PhoronixNoting that GNOME started last week considering dropping backend support for X11 at the next GTK milestone.
Red Hat developer Matthias Clasen opened this new topic in the GTK community (viaGitLab), explaining that the X11 has been slow to get better. Meanwhile, Wayland has become widely available.
Matthias Clasen pointed out that this discussion is only for GTK5 (not about GTK4 updates). In addition, upstream developers added that X11 code activity has almost fallen silent.
Emmanuele Bassi commented that even if there were “a handful of environments” that covered 90% of the user base, they wouldn’t be here to negotiate the reallocation of manpower for this volunteer-driven project.
It’s always easy to talk, but code doesn’t come out of nowhere – code that loses maintenance is bound to degrade over time.
For X11, its biggest problem is that it has not ushered in any improvements for a long time, and GTK has already begun to move to API design based on Wayland functions.
This means that it will be difficult for the X11 backend to get any new features that application developers rely heavily on, and it will even become a major obstacle to implementing related functional designs on GTK.
To sum up, unless a large number of developers actually invest in the code improvement of X11, it is likely to be completely eliminated when GTK5 officially comes out.
Finally, the Red Hat team has been focusing on preparations for future Wayland support (such as XWayland rootfull) to enhance the ecosystem of Linux systems running full desktops under XWayland and other upstream modernizations.