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The Age of Wayland in KDE

Summary: An alternative to X Server is gaining traction in the world of KDE

FOR a period of time a couple of years ago Wayland made some headlines; Canonical has since then moved on to its own (with Canonical copyrights) X Server replacement, so Wayland did not make many headlines in 2013. But Wayland is making a bit of a comeback, not in Unity or GNOME (which now has version 3.11.3 in focus [1,2,3]) but in KDE.



KDE 4.12 was recently made available [4], potentially attracting many news users [5]. With the leadership of BlueSystem there is a shift towards Wayland [6], which becomes ever more real in the Qt- and Wayland-Powered Hawaii 0.2 Desktop [7,8].

Judging by where KWin development is going, Canonical is unlikely to ever revisit it (Kubuntu is no longer part of Canonical) and Wayland may be central in KDE's future, including on Plasma-powered devices such as tablets.

Related/contextual items from the news:



  1. Eye of GNOME 3.11.3 Allows for Transparent Backgrounds
    The GNOME developers announced recently yet another development release towards Eye of GNOME 3.12, the default image viewer application for the upcoming GNOME 3.12 desktop environment.


  2. GNOME Display Manager 3.11.3 Fixes PAM Re-authentication Issue
    The GNOME developers behind the GDM (GNOME Display Manager) software have announced a few days ago the immediate availability for download and testing of version 3.11.3 of the default login manager app for the GNOME desktop environment.


  3. GNOME Software 3.11.3 Adds More Featured Apps
    The GNOME Project has announced a few days ago that a new development release towards the stable GNOME Software 3.12 application for the GNOME desktop environment is available for download and testing, introducing two new features and lots of bugfixes.


  4. KDE 4.12 Performance Updates Revealed
    The Majority of the changes for this release can be found in the excellent selection of KDE applications. Several applications come with new features and increased stability. If you want to see the latest improvements for KDE 4.12, we have all the exciting details.


  5. Why Do Users Choose KDE?
    Popularity polls for software are questionable indicators at best. However, with KDE receiving just under a third of the votes in LinuxQuestion's Members Choice for 2011 and 2012 and in Linux Journal's 2013 Readers' Choice Awards, there's enough consistency to call KDE the most popular Linux desktop environment.

    Admittedly, if you add all the choices that use GNOME technology (Cinnamon, GNOME, Mate, and Unity), then KDE loses its position. But if you consider a desktop environment as a combination of both the shell and the underlying technology, KDE's position is unchallenged. At a time when half a dozen choices are available, KDE's one-third is probably as close to dominance as any desktop is likely to get.



  6. Retrospection
    It’s now almost one year since I started my job at BlueSystem to work full time on KDE software. It’s a perfect time to look back and do some retrospection as well as trying to look into the future.

    Of course my focus of work was on KWin, but especially over the last months I worked all over the KDE workspaces. Overall we have achieved a great result. KWin is running in near production-ready quality after the port to Qt 5 and the Plasma workspaces are also in a very good shape already. I tend to mentially compare the experience with the state of Plasma 1 six years ago which was just a few weeks before the first release. We are in a better state and there is still lots of time till we will do our Plasma 2 release.


  7. Qt & Wayland-Powered Hawaii 0.2 Desktop Released


  8. Wayland-Powered Hawaii 0.2 Desktop Released
    The Maui project have released a completely new Wayland powered desktop named Hawaii 0.2, which promises to bring a new generation of desktop experience for GNU/Linux users. This desktop promises to bring a completely new out of box experience GNU experience for users and ships the latest and greatest open source software out there. The desktop environment uses Qt 5.2 as the toolkit backed by qtwayland module.


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