Mir News: 30th of November 2018

Mir 1.1

We’ve now landed all the features we intended for Mir 1.1. There’s a bit of clean-up to finish and, possibly, some bug fixes but expect 1.1 to be very similar to what we have on master now. The release will get underway in the next few days.

Experimental X11 support

This X11 support was originally a community contribution by @mariogrip of the UBports team. It has languished somewhat since then as both the UBports team and the Mir team have had more urgent work to attend to. That is likely to continue for some time.

However, this could be an opportunity for an interested developer to get involved as the work is self-contained within the Mir codebase.

At some point next year both the UBports “Unity8 desktop” and Mir’s work on integration with MATE will need this to work well. (It will also benefit the UBports phone’s “desktop” mode.) Addressing some of the issues would earn the gratitude of both projects.

Nvidia support

After several weeks of slow progress, Nvidia EGLStream support has landed in Mir.

There are some limitations to our Nvidia support:

  • Our Nvidia support relies on fairly recent drivers (>= 396) and these are currently only available from the 19.04 archive, which has nvidia-driver-410. (However, for the bold, ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa has assorted versions for assorted Ubuntu releases.)

  • We only build our Nvidia “platform” for the amd64 and i386 architectures.

  • We don’t install our “egmstream-kms” platform as part of mir-graphics-drivers-desktop, instead it installed by a new mir-graphics-drivers-nvidia package.

Because the recent Nvidia drivers we need to build this are not in the 16.04LTS or 18.04LTS archives we’ve needed to rework our packaging process somewhat. (For the moment, we’ve added these build dependencies to ppa:mir-team/dev, but the discussion is ongoing as to whether there’s a better place for them.)

If you want to try out Mir on Nvidia then:

  1. You will need the corresponding Nvidia hardware (which I don’t have).

  2. it is easiest on Ubuntu 19.04 as that archive has nvidia-driver-410.
    2.1. If not on 19.04, you can using the above ppa. For example, @greyback has tried the nvidia-driver-410 on
    18.04LTS:

sudo apt-add-repository --update ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
  1. Install Mir from the “Development” PPA and the corresponding Nvidia drivers:
sudo apt-add-repository --update ppa:mir-team/dev
sudo apt install mir-demos mir-graphics-drivers-nvidia nvidia-driver-410
<switch to a VT and log in>
miral-app

MATE migration to Mir

Meanwhile, @wmww has posted a video that illustrates his progress integrating MATE panel into miral-shell using his proposed Mir support for the “layer shell” Wayland extension.

The Mir 1.1 release will not wait for this to be reviewed, but once it lands we’ll be sure to roll out a release.

The egmde desktop snap

Last time I reported that I had the egmde snap working on 18.10 and 16.04 (in addition to 18.04). This time I can report it now also works on Fedora and Arch. This is the case for both the “edge” (Mir “master”) and “beta” (Mir “release”) versions.

Both versions of the egmde snap also allow the user to enable Mir’s experimental X11 support:

sudo snap set egmde x11-display=auto

The snap doesn’t yet contain Mir’s new Nvidia support. That requires the corresponding kernel module to be loaded outside the snap, and that raises issues we have yet to resolve.

Get it from the Snap Store

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I’ve written a post about the progress I’ve made on MATE Panel: https://community.ubuntu.com/t/mate-panel-running-in-mir/8945

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