• Wayland on Optimus


    How Wayland works on laptops with Nvidia Optimus cards? How it works in Antergos Gnome? What display managers allow to start Wayland session? How much memory (RAM) consume various display managers? Do proprietary Nvidia drivers work on Wayland? Does Bumblebee work on Wayland?

    Skipping details, the results of various experiments are:

    • Not all display managers can start Wayland session at this time. Currently LightDM has a problem to do it. It is widely discussed in Internet, a few bug reports were filed about the problem.

    • LightDM consumes less memory then other display managers. GDM is the most RAM-hungry. Surprisingly, Kde’s SDDM works well with Gnome and consumes a moderate amount of memory.

    • As expected, proprietary Nvidia driver functionality doesn’t depend on display manager. The driver works inside a graphical session, Xorg or Wayland. Display manager works outside it.

    • For the same reason, display manager’s ability to start Wayland session doesn’t depend on installed video driver(s). When DM is in action, there’s no working Xorg or Wayland session. Video drivers work inside graphical sessions only. LightDM cannot start Wayland even with Intel.

    • Nvidia driver performance - the graphical acceleration, measured by glxspheres64 in frames/sec - is identical on both Xorg and Wayland. Bumblebee switches between Intel and Nvidia GPUs in any session type without a problem.

    • Proprietary Nvidia driver and Bumblebee are X clients, like thousands of other Linux programs and applications. As any X client, they don’t work on pure Wayland, and require the presence of xorg-server-xwayland. Only 2 or 4 demo programs currently run on pure Wayland. Examples are weston-terminal, weston-flower, weston-image.

    Display managers

    • LightDM

      • Wayland starts: No
      • Memory in idle: 825 MiB
      • Nvidia-Wayland: n/a
      • Nvidia-Xorg: Yes
      • Intel-Wayland: n/a
      • Intel-Xorg: Yes
      • Bumblebee-Wayland: n/a
      • Bumblebee-Xorg: Yes
      • Briefly: misses Wayland, Xorg only
    • GDM

      • Wayland starts: Yes
      • Memory in idle: 1,2 GiB
      • Nvidia-Wayland: Yes
      • Nvidia-Xorg: Yes
      • Intel-Wayland: Yes
      • Intel-Xorg: Yes
      • Bumblebee-Wayland: Yes
      • Bumblebee-Xorg: Yes
      • Briefly: eats up to 400M of RAM
    • SDDM

      • Wayland starts: Yes
      • Memory in idle: 1008 MiB
      • Nvidia-Wayland: Yes
      • Nvidia-Xorg: Yes
      • Intel-Wayland: Yes
      • Intel-Xorg: Yes
      • Bumblebee-Wayland: Yes
      • Bumblebee-Xorg: Yes
      • Briefly: seamlessly starts Gnome (Wayland) session

    You may also take a look at some numbers here.

    Conclusion. If display manager can start Wayland session, then Bumblebee and proprietary Nvidia drivers work inside Wayland exactly the same way as they do in Xorg session.

    Thanks for reading

  • That is some really useful info there:grinning:. Thank you for sharing it! If you have the time, could you post this on the Wiki? That way, future users will be able to benefit from it even after this post gets buried on the Forum.

    Thanks!

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