Canonical to Ditch X Window Server for Mir

Ubuntu developers have developed a new display server

By on March 5th, 2013 07:39 GMT

Canonical has announced an X Window Server replacement for Ubuntu called Mir, which will try to overcome the X shortcomings for the next-generation Unity.

It's been long rumored that Canonical intends to replace the X Windows Server and it was suggested that Wayland might be the replacement. As it turns out, it's a new Display Server, built specifically by Ubuntu Developers to bridge the gap between the desktop and the phone OS.

Canonical identified a few problems with the X Window Server, but the main concerns are that it's not secure enough and its adoption hasn't been uniform across the industry.

“X's input model is complex and allows applications to spoof on input events they do not own. On the one hand, this raises serious security concerns, especially regarding mobile platforms.

“In the other hand, adjusting and extending X's input model is difficult and supporting features like input event batching and compression, motion event prediction together with associated power-saving strategies or flexible synchronization schemes for aligning input event delivery and rendering operations is (too) complex,” stated the official announcement.

Wayland was also given a pass mostly because it shared the same problems with the X Window Server. According to Canonical, the evaluation of the protocol definition revealed that the Wayland protocol suffers from multiple problems.

“The input event handling partly recreates the X semantics and is thus likely to expose similar problems to the ones we described in the introductory section,” was also stated in the announcement.

Canonical has done a pretty good job at keeping this new technology under wraps and it falls in line with the company's plan to unite Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Phone in one experience.

If they manage to get it running according to schedule (and Canonical can really keep its schedule), it will be ready in time for the next Ubuntu LTS, in April 2014.
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