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April 10, 2024

Xwayland’s Explicit GPU Synchronization Now Fully Integrated into XOrg Server

Significant progress was made today toward introducing explicit GPU synchronization, with the integration of a year-long request by NVIDIA to support explicit sync in the DRI3 and Present extensions, as well as the Xwayland implementation.

Just last week, KDE developer Xaver Hugl explained the importance of explicit synchronization in addressing persisting issues experienced by some Linux users. These issues arise when using an NVIDIA graphics card with proprietary graphics drivers on Wayland during gaming or other GPU-intensive tasks.

While the explicit sync protocol has been incorporated into the Wayland protocols, it still requires implementation in several components, for instance, Wayland compositors and the proprietary NVIDIA driver. This will ensure a seamless experience when using an NVIDIA GPU on Linux.

NVIDIA’s proposal to introduce explicit GPU synchronization in the DRI3 and Present extensions, including an implementation for Xwayland, was finally merged into the XOrg Server today, after a year’s wait. The significance of this lies in Xwayland’s continued use for backwards compatibility with X11 apps on Wayland sessions.

“While we at NVIDIA may be particularly keen to have this in place, since our driver lacks implicit sync support, a general consensus seems to be forming around the idea that explicit sync is the best path forward for the Linux graphics stack,” said Erik Kurzinger. “Having both X11 and Wayland use a similar mechanism for explicit sync will simplify development for client-side drivers.”

Now, all that remains is for NVIDIA to release a new version of their proprietary graphics driver that finally supports the explicit sync protocol. As you can expect, this would open the door for more users, especially gamers, to switch to Linux, as graphical glitches will be a thing of the past.

The latest GNOME 46 desktop environment already ships with explicit sync support, which should also be implemented in the upcoming KDE Plasma 6.1 desktop environment release, due out in mid-June 2024.

Last updated 9 hours ago

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