Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

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Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-05-10 13:53

I know that this is a trivial issue for most of Debian users, but one of the more prominent Debian developers, Jonathan Dowland, has questioned the current default DE for upcoming Debian Buster release:
https://jmtd.net/log/buster_wayland/

Currently GNOME defaults to Wayland, but he is requesting the session reverts back to Xorg, citing "various" problems and bugs.
To be honest, his two mentioned problems don't seem so fatal to me. For once, drag and drop issue is easily worked around and who leaves their root partition full all the time?
A bigger problem, and the only problem is lack of proper NVIDIA support on Wayland. Again, easily worked around, especially by Debian users.

For gaming, I have tested Valve's Proton on GNOME and it's running well using Xwayland. Age of Wonders III is running with playable FPS, even though native version is a bit faster on my AMD R5 330m. I had zero problems running Morrowind with OpenMW.

There is also a great benefit of leaving Wayland as default. There will finally be much more testing for all those bugs to be fixed. Debian maybe doesn't have Ubuntu's market-share, but it is still solid on desktop. I hope devs follow upstream's advice and leave GNOME Wayland as default.

What are your thoughts, should Debian 10 default to Wayland display server?
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby oswaldkelso » 2019-05-10 15:29

No. Unless it wants to bin the "Universal operating system" tag
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-05-10 16:18

Can you elaborate? Debian had GNOME as default DE for the last 3 releases. How does making GNOME on Wayland default trashes it's Universal OS reputation?
Debian has tasks at installation time where you can choose your DE or just go with CLI. Debian runs on many architectures, and Buster will continue that.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby oswaldkelso » 2019-05-10 18:06

Because it's the slow but sure road to everything monolithic. As soon as legacy support has been dropped the number of perfectly good applications in Debian will decrease. Some of these tools need to be replaced.

As Fedora puts it https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/How_to_d ... ling_a_bug "Power users are familiar with a large range of X11-related utilities, like xkill, xrandr, xdotool, xsel. These tools won't work under Wayland session, or will only work with XWayland applications but not Wayland applications. Some tools might have a replacement which allows to perform similar tasks. FIXME: add some Wayland-ready replacements for popular X11 tools."

That said I guess most people wont care but those of us that like minimal systems do. We all know that X needs to be replaced but I don't think wayland is ready just yet and especially for a stable release of Debian.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-05-10 18:52

oswaldkelso wrote: like xkill, xrandr, xdotool, xsel.

Those are just X-based extensions and hacks.
As soon as legacy support has been dropped the number of perfectly good applications in Debian will decrease. Some of these tools need to be replaced.

True, but the replacements will come. Some packages will be removed, and others will be added. It was like this since the conception of Debian.

If you have followed the developement of Sway, a rather successful Wayland tiling compositor, you would know that the future is not so distant as it seems. There are already plenty of small programs that are basically an extension for wlroots, a Wayland library Sway is based on. Some of them are:
mako - a notification deamon;
grim - screenshooter;
slurp - tool for capturing portions of the screen;
wl-clipboard - clipboard, duh;
and these are just a start. All of them will work for any wlroots based WM in the future, not just Sway.
GNOME has it's own implementation for most of the small tasks it relied on Xorg in the past. Plasma will have theirs. How much they cooperate will determine the future of Linux desktop, but Wayland is here to stay.
That said I guess most people wont care but those of us that like minimal systems do. We all know that X needs to be replaced but I don't think wayland is ready just yet and especially for a stable release of Debian.

If you like minimal desktops, give Sway a try. There will be more WM-like Wayland compositors in the future, so people who love these minimal installations shouldn't worry much :)
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby milomak » 2019-05-10 20:54

Wheelerof4te wrote:True, but the replacements will come. Some packages will be removed, and others will be added. It was like this since the conception of Debian.

i'm intrigued.

why not wait until the replacements are there?
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-05-10 21:07

^Your question answers itself.
Because if you wait on making something default, making something being used out in the open, being tested by a larger user base...well, you catch my drift. The replacements won't write themselves.

Right now, Wayland is being used by: maybe half of Fedora users who opt for GNOME, 1 in 1000 of Arch users who opt for GNOME, 1 in 10000 of Plasma users who willingly install Wayland packages in all distros combined, some enthusiasts who are rocking Sway on Arch and Tumbleweed, and not many more.

Of course, this is just my janky, subjective numbering. The numbers don't and won't matter if the only users are developers who willingly test Wayland.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby milomak » 2019-05-10 21:34

Wheelerof4te wrote:^Your question answers itself.
Because if you wait on making something default, making something being used out in the open, being tested by a larger user base...well, you catch my drift. The replacements won't write themselves.

Right now, Wayland is being used by: maybe half of Fedora users who opt for GNOME, 1 in 1000 of Arch users who opt for GNOME, 1 in 10000 of Plasma users who willingly install Wayland packages in all distros combined, some enthusiasts who are rocking Sway on Arch and Tumbleweed, and not many more.

Of course, this is just my janky, subjective numbering. The numbers don't and won't matter if the only users are developers who willingly test Wayland.

that says to me that wayland is not selling a story

why force people onto something that for 10 years has not been able to get traction?

that doesn't seem to me the way you would sell a stable distribution.

and if the likes of fedora, arch and gentoo (which i have previously used extensively) are not jumping onboard, then you can bet your bottom dollar that debian is not going to be the distro to carry the wayland torch.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby KBD47 » 2019-05-10 21:47

Wheelerof4te wrote:^Your question answers itself.
Because if you wait on making something default, making something being used out in the open, being tested by a larger user base...well, you catch my drift. The replacements won't write themselves.

The numbers don't and won't matter if the only users are developers who willingly test Wayland.


You make Debian Stable users into Beta testers with that logic, which is precisely the opposite reason 99% of people want to use Debian Stable. Play with stuff in Sid. Put stable, reliable options in Stable/Buster.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-05-11 06:32

oswaldkelso wrote:As soon as legacy support has been dropped

Just to clarify: the X-based desktop option is not being dropped at all, nor is it likely to be in the future.

If the user doesn't like the Wayland default then all they have to do is click on the cog-wheel icon in the log in screen and select GNOME on X instead.

So yes, defaulting to Wayland is a perfectly reasonable decision.

I prefer the X-based version myself (xterm won't load it's resources otherwise and Firefox tears while scrolling under Wayland) so that's what I'm using in my buster system.

And the minimal (X-based) window managers still work fine, even from GDM.

Wheelerof4te wrote:1 in 1000 of Arch users who opt for GNOME

The Arch GNOME desktop has defaulted to Wayland for a few years now, they usually apply whichever options are chosen upstream.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2019-05-11 07:41

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:The Arch GNOME desktop has defaulted to Wayland for a few years now, they usually apply whichever options are chosen upstream.

I know that, the joke is that Arch users don't often use GNOME :mrgreen:
KBD47 wrote:You make Debian Stable users into Beta testers with that logic, which is precisely the opposite reason 99% of people want to use Debian Stable.

I don't recall Wayland being Beta software. It is mature protocol, the only reason why it hasn't grown is because developers can't be arsed to make application that work under Wayland natively. And developers can't be arsed because not many users choose Wayland. Most of them because the choice has already been made for them, that "choice" being X11.

If you want to sell a tech, in market-speak terms, you need to have users for that tech. While people adjust, keep Xwayland as a compatibility layer and everyone's happy.
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby oswaldkelso » 2019-05-12 22:05

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
oswaldkelso wrote:As soon as legacy support has been dropped

Just to clarify: the X-based desktop option is not being dropped at all, nor is it likely to be in the future.


Great if true.

If the user doesn't like the Wayland default then all they have to do is click on the cog-wheel icon in the log in screen and select GNOME on X instead.

So yes, defaulting to Wayland is a perfectly reasonable decision.

I prefer the X-based version myself (xterm won't load it's resources otherwise and Firefox tears while scrolling under Wayland) so that's what I'm using in my buster system.

And the minimal (X-based) window managers still work fine, even from GDM.


And if the user doesn't use GDM or any display manager? is it just

export GDK_BACKEND=x11

It looks as if xwayland only works with QT5 or GTK3. Does this still work with GTK2 applications and QT 3.5 (Trinity ) or QT4 ? or am I misstaken.

What happens if I run startx like I have for the last 6 years :-) does it break anything stop any applications working if wayland is also installed?

I ask because Luddite that I am I don't have any QT5 or GTK3 applications as yet. Not one. At least on my day to day systems. I actually seem to be working back to older simpler applications because I just love a fast system and run old hardware with usually around with 3GB of RAM. Not that I need that I'd be horrified if I used 1 GB. I'm not missing any functionality I'm aware of... Shiny new syndrome doesn't exist here :-) . libreoffice opens in less than a second hot and about 3 cold. Most of my base applications open instantly....to fast for me to time at least.
I'm genuinely struggling to see what benefits wayland can bring me at this point in time. I actually turn composting off after I've shown someone just how pretty my desktop can look. It's just overhead draging my system down.

The whole unification and monoculture thing reminds me "software development cancer" post of a few years back. Making a system more and more complex is giving it a bigger point of failure so personally I don't think it's ready for me or Debian stable. Not yet.

https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1691909
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby Head_on_a_Stick » 2019-05-13 04:47

oswaldkelso wrote:And if the user doesn't use GDM or any display manager? is it just

export GDK_BACKEND=x11

No need to export any variables at all, Wayland is only active if you run a Wayland compositor.

oswaldkelso wrote:It looks as if xwayland only works with QT5 or GTK3. Does this still work with GTK2 applications and QT 3.5 (Trinity ) or QT4 ?

Wayland desktops will run GTK2 applications as well as other toolkits.

oswaldkelso wrote:What happens if I run startx like I have for the last 6 years :-)

It works exactly as it did under wheezy, jessie & stretch :-)

My dwm desktop is unchanged, here are some custom versions for testing/unstable:

https://build.opensuse.org/project/show ... an_desktop

oswaldkelso wrote:does it break anything stop any applications working if wayland is also installed?

No.

oswaldkelso wrote:libreoffice

:o

I thought you didn't like bloat...

https://packages.debian.org/stretch/texlive

oswaldkelso wrote:I'm genuinely struggling to see what benefits wayland can bring me at this point in time.

The codebase is *much* smaller than X and the desktop implementation is actually far simpler.

More here: https://wayland.freedesktop.org/faq.htm ... ng_toc_j_6
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby None1975 » 2019-05-13 12:16

Worth to read it about Debian 10 and Wayland:
https://jmtd.net/log/buster_wayland/
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Re: Should Debian 10 default to Wayland?

Postby CwF » 2019-05-13 13:45

The synaptic episode made it clear, the wayland people consider themselves uber alles.
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