Monday, 10 January 2011

Wayland: What it is

On Linux, the graphics is all done through a program called X (which is a descendant of the W windowing System from UNIX, so named because it's 1 better) is responsible for making it possible to draw a window, in fact even a plain old Xterm window needs X to run. Nowadays we have all those big desktops like Gnome and KDE which need more than X to work. They rely on more libraries and stuff to work. X in the old days had everything it needed to work in all environments so had networking support where a desktop could be viewed from anothr computer and that sort of thing. Most computers don't need that so Ubuntu have opted to use something different for their next release Natty Narwhal (11.04). They have chosen Wayland, which is faster because it does things in a different way. It strips out all the extras that X has and used the kernel mode setting and talks to the hardware and software differently. At the time of writing Wayland is only runnable in X and not on its own.