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With 21.04, Ubuntu is Switching to Wayland by Default Again

Ubuntu tried to use Wayland as the default display server in Ubuntu 17.10 and burned its hands. It looks like, Ubuntu is willing to try Wayland as default once more with Ubuntu 21.04 Hirsute Hippo.

For those who are unware, a display server is an underlying utility that enables your operating system to have graphical capability.

Linux distributions have been using the legacy Xorg display server for decades. There are a couple of new, next generation display servers and Wayland is one of them.

Recommended Read: What is a Display Server in Linux?

Trying Wayland by default in Ubuntu 21.04

In the Community forum, Ubuntu developer Sebastien Bacher announced that Ubuntu desktop team is going to try Wayland by default again.

Again? Yes, Ubuntu tried to switch to Wayland by default with Ubuntu 17.10 in 2017. It didn’t work out well because many applications and software were still relying on Xorg and they didn’t work with Wayland.

This left users with a system full of bugs and issues. Since Ubuntu 17.10 was just one release behind the LTS release of 18.04, Ubuntu didn’t take the risk and moved back to Xorg with 18.04 release.

That was more than three years ago and Ubuntu team thinks that things have improved since. Some of the blockers that was found back then got resolved and this gives them confidence to try Wayland again.

We believe now is the right time to try again, it should give us enough time before the next LTS to get proper feedback and sort out issues.

Sebastien Bacher, Ubuntu Developer

The decision to not use GNOME 40 in Ubuntu 21.04 also gives the developers some time to work on Wayland.

Keep in mind that Nvidia users are still going to default to Xorg for now but hopefully that situation will be resolved before the release of Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

Ubuntu 21.04 switches to Wayland by default again

What do you think of the Wayland move?

Personally, I am in favor of Wayland. It is time that more developers adopt their programs for the new display server and give us a good desktop experience. Unless Wayland is made default by popular distributions like Ubuntu, it will not happen.

What about you? Would you rather stick with Xorg or would you like Wayland?

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