The good old X Server is finally getting a replacement. Wayland will provide a replacement but can co-exists along side X Server for compatibility and features. It will also reduce the complexity today where for 3D effect, we are running Compiz.

The X architecture has been around for a decades now. It has gone through many iterations and improvements, however it still suffers from complexities and performance issues. These become bigger challenges when you are working on smaller devices such as phones, where X becomes an over head.

The X Server provides a network layer which is useful when you are running application on one device and output is displayed on another. Such as in thin clients setups. However even there X has been replaced by NX, VNC etc. The Qt team created Qt Extended (formerly known as Qtopia) which made direct calls to the frame buffer and eliminiated the need for X. This was a useful for embedded devices, however was limited to applications that used pure Qt APIs and didn’t make any X calls, which means all X applications were out. This limited its use, and never became a replacement for X.

Now Wayland is been designed to be a replacement for X and you should see it in your favourite distribution in the next 12 months.  Hold your breath, this would still require applications to be modified to use Wayland APIs instead of X APIs.

X Architecture today.

Wayland Architecture.

Full explanation of the Architecture.

Frequently Asked Questions.