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Re: is Wayland mature enough to be the default desktop choice in Buster?

On Sat, 06 Apr 2019 at 20:47:51 +0200, Guillem Jover wrote:
> On Fri, 2019-04-05 at 16:12:22 +0100, Jonathan Dowland wrote:
> > I was surprised to learn — by way of synaptic being autoremoved — that
> > the default desktop in Buster will be GNOME/Wayland.

It's perhaps important to point out before this thread gets much further
that Wayland is not like Xorg: it's a protocol, not a program. GNOME
Shell, Weston and sway are all (separate) Wayland implementations: they
share some library code (and they share Xwayland as a compatibility
layer for X11 apps), but GNOME in Wayland mode and KDE in Wayland mode
have less in common than GNOME on X11 and KDE on X11.

In particular, when GNOME Shell runs in Wayland mode, there is no Weston

Weston is definitely not a candidate for the default desktop in buster.
It's the reference implementation of a Wayland compositor, and doesn't
provide a full desktop environment - think of it as more like an
equivalent of Xorg + openbox (or some similarly minimal window manager)
than an equivalent of GNOME or KDE.

GNOME in buster has defaulted to Wayland mode since August 2017. The
default could presumably be swapped back to X11, as we did for stretch,
but I'm not sure whether post-hard-freeze is necessarily an appropriate
time to do that. The GNOME team made the corresponding change in stretch
(for which we had been hoping to default to Wayland, but decided that
it wasn't ready) 2 months before the transition freeze.

If I understand correctly, the pattern that led to synaptic's removal is
that it runs its full GUI as root, which isn't supported by the way many
(all?) Wayland environments set up Xwayland. The reason that Wayland
environment developers don't want to support this is that it makes it
very likely that the GUI that runs as root can be subverted by other
X11 apps connected to the same display.

> I don't use GNOME at all, but I tried to switch to Wayland last month
> (from i3 to sway), and sadly the experience lasted only a couple of days.

sway is not GNOME any more than Weston is, and doesn't necessarily
implement all the same Wayland interfaces as GNOME Shell. I would
recommend assessing Wayland implementations (compositors) on their
own merits.