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I was looking for a lightweight X server, but failed to find one. Then I found out about Wayland. I says that it aims to coexist with X, but can run standalone.

When I try to compile it, it needs Mesa, which needs X.

What exactly is Wayland?

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See also Why is Wayland better? and more generally Wayland questions at Ask Ubuntu. –  Gilles Dec 12 '10 at 14:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Wayland is an experimental new display server. It is not an X server, and to run X applications you will need to run an X server with it (see the bottom diagram on Wayland Architecture). Since there are very few Wayland applications so far, this means you really can't use it to replace X yet.

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What benefits does it have over X, if X has it's own display server, and you can't run X applications on it? –  Blender Dec 13 '10 at 17:04
Theoretically, Wayland can be less of a bloated and inefficient beast. Note that the dominant UNIX on the desktop abandoned X11 years ago: Mac OS X. –  Kevin Cantu Dec 13 '10 at 18:29
I was wondering about that... What does Mac OS use? I would be quite interested to see. –  Blender Dec 15 '10 at 3:08
Mac OS X didn't abandon X, as it was never there to begin with - they actually added it in later releases, but also as an option on top of their core display system for displaying X applications. Their core display system is Quartz - see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz_%28graphics_layer%29 and for a comparison to X at the time developers.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=75257&cid=6734612 . –  alanc Dec 15 '10 at 3:14


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I read that, but to no avail. I'm guessing it's a mix between a Window Manager and X server? I'll have to do more homework on it ;) –  Blender Dec 12 '10 at 20:45

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