non-Unity flavours and Mir

Marc Deslauriers marc.deslauriers at
Fri Jun 14 15:41:29 UTC 2013

On 13-06-14 11:33 AM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> On Friday, June 14, 2013 11:15:17 AM Marc Deslauriers wrote:
>> On 13-06-14 11:04 AM, Scott Kitterman wrote:
>>> On Friday, June 14, 2013 03:54:32 PM Jonathan Riddell wrote:
>>>> Here's a discussion I half started as part of vUDS.
>>>> The switch to Mir in Ubuntu seems pretty risky for the existance of
>>>> Kubuntu, I wonder if other flavours have the same probable problem.
>>>> KWin dev has opinions on the subject
>>>> From the
>>>> architecture section on that blog post:
>>>>  "Mir’s architecture is centered around Unity. It is difficult to really
>>>>  understand the architecture of Mir as the specification is so full of
>>>>  buzz-words that I don’t understand it [5]. From all I can see and
>>>>  understand Unity Next is a combination of window manager and desktop
>>>>  shell implemented on top of Mir. How exactly this is going to look
>>>>  like I do not know. Anyway it does not fit our design of having
>>>>  desktop shell and window manager separated and we do not know whether
>>>>  Mir would support that. We also do not know whether Mir would allow
>>>>  any other desktop shell except Unity Next, given that this is the main
>>>>  target. Wayland on the other hand is designed to have more than one
>>>>  compositor implementations. Using KWin as a session compositor is an
>>>>  example in the spec."
>>>> and on protocol
>>>>  "But it gets worse, the protocol between Mir server and Mir clients
>>>>  is defined as not being stable. In fact it’s promised that it will
>>>>  break. That’s a huge problem, I would even call it a showstopper....
>>>>  Given that the protocol may change any time and given that the whole
>>>>  thing is developed for the needs of Unity we have to expect that the
>>>>  server libraries are not binary compatible or that old version of the
>>>>  server libraries cannot talk with the latest client libraries"
>>>> Canonical was going to port LightDM to Wayland but now does not plan
>>>> to so someone else would have to do this.  KDE might be interested
>>>> but more likely will switch to SDDM.
>>>> For Kubuntu the options are:
>>>> - Use Mir - infeasable as upstream can't support it as described above
>>>> - Use Wayland with packages from Debian and hope we can make those
>>>> packages
>>>>   live with Mir as best as possible
>>>> - End of Kubuntu
>>>> The second options is the one I'm expecting.  It's completely unknown
>>>> how much it means Kubuntu and other flavours will need to maintain X
>>>> and Wayland packages, hopefully not much (it's hardly our speciality)
>>>> and hopefully Debian and Ubuntu Desktop will support it enough.
>>>> I don't think there's a public timeline for Mir so we don't know when
>>>> this will hit us, presumably in the next year.
>>>> Other flavours I think are this:
>>>> Mythbuntu: not evaluated, hope to do so once NVideo and AMD provide
>>>> drivers
>>>> Lubuntu: not evaluated, hope to use X and GTK
>>>> ubuntustudio: I've heard both that they use xfce based on xubuntu and
>>>> will follow them, and "aiming for users to choose whatever desktop
>>>> environment they want"
>>>> Any other flavours got an opinions?
>>>> Are there any misconceptions I have in the above?
>>> Given that mesa is going to be heavily patched to support Mir, I question
>>> the long term feasibility of supporting Wayland in Ubuntu.
>> How would adding a new backend to mesa result in it being "heavily
>> patched"? Why would adding a new backend to mesa affect the other
>> backends, including Wayland?
> Upstream kwin tells us they already see bug reports from Kubuntu users due to 
> mesa changes to support Unity.  I don't think it's just a new back end.

Oh? That's quite odd, I don't see any Unity patches in the mesa package
in saucy. There are a couple of build fixes, and other trivial things,
but nothing that should be problematic.

Do you have any more details, or opened bugs about the issues?


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