What is the future of X / X11?

Spartrekus

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#1
Hello!

Wayland will replace X.org, X, X11,... (for older generations xfree). Soon or later X will no longer be used, maybe in 10-20 years or less. Let's talk about the future of X?

Best regards
Good evening,
SP.
 

yuripv

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#3
Are you sure about wayland? Or will it be another "great" piece of software from Poettering?

And indeed, I don't think it's worth discussing at the moment as even ubuntu switched back to X.
 

kpedersen

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#5
Once widget toolkits like Gtk+ and Qt drop their X11 backend then we might have to look at adding a shim but that will not be for a long time.

I am also quite convinced that Wayland will be deprecated and killed before X11. I am not saying that X11 won't be replaced one day, I am just saying that Wayland is likely going to be replaced first. Remember, one of the biggest flaws with Linux is that everything changes (for better *and* for worse) almost every year. Wayland won't be immune to this and does not have the backing and the deep underlying roots that X11 has.

Just because Wayland is newer, it doesn't mean it's lifespan will be longer than X11. Software does not work like this.

What I would personally like to see is an Xlib or XCB C wrapper library for Wayland. If they can get this working, then that would be a good start to a "responsible" X11 deprecation strategy.

Also Wayland doesn't support multiple sessions does it? I.e it doesn't have an XDMCP or protocol behind it, only allowing for VNC and rasterisation. This makes it a little bit behind X11 (and X10!) when it comes to "Cloud" or remote access. This is also the way that the world is going (unfortunately) so unless Wayland can solve this, it probably won't ever enter the enterprise (which is where Linux / BSD has its main foothold).
 

aragats

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#7
I.e it doesn't have an XDMCP or protocol behind it, only allowing for VNC and rasterisation. This makes it a little bit behind X11 (and X10!) when it comes to "Cloud" or remote access.
Is XDMCP usable in real life? I don't think so.
I'm not talking in favor of Wayland, but X11 is becoming a dead end, especially for embedded systems.
 

SirDice

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#8
Wayland will replace X.org, X, X11,... (for older generations xfree). Soon or later X will no longer be used, maybe in 10-20 years or less.
Wayland has been around for 10 years already. And while Xorg is really a fork of the old XFree86, it's only 4 years older than Wayland.

And keep in mind that X11 is a protocol (a set of protocols actually), not an application. I can actually remember a commercially available X server for FreeBSD during the XFree86 period. But I cannot remember its name.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#9
Do you see Poettering here? (-;
But you're right, I'm not sure.

It is very important that SystemD and Xwayland come to Linux, and then it should go and infect bsd, really Unix.
X11 should die to reinvent the wheel and make slow system. Our economy lives from remaking the wheel all over again. And slower and much less efficient !

Linux and BSD are too much similar *in some areas*, because when it looks new and shining human programmers run for it.

Little by little you can learn to smoke.

Poettering, do you mean apple, google (android) and MS?
- Sure they have all to win to see such beast into bsd or linux components.

In other words, you cannot avoid bloat. 99,99% Programmers are making bloat and ugly slow softwares, with both complex compilation and library requirements.

The first start in our education system: early kids and students just have been educated from early begin to use close operating systems and products. If softwares for education system do not change, opensource software will be always at mercy of apple, ms and google (and more to come).
 

kpedersen

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#10
Is XDMCP usable in real life? I don't think so.
It is still used by many things but in ways you might not expect. For example:
Code:
Xvnc -inetd -query localhost -once
Code:
Xrdp -inetd -query localhost -once
I believe even NoMachine uses it. XDMCP is one of the only ways to handle multiple remote sessions. Yes, X11 forwarding is less used but XDMCP is still quite common.

Don't get me wrong. I am not actually that religious about X11. In fact, since the dawn of time I have had terrible experiences getting it working with the correct resolution (especially when widescreen laptops were becoming the norm; 915resolution was dark times indeed. xorg.conf still makes me shudder with seemingly random sodding timing values). However I will be a little bit baffled if the Linux kids adopt a system that works terribly over the network and enterprise environment in this day and age just so they can have their fancy themes and their games. That said, the budget tablet experience known as Gnome 3 has proven that FOSS desktop developers are no longer knowledgable in usability or professionalism :/

Not a fantastic argument either but for digital preservation; the RDP server in Hydra (Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server) has allowed this operating system to still be very usable even fully emulated in Qemu because the graphical calls can be passed out to be rendered on the native host (Being able to run i.e Windows 98 at 2048x2048 is impossible only because it doesn't support a display protocol). Separating the graphics system across a network brings fantastic benefits for emulation and keeping software alive. "Bash on Windows" would have also been more effective had the packages supported an X11 server like Xming rather than that Mir crap.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#11
her words, you cannot avoid bloat
It is still used by many things but in ways you might not expect. For example:
Code:
Xvnc -inetd -query localhost -once
Code:
Xrdp -inetd -query localhost -once
I believe even NoMachine uses it. XDMCP is one of the only ways to handle multiple remote sessions. Yes, X11 forwarding is less used but XDMCP is still quite common.

Don't get me wrong. I am not actually that religious about X11. In fact, since the dawn of time I have had terrible experiences getting it working with the correct resolution (especially when widescreen laptops were becoming the norm; 915resolution was dark times indeed). However I will be a little bit baffled if the Linux kids adopt a system that works terribly over the network and enterprise environment in this day and age just so they can have their fancy themes and their games.

Not a fantastic argument either but for digital preservation; the RDP server in Hydra (Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server) has allowed this operating system to still be very usable even fully emulated in Qemu because the graphical calls can be passed out to be rendered on the native host. Separating the graphics system across a network brings fantastic benefits for emulation and keeping software alive. "Bash on Windows" would have also been more effective had the packages supported an X11 server like Xming rather than that Mir crap.
I use only x11 forward. it works anywhere.


Maybe time to move away from KDE and window-click and go easy solutions?
 

shkhln

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#13
However I will be a little bit baffled if the Linux kids adopt a system that works terribly over the network and enterprise environment in this day and age just so they can have their fancy themes and their games.
Wayland does not work over a network (by design), but hooking either RDP or VNC shouldn't be a problem. Why would it?
 

SirDice

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#14
Afaik, it's synchronous and doesn't tolerate disconnections.
XDMCP doesn't like disconnections either. If you login through XDMCP, start an application and log off (or disconnect) the session is terminated (including any application that was started). This is a big difference compared to Window's RDP for example, where your session stays active, logged in and your applications keep running.
 

kpedersen

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#15
You could use Xpra (https://xpra.org/) to solve the disconnect issue. It is basically GNU screen / tmux for the X11 world.

x11vnc can also be setup to not close on disconnect. This is still fine to connect to XDMCP for initial startup.

I am actually working on a faculty wide remote desktop system at work based on FreeBSD, XDMCP and tigervnc. Students can create Jails, connect to them via VNC and load "precanned" Jails full of relevant software from the staff. This supports disconnect (though we don't actually want it to prevent students from easily leaving torrent software open ;)).

Edit: Very early days GUI but... screenies!
vnc1.png vnc2.png

My big issue is that FOSS desktop environments absolutely suck and I am currently wrangling Mate and ripping out all the crap that doesn't actually work (and never has!).
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#16
You could use Xpra (https://xpra.org/) to solve the disconnect issue. It is basically GNU screen / tmux for the X11 world.

x11vnc can also be setup to not close on disconnect. This is still fine to connect to XDMCP for initial startup.

I am actually working on a faculty wide remote desktop system at work based on FreeBSD, XDMCP and tigervnc. Students can create Jails, connect to them via VNC and load "precanned" Jails full of relevant software from the staff. This supports disconnect (though we don't actually want it to prevent students from easily leaving torrent software open ;)).

Edit: Very early days GUI but... screenies!
View attachment 5633 View attachment 5634

My big issue is that FOSS desktop environments absolutely suck and I am currently wrangling Mate and ripping out all the crap that doesn't actually work (and never has!).
vnc?
Why to use FreeBSD like one would use windows. Unix is not really like Windows.
Using VNC is really strange under *BSD.

There is the terminal, which rules the Unix planet.

VNC would be unefficient, always, compared to a terminal.
 

aragats

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#17
Why to use FreeBSD like one would use windows. Unix is not really like Windows.
VNC is a universal way to see/control a remote screen, it's available on all platforms.
Especially with remote help/troubleshooting you want to see the same screen as another person does.
In particular, net/x11vnc is very helpful in systems running X servers.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#18
VNC is a universal way to see/control a remote screen, it's available on all platforms.
Especially with remote help/troubleshooting you want to see the same screen as another person does.
In particular, net/x11vnc is very helpful in systems running X servers.
VNC is for graphical applications, but actually, ,likely there are good softwares for conssole. vim or emac power for instance, rather than gtk, kde,... evolved "notepad".
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#19
VNC is a universal way to see/control a remote screen, it's available on all platforms.
Especially with remote help/troubleshooting you want to see the same screen as another person does.
In particular, net/x11vnc is very helpful in systems running X servers.
vnc is very slow and less efficient than teamviewer or similar products.

Basically, do you need to see the unix/bsd/nix desktop to do troubleshooting, while you can do it over SSH. SSH is secured, VNC alone without security layer is unsecured.
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#21
When you ran Teamviewer in FreeBSD last time? 5 years ago? Maybe 10. (-;
never - I used on windows, also know that it can run on linux, but I guess no single package for bsd. I noticed that teamviewer is really fast (over sea) pc win to pc win.
But really do we need graphical applications today? Example, usage of what is not made for, a web browser is not the holy solution to do anything (file download, watching videos, file exchange, im,...).
Efficient solutions are good method usually. It is better to have a dedicated C/C++ soft rather than a php, java,... slow applications over web browser.
 

kpedersen

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#22
Spartrekus: You have a fair point and I generally agree.
As staff we actually run the SSH/ CLI version here: https://github.com/osen/pavelock
Simple C++ and very little else. The success of this actually allowed me to take the project further and make one for the students (The VNC version).

But unfortunately (I forgot to mention) we are the dept. of Creative Tech, and we specialise teaching OpenGL programming, 3D modelling and animation. This is all entertainment relying entirely on visual quality and this through the terminal is not entirely feasible ;).

Plus, students and "new" computer users have this (incorrect) preconception that computers *need* a GUI or they are incomplete. They will reject the terminal if we introduce them to it directly. This way, we can get the benefits of UNIX, avoid terrible Windows software management and get them used to environments other than Wintel and Visual Studio. Then as they get more familiar, they will start to use the CLI themselves.

So far I am doing well. I have introduced CMake, git, C++ and SDL2/OpenGL in place of Visual Studio, Dropbox, C# and XNA/Unity. Massive win for open-source and digital lifespan here :)
 
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Spartrekus

Spartrekus

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#23
OpenGL / SDL may be used without xwayland, X11, ... Raspberry makes a good example of running 3D on low perfs. hardware.

"Plus, students and "new" computer users have this (incorrect) preconception that computers *need* a GUI or they are incomplete. They will reject the terminal if we introduce them to it directly. "

Because Universities provide MS Windows operating system, the education rises up programmers for Windows.
Do not expect that they can learn termcap. It is ugly. Finally you land in an informatic env, which is purely rising funds of bill gates. The Linux desktop is as good, or must even better than the MS Windows. Linux desktop surpasses MS Desktop, but this "(incorrect) preconception" won't change, unless the education system gives a chance to opensource. All students say that close source has much better softwares than open source. Therefore BSD has a very limited chance to get popular in the next decades.

Only for running the home PS4 to play FPS.

Best regards,
I wish you a great, good day !
 

kpedersen

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#24
OpenGL / SDL may be used without xwayland, X11, ... Raspberry makes a good example of running 3D on low perfs. hardware.
Unfortunately the Raspberry Pi can only run OpenGL|ES. We need the full fat version because that is what modelling tools like Blender requires. (There is work to make Blender work on ES profiles but not yet complete).

I don't want to subject anyone to my rants but we do have a slight issue at this Uni where the students prefer "brands" over standards. It is why dreaded kiddy "game making" software such as Unity3D is so popular.

One step at a time. The point for Pavelock is to ween them off Windows and Visual Studio / cl. If all goes well it will start to open them up to more CLI tools and "open" technology.
 

Crivens

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#25
However I will be a little bit baffled if the Linux kids adopt a system that works terribly over the network and enterprise environment in this day and age just so they can have their fancy themes and their games. :/
So basically you say it is inevitable.

What I think will happen is that wayland will be deprecated at 80% market share, the replacement at 60% and then the grumpy old admins will dig out the old Xorg or even Xvesa to keep stuff running. And then people will marvel at the clean design and the light resource usage (comparatively, sure).
 
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