’ll bite:

  1. Wayland isolates applications from one another. Each application runs in its own separate compositor, which serves as a form of security sandboxing. Even if one application is compromised, it is more difficult for it to affect other running applications or the core system.

  2. In X11, windows can run as the root user, which is a major security risk. Wayland eliminates this by design. It doesn’t allow windows to run as the root user, reducing the potential for privilege escalation attacks.

  3. Wayland has a simpler and more modern codebase than X11. This reduced complexity translates to a smaller attack surface, making it harder for attackers to find vulnerabilities to exploit.

  4. Wayland has better control over input devices. It doesn’t allow one application to snoop on the input events of another. This can prevent keyloggers and other types of input-based attacks.

  5. X11 has network transparency built-in, which can be a security risk if not configured correctly. Wayland requires network transparency to be specifically configured, which can be a nuisance if you are trying to configure a VNC session or something, but definitely reduces the risk of remote attacks through the display server.

  6. X11 comes with numerous legacy extensions that have been around for decades. These extensions can introduce security vulnerabilities. Wayland doesn’t include these legacy extensions, leading to a cleaner and potentially more secure system.

  7. Wayland utilizes a more modern graphics driver model, which can make it easier to isolate and contain graphics driver-related security issues.

There is probably a lot that could be added to that list, but I am not an expert on security or Wayland, or really anything for that matter. These are just some of the more basic and well-known talking points.

Pretty much all hardware except Nvidia can work better with Wayland than X11. That’s not a strike against Wayland; the reason Nvidia doesn’t work as well on Wayland is because Nvidia have historically been somewhat hostile toward the Wayland project. With that exception, in general Wayland will work better on any given GPU than X11.

Again, I am not an expert on this topic but some low-hanging fruit regarding how hardware is better supported on Wayland:

  1. Wayland has a more modern and efficient graphics rendering architecture. It provides better support for hardware acceleration, making graphical operations smoother and more responsive, especially on systems with dedicated GPUs.

  2. Wayland has better multi-monitor support, hands-down. Better handling of high DPI displays, better handling of dynamic display configuration changes, better support for monitors with different resolutions or scaling settings, even just straight-up more monitors supported on the same GPU.

  3. Wayland compositors often provide tear-free rendering by default. This means you’re less likely to see screen tearing when watching videos or moving windows around, thanks to improved synchronization with the display hardware.

  4. Wayland typically offers reduced input lag compared to X11, making interactions with your computer, such as moving the mouse or typing on the keyboard, feel more responsive, especially in graphical applications and games.

  5. Wayland allows applications to render directly to the screen without going through a compositor, when necessary. This can reduce latency and improve performance in some scenarios, such as gaming.

  6. Wayland provides better support for touchscreens and gestures, which is crucial for modern laptops and touchscreen devices. This support allows for natural and responsive touch interactions.

  7. Wayland supports dynamic resolution changes, which means that you can change the resolution of your display without needing to log out and back in, providing a more flexible and user-friendly experience.

I would say in general, the most immediately obvious areas where Wayland has better hardware support than X11 would be monitors and touch-enabled devices.

This is somewhat anecdotal, but I would say this comes up constantly in the forums. The most common grievances I see would be monitors not allowing the desired resolution or refresh rate to be used, inflexibility with regards to display scaling (especially with 4K monitors and similar), and difficulty using mismatched monitors in a multi-monitor configuration (different refresh rates, different display densities, etc).

I really wasn’t trying to start a “Xorg vs Wayland” topic, which this now has specifically become, and I really didn’t want to be forced onto a side in such a debate, which now I feel like I am (on the “Wayland is better” team, even though that is not necessarily my opinion). All had originally intended was to point out that “don’t use Wayland” is not a valid suggestion when the ask is “how can I get this working on Wayland”.

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This looks like something ChatGPT would write. It parrots all the standard talking points, most of which are rubbish and have no concrete benefit. All the seven points boil down to this: Wayland limits what you can do, therefore it is safer.

That is just not a good argument, because the same argument can be applied to: turning off your computer is safe.

Wayland eliminates essential features of Xorg.

However, all of these seven points have exploits. If anything Wayland just gives you a false sense of security. Point 4 is especially nonsense.

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All your seven points boil down to this: Wayland limits let you control what you others can do, therefore it is safer.

There, fixed it. :wink:

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That’s absolutely wrong. Wayland definitely does not let you control anything. It just locks you out.

For example, if I want to write a keylogger (and there are legitimate uses for a keylogger), I have to jump through hoops and do really nasty, hacky stuff. This doesn’t protect me from spyware that wants to log my keypresses, but it makes my life more difficult. And don’t get me started on Xeyes.

What’s the problem with Xeyes?


It’s utterly broken on Wayland. See this:

Maybe there’s a possible route to a solution?

There isn’t. I’ve spent at least 100 hours on this. You need a custom compositor.

There are keyloggers that work with wayland. But those have to inject themself on a lower level and require elevated rights. They have to ask to the user in one way or another (sudo, wayland DE implementation).

Making user process keyloggers difficult or ideally impossible without user intervention is the whole point. That’s a feature, not a bug.

No, that’s a lack of a feature.

It doesn’t protect you from malicious code, it just makes your life difficult for legitimate uses.

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Some may say random user level processes running unnoticed in the background logging everything you do are a feature. Some may say that’s not desirable and having control of that logging is a feature.

But it seems with that we are squarely in the realm of personal opinion. Which is fine, we all have those.

With X11 the user is in control of what processes run. With Wayland, this control is meaningless because you simply can’t do what you want. A Wayland compositor thinks it knows better what should be allowed on the system than the user. In fact, the user has no say in the matter at all. Therefore, Wayland is user-hostile, and broken.

People who have an opinion that broken things are desirable are just plainly wrong.

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