Friday, 9 August 2013

XMir news!


my name is Kevin Gunn and I have the pleasure of leading the talented guys on the Display Server team at Canonical who are delivering Mir. And we have some news we'd like to share.

XMir has landed!

In recent days Mir and the relevant patches required to support XMir have landed in main. The final component needed for turning on XMir is the unity-system-compositor (...or as we prefer to shorten it, u-s-c). We had recently been performing a variety of integration tests across a spectrum of hardware and we now feel confident about pushing u-s-c into universe.

The next steps for u-s-c to become default in Ubuntu 13.10 is achieving feature completeness by Feature Freeze, intensive testing and ultimately meeting the Acceptance Criteria as discussed below. Once he have passed these stages u-s-c will be pushed into main and become default for Ubuntu 13.10.

If you've been following the Mir project, and even using XMir through our PPA, you'll want to make some adjustments to your system in order to track with what is going into our distribution for 13.10. Please refer to the instructions here

This also means, as we're still under development, that Mir updates for our remaining features & bug fixes will continue to appear in the archive as we march towards FeatureFreeze for 13.10.

From this moment until FeatureFreeze we will be focused on delivering 2 major features to support XMir, multimonitor & bypass composition support. Mir will also continue to be developed for our support of Unity8 on Touch which primarily consists of bug fixing for our window management & Mir-on-Mir support for the Unity8 greeter and shell. We will also work with our Community team at Canonical to coordinate a "call for testing" for XMir to get some broader feedback. Details forthcoming.

Once we achieve FeatureFreeze, our focus will shift to fixing our critical bugs for 13.10 in order to achieve FinalFreeze to pass our Acceptance Criteria. Our philosophy behind the Acceptance Criteria is to gate Ubuntu from any disruptions to the user experience due to the XMir change. Essentially, the current Unity7 & application operation should continue without any visual corruption or noticeable decrease in performance. This Acceptance Criteria has been vetted through discussions with our QA & Release Teams, more details can be found here Feel free to provide us with feedback.

You can reach the team at #ubuntu-mir on or on the mir-devel mailing list. Please use "$ ubuntu-bug mir" for any bug report you want to file.

Below you'll find the status of XMir as of today. And we've still got some key features to implement and critical bugs to fix, all happening as I type.

What's enabled...

- Support for xserver-xorg-video-intel

- Support for xserver-xorg-video-ati

- Support for xserver-xorg-video-nouveau

- Intel sna enabled

- Unity 7 operation fully functional with no visible corruption

- Important application operation functioning with no visible corruption (Firefox, Chrome, Thunderbird, etc)

- Good performance (without bypass), approximate 10% addition of overhead, in most cases normal operation results in 60fps

- Fallback to stand alone X (for proprietary drivers)

- Multi-monitor mirror mode works, but screen resolution changes not well handled

- VT switching working

- removed hardware cursor

And, not comprehensive, but some known limitations / features being worked on....

- no proprietary driver support (dependent on 3rd parties)

- "input events seeming slow/last buffer render delay"

- no multimonitor support

- no bypass composition support at the system compositor level

- no power management enabled

- no VESA support

- XMir always listening to keyboard, passwords may appear in other X sessions

- related to the XMir listening to keyboard, don't try multi session, doesn't work

Looking forward to your support, feedback and happy use of XMir.

best regards,