Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Kees Cook kees at ubuntu.com
Thu Jun 27 16:44:00 UTC 2013

Hi Oliver,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 08:41:51AM -0600, Oliver Ries wrote:
> Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to
> justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high
> performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest
> display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all
> desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the
> transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

This is great! I'm really looking forward to having a viable windowing
system that isn't hampered by X's limitations. Do you have some pointers
to documentation on the security design work? This is, unsurprisingly
for people that know me, of significant interest to me. Having a clear
way to isolate windows and inputs has been, as I'm sure you know,
a long-time need in X. And maybe we can get scan codes >255 now, too. :)

> Here is the roadmap and milestones for the Ubuntu graphics stack transition
> to Mir:
> Ubuntu 13.10:
> XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir
> driver support, supported for 9 months

While I recognize this is a roadmap, this seems unrealistic to me. I feel
there has been a long history of adopting things as default too early. With
bugs like "vt switching doesn't work", and feature freeze in 2 months, I
think it is way too early to declare something ready for default. Certainly
ship it, make it available, but don't make it the default. Doing so would
just make unwilling testers out Ubuntu users. Let people interested in the
software test it, and once there is a trusted level of stability and
features, make it the default.

And to that end, do you have documented comparisons of performance
between native X and XMir (especially for non-Unity stacks)? The video
demo does appear to be measuring it, but I'd be curious to see the
before/after results in some tabulated form.

> Feel free to discuss any questions with the team directly here or on the
> mir-devel list.
> Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of
> their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in
> that endeavor.

Replacing X is no small task! Thanks for spearheading this; I really want
the transition to be successful.


Kees Cook

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