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Old 06-18-2013, 12:51 PM   #1
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What Does Mir Mean for Ubuntu Derivatives Not Running Unity?

From a discussion recently started on an Ubuntu mailing list reading what the impact of Mir on Ubuntu derivatives not running Unity:

Here's a discussion I half started as part of vUDS.

The switch to Mir in Ubuntu seems pretty risky for the existance of
Kubuntu, I wonder if other flavours have the same probable problem.

KWin dev has opinions on the subject
>From the architecture section on that blog post:

"Mirís architecture is centered around Unity. It is difficult to really
understand the architecture of Mir as the specification is so full of
buzz-words that I donít understand it [5]. From all I can see and
understand Unity Next is a combination of window manager and desktop
shell implemented on top of Mir. How exactly this is going to look
like I do not know. Anyway it does not fit our design of having
desktop shell and window manager separated and we do not know whether
Mir would support that. We also do not know whether Mir would allow
any other desktop shell except Unity Next, given that this is the main
target. Wayland on the other hand is designed to have more than one
compositor implementations. Using KWin as a session compositor is an
example in the spec."

and on protocol

"But it gets worse, the protocol between Mir server and Mir clients
is defined as not being stable. In fact itís promised that it will
break. Thatís a huge problem, I would even call it a showstopper....
Given that the protocol may change any time and given that the whole
thing is developed for the needs of Unity we have to expect that the
server libraries are not binary compatible or that old version of the
server libraries cannot talk with the latest client libraries"

Canonical was going to port LightDM to Wayland but now does not plan
to so someone else would have to do this. KDE might be interested
but more likely will switch to SDDM.

For Kubuntu the options are:
- Use Mir - infeasable as upstream can't support it as described above
- Use Wayland with packages from Debian and hope we can make those packages
live with Mir as best as possible
- End of Kubuntu
mailinglist thread archive

Old 07-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #2
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So it makes me wonder if the Kubuntu team will port Wayland over to to use the Ubuntu repositories? Or will they stick with Debian repositories and morph some of the Ubuntu flavor into them? I can't envision Kubuntu or Xubuntu just dying off. Only time will tell, I guess.
Old 07-07-2013, 06:03 PM   #3
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Just adding info to the thread
Old 07-10-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
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It makes me wonder if Canonical / Ubuntu will go the way of Apple and Google Chome OS. By implementing Mir instead of X11/ XOrg or Wayland they are taking a step in the direction of the possibility of a closed source OS. Such a move would allow Canonical to concentrate on very select hardware which Ubuntu has been tuned to run on. If such a move happens it will transform Canonical from a software company to a hardware company almost over night. The agenda of Canonical promoting Ubuntu phone, tablet, and TV all need branded reliable hardware.
Old 07-13-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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It appears Mir is prime time and ready to go in the next Ubuntu release.
Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X

It makes me wonder how this will affect Linux Mint? Will Linux Mint eventually dump using the Ubuntu repositories and maintain their own? Or perhaps go back to using Debian repositories?

Also it appears most of the KDE and Gnome/Cinnamon/Mate developers are developing for a transformation to Wayland and not Mir?

Definitely more questions than answers concerning the Mir / Wayland / Xorg situation.


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