An anonymous reader writes:
Fedora 25 will finally be the first release for this Linux distribution -- and the first tier-one desktop Linux OS at large -- that is going ahead and using Wayland by default. Wayland has been talked about for years as a replacement to the xorg-server and finally with the upcoming Fedora 25 release this is expected to become a reality. The X.Org Server will still be present on Fedora systems for those running into driver problems or other common issues.
Fedora's steering committee agreed to the change provided the release notes "
are clear about how to switch back to X11 if needed." In addition, according to the Fedora Project's wiki, "The code
will automatically fall back to Xorg in cases where Wayland is unavailable (like NVIDIA)."
• Score: 5, Informative
My understanding of why X needs to go away is that it comes down to security. The xdg-app/flatpak story is completely useless if you can have perfect isolation except for the graphics stack. X makes it trivial for one application to grab the graphical content of another process, but you can't securely implement a screen lock.
This is all out of date.
Firstly, programs can only grab each other's windows if you give them permissions to. X has security mechanisms to prevent it if you wish to prevent such things. The easiest way is to do X over SSH, and disable trusted X11 forwarding. All that does is use XAuth to mark the client as untrusted, and you can do that without using ssh.
The breaking out of sandboxes article a while back by Matthew Garrett only worked because in Ubuntu's implementation it treated the sandboxed programs as trusted. That's Ubuntu's fault not X, and in fact running his test program as untrusted demonstrated the X security mechanisms work just fine.
The screen locker one is both overblown and wrong. It's true that if something else has a full grab then the screen locker can't supersede it. In that case, you can't start the locker and it;s usually incredibly obvious. If the screen locker succeeds, it is secure and you can't break out of it.
But now it's also simply wrong. If you run a compositor, that intercepts ALL input events even with grabs because it has to be able to map them to the correct coordinates. If your screen locker is part of the compositor, then it is completely secure. I believe that's in fact exactly the same mechanism that's idiomatic in Wayland.
• Score: 4, Interesting
wayland initially was infested by the type of developers
Wayland was founded by the X developers who wanted to call it X12 but realized that people would freak the hell out if they fixed it the way that it needed fixing, based on their experience with X11.
Did you know that X11 has no security and that any stupid app running at the same time as your password manager can steal your keystrokes? Wayland fixes that, among other improvements to the 1980's architecture of X11.
Besides that, the baroque layering that means that you don't get good performance on modern hardware (because some breakage is considered unconscionable by the software conservatives). Those people can stay on X11 until they're old and creaky or their identity is stolen and they're too broke to own a computer.
Their kind of thinking is why traditional Linux DE's are stagnant and just adding circus tricks while ChromeOS and Android are the most successful linux distros.
Thank you, FESCO.
• Score: 4, Insightful
I think the most important usability features X11 has over Windows and mac is the suberbly powerful cut paste and remote display paradigm. If I can use those X features in Wayland I'll be happy, otherwise, I think you have a point Mr AC.
I switched from Windows to linux because I was sick of that shit, change for change sake. I want change for the sake of a usability improvment in a computing interface that I am compelled to use because it makes me more efficient at using a computer. I am an advanced user and I want an advanced interface. For me that is an ambidextrous mousing paradigm, remote windows, more advanced cut and paste, multiple desktops.
Frankly, UI configurability in linux has gone backwards since it got more popular, workspaces interfaces have *less* functionality than it did in 2008 when I could drag windows between workspaces and you could configure just about every aspect of gnome to customize your linux desktop experience. I didn't want a Mac or Windows UI and since their UI's adopted workspaces the functionality in linux seems to be dumbed down and advanced linux GUI features being domesticated.
Wayland looks like it is answering the need for backwards X11 compatibility with Weston so it remains to be seen if it will take the powerful features of X11 and leave some of the atropied aspects behind.
• Score: 4, Insightful
The code base of X is OK. Yes, I have read the code of many different open-source projects (and some close-source). But the real problem is not the code at all, I don't mind if somebody decides it needs to reimplement the X server for some reason. The real problem with Wayland is breaking backwards and forwards compatibility with a universally supported protocol instead of carefully revising it in a backwards compatible way (which would easily be possible with extensions). This is just insanely stupid.
• Score: 4, Informative
Another one - is there a fully compatible equivalent to X -query $hostname? I should have the option to connect to servers on my network however I need/choose to. I have users that use ssh to do remote X over a VPN to Solaris boxes, etc; and these all need to not break. And it's important to keep the heat on Fedora because what ends up in Fedora will be in RHEL 8.
Personally, I think I'm going to end up with a lot of unhappy users, or end up with Solaris workstations being deployed with the direction Linux is headed these days (oh hell, maybe I'll be able to get work to pay to revive my SGI O2 and use that as a daily workstation. It's perfect for everything but web browsing - I've got the full Adobe suite (Acrobat, Illustrator, Photoshop) on there too, and I can use Word Perfect for documents. My Octane would be a bit heavy to transport to work, though it's a lot more powerful then the O2...)