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19 Feb 2019
As this is out of scope of Debian TP3, I suppose it is better to discuss this in a separate topic. It seems the best way to move forward with Gemini graphical stack (and to get good performance both for 2D/3D apps) is to switch to one of Wayland compositors.

However, compared to Xorg, there is no "standard" Wayland compositor implementation. Both KDE and GNOME provide their own ones, plus there are Wayland compositors not tied to particular WM, such as sway or Wayfire. As we don't have standard Linux DRM graphics stack, each of those would require adaptation to run on Gemini. Therefore it is interesting to know opinions over which one would make sense to get running on Gemini given the device form-factor and overall usability of that compositor/desktop environment if you have been using it on another device.

The possible options I know so far:
  • KWin/Plasma Desktop/possibly Plasma Mobile - already has hwcomposer backend implemented, runs on Gemini as Wayland compositor with some hacks. I tried using Plasma with Wayland instead of X11 on desktop PC, and while there are improvements with every release, some things still work not as expected.
  • Mutter/GNOME - needs hwcomposer backend implemented to run on Gemini. Can't say much, as I am KDE user personally.
  • wlroots-based compositors, such as sway and Wayfire. I ported basic hwcomposer backend for wlroots before, so it is possible to run those at least. There is also Phosh developed by Purism for their Librem 5, but it seems to be still at early stages.
  • Mir - has been recently repurposed as Wayland compositor, has hwcomposer support from Ubuntu Touch. There have been efforts to make MATE work with it, and Unity8 can be potentially used as well, but needs lot of fixes to be usable as desktop-style environment (as opposed to mobile in UBPorts).
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