This section details the manual installation and configuration of Wayland compositors and related services and utilities.


Unlike Xorg, Wayland implementations combine the display server, the window manager and the compositor in a single application.

Desktop Environments

Both GNOME and KDE Plasma have Wayland sessions. For GNOME, Wayland is already the default session, while Plasma still has a few issues to iron out, so their default remains a Xorg session. While running these desktop environments, applications built with GTK+ will automatically choose the Wayland backend, but Qt applications might require the proper environment variable in GNOME. This is explained below.

Standalone compositors

Void Linux currently packages the following Wayland compositors:

  • Weston: reference compositor for Wayland
  • Sway: an i3-compatible Wayland compositor
  • Wayfire: 3D Wayland compositor
  • Hikari: a stacking compositor with some tiling features
  • Cage: a Wayland kiosk

Video drivers

Both GNOME and KDE Plasma have EGLStreams backends for Wayland, which means they can use the proprietary NVIDIA drivers. Most other Wayland compositors require drivers that implement the GBM interface. The main driver for this purpose is provided by the mesa-dri package. The graphics section has more details regarding setting up graphics in different systems.

Native applications

Qt5 based applications require the installation of the qt5-wayland package and setting the environment variable QT_QPA_PLATFORM=wayland-egl to enable their Wayland backend. Some KDE specific applications might also require the installation of the kwayland package. GTK+ applications should do it automatically, but setting GDK_BACKEND=wayland can force the Wayland backend (however, this can break applications such as Chromium).

Web browsers

Mozilla Firefox ships with a Wayland backend which is disabled by default. To enable the Wayland backend, either set the environment variable MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1 before running firefox or use the provided firefox-wayland script.

The Midori browser, which has a GTK+ interface, should also work on Wayland.

Qt5 based browsers, such as qutebrowser, also work on Wayland.

Terminal emulators

  • Alacritty (it's the standard terminal emulator for Sway)
  • Kitty
  • Sakura

Media applications

Both mpv and VLC work on Wayland, with hardware acceleration (if available and enabled).

For image viewing, imv works natively on Wayland.

General desktop utilities

  • For screenshots: grim and slurp. slurp is required to define a geometry.
  • For accessing the clipboard: wl-clipboard.
  • For displaying notifications (notification daemon): mako.
  • For launching applications:
    • wofi
    • bemenu
    • dmenu-wayland

Running X applications inside Wayland

If an application still doesn't support Wayland, it can still be run in a Wayland context. XWayland is an X server that bridges this gap for most Wayland compositors, and is installed as a dependency for most of them. Its package is xorg-server-xwayland. For Weston, the correct package is weston-xwayland.


The Wayland API uses the XDG_RUNTIME_DIR environment variable to determine the directory for the Wayland socket.

Install elogind as your session manager to automatically setup XDG_RUNTIME_DIR.

Alternatively, manually set the environment variable through the shell. Make sure to create a dedicated user directory and set its permissions to 700. A good default location is /run/user/$(id -u).

It is also possible that some applications use the XDG_SESSION_TYPE environment variable in some way, which requires that you set it to wayland.