Re: A little experiment: GNOME on wayland-only?


On Sun, Nov 24, 2019 at 2:14 PM Javier Jardón <jjardon gnome org> wrote:

This weekend I was curios about how difficult would be to have GNOME
in a wayland-only system

Thanks to building GNOME in a sandbox (thanks to buildstream and
bwrap) and also thanks on using freedesktop-sdk as a base we can
easily control the whole stack, so I started to experiment [1]

Not sure how far we can go, but at least I'm discovering bugs and
submitting some patches on the way (some of them are already

If you still want to preserve X11 support, these modules do need to keep linking to X11 components:
- mutter, so it can spawn Xwayland and serve as a X11 WM
- gnome-settings-daemon, as gsd-xsettings implements the Xsettings manager, still necessary for X11 clients.
- gtk, as the X11 backend is used by both mutter and gsd-xsettings within a wayland session

And if you look into misc. components:
- IBus, as it has a XIM implementation relevant to X11 clients
- Pulseaudio, to make ssh -X clients' sound work seamlessly

I do know that from the gnome-shell perspective, everything is paved so that gdm may use --no-x11, but there's other aspects to it (eg. XDMCP) I'm not sure can be simply thrown away, or integrated with Xwayland-on-demand.

Beyond that, AFAICT if other regular GNOME session services/apps indirectly rely on X11 at build/runtime, it's an oversight.

There's been some work lately to have those misc components autostarted transparently in a better manner for X11 clients, see and the other related MRs. After that there's IMHO little reason to have xwayland-on-demand turned off by default :).

At some point I would like to generate a parallel pipeline in
gnome-build-meta so at least we do not regress on wayland-only support
(and ideally we can create a parallel GNOME VM without X at all, who

If you want to go that far, there's no support in g-s-d/mutter to build without X11, should be reasonably easy for g-s-d, but it's still likely to cause to some #ifdef proliferation in mutter.


I'm keeping the progress here: [1] if someone wants to keep track


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