Wayland Desktop Landscape

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This article has some todo items:
  • A lot of the packages are in the works of being ported and not in ::gentoo yet, explain how to get them

Wayland has been developed for quite some time now and is meant to be a much simpler replacement of the Xorg server.

Due to the large amount of efforts expended by the community in creating beautiful applications, it is a good idea to consolidate the applications into a single authoritative location inside Gentoo to keep track of the various wayland applications. The aim of this endeavor is to make wayland into a well supported system in the current landscape of Gentoo.

One of the first things we need to do for that is to make the choices abundantly clear to the end users including their pros and cons.


Wayland compositor is the equivalent of a window manager in Xorg, except that for Xorg you would need an additional compositor such as Compton or Picom. In wayland the task for both compositing and window management is delegated to the same program, which while making the program a bit larger, simplifies the API for rendering by a large extent.

Name Package Type Usability Extra notes
Enlightenment x11-wm/enlightenment Stacking Daily driver eye candy compositor part of the Enlightenment desktop environment
Hikari gui-wm/hikari Stacking Daily driver simple, clean compositor based on OpenBSD's x11-wm/cwm
KWin kde-plasma/kwin ??? ??? KDE's compositing window manager/Wayland compositor.
Liri Stacking Daily driver qtquick shell for convergence
Mutter x11-wm/mutter ??? ??? GNOME's compositing window manager/Wayland compositor.
Sway gui-wm/sway Tiling Daily driver minimalistic, ultra fast, x11-wm/i3 clone
Wayfire gui-wm/wayfire Stacking Daily driver beautiful, eye candy compositor based on Compiz
Cage Kiosk Beta kiosk based approach by displaying a single fullscreen application
DWL Tiling Unstable inspired by dwm
Gresfon Floating Unstable qt/wayland compositor providing a minimal desktop environment
Waybox Stacking Unstable openbox clone
Weston dev-libs/weston Floating Not for general use reference compositor implementation for developers

Display managers

Name Package Type Usability Extra notes
GNOME/GDM gnome-base/gdm Xorg Daily driver the flag ship gtk display manager for gnome
LightDM x11-misc/lightdm Xorg Daily driver lightweight display manager with customization via greeters
SDDM x11-misc/sddm Xorg Daily driver highly customizable, eye candy display manager
greetd gui-libs/greetd system daemon Beta login daemon supporting various front-end greeters
TBSM x11-misc/tbsm Console Daily driver console based session manager with support for wayland sessions

Application launchers

Name Package Usability Extra notes
bemenu dev-libs/bemenu Daily driver demenu clone
j4-dmenu-desktop x11-misc/j4-dmenu-desktop Daily driver i3-desktop-menu replacement
lavaLauncher gui-apps/lavalauncher Daily driver simple, static, launcher
nwg-launchers Daily driver static-bar + logout + grid
Wofi Daily driver rofi clone
wldash Unstable simple launcher and dash

Clipboard managers

Name Package Usability Extra notes
wl-clipboard gui-apps/wl-clipboard Daily driver Simple command-line programs

Desktop notifications

Name Package Usability Extra notes
mako gui-apps/mako Daily driver Lightweight notification daemon

Desktop widgets

Session management