Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

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Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
Hi,


My name is Olli Ries from Canonical and I am the Engineering Director for Unity and Mir. I wanted to give you an update on the roadmap for Ubuntu’s graphical stack over the next few releases.

Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

Here is the roadmap and milestones for the Ubuntu graphics stack transition to Mir:

Ubuntu 13.10:
XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir driver support, supported for 9 months

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:
XMir as default with the fallback session removed, full Mir driver support, traditional LTS support for 5 years

Ubuntu 14.10 and beyond:
Mir stack as default, including rootless X support for legacy X applications, supported for 9 months

XMir: X & Unity7 running on top of the system compositor Mir
Mir stack: Mir as system compositor with Unity 8 as session shell on top

Using Mir as a X compatible system compositor in 14.04 which can host any Desktop Environment that is running on X today, will allow all dependent Ubuntu derivatives to run on top of this stack in 13.10 and 14.04 without any changes needed on their side [1]. Canonical is committed to support XMir for 5 years during the 14.04 lifecycle, which will give derivatives enough time to evaluate the graphics stack landscape and to make informed decisions when they are ready.

There is good progress in getting XMir into a distro ready state. A PPA [2] was setup to allow early dogfooding, daily landing tests will be turned on for the full stack (XMir, X, Compiz, Unity), automated performance test results are about to be published on the Ubuntu QA dashboard, inclusion to universe is on it’s way and we are preparing the MIR (see what I did there ;) for Mir ahead of Feature Freeze. Quality and ship criteria will be assessed and made available at that time.

However, please be aware that the PPA today is still tagged experimental/testing and will see rapid changes over the next couple of weeks.  We will invite you for more widespread testing when ready.

Feel free to discuss any questions with the team directly here or on the mir-devel list.

Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in that endeavor.

best,
Olli


[1]: various flavors running unmodified on top of XMir - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h0m-ZjPxe8
[2]: System Compositor Testing PPA - https://launchpad.net/~mir-team/+archive/system-compositor-testing

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Scott Kitterman-3
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 08:41:51 AM Oliver Ries wrote:
> Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to
> justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high
> performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest
> display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all
> desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the
> transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

I'm not sure where this confidence comes from.

http://blogs.kde.org/2013/06/26/kubuntu-wont-be-switching-mir-or-xmir

As this is landed in the archive, please take care not to make it unduly
difficult for the rest of us.

Scott K

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
Scott,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM, Scott Kitterman <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 08:41:51 AM Oliver Ries wrote:
> Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to
> justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high
> performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest
> display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all
> desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the
> transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

I'm not sure where this confidence comes from.

http://blogs.kde.org/2013/06/26/kubuntu-wont-be-switching-mir-or-xmir

you are mixing 2 different issues

a) the technical abilities of a DE to run on XMir in 13.10
b) the decision of a flavor to adopt to it

I am clearly talking about a) but not the decision that was taken by kubuntu.

To be clear, we are providing you a route to adopt Mir and commit to a 5y support window (on Ubuntu 14.04) without much ado. Whether or not this offer is taken cannot be influenced by me, other than by providing you a platform you want to be on. Apparently we aren't there yet, but my team and I are committed to keep having that dialog in the future.

best,
Olli


 

As this is landed in the archive, please take care not to make it unduly
difficult for the rest of us.

Scott K


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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Jeremy Bicha-2
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries
On 27 June 2013 10:41, Oliver Ries <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Using Mir as a X compatible system compositor in 14.04 which can host any
> Desktop Environment that is running on X today, will allow all dependent
> Ubuntu derivatives to run on top of this stack in 13.10 and 14.04 without
> any changes needed on their side [1]. Canonical is committed to support XMir
> for 5 years during the 14.04 lifecycle, which will give derivatives enough
> time to evaluate the graphics stack landscape and to make informed decisions
> when they are ready.

Thanks for the update. I have quite a few questions...

I was under the understanding that Ubuntu 13.10 would still use
regular X by default (like 13.04) and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS would be using
Unity 8 but it sounds like that's not today's plan.

Like Kubuntu we expect to switch to Wayland in the next year or so.
It's nice to see that the various desktop environment can run on XMir
but I'm still not clear on whether there are any benefits to doing so.

How do you expect things to work for users who need proprietary
graphics drivers in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS? Do the existing NVIDIA and ATI
drivers work with XMir yet?

Mir currently requires LightDM, right? Does XMir also require LightDM?
For Ubuntu GNOME's purposes, LightDM so far doesn't provide quite the
integrated experience GDM does (specifically lockscreen and GNOME
theming; and next year, Wayland support).

> Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of
> their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in that
> endeavor.

I think Rebecca Black OS has you beat there. Unless you don't think
Rebecca Black is mainstream enough...

There's a chance that Fedora 20 would be released with Wayland by
default before 14.04 LTS.

Jeremy

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
Hi Jeremy,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 9:25 AM, Jeremy Bicha <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 27 June 2013 10:41, Oliver Ries <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Using Mir as a X compatible system compositor in 14.04 which can host any
> Desktop Environment that is running on X today, will allow all dependent
> Ubuntu derivatives to run on top of this stack in 13.10 and 14.04 without
> any changes needed on their side [1]. Canonical is committed to support XMir
> for 5 years during the 14.04 lifecycle, which will give derivatives enough
> time to evaluate the graphics stack landscape and to make informed decisions
> when they are ready.

Thanks for the update. I have quite a few questions...

I was under the understanding that Ubuntu 13.10 would still use
regular X by default (like 13.04) and Ubuntu 14.04 LTS would be using
Unity 8 but it sounds like that's not today's plan.

not with what was communicated with todays roadmap update. Unity 7 will be the default desktop until 14.04, we will then assess whether Unity 8 is ready to become the default.
 
Like Kubuntu we expect to switch to Wayland in the next year or so.
It's nice to see that the various desktop environment can run on XMir
but I'm still not clear on whether there are any benefits to doing so.

One obvious benefit that comes to mind is getting the stack for free and not having to worry about maintenance. I do acknowledge that there are other costs associated to that (adopting to Mir), but in our opinion, that should be less than maintaining a GFX stack on your own. Canonical will support the Mir stack going forward and we are offering help for upstreams willing to adopt.
 
How do you expect things to work for users who need proprietary
graphics drivers in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS? Do the existing NVIDIA and ATI
drivers work with XMir yet?

We are committed to not regress anybody in 14.04, the availability of binary drivers is one major component to that
 
Mir currently requires LightDM, right? Does XMir also require LightDM?
For Ubuntu GNOME's purposes, LightDM so far doesn't provide quite the
integrated experience GDM does (specifically lockscreen and GNOME
theming; and next year, Wayland support).

today, XMir is invoked by LightDM similar to other X session compositors, I don't see a problem doing the same out of GDM. But I leave it to my team to keep me honest here ;)
 
> Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of
> their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in that
> endeavor.

I think Rebecca Black OS has you beat there. Unless you don't think
Rebecca Black is mainstream enough...

I did some research and apparently missed that, no offense intended 
 
There's a chance that Fedora 20 would be released with Wayland by
default before 14.04 LTS

imho there is a difference between a chance of doing it and putting out a roadmap and committing to do it, but I might be nitpicking ;)

cheers,
Olli

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Scott Kitterman-3
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 09:51:33 AM Oliver Ries wrote:

> > Like Kubuntu we expect to switch to Wayland in the next year or so.
> > It's nice to see that the various desktop environment can run on XMir
> > but I'm still not clear on whether there are any benefits to doing so.
>
> One obvious benefit that comes to mind is getting the stack for free and
> not having to worry about maintenance. I do acknowledge that there are
> other costs associated to that (adopting to Mir), but in our opinion, that
> should be less than maintaining a GFX stack on your own. Canonical will
> support the Mir stack going forward and we are offering help for upstreams
> willing to adopt.

Have any non-Canonical upstreams expressed an interest in this?

Scott K

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
Hi Scott,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM, Scott Kitterman <[hidden email]> wrote:
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 09:51:33 AM Oliver Ries wrote:
> > Like Kubuntu we expect to switch to Wayland in the next year or so.
> > It's nice to see that the various desktop environment can run on XMir
> > but I'm still not clear on whether there are any benefits to doing so.
>
> One obvious benefit that comes to mind is getting the stack for free and
> not having to worry about maintenance. I do acknowledge that there are
> other costs associated to that (adopting to Mir), but in our opinion, that
> should be less than maintaining a GFX stack on your own. Canonical will
> support the Mir stack going forward and we are offering help for upstreams
> willing to adopt.

Have any non-Canonical upstreams expressed an interest in this?

I think it's a bit premature to ask this question (there is validity for it, just the timing seems off) as things were only announced today and the technology is just becoming available for a technical assessment. Right now, only kubuntu has jumped the gun and made a decision against Mir, I hope others are taking the necessary time, will be looking at the resources that are and will be provided and make an informed decision based on that.

best,
Olli




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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Jeremy Bicha-2
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries
On 27 June 2013 11:51, Oliver Ries <[hidden email]> wrote:

Replying off-list

>> I think Rebecca Black OS has you beat there. Unless you don't think
>> Rebecca Black is mainstream enough...
>
> I did some research and apparently missed that, no offense intended

Well the distro was tongue-in-cheek. ;)

>> There's a chance that Fedora 20 would be released with Wayland by
>> default before 14.04 LTS
>
> imho there is a difference between a chance of doing it and putting out a
> roadmap and committing to do it, but I might be nitpicking ;)

Right, Fedora hasn't really done roadmaps for Fedora 20 yet since
Fedora 19 hasn't yet been released.

GNOME though has a roadmap: initial support this fall, full support
next spring. It comes down to how well GNOME 3.10 on Wayland works
because I don't think Fedora is afraid to beta-test new shiny. Fedora
does have one shortcut...they don't have to worry about support for
proprietary graphics drivers since those have never been officially
supported anyway.

It sounds like KDE will be ready for Wayland at the same time.

Jeremy

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Jeremy Bicha <[hidden email]> wrote:
On 27 June 2013 11:51, Oliver Ries <[hidden email]> wrote:

Replying off-list

>> I think Rebecca Black OS has you beat there. Unless you don't think
>> Rebecca Black is mainstream enough...
>
> I did some research and apparently missed that, no offense intended

Well the distro was tongue-in-cheek. ;)

>> There's a chance that Fedora 20 would be released with Wayland by
>> default before 14.04 LTS
>
> imho there is a difference between a chance of doing it and putting out a
> roadmap and committing to do it, but I might be nitpicking ;)

Right, Fedora hasn't really done roadmaps for Fedora 20 yet since
Fedora 19 hasn't yet been released.

GNOME though has a roadmap: initial support this fall, full support
next spring. It comes down to how well GNOME 3.10 on Wayland works
because I don't think Fedora is afraid to beta-test new shiny. Fedora
does have one shortcut...they don't have to worry about support for
proprietary graphics drivers since those have never been officially
supported anyway.

It sounds like KDE will be ready for Wayland at the same time.

I still think there is a difference between an upstream project being ready and a Linux distribution being ready/willing to consume that upstream.

bb,
Olli

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Scott Kitterman-3
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:08:23 AM Oliver Ries wrote:
> Hi Scott,
>
> On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM, Scott Kitterman
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> > On Thursday, June 27, 2013 09:51:33 AM Oliver Ries wrote:
> > > > Like Kubuntu we expect to switch to Wayland in the next year or so.
> > > > It's nice to see that the various desktop environment can run on XMir
> > > > but I'm still not clear on whether there are any benefits to doing so.
> > >
> > > One obvious benefit that comes to mind is getting the stack for free and
> > > not having to worry about maintenance. I do acknowledge that there are
> > > other costs associated to that (adopting to Mir), but in our opinion,
> > that
> > > should be less than maintaining a GFX stack on your own. Canonical will
> > > support the Mir stack going forward and we are offering help for
> > upstreams
> >
> > > willing to adopt.
> >
> > Have any non-Canonical upstreams expressed an interest in this?
>
> I think it's a bit premature to ask this question (there is validity for
> it, just the timing seems off) as things were only announced today and the
> technology is just becoming available for a technical assessment. Right
> now, only kubuntu has jumped the gun and made a decision against Mir, I
> hope others are taking the necessary time, will be looking at the resources
> that are and will be provided and make an informed decision based on that.

I hardly think following the advice of our upstream developers qualifies as
"jumping the gun".  Nothing is carved in stone for eternity.  I think we have
taken an informed decision based on the current status.  If things change in
the future, the decision might be re-evaluated when that happens.

Personally, I'm not certain how viable Kubuntu on X/Wayland will be in the
long run, but that's at least as true about Kubuntu on Mir.  We'll get to the
long run, in the long run, but for right now Mir/XMir offers us nothing but
complication.

Scott K

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Scott Kitterman-3
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 10:22:26 AM Oliver Ries wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:13 AM, Jeremy Bicha <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > On 27 June 2013 11:51, Oliver Ries <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > Replying off-list
> >
> > >> I think Rebecca Black OS has you beat there. Unless you don't think
> > >> Rebecca Black is mainstream enough...
> > >
> > > I did some research and apparently missed that, no offense intended
> >
> > Well the distro was tongue-in-cheek. ;)
> >
> > >> There's a chance that Fedora 20 would be released with Wayland by
> > >> default before 14.04 LTS
> > >
> > > imho there is a difference between a chance of doing it and putting out
> > > a
> > > roadmap and committing to do it, but I might be nitpicking ;)
> >
> > Right, Fedora hasn't really done roadmaps for Fedora 20 yet since
> > Fedora 19 hasn't yet been released.
> >
> > GNOME though has a roadmap: initial support this fall, full support
> > next spring. It comes down to how well GNOME 3.10 on Wayland works
> > because I don't think Fedora is afraid to beta-test new shiny. Fedora
> > does have one shortcut...they don't have to worry about support for
> > proprietary graphics drivers since those have never been officially
> > supported anyway.
> >
> > It sounds like KDE will be ready for Wayland at the same time.
>
> I still think there is a difference between an upstream project being ready
> and a Linux distribution being ready/willing to consume that upstream.

Fortunately for us, kwin will support both X and Wayland back ends, so we can
assess the maturity of both the back ends and the infrastructure status over
time.  A nice thing about a six month release cycle is you are stuck with
something that long if you decide it's time for something else.

Scott K

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Kees Cook-5
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries
Hi Oliver,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 08:41:51AM -0600, Oliver Ries wrote:
> Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to
> justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high
> performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest
> display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all
> desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the
> transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

This is great! I'm really looking forward to having a viable windowing
system that isn't hampered by X's limitations. Do you have some pointers
to documentation on the security design work? This is, unsurprisingly
for people that know me, of significant interest to me. Having a clear
way to isolate windows and inputs has been, as I'm sure you know,
a long-time need in X. And maybe we can get scan codes >255 now, too. :)

> Here is the roadmap and milestones for the Ubuntu graphics stack transition
> to Mir:
>
> Ubuntu 13.10:
> XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir
> driver support, supported for 9 months

While I recognize this is a roadmap, this seems unrealistic to me. I feel
there has been a long history of adopting things as default too early. With
bugs like "vt switching doesn't work", and feature freeze in 2 months, I
think it is way too early to declare something ready for default. Certainly
ship it, make it available, but don't make it the default. Doing so would
just make unwilling testers out Ubuntu users. Let people interested in the
software test it, and once there is a trusted level of stability and
features, make it the default.

And to that end, do you have documented comparisons of performance
between native X and XMir (especially for non-Unity stacks)? The video
demo does appear to be measuring it, but I'd be curious to see the
before/after results in some tabulated form.

> Feel free to discuss any questions with the team directly here or on the
> mir-devel list.
>
> Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of
> their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in
> that endeavor.

Replacing X is no small task! Thanks for spearheading this; I really want
the transition to be successful.

-Kees

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Marc Deslauriers-3
On 13-06-27 12:44 PM, Kees Cook wrote:

> Hi Oliver,
>
> On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 08:41:51AM -0600, Oliver Ries wrote:
>> Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to
>> justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high
>> performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest
>> display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all
>> desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the
>> transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.
>
> This is great! I'm really looking forward to having a viable windowing
> system that isn't hampered by X's limitations. Do you have some pointers
> to documentation on the security design work? This is, unsurprisingly
> for people that know me, of significant interest to me. Having a clear
> way to isolate windows and inputs has been, as I'm sure you know,
> a long-time need in X. And maybe we can get scan codes >255 now, too. :)

On of Mir's design goals is to _finally_ get rid of all the inherent security
flaws in X, such as event snooping, keyboard and mouse grabs, window grabbing, etc.

>
>> Here is the roadmap and milestones for the Ubuntu graphics stack transition
>> to Mir:
>>
>> Ubuntu 13.10:
>> XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir
>> driver support, supported for 9 months
>
> While I recognize this is a roadmap, this seems unrealistic to me. I feel
> there has been a long history of adopting things as default too early. With
> bugs like "vt switching doesn't work", and feature freeze in 2 months, I
> think it is way too early to declare something ready for default. Certainly
> ship it, make it available, but don't make it the default. Doing so would
> just make unwilling testers out Ubuntu users. Let people interested in the
> software test it, and once there is a trusted level of stability and
> features, make it the default.

That's the problem. In order to people to actually use it and test it, it
_needs_ to be the default. This needs to be done now so the LTS release will be
rock solid. Please don't make me support an LTS for another 5 years with an
insecure X. :)

Marc.

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
In reply to this post by Kees Cook-5
Hey Kees,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 10:44 AM, Kees Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi Oliver,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 08:41:51AM -0600, Oliver Ries wrote:
> Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to
> justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high
> performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest
> display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all
> desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the
> transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

This is great! I'm really looking forward to having a viable windowing
system that isn't hampered by X's limitations. Do you have some pointers
to documentation on the security design work? This is, unsurprisingly
for people that know me, of significant interest to me. Having a clear
way to isolate windows and inputs has been, as I'm sure you know,
a long-time need in X. And maybe we can get scan codes >255 now, too. :)

this is a question we have been asked repeatedly in the last few days and the team is updating the wiki to address these questions. 
 

> Here is the roadmap and milestones for the Ubuntu graphics stack transition
> to Mir:
>
> Ubuntu 13.10:
> XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir
> driver support, supported for 9 months

While I recognize this is a roadmap, this seems unrealistic to me. I feel
there has been a long history of adopting things as default too early. With
bugs like "vt switching doesn't work", and feature freeze in 2 months, I
think it is way too early to declare something ready for default. Certainly
ship it, make it available, but don't make it the default. Doing so would
just make unwilling testers out Ubuntu users. Let people interested in the
software test it, and once there is a trusted level of stability and
features, make it the default

I see your concern and it is important to us to ship high quality software. The schedule is admittedly tight but we are confident we can manage. I mentioned in another paragraph of my initial mail, that as part of including Mir into Ubuntu, a thorough status review will happen. 
 
And to that end, do you have documented comparisons of performance
between native X and XMir (especially for non-Unity stacks)? The video
demo does appear to be measuring it, but I'd be curious to see the
before/after results in some tabulated form.

We are about to release our benchmark results as part of the public Ubuntu QA dashboard. We will inform the community once the data is available.
 
> Feel free to discuss any questions with the team directly here or on the
> mir-devel list.
>
> Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of
> their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in
> that endeavor.

Replacing X is no small task! Thanks for spearheading this; I really want
the transition to be successful.

don't we all ;)

cheers, 
Olli

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Steve Langasek-6
In reply to this post by Scott Kitterman-3
On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 12:28:40PM -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
> > I think it's a bit premature to ask this question (there is validity for
> > it, just the timing seems off) as things were only announced today and the
> > technology is just becoming available for a technical assessment. Right
> > now, only kubuntu has jumped the gun and made a decision against Mir, I
> > hope others are taking the necessary time, will be looking at the resources
> > that are and will be provided and make an informed decision based on that.

> I hardly think following the advice of our upstream developers qualifies
> as "jumping the gun".  Nothing is carved in stone for eternity.  I think
> we have taken an informed decision based on the current status.  If things
> change in the future, the decision might be re-evaluated when that
> happens.

  "Kubuntu Won't be Switching to Mir or XMir"
  http://blogs.kde.org/2013/06/26/kubuntu-wont-be-switching-mir-or-xmir

I think that's rather a bit more than following the advice of your upstream
developers; it looks to me like Jonathan is staking out a position against
Mir.  Frankly, this doesn't look to me like an informed decision at all, it
looks like a polemic one.  XMir is going to be the X stack that receives the
most attention from Canonical, as well as from other Ubuntu developers
working on Ubuntu-the-flavor.  Given that the major concern I've seen
expressed is that the Kubuntu team won't have resources to maintain their
own display stack, I don't see how anyone could have arrived so quickly at
the conclusion that using the XMir stack - the one used by Ubuntu - is
risky, and using the native X stack - not used by Ubuntu - is safe.

Compositing may be fragile, but there should be no difference visible to
KWin between XMir and native X with respect to compositing.  And given the
tendency for bugs to arise as a result of mismatches between X+mesa, or
X+mesa+kernel, I would be much more worried about native X not receiving the
attention it needs to be kept in sync with mesa - a problem that won't arise
with XMir, since Mir+mesa are obviously going to be maintained as a usable
combination.

> Personally, I'm not certain how viable Kubuntu on X/Wayland will be in the
> long run, but that's at least as true about Kubuntu on Mir.  We'll get to the
> long run, in the long run, but for right now Mir/XMir offers us nothing but
> complication.

So I'm not convinced that XMir actually represents complication for Kubuntu,
rather than beneficial alignment.

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Scott Kitterman-3
Steve Langasek <[hidden email]> wrote:

>On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 12:28:40PM -0400, Scott Kitterman wrote:
>> > I think it's a bit premature to ask this question (there is
>validity for
>> > it, just the timing seems off) as things were only announced today
>and the
>> > technology is just becoming available for a technical assessment.
>Right
>> > now, only kubuntu has jumped the gun and made a decision against
>Mir, I
>> > hope others are taking the necessary time, will be looking at the
>resources
>> > that are and will be provided and make an informed decision based
>on that.
>
>> I hardly think following the advice of our upstream developers
>qualifies
>> as "jumping the gun".  Nothing is carved in stone for eternity.  I
>think
>> we have taken an informed decision based on the current status.  If
>things
>> change in the future, the decision might be re-evaluated when that
>> happens.
>
>  "Kubuntu Won't be Switching to Mir or XMir"
>  http://blogs.kde.org/2013/06/26/kubuntu-wont-be-switching-mir-or-xmir
>
>I think that's rather a bit more than following the advice of your
>upstream
>developers; it looks to me like Jonathan is staking out a position
>against
>Mir.  Frankly, this doesn't look to me like an informed decision at
>all, it
>looks like a polemic one.  XMir is going to be the X stack that
>receives the
>most attention from Canonical, as well as from other Ubuntu developers
>working on Ubuntu-the-flavor.  Given that the major concern I've seen
>expressed is that the Kubuntu team won't have resources to maintain
>their
>own display stack, I don't see how anyone could have arrived so quickly
>at
>the conclusion that using the XMir stack - the one used by Ubuntu - is
>risky, and using the native X stack - not used by Ubuntu - is safe.
>
>Compositing may be fragile, but there should be no difference visible
>to
>KWin between XMir and native X with respect to compositing.  And given
>the
>tendency for bugs to arise as a result of mismatches between X+mesa, or
>X+mesa+kernel, I would be much more worried about native X not
>receiving the
>attention it needs to be kept in sync with mesa - a problem that won't
>arise
>with XMir, since Mir+mesa are obviously going to be maintained as a
>usable
>combination.
>
>> Personally, I'm not certain how viable Kubuntu on X/Wayland will be
>in the
>> long run, but that's at least as true about Kubuntu on Mir.  We'll
>get to the
>> long run, in the long run, but for right now Mir/XMir offers us
>nothing but
>> complication.
>
>So I'm not convinced that XMir actually represents complication for
>Kubuntu,
>rather than beneficial alignment.

As you know, display issues are very hardware specific.  With the current amount of testing of Kubuntu on XMir (AFAIK one developer with one machine) I don't think we know anything about how well it will work for a general purpose  flavor like Kubuntu.

As I said before, I've no idea what will make sense in the long run.  For now, not immediately jumping in the deep end seems entirely logical to me.

Personally, I'm skeptical that there is any long term future for non-Unity flavors in Ubuntu.  I hope I'm wrong.

Scott K


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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Mario Limonciello-2
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries



On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 9:41 AM, Oliver Ries <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi,


My name is Olli Ries from Canonical and I am the Engineering Director for Unity and Mir. I wanted to give you an update on the roadmap for Ubuntu’s graphical stack over the next few releases.

Our Display Server Mir has gone from a proof of concept, sufficient to justify its announcement in March this year, to high quality, high performance component that we think will deliver the fastest, cleanest display experience for the Ubuntu platform. We are confident that all desktop environments and derivatives will work well throughout the transition, based on our ability to provide a full X compatibility layer.

Here is the roadmap and milestones for the Ubuntu graphics stack transition to Mir:

Ubuntu 13.10:
XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir driver support, supported for 9 months

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS:
XMir as default with the fallback session removed, full Mir driver support, traditional LTS support for 5 years

Ubuntu 14.10 and beyond:
Mir stack as default, including rootless X support for legacy X applications, supported for 9 months

XMir: X & Unity7 running on top of the system compositor Mir
Mir stack: Mir as system compositor with Unity 8 as session shell on top

Using Mir as a X compatible system compositor in 14.04 which can host any Desktop Environment that is running on X today, will allow all dependent Ubuntu derivatives to run on top of this stack in 13.10 and 14.04 without any changes needed on their side [1]. Canonical is committed to support XMir for 5 years during the 14.04 lifecycle, which will give derivatives enough time to evaluate the graphics stack landscape and to make informed decisions when they are ready.

There is good progress in getting XMir into a distro ready state. A PPA [2] was setup to allow early dogfooding, daily landing tests will be turned on for the full stack (XMir, X, Compiz, Unity), automated performance test results are about to be published on the Ubuntu QA dashboard, inclusion to universe is on it’s way and we are preparing the MIR (see what I did there ;) for Mir ahead of Feature Freeze. Quality and ship criteria will be assessed and made available at that time.

However, please be aware that the PPA today is still tagged experimental/testing and will see rapid changes over the next couple of weeks.  We will invite you for more widespread testing when ready.

Feel free to discuss any questions with the team directly here or on the mir-devel list.

Ubuntu will be the first Linux distribution to start replacing X as part of their default configuration. We appreciate your support and patience in that endeavor.

best,
Olli


[1]: various flavors running unmodified on top of XMir - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h0m-ZjPxe8
[2]: System Compositor Testing PPA - https://launchpad.net/~mir-team/+archive/system-compositor-testing

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Hi Oliver,

I have a question regarding what this will mean for the HWE backport that should be happening into Ubuntu 12.04 shortly after Ubuntu 13.10 is released (.4 point release)?  Will the "regular" X stack and kernel be backported or will this mean that XMir and Mir would be coming back in the backport too?


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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Adam Conrad-3
On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 01:36:31PM -0500, Mario Limonciello wrote:
>
> I have a question regarding what this will mean for the HWE backport that
> should be happening into Ubuntu 12.04 shortly after Ubuntu 13.10 is
> released (.4 point release)?  Will the "regular" X stack and kernel be
> backported or will this mean that XMir and Mir would be coming back in the
> backport too?

I see no reason to backport Mir to 12.04 just to run Unity7+XMir on
top of it, and complicate the already complicated backport stack any
further.  All the X bits we need to keep 12.04 HWE going should still
exist in 13.10, so backporting as usual should work just fine.  This
should probably also be true for the 14.04->12.04 HWE backport, though
I'll need to talk to our desktop people to make sure this works sanely.

... Adam

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Julien Lavergne-3
In reply to this post by Oliver Ries
2013/6/27 Oliver Ries <[hidden email]>:
>> And to that end, do you have documented comparisons of performance
>> between native X and XMir (especially for non-Unity stacks)? The video
>> demo does appear to be measuring it, but I'd be curious to see the
>> before/after results in some tabulated form.
>
>
> We are about to release our benchmark results as part of the public Ubuntu
> QA dashboard. We will inform the community once the data is available.

This is currently an issue for Lubuntu, because, if i understand
correctly, we are going to replace an X + openbox (without composite)
with a Mir + XMir + composite windows manager (?). Considering the
very bad performance on some of our target hardware running under a
composite manager, I'm quite worrying about the performance
difference. The difference between Unity + X and Unity + XMir + Mir
may not be so different, I can't say the same for Lubuntu.

However, Steve Langasek confirmed on a previous mail that X will
remain for 14.04 for the time frame of the LTS, and I hope it will
still be the case with this change. We currently plan to ship X only
by default for 13.10 and 14.04 for Lubuntu, with eventually an option
to test XMir, to prepare the future.

Regards,
Julien Lavergne

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Re: Ubuntu graphic stack roadmap update

Oliver Ries
Hi Julien,

On Thu, Jun 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM, Julien Lavergne <[hidden email]> wrote:
2013/6/27 Oliver Ries <[hidden email]>:
>> And to that end, do you have documented comparisons of performance
>> between native X and XMir (especially for non-Unity stacks)? The video
>> demo does appear to be measuring it, but I'd be curious to see the
>> before/after results in some tabulated form.
>
>
> We are about to release our benchmark results as part of the public Ubuntu
> QA dashboard. We will inform the community once the data is available.

This is currently an issue for Lubuntu, because, if i understand
correctly, we are going to replace an X + openbox (without composite)
with a Mir + XMir + composite windows manager (?). Considering the
very bad performance on some of our target hardware running under a
composite manager, I'm quite worrying about the performance
difference. The difference between Unity + X and Unity + XMir + Mir
may not be so different, I can't say the same for Lubuntu.

good consideration, I'll check with the QA team to see if we can have a run in this configuration.

thx,
Olli

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