When Ubuntu's base switches to Mir, does that impact Ubuntu MATE?

I’ve read in a review that Unity 8 will be requiring Mir. I am forced to wonder though, how a switch to Mir would impact derivatives such as Ubuntu MATE. I know that Ubuntu MATE 16.04 will be supported for 2.5 more years, but I wonder, in the long-term, if Ubuntu’s switch to Mir will have an impact. I’ve heard of some sort of translation layer between Xorg and Mir, but I’m not sure how long a compatibility layer will be maintained or available.

My main distributions are generally Debian MATE and Ubuntu MATE. Lately I use Ubuntu MATE the most, but when I start to think of what I’ll use long-term, I start to wonder if Ubuntu will eventually make it harder for derivatives to exist. Perhaps Xorg and Wayland will still have support in Ubuntu’s base even after Mir is (someday) released?

Thoughts?

1 Like

Switch to Wayland, probably?

I don’t think Canonical see it as in their interests to stop encouraging other UI environments. They may make Unity, but the actual Ubuntu bit is used throughout the whole stable. They get more use out of being more widely used.

If they limited the desktops, they would lose a lot of user base.

With Wayland would go very well, Fedora 25 coming out in November brings the Wayland graphical server by default. I think with that option you could use Android apps on any linux distribution,

Regards…

Switching to Wayland is certainly an option. What worries me is that it seems their decisions will make it much harder for derivative spins to exist. Meaning, their changes might make it overly chaotic. It seems that their decisions are all in favor of pushing Unity and Mir forward, and less on alternative desktops. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand that from a business-case standpoint. However, if they're not paying any attention at all to how their changes can potentially impact alternative spins, I worry that it will become harder and harder for derivative spins to exist. Basically, I'm saying that it seems their decisions don't impact derivatives directly or on purpose, but the infrastructure changes seem like they may indirectly make things harder on derivatives.

It’s time X went away. It’s arguably had its day or not.

I get that it makes it harder for alternatives to be ported into the base OS, but as mentioned above there are alternatives already going into other linuces so it’ll probably work out okay.

:slight_smile:

1 Like

I think that UM will stay on Xorg no matter if the next release uses Mir as default or Wayland since Mate can’t support Wayland until it is fully rewriten in Gtk3 (Gtk2 has no wayland compatability). See Gtk3 status page on the Mate Wiki for status on Gtk3 and readmap GTK+3

These goals can be achieved when MATE will become GTK+3 only. 
You can check the current state of things at this page.

 Add support for Wayland
 Add support for HiDPI
 Migrate libunique to GtkApplication
 Drop libmatekbd for libgnomekbd
 Drop libmateweather for libgweather
1 Like

That's good to know. I'm currently in the middle of deciding which distribution should become my main, and it's pretty much down to Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu GNOME, and Debian. It's good to know that Ubuntu MATE will likely be around for a while. As long as Ubuntu doesn't make it more difficult for community spins to exist, it will probably be a good choice.

UM will be here as long as the community supports it . And no concers about community releases , there is no way that Canonical can make Ubuntu difficult to make community edditions , and most Distros based on Ubuntu use the Ubuntu Infrastructure like Xubuntu , Ubuntu Gnome (Not so shure) ,Lubuntu and etc.

1 Like

But if UM stays with X and the rest goes either with wayland or Mir, what does that mean for the availability of software? Asks a Linux newbie.

@Nope The everyday packages will be avalible no matter they are based on Xorg or Wayland . Infact most software isn’t ported to Wayland . Until then the Xapps work (mostly) on Wayland via XWayland (See link for description). There are a few apps working natively on Wayland. (Like gnome apps) . Someone correct me if I am wrong !