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Sway 1.7 improves screen capture and virtual reality in Wayland

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sway 1.7 is available to continue the evolution of this Wayland composer and window manager based on or inspired by the popular i3.

Despite being “just” a window manager, Sway is one of the most interesting developments when it comes to Wayland composers, and not only that, but is considered by many to be the best implementation of the protocol out there, even by comparison. on top of the GNOME Mutter.

On the other hand, it has been one of the brave few to openly say “no” to NVIDIA and EGLStreams in order to narrowly defend the standards agreed upon by almost everyone around Wayland and GBM. You know, the word “standard” gives NVIDIA hives, and the exact reasons are known only to the corporation’s executives.

The first notable new feature of Sway 1.7 is the remove option --my-next-gpu-wont-be-nvidia, so the ones that users will have to use from now on --unsupported-gpu instead. It’s important to note that, at least officially, the official NVIDIA driver is still not supported (Nouveau should be fine), but we assume that this is a first step towards integrating the particular GBM implementation powered by the GPU manufacturer.

Another important improvement is monopolized by the direct zero-copy scanning for full-screen windows, which should now work more reliably thanks to the use of DMA-BUF, that protocol that promises to improve the quality of the screenshot (screencasting) in the Wayland sessions.

Thirdly, we have the incorporation of the leasing of DRM (Direct Render Management) for virtual reality scenarios. This is a topic that we addressed at the time explaining what it refers to. As usual in Wayland, the use of this feature depends on other components such as PipeWire (essential for making screencasting Y screen sharing from Wayland) and a correct version of Mesa, and its purpose is to reduce latencies when using a virtual reality headset.

For the rest, it can be noted that the terminal emulator in the default configuration file has been changed at the bottom, the fact that the title bars now have a fixed height and that swaybar and swaynag can be disabled in the compilation.

Sway 1.7 can be obtained through the compilation of its source code, although it is possibly better and more comfortable to use a distribution rolling release Y bleeding edge like ArchLinux. All the details of this release are available in the official announcement published in the GitHub repository, where the changelog is also found.

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