Jul 20, 2023

X11 server as Wayland client (development snapshot)

Wayland is a complete window system in itself, but even so, if we’re migrating away from X, it makes sense to have a good backwards compatibility story. With a few changes, the Xorg server can be modified to use wayland input devices for input and forward either the root window or individual top-level windows as wayland surfaces. The server still runs the same 2D driver with the same acceleration code as it does when it runs natively. The main difference is that wayland handles presentation of the windows instead of KMS.

This article will delve into a deep dive explanation about the FreeBSD port “xwayland devel” in the x11-servers category. If you’re already familiar with or working with FreeBSD and using ports, this should be a quick and easy read. If you’re a newbie, buckle up for a hearty learning experience.

[Xwayland]https//www.freebsd.org/ports/x11-servers/xwayland-devel.html is a notable part of the X server which provides a compatibility layer to run X11 applications in a Wayland environment. Subsequently, xwayland-devel is the development version of the same software, generally featuring the latest updates, bug fixes, and experimental features ahead of the stable release.

Get To Know XWayland Devel

Before we delve into the process of using XWayland Devel, let’s first understand it in a comprehensive manner. The Wayland protocol is a powerful, lean, and modern replacement for X, the de facto standard display protocol of Unix and Unix-like systems. Meanwhile, XWayland is a series of adaptations to the X.Org server allowing it to run atop a Wayland compositor and provide a smooth and efficient bridge between X11 and Wayland applications.

The XWayland Devel presents an opportunity for developers and enthusiasts to test out new features of XWayland before they are included in the stable release. It is essential to remember that since the software is in its developmental stage, it might not be as stable as the general release, and using it requires a certain level of understanding of Wayland, X11, and how the pieces fit together.

Installing XWayland Devel

The installation of XWayland Devel is pretty straightforward if you are familiar with FreeBSD Ports. To install the port, navigate to the x11-servers directory in the ports tree and run the following command

cd /usr/ports/x11-servers/xwayland-devel/ && make install clean

Alternatively, if you prefer a binary package instead of compiling from source, you can install XWayland Devel using pkg with the following command

pkg install xwayland-devel

As a gentle reminder, ensure that your ports tree is up-to-date before proceeding with the installation to get the latest version of the software.

Using XWayland Devel

XWayland Devel, like XWayland, runs as a part of your Wayland compositor. Compatible compositors should automatically start XWayland when required. If you use an X11 application in an environment dominated by Wayland, your compositor should recognize the need and start XWayland for compatibility.

Given that you’re running a development version of the port, it’s more likely that you’re interested in its new and experimental features. To test such features, you need to read the software documentation or project release notes for the particular version you’re working with. Keep close tabs on iterative developments and updates from the [official documentation of Wayland]https//wayland.freedesktop.org/xserver.html.

Remember, the “-devel” version of software carries newer features but also potentially more unstable or untested. Be ready for a few hiccups and crashes, and always keep your data backed-up while working with developmental software.

Why Choose XWayland Devel?

XWayland Devel is a perfect playground for developers or innovators looking to stay on top of the latest functionalities that will eventually make their way into the stable version of XWayland. If you’re someone in pursuit of developing new applications or enhancing existing ones, the developmental version will hand you the first look and experience of the upcoming features.

Furthermore, the FreeBSD community maintains the port, ensuring it aligns with the system’s holistic development. If you’re already using FreeBSD, diving headfirst into something like XWayland Devel becomes much more manageable.

That said, XWayland Devel isn’t for everyone. If your goal is to run a stable, professional suite of X11 applications with minimal bugs and full community support, you might want to stick to the main [XWayland]https//www.freshports.org/x11-servers/xwayland/ port.

In conclusion, XWayland Devel is a bridge between the world of traditional X11 applications and the modern Wayland protocol. It offers a plethora of opportunities for FreeBSD users looking to explore the latest tweaks and features introduced in this pivotal piece of software. Coupled with a robust understanding of the FreeBSD ports system, XWayland Devel gives you a front-row seat to the evolution of X11 and Wayland applications.

Checkout these related ports:
  • Xwayland - X11 server as Wayland Client
  • Xorg-server - X.Org X server and related programs
  • Xarcan - X11 server as Arcan client
  • X2x - Program to link multiple X servers together
  • X2vnc - Program to link multiple X and VNC servers together
  • Xfstt - TrueType font server for X11