XMir will be Default in Ubuntu 13.10, Fallback X Session to be Removed from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS!


Canonical is moving faster than anybody would have thought. Mir was introduced as a proof of concept display-server earlier this year, which Canonical plans to deploy slowly across their products. Now they claim that Mir is good enough to be deployed in the next major release, Ubuntu 13.10 ie. Fortunately, there will be a fallback session to X too when there is no driver support. But what's more frightening is the fact that, they are planning to remove even the fallback X session in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, which is just an year or so away!

Mir to be Default in Ubuntu 13.10, Fallback X Session to be Removed from Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Mir to become default in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander
XMir is simply an implementation of X running on top of Mir display server. For Ubuntu 13.10, Canonical is planning to deploy Mir by default with XMir along with Unity 7. This will be enabled for graphics hardware with Open Source drivers supported by Mir (primarily intel, nouveau and radeon). For unsupported binary drivers such as those from NVidia and ATI, there will be a fallback to the normal X server.

Roadmap and Milestones leading up to the final transition to Mir
  • Ubuntu 13.10: XMir on Mir by default, with a fallback session to X where there is no Mir driver support, supported for 9 months.
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: XMir as default with the fallback session removed, full Mir driver support, traditional LTS support for 5 years.
  • Ubuntu 14.10 and beyond: Mir stack as default, including rootless X support for legacy X applications, supported for 9 months.
I still vividly remember the release of Unity as the default window manager for Ubuntu 11.04, with a fallback GNOME session. Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal" was perhaps one of the most bug-filled releases ever from Canonical. Are they going to do the same mistake again with Mir? Only time will tell. [Further reading: Mir Plans in Ubuntu 13.10]

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