In Linux, a Display Server is a windowing system that manages graphical displays and renders user interfaces. The Display Server is responsible for all on-screen visuals and user input via the mouse and keyboard. The known display servers in Linux are Wayland and Xorg (X11). Xorg is a display driver that has been in use for a significant period. Whereas Wayland is a comparatively recent addition to the Linux operating system.
This article will provide an overview of what is a display server in Linux along with analyzing the various display servers available in the Linux operating system. So let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
What is a Display Server?
A Display Server is a software component that centrally manages display hardware, processes input events (which include mouse clicks and keyboard input), and coordinates the rendering of graphical elements on the screen.
The framework facilitates the communication between applications and the graphics hardware, allowing for the presentation of graphical user interfaces (GUI) to the user.
Types of Display Servers in Linux
There are two most-known and stable display servers in the Linux system which are Xorg (X11) and Wayland.
The Xorg Server, which is also called X11 or the X Window System. It is a display server that has been widely used in Linux for a long time. The architecture is meant to be network-transparent, which means that apps can run on one machine while their output is shown on another.
The X11 system can work with different kinds of window managers and desktop applications. It also has a large number of applications and tools that have been made to work with it.
Wayland is a display server that was made to work around the problems with X11. It is an invention that aims at improving both security and performance. The architecture is made to be simpler and more efficient, with a focus on lowering latency and improving performance. Wayland has better support for blending and hardware acceleration, which makes graphics use less power and run more smoothly.
Wayland is becoming more and more popular among Linux systems, which are using it as their main display server or as a replacement for X11. However, some of the applications currently don’t support the newer Wayland display server.
Why are we still using Xorg?
Well, the reason is that Wayland, despite being relatively new, is not yet as stable as Xorg. Programs that act as clients to communicate with a display server need to be specifically designed to work with Wayland. As a result, many programs may not run properly when using Wayland.
To conclude, a Display Server within Linux is a software module that is accountable for overseeing the display hardware and generating graphical user interfaces. In the Linux operating system, there exist two primary display servers, namely X.Org Server (X11) and Wayland. X11 has historically served as the display server, whereas Wayland presents a contemporary and optimized approach with enhanced performance and efficiency.
According to user feedback, Wayland may not provide an adequate output for several Linux-based applications, while Xorg has received more favorable responses. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable information. Please provide your feedback in the comment section below and kindly share it with any Linux user encountering issues with applications that are incompatible with the Wayland display server.
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