The Workstation Working Group has announced a bold plan: make GNOME on Wayland our default in Fedora 24 Workstation. It’s already become the default option in Rawhide — the rolling development version of Fedora. But the plan’s not carved in stone. Fedora is leading edge, not bleeding edge, so we’re cautious about default options. To become default in Fedora 24 Workstation, Wayland needs wide testing and user feedback in Fedora 23. And that’s where you can help us.

Using Wayland

You’re probably already using Wayland although you may not even know about it. The login screen has been using it by default since Fedora 22. To run it in the session, after you select the login user, click the gear icon. Then choose GNOME on Wayland. When you login, the session runs on Wayland.


This doesn’t mean all applications run on Wayland natively. All core GNOME apps are Wayland-enabled. All other applications still require the legacy X11 stack, and thus run on XWayland. Ideally, the user shouldn’t recognize a difference, so testing apps running on XWayland is equally important.

Note that proprietary drivers like nVidia and AMD Catalyst currently don’t support Wayland. You’ll need to use open source graphics drivers to test successfully.

What to test

Before GNOME on Wayland becomes default in Fedora, we need to ensure the transition is smooth and the user won’t recognize a difference.  So we need reports on deficiencies that occur on Wayland but not X11. Kamil Páral of the Fedora QA team has written a comprehensive guide how to debug Wayland-related problems. If you want to provide developers with useful reports, please read it carefully. It has useful information such as how to find out whether a particular app is running on Wayland or on XWayland, and what to include in bug reports.

Where to file bugs

Kamil has created two trackers for Wayland-related issues. One is in GNOME Bugzillathe other in Red Hat Bugzilla. Here are guidelines for which bugs to file in each:

  • File bugs in the compositor, GTK+ toolkit, and GNOME app in the GNOME Bugzilla.
  • File bugs in other components in the Red Hat Bugzilla.

To add your bug to the trackers, insert the tracker name WaylandRelated in the Blocks field as shown below and click Save Changes. Remember to use the right tracker for the Bugzilla in which you’re filing. These trackers should only include bugs that occur on Wayland, but not on X11.

Why Wayland?

Wayland is a display technology that should replace the aging X11. It’s easier to maintain, more secure, and easier to adapt to modern graphics technologies such as Optimus and HiDPI. Fedora Workstation can significantly benefit from that.

Since we want to make Wayland testing easier for users, we’ve decided to backport the latest improvements to Fedora 23. This means you won’t have to run Rawhide to help with testing. When using or filing bugs against Wayland, use Fedora 23 or later. Older releases don’t receive important fixes, and might show issues that are already resolved in Fedora 23 and later. Now we hope you’ll get involved and help move open source forward!