Project Background

One of the bigger architectural decisions made during the early design discussions (around 2011) was the selection of X Window System (specifically the implementation) as the display server instead of the then up and coming Wayland project.

The main criteria used to select between Wayland and at that time were the following:

  1. Overall maturity of the selected solution (either current or expected during the development phase of the project).
  2. Available support for the selected solution in the open-source components (toolkits etc)
  3. Hardware support as provided for the selected solution (Intel and ARM targets)

Looking at the short term (less one or to two years), the following was concluded at that point:

  1. had been mature for a long time, Wayland was not expected to mature fast enough to support the intended feature development from early-on.
  2. Support for X in all components is mature, support for Wayland was either non-existent or early proof of concept.
  3. X HW enablement was committed to by the various HW providers, Wayland HW enablement not further discussed.

Given these answers, X was the clear winner at the time. Of course, three years later (late 2014) a lot has changed, which means it’s time to re-assess these decisions.

  1. Wayland has evolved and matured a lot and has already been used in various commercial products.
  2. Wayland support in most of the components used now has the required level of maturity to be the basis of future developments
  3. SoC vendors are switching their focus to enabling Wayland for their products, spending either zero or substantially less time on X11 enablement.

Given this re-evaluation, X is no longer clearly ahead of Wayland. As such, a more detailed evaluation about the viability and benefits of switching to a Wayland solution is being undertaken.

X window system background

For a good understanding of the current situation of the X window system (often referred to as X11 or X), a bit of history behind its design is required and the constraints in which it was designed.

To do so, one has to go all the way back to the 1980s when X started, back when graphics cards were no more than simple framebuffers and memory and CPU resources were limited to levels unimaginably low by today’s standards. As a result, an extensible network protocol was designed (such that applications could run on bigger backend machines). This protocol allowed clients to send very basic drawing commands to the server, which would draw directly to the screen output. Using this strategy the memory requirements were kept to a minimum at the expense of redrawing artifacts, which was perfectly acceptable in a time when color displays were still a novelty and 256 colors the state of the art. In addition, to position the various application windows on the screen, without putting policy in the server, the concept of a window manager was invented. The window manager ran as a separate application and took responsibility for communicating to the X server where to place the application windows and draw the window decoration (title bar etc) for each window when required. The window manager however never had to touch or to inspect the content of the application windows.

Since then, a lot has changed, not only has hardware become much more capable but our expectations of a graphical user interface changed dramatically. Due to the extensibility of the X11 protocol, the X server has been able to keep evolving, without losing backwards compatibility. Crucial for this evaluation are two main changes of how a modern X11 based desktop works:

  • Rendering moved from server side to the clients.
  • The responsibility of the final on-screen content moved from the X server to the compositor

As applications required more precise control over their graphical output, the very basic drawing operations as provided by the X protocol soon proved to be inadequate. At the same time, more memory became available which made it viable for applications to have a (partial) copy of their graphical output. Furthermore, the general trend was started to move away from the thin-client based model for which the remote rendering approach taken by X11 was designed. As such, over time, applications moved from rendering by sending drawing commands to the X server to doing all the drawing locally and only sending the resulting image to the server for final display.

More recently desktop-wide animations started becoming the norm, of which the Exposé feature in Mac OS X is a good example. The simple window placement features provided by the X server however are far from suitable for these animations. As such, the X protocol gained several more extensions which added the ability for applications to draw their windows on an off-screen area instead of directly on the screen. More extensions were added to allow a so-called compositor (e.g. Mutter) to combine all the windows in the offscreen area and render the final onscreen output.

While the extensibility of X11 allowed it to still be relevant 25 years after its original design, it has come at a cost. The requirement to be able to still support all core features already present 25 years ago means odd limitations shine through in various places. One of the main user-visible examples of this is the inability to interact with windows transformed by the compositor (e.g. zoomed, rotated) as X simply doesn’t have the ability to map the inputs to the transformed window. Looking at the lower levels, the EXA 2D acceleration architecture in isn’t a very good fit for the way modern graphics cards work, which means it often causes a performance slowdown instead of a speedup unless implemented with great care in the driver. In a lot of ways, X11 has, over time, become a square peg that has with some success been fitted into a round hole, but still doesn’t really fit. The general consensus around X in the open source community is that it has reached the end of the line, it has been stretched as far as it could go and in some cases even further.

Introduction to Wayland

Wayland is a display server protocol targeted at modern graphics environments, with a stated goal of “every frame is perfect”. Wayland itself is not a complete display system, instead it provides an extensible protocol definition and C helper libraries to write Wayland display servers and clients. The Wayland project also provides a reference display server, called Weston (to which people often refer to when talking about a fully functional Wayland system).

While Wayland has had a reasonably slow start (started as a spare-time project back in 2008) development sped up considerably around 2012 GNOME targeted Wayland as an option for the 3.10 release (September 2013), which gave another push at application and library support for Wayland. The recently released Fedora 21 and the upcoming (as of late 2014) Debian Jessie release both ship with the option of running GNOME (3.14) on Wayland. GNOME 3.16 and Fedora 22 plan to ship with Wayland running the login screen12 (but not the default full session) on all devices, as a large-scale deployment test. If that goes well, a complete switch to Wayland for Fedora 23 is expected.

One thing to note about the deployments in general purpose distributions such as Debian and Fedora, versus deployments in Apertis is that the bar for usage as the default windowing system on a general purpose distributions is much higher. Both with respect to the range of hardware that needs to be support (different video hardware, input devices (mice, tablets, touchpads etc), output device (mixed resolution monitors, projectors etc) and with the range of software that needs to be support (lots of different toolkits, legacy applications etc).

When compared to the X11 rendering model, there are two fundamental changes:

  • The server exposes no rendering/drawing functionality to the applications at all.
  • The display server and compositor are one process and all hardware support is delivered by the compositor.

Enforcing applications to do all their rendering locally essentially encodes current best practices and avoids the need for any complex and expensive synchronization when mixing client and server rendering, which often results in bad performance unless very finely tuned. Another advantage is that this choice allows for a much cleaner separation of responsibilities of the client and server; The client creates the content, the server puts it on the screen.

The merger of the display server and the compositor effectively cuts out the middle-man and puts the compositor in full control of the final output and hardware. When using X11, the compositor implementation was limited to using the APIs exposed by the X server, which essentially meant the use of GL ES was the only practical choice for compositing. For Wayland compositors, there is no such limitation: the Wayland libraries and protocol make no assumptions about the methods used for compositing in any way — this is left to the compositor implementation. Especially for embedded hardware, this flexibility is very welcome as these systems often have quite powerful display subsystems that were essentially impossible to use effectively with X11. One extreme example of using this flexibility is the Raspberry Pi backend Collabora did for Weston in 2012–2014, which purely uses the Raspberry-specific DisplayManX APIs for compositing resulting in much better performance than could be achieved with EGL/GL ES based compositing on this hardware. Something which would have been impossible to do with in its current form.

Throughout this document, the Raspberry Pi is used as an example of the potential of combining hardware specific APIs with conventional GLES. The Pi was chosen as an example as it is an extreme: a low-power CPU coupled with a very powerful display system, so it is a good demonstration of the potential of hardware specific APIs for offloading processing to the display subsystem and hence improving CPU performance. Less extreme use-cases of this flexibility will typical mix GL ES based compositing with usage of the display system, to get the best possible overall system performance for each situation, an approach also used by current Android systems.

A good example of the potential resource usage advantages offered by Wayland over X11 was demonstrated by Collabora at SIGGRAPH 2014, showing power usage of Wayland using stock EGL and KMS APIs on a Chromebook 2 to be around 1/3 of that of X11 on the same hardware. While power consumption is not a driving factor for automotive, it typically directly corresponds to CPU and/or GPU resource usage. In this example, cleverer usage of resources dramatically reduced power consumption without user-visible changes. In other use-case the lower resource load of the compositor can be used to allow applications to use more resources (e.g. render a more complex GL scene).

Wayland hardware enablement

As mentioned previously, the Wayland libraries and protocol do not include any hardware integration or any strict requirements on the hardware integration. All responsibility of dealing with the hardware (both output and input) is offloaded to the compositor implementation such as Weston (the Wayland project’s reference compositor), Wayland IVI/weston-ivi (formerly LayerManager; by Genivi) or Mutter (GNOME’s compositor). Even though this seems to be a daunting task, a lot of the actual work is done by existing support libraries and modern kernel APIs, such as KMS, DRM, evdev and libinput. The number of hardware interactions needed to be implemented for Wayland is also significantly lower than the number needed to get X11 running on a particular device, since Wayland operates exclusively on surfaces rather than in primitive drawing operations. In return for this added complexity, a lot of flexibility is gained by putting the compositor fully in the driver’s seat and not being limited to the API and protocol exposed by the server. This allows the compositor to take full advantage of the available hardware in ways that simply weren’t possible with X11, which includes using device-specific APIs and dynamically using overlays and other hardware accelerated elements if possible without the need to expose this to clients.

Several Wayland projects have based their compositor off Weston, including Wayland IVI and the Raspberry Pi shell (Maynard). Doing so gives a stable and mature platform to start from, using a code base which was developed by the core Wayland developers (so uses the Wayland protocol to its full advantage), and means the platform will receive further updates and maintenance as Wayland development progresses, reducing maintenance burden.

Wayland IVI is a GENIVI project to build an IVI platform based on Wayland and Weston. It defines a set of protocol extensions to the core Wayland protocols, and provides a reference compositor implementation, weston-ivi, comprising the stock Weston compositor which includes an IVI-specific shell (‘ivi-shell’), and a separate window manager process.

Both Weston and Wayland IVI compositors are built to be dynamic in the way they work with the underlying hardware. For example Weston can currently use DRM/KMS in combination with GLES and DRM-based overlays, simple dumb framebuffers with pure software rendering, X11 with GLES rendering or Raspberry Pi specific APIs to do the composition. Wayland IVI as published by Genivi has similar capabilities, adding Vivante/Freescale support into Weston with a small series of patches. A similar dynamic approach to handling input devices exists, but as these interfaces are much more standardized (e.g. either libinput, or evdev or X input when running on top of X11) thus not of high risk nor interest for hardware enablement.

For a compositor to do useful things, it needs some content to composite onto the screen. This brings us to the next step for hardware enablement: transferring the pixel content from the application to the compositor. In the Wayland protocol this revolves around two main concepts: Surfaces, which are rectangular areas displayed on the screen; and Buffers, which carry the actual pixel content to be displayed in such Surfaces. To do screen updates, the application sends buffers with the updated content to the compositor and asks the compositor to use it to update its Surface. As with X11, the real challenge for performance is to optimize the transfer between the application and the display server/compositor. In this case, Wayland doesn’t enforce how this transfer happens, all that is required is that the application sends buffers in a way the compositor can use and understand. Wayland itself only defines a shared memory transport as a lowest common denominator to be supported by all compositors. Other transports can be defined by the platform libraries, for example the Mesa EGL/GLES library defines a DRM transport, the details of which are completely hidden inside the GL library itself and well away from both the compositor implementation and the applications using Mesa.

With X11, three transfers need to occur before pixels can hit the screen (client → X server → compositor → X server for display), while in Wayland, the pixel data only has to be transferred between processes once (between the compositor and the client). As such, even with the same level of support for a particular hardware platform from Wayland and X11, Wayland should in theory perform better than X11.

As a slight side-note to general hardware enablement, since version 1.0 the Wayland protocol has been stabilized. This means that any Wayland hardware enablement done for at least Wayland 1.0 will not be broken or require updates for moving to newer versions of Wayland, nor will clients targetted at Wayland 1.0 break when moving to newer versions. A similar stability policy exists for extension protocols, several of which are in development for various features (such as xdg_shell) as of the end of 2014. If any Apertis work is done against these protocols, it will be future-proof once (and only once) the protocols are marked as stable.

Evaluation of Wayland for Apertis

The evaluation of Wayland for Apertis can generally be split up in three parts:

  • Wayland support for the various target platforms
  • Wayland support from an application perspective
  • Impact of moving to Wayland on delivered and upcoming features

Wayland support for various target platforms

Apertis currently targets three different hardware platforms, each with slightly different requirements:

  • Freescale i.MX6 (Specifically the Sabrelite board) The compositor should directly drive the hardware and integrate with clients using the Vivante GL(ES) stack.
  • Intel native (Specifically the Minnowboard Max) The compositor should directly drive the hardware and integrate with the Mesa GL(ES) stack.
  • Intel SDK XFCE desktop system running in a VirtualBox image with software GL rendering. The compositor must run as a window in the standard X11 environment using Mesa software rendering for GL support.

This leads to a requirement for a compositor with modular support for graphics and input.. These considerations are further expanded in the Evaluation of compositors and shells section.

For both the usage of Weston and Mutter as the baseline compositor, we can take a closer look at the three platforms to support. Starting with the easiest target, Intel native, as the main development target for Weston and Mutter, this simply works out of the box without the need for any further development. In a similar fashion, running Weston or Mutter (as a Wayland compositor) under X11 as required for the Intel SDK target is a very common use-case. However, one caveat was discovered during the testing done for this evaluation: the current (late 2014) Mesa support for Wayland does not work when using software-rendered GL as Mesa doesn’t currently support the default Wayland shared memory transport but only the DRM transport which can’t be used under software rendering. Resolving this is a relatively small effort (in the order of days), but something which will need to be fixed for Apertis nonetheless.

The last target, and as always the hardest, is the Freescale i.MX6 based ARM platform. The Yocto meta from Freescale contains several patches to Weston to add support for the FSL graphics stack based on GL ES and the frame buffer backend. Collabora has not tested the quality of that backend at this point (early 2015). For Mutter either similar changes to its native backend have to be done or a new backend would have to be written to support GL (and the Vivante specifics) on the frame buffer. However for better integration with the overall system (e.g. seamless switching between boot splash and the graphical session), GL ES on top of the standard DRM infrastructure would be preferable, but the level of support from the FSL/Vivante graphics stack for that is unclear.

Wayland for applications

For any display server system to be successful, it needs to provide the features required by the applications using it. It was indicated that the Apertis platform has no specific requirements for the use of X11, as such, the evaluation for applications can purely focus on the features and support libraries required by applications.

Crucially, this means that Apertis has a much more relaxed set of requirements for Wayland to be production-ready: there is no need to support legacy X11 applications, or a wide variety of graphics hardware. This means that switching to Wayland on Apertis is a much smaller problem than switching a full desktop environment such as GNOME. With Wayland adoption at its present state in desktop Linux distributions, the big steps have already been taken, and waiting for further stabilisation on the desktop gives diminishing benefits for Apertis due to its different trade-offs.

Graphics, UI and toolkits

As the very first item, applications need to be able to put their UI on the screen. For Apertis, most applications directly or indirectly use GL ES for their rendering, as such, the first thing that needs to be in place is support from the underlying EGL/GLES stack for Wayland. Assuming that support is in place, what is left for the application is to set up the connection to the window system, handle everything apart from the rendering itself in a window system specific way (e.g. input). For essentially all applications shipped by Apertis, this is handled by the graphics libraries. The main graphics libraries used are MX, Clutter and Cogl. Clutter and Cogl have had Wayland support since 2010, which has been in active development and is quite mature. For MX, Wayland support was added in MX 2 which is the only version currently supported in Apertis. During the evaluation for this report test packages of Cogl, Clutter and MX 2 were built with Wayland support and used to successfully run an otherwise unmodified WebKit-Clutter on Wayland (using Weston as the compositor) on the Intel platform.

Input support

For Apertis three types of input are expected to be used:

  • Multitouch via the touchscreen
  • Onscreen keyboard
  • Emulated hardware buttons (out of screen buttons).

Because Wayland started in an era where touchscreens were common-place, support for these is a first-class citizen. The touch model from Wayland is comparable with that of X11, which makes supporting it in applications which already support touch under X easy. Clutter includes touch support under X and Wayland in the same way, so no changes are required for touch-capable Clutter based application to support multitouch under Wayland.

For onscreen keyboards, Collabora has recommended the use of the IBus in the Internationalization proposal. A lot of effort has been going into porting IBus to Wayland with the Wayland protocol experimentation taking place by using the Weston compositor which is rapidly approaching a mature state. For client applications, this means that by using the GtkIMContext on top of IBus approach as outlined in the Internationalization proposal will work for both Wayland and X11 without further changes. The onscreen keyboard application itself of course also needs to support Wayland and should integrate with the Wayland compositor to provide a good user experience, similar to what needs to happen on X11.

Emulated hardware buttons are a feature delivered for Apertis by Collabora. When doing the same feature under Wayland, the compositor implementation can take advantage of being in full control of the input flow. Instead of providing an external daemon to recognize the hardware buttons and emulate button presses via the uinput subsystem, this should be done directly in the compositor. No changes to applications are required. As such this feature will require an update for use with Wayland.

In summary, Wayland is fully capable of fulfilling the input requirements of the Apertis system.

Evaluation of compositors and shells

On the assumption that Collabora’s recommendation of switching to Wayland is accepted, we can explore the possibilities for the choice of Wayland compositor and shell process to use. There are three main options, and their pros and cons are explored in the following sections:

  1. Continue using Mutter, using its Wayland support
  2. Switch to using Weston plus a custom shell
  3. Switch to using Wayland IVI

Firstly, Mutter has gained support for Wayland from 2013 onwards, with that support maturing as part of the GNOME project’s roadmap for moving to Wayland. However, due to Mutter’s legacy as an X11 window manager (it was originally a development of Metacity, which was an X11-only window manager from GNOME 2), its architecture does not fit in perfectly with the Wayland architecture and, as a result, further development in response to new Wayland capabilities may be tricky without large refactoring effort. Architecturally, Weston is (in its position as a reference compositor) much more aligned with Wayland, and will remain so. Wayland IVI has some serious architectural problems, notably its use of an external process for window management with a very limited layout API, which is a regression back to the X11 approach to window management. By separating this between processes, it reduces reliability (two processes to fail instead of one; the potential for synchronisation problems between the processes; performance overhead and programming complexity of IPC communications) as described in the sections above.

Both Mutter and Weston support the xdg-shell Wayland protocol for implementing management of client windows (such as minimisation, fullscreening and maximisation). Wayland IVI introduces its own shell protocol instead: ivi-application, which is smaller and less mature. Supporting xdg-shell is valuable, as it is supported by all the major toolkits (GTK+, Clutter) as the preferred mechanism for window management. In the case of GTK+, it is required. It would be possible to modify GTK+ to use a different shell protocol, but these modifications would likely not be accepted upstream. On the other hand, there are a few parts of the xdg-shell protocol which are not needed for touchscreen IVI systems, such as xdg_popup; these could not be eliminated from the protocol, and stub implementations would have to be present in the Apertis compositor.

Hardware support varies between the three. If using Mutter as the compositor, the hardware interaction is constrained to using GL (ES), as Mutter is based on Clutter, and Clutter is tied to GL (ES). This means that existing effects can continue to be implemented using Clutter APIs, but unfortunately means that non-GL APIs cannot be used for animations. As the use of GL is deeply embedded in the design of Clutter, this would not be very hard to change, so the use of display system APIs, would be impossible. If Weston were used, such APIs could be opportunistically used once support for them is added to Weston, which would be a straightforward (though not small) task. If functionality not provided by the device specific APIs is needed, Weston ‘falls back’ to using full GLES.

Secondarily, if using GL for rendering of both applications and the final compositing, each output pixel will run through the full GL GPU pipeline twice: once when uploaded by the application, and a second time when composited to produce the final frame. This may not happen if using device-specific APIs, where pixels from applications will run through the GPU once when uploaded by the application (e.g. if it’s using GLES for in-window 3D effects), and then (depending on the device) may bypass the GL pipeline and enter a simpler, more efficient, 2D framebuffer engine to composite the overall frame instead. Especially for devices with less capable GPUs and higher resolution screens (720p/1080p), this second pass through GL GPU pipeline tends to be consume significant amounts of GPU resources.

Vendor support is a highly related question. As vendors look to support Weston, they will either choose to support normal Weston, or to support Genivi’s Wayland IVI in their BSPs. It is unlikely that they would ship support for Mutter, so any vendor-specific changes would have to be ported from Weston to Mutter were option #1 to be chosen. Whether vendors support Weston or Wayland IVI remains to be seen. As of late 2014, Wayland IVI is quite young — the ivi-shell has only just been merged upstream, and Wayland IVI’s ivi-layout API is still missing a number of large features (multiple IVI Screens; IVI Surface on multiple IVI Layers; any kind of clipping). Some SoCs have shipped with support for normal Weston so far, and it seems probable that this will continue. Wayland IVI has a promise of testing, maintenance and future development from Nobuhiko Tanibata at ADIT/Denso.

case, Clutter can continue to be used for all UI furniture (e.g. status bar, sidebars etc) — it is only the shell/window manager animations themselves which may need to change.

For the transition period from X11 to a Wayland based system, all options make it possible to start testing application with the reference compositor implementation (like Mutter was used before on X11), although some initial work is required in all cases to enable the Freescale platform. The next steps are slightly different for Mutter, as updating the current Mutter plugin to a more recent Mutter version and removing the X11 specific code would allow running both the X11 and Wayland sessions with the same codebase, easing side-by-side comparisons. In the other cases, after porting the Mutter plugin code to e.g. Weston, the X11 session would still require Mutter to run.

The downside of switching from Mutter is that a single scene graph toolkit could no longer be used for all animations: windowing animations would be implemented using the Weston animation framework, while in-application animations would continue using Clutter. This would make writing windowing animations slightly harder (having to learn a second API), but given the number of windowing animations which will be written tends to be limited small. We believe this disadvantage is outweighed by the technical benefits of switching to Weston in the longer term.


From a purely technical perspective our recommendation is option #2: switching to using Weston as the compositor and window manager, in combination with a custom shell. In several pieces of extra work would need to be done:

  • Freescale platform enabled
  • Application testing under Wayland (and porting where needed)
  • New shell developed
  • Existing Mutter plugin would have to be retired and integrated with the new shell
    • Splash screen and fixed background image moved across
    • Gesture support moved across and reimplemented using libinput
    • Hardkey support moved across and reimplemented in the compositor process, eliminating the separate daemon and allowing many simplifications
    • Window management animations ported from Clutter to Weston’s animation framework

This approach is very similar to that used for Raspberry Pi: Weston as the compositor, plus a custom shell called Maynard to implement the desktop chrome. (This is technically a ‘shell helper client’ for Weston, replacing weston-desktop-shell.)

However from a transition and project point of view, especially given that Mutter’s current performance is adequate on X11, it might be recommendable to go for option #1: use Mutter as a Wayland compositor as a first step of transition to Wayland. Top level tasks that are required for this are:

  • Application testing under Wayland (and porting where needed)
  • Existing Mutter plugin would have to updated for a new mutter version and X11 specific code removed.
  • Hardkey support implemented in the compositor process, eliminating the separate daemon and allowing many simplifications
  • Virtualisation support when running the infotainment domain in a virtualized environment
  • Ensure proper functionality of the compositor when used in an X11 environment as present on the the SDK
  • Enable face-plate functionality when running in the SDK environment (currently provided by Xoo)


The existing virtualisation system which separates the automotive and infotainment systems would have to be adapted if Wayland were to be used.

A virtualisation system which prevents clients accessing hardware devices is possible to implement for Wayland by passing all GL commands through a trusted computing base (TCB): either the compositor, or an intermediary. This would allow validation of GPU command streams from each client, with the potential of preventing malicious commands being sent to the GPU.

Instead of a client sending GL commands directly to the GPU device node via Clutter, a GL wrapper library is loaded instead, which serialises all GL commands from the client and sends them via a transport (such as shared memory or an Ethernet connection) to the trusted computing base (in our case the automotive domai). The TCB can then deserialise the commands, optionally validate them and execute them on the GPU in the GL context i has created for that client. This ensures that all GL contexts are kept within the TCB, and hence only the TCB needs access to the GPU device. The TCB would return any return values (such as opaque buffer handles) to the client.

This setup works for both Wayland and X11 clients in a very similar fashion. Where in the X11 case the buffer handles are are transported to the X server using DRI2 for a Wayland based compositor a custom protocol (similar to the one used by mesa) would be provided to share the buffer handles.

For virtualizing the compositor, the situation is currently quite a bit more complex as the infotainment domain is X11 based and the automotive domain is Wayland based. This means that in the infotainment domain, the tasks of the display server are split between the X11 server and Mutter and have to be consolidated in the automotive domain to have one consistent virtual display server (which is a nested compositor in the current implementation). In case the infotainment domain also switches to Wayland, a lot of the complexity goes away as the Wayland compositor becomes the sole process responsible for the display server tasks.

To conclude, while switching to Wayland does require some core changes in the virtualisation implementation, the fundamental concepts can stay the same and in some case can even be simplified.


From 2012 or so onwards Wayland and Wayland support has come a long way in the open source community, making a switch to Wayland a viable option for the Apertis middleware. Event though some effort will be required to make the switch, in return Apertis will contain a more modern, future-proof and flexible display system. That alone makes a switch to Wayland well worth considering, given the Apertis baseline is meant to be build on further for future products in the coming years.

Looking outside of the Apertis middleware and specifically to the ARM hardware enablement challenges we’ve seen and will keep seeing in the future with Freescale and Vivante, Wayland seems a promising candidate to help face those challenges, not only because some of the technical advantages as mentioned in the report, but probably more so because of the interest and push for Wayland we’re currently seeing. More generally from Genivi, which makes Wayland support very interesting for vendors targeting the IVI market or even the general Linux platform. X11 on the other hand isn’t seeing much interest from the embedded world, which means from an SOC vendors point of view it’s simply not very attractive to invest in. As a result, the level of X11 support provided by SOC vendors is expected to decline over time in favour of supporting Wayland.