Freerunner and Wayland

Thomas White taw at
Wed Jul 13 11:01:07 CEST 2011

On Thu, 7 Jul 2011 18:05:02 +0100
Neil Jerram <neiljerram at> wrote:

> Just wondering... is it at all feasible, in the nearish future, for
> Wayland to run on the Freerunner?  I mean directly on KMS, not as an X
> client.
> Would there be any advantage to that, compared to the current X usage?
>  I'm imagining it might perform better, but I don't really know.

It's feasible, but not easy.  Wayland is essentially a thin wrapper
around the low-level DRM and KMS stuff allowing clients to submit
hardware command sequences directly rather than going via X's
acceleration pathways.  A lot of the performance difficulties with the
X pathway (not just on our hardware) seem to be because the server
can't possibly know enough about what the client wants to accelerate it
effectively. Fast and smooth graphics on the Freerunner should be
perfectly possible, but would rely on exactly this kind of
"clairvoyance" from the X server.

So, getting Wayland to run on its own shouldn't be too difficult
(famous last words..), but writing programs which can actually make use
of it is significantly more difficult.


Thomas White <taw at>

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