Software

Ubuntu reverting to Xorg in Bionic Beaver

Wayland doesn't share nicely, and its crashes are catastrophic

By Richard Chirgwin

48 SHARE

Ten years' worth of effort to replace the Xorg graphics framework has been given a “must try harder” mark by Ubuntu, which says its next release will not use Wayland by default.

Ubuntu's desktop engineering manager Will Cooke made the announcement last Friday, saying the decision applies to the Bionic Beaver release due in April.

He listed three shortcomings in Wayland: screen sharing works (for example in Skype, Hangouts and WebRTC) better in Xorg, remote desktop control ditto, and “recoverability from Shell crashes is less dramatic”.

Screen sharing is the big killer: in Wayland, both the screen sharing protocol and the GNOME implementation (PipeWire) are still under development. PipeWire was formally unveiled as a project in September 2017.

Once development is completed, Cooke wrote, there's still going to be a lag while third-party developers integrate the screen sharing.

As for crash recovery: under Xorg, the shell can be recovered independently of the display server and running applications. Wayland hasn't reached that point yet, so if it falls over, so do any applications the user has loaded.

“The architecture of GNOME Shell and Mutter is such that a GNOME Shell crash will end your whole session, killing running applications and returning you to the login screen”, Cooke wrote. “There are two solutions to this problem when using Wayland: make sure the shell doesn’t crash or change the architecture. Both of these are work[s] in progress and we continue to contribute to this work upstream.”

He emphasised that Ubuntu will still work on Wayland “by adding features and fixing bugs”.

Bionic Beaver is formally numbered 18.04, and Cooke said the decision will be re-evaluated for Ubuntu 18.10. ®

Sign up to our NewsletterGet IT in your inbox daily

48 Comments

More from The Register

Linux 4.19 lets you declare your trust in AMD, IBM and Intel

Wave the CPU trust flag if you're feeling safe enough

Nvidia adds nine nifty AI supercomputing containers to the cloud

Now you can splash out on tons of GPUs if you really need to

AI caramba! Nvidia devs get a host of new kit to build smart systems

Kubernetes for GPUs, a PyTorch extension, TensorRT 4, and much, much more

AI, AI, Pure: Nvidia cooks deep learning GPU server chips with NetApp

Pure Storage's AIRI reference architecture probably a bit jelly

Linux kernel 'give me root, now' security hole sighted, dubbed 'Mutagen Astronomy'

Red Hat Enterprise and CentOS users at risk

Try our new driverless car software says Nvidia, as it suspends driverless car trials

Post crash test hits share price

Looking to nab Nvidia's GeForce chips? You need cash and patience

GPU shortage equals four-month wait time for buyers

Nvidia quickly kills its AMD-screwing GeForce 'partner program' amid monopoly probe threat

GPU giant rails against rumors of stiffing sellers

Cavium has two more tilts at Arm servers as Nvidia offers Arm-bots

HPC types offered density, carriers get roll-your-own customer-premises kit

Nvidia shrugs off crypto-mining crash, touts live ray-tracing GPUs, etc

Roundup Also, how Apple's Siri uses your location to improve its speech recognition