Linux Format

A Weston compositor

Daniel Stone

- Daniel Stone, Graphics Lead, Collabora Ltd..

While Mesa 17.0 was undoubtedl­y the biggest news on the open source graphics front over the past few months, the release of Weston 2.0, the reference compositor for Wayland, also brought its fair share of improvemen­ts.

In addition to numerous bugfixes, atomic mode setting support is now in the pipeline, promising to deliver on the basic premise that clients will be able to have their content displayed directly on hardware overlay planes, with no specific hardware knowledge required to achieve this.

Another big change is the jump to version 2.0, the result of developmen­ts in libweston, the API enabling external window managers and desktop environmen­ts to reuse Weston’s solid and complete core code.

Tying Weston to one particular window manager or desktop environmen­t would have limited both scope and reach, so libweston was created to expose Weston’s scene graph, protocol and hardware support as a library for external users. Some environmen­ts such as Orbital are already making use of libweston, however we should see more in the future.

Towards this end, Weston 2.0 also contains the work of Armin Krezovi, a Google Summer of Code 2016 student who worked on backend and output configurat­ion, enabling the environmen­t to have more control over the configurat­ion and placement of monitors and outputs, which is going to be a must in full desktop environmen­ts.

Following on these key improvemen­ts, next up will be to continue Collabora’s work on bringing Android fences to mainline Linux, and bring explicit fencing support into Wayland. The support for this has already begun to land in Mesa and the kernel, and there are plans to make this available to Wayland, for direct clients as well as through the Vulkan Window System Interface.

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