Introducing xwayland-run, a set of small utilities to run X11 and Wayland clients

Neal Gompa ngompa13 at
Wed Nov 29 13:52:14 UTC 2023

On Wed, Nov 29, 2023 at 5:27 AM Olivier Fourdan <fourdan at> wrote:
> Hi all,
> In Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we ship a small shell script called "xvfb-run" originating from Debian to launch an X11 client within Xvfb.
> With the future removal of Xorg and all related Xservers in RHEL [1], except Xwayland, there was a need for a replacement utility that would work like xvfb-run, but without Xvfb :)
> The idea is to run Xwayland rootful within a Wayland compositor headless as a replacement for Xvfb. The problem though is that I didn't want to be tight to a specific Wayland compositor and of course every Wayland compositor uses different options to run headless.
> At the same time, I was also working on improving Xwayland rootful support ([2], and identified the need for a convenient utility to run an X11 client within its own Xwayland rootful instance (useful to run a legacy game for example. as with [3]).
> So, long story short, what started as a replacement utility for xvfb-run ended as 3 different (yet related) utilities:
>  * xwayland-run, to spawn an X11 client within its own dedicated Xwayland rootful instance,
>  * wlheadless-run to run a Wayland client on a set of supported Wayland headless compositors,
>  * xwfb-run, a combination of the two other tools above to be used as a direct replacement for xvfb-run specifically.
> Right now, it supports 4 different Wayland compositors (weston, cage, mutter, gnome-kiosk) but adding more should just be a matter of adding a relevant module.
> So my question is, if there is any interest for such a project [4], should this be moved to the wayland namespace in gitlab (we could even change the name of the project), should that be added to the existing "wayland-utility" project that we have already, or if there's no interest it's fine to stay in my own gitlab namespace for now?

Thank you for writing this, this is great! I would love to see this in
the wayland namespace somehow.

As an aside, it would be nice to see a collection of nice wayland
utilities to be in the wayland fdo gitlab namespace to make it easier
to discover. For example, as part of the discussion around
Wayland-only Plasma, I was surprised that people didn't know about
things like waypipe[1], which has existed for a long time. And another
recent creation, waycheck[2], is not easily discoverable either.


真実はいつも一つ!/ Always, there's only one truth!

More information about the wayland-devel mailing list