Ubuntu 18.04 will revert to long-in-the-tooth Xorg

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Canonical has announced that it’ll be reverting back to the Xorg graphics stack as the default option in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS “Bionic Beaver”. While Wayland will still be available as an option, the testing that Canonical carried out by making Wayland default in Ubuntu 17.10 has found that Xorg is still more advantageous to use over Wayland, especially for a release which needs to be rock solid as it gets picked up by educational institutions and businesses.

Will Cooke from Canonical, in the announcement, outlined the three main reasons that Xorg would once again become the default display server:

1. Screen sharing in software like WebRTC services, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc works well under Xorg.
2. Remote Desktop control for example RDP & VNC works well under Xorg.
3.. Recoverability from Shell crashes is less dramatic under Xorg.

He continued on to confirm that Wayland is indeed the future for Canonical despite it not being default in 18.04:

“The Wayland session will still be available, pre-installed, for people to use, but for our ‘out of the box’ users the Ubuntu experience needs to be stable and provide the features they have come to expect and use in daily life and Xorg is the best choice here, at least for 18.04. LTS, but for 18.10 we will re-evaluate Wayland as the default.”

Wayland has been under development for almost ten years now but has only, in the last few years, started making any appearances on mainline Linux distributions. Fedora 25, which shipped at the end of 2016, used Wayland by default and this decision was followed by Canonical which utilised Wayland in Ubuntu 17.10. With news that Canonical won’t ship it by default in 18.04, it’ll mean that Linux Mint, another very popular distribution which bases its releases on the latest Ubuntu LTS, won’t switch to Wayland until 2020 at the earliest.

Source: Ubuntu

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