Making Wayland Game-friendly

Bryce Harrington bryce at
Tue Nov 9 01:39:47 PST 2010

On Tue, Nov 09, 2010 at 09:28:40AM +0000, Luke Benstead wrote:
> The reason I'm emailing is there is a minor issue in the way xrandr behaves
> that causes issues to games, or other fullscreen, non-native resolution apps
> (e.g. media player visualizations), and I'm hoping that Wayland doesn't
> inherit it.

I've noticed this as well.

> Basically, xrandr is designed under the assumption that a resolution change
> is permanent, or at least semi-permanent (e.g. until reboot or manual switch
> back) and system wide. The problem is that games (as an example) require a
> temporary resolution change that is associated with a single window. What I
> mean by this is that when a game initializes it sets the resolution (through
> SDL, X, Win32 on Wine etc.) and this is frequently a resolution below native
> normally for performance reasons (e.g. your PC may not like running Alien
> Arena at full HD, but it will run perfectly well at 1024x768).
> Ideally, if that game then crashed, or someone ALT+TAB'd to a different
> window, the native resolution would be restored. If the user then switched
> back to the window, then the game's resolution would be restored. On
> Windows, it's possible to pass a temporary flag to the Win32
> ChangeDisplaySettings()* function for this behaviour.

Could you elaborate on how Windows handles this?
> At the moment, if a game crashes (either native, or run via Wine) on X you
> are left with a low resolution and have to find your way to the Monitor
> control panel to set it back. Which is obviously not ideal.
> So, basically I'm hoping that Wayland can fix this issue by allowing a
> resolution change to be associated with a single window.

Could you expound on how you think Wayland should behave in this


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