Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 15:12

This article lists out several major GNU/Linux operating systems which adopted Wayland technology in favor of the older Xorg by default. Through this article we also introduce two new software called Sway and Wayfire that work with Wayland. This includes Ubuntu and Debian, several more, and some important information about Wayland at the end of article.

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I Want To Know Wayland!

Most end-users will not feel the difference between running OS with either Xorg or Wayland option. Wayland is a technology which controls how Graphical User Interface (GUI) on GNU/Linux operating systems displayed to the user which is now viewed by some people as a replacement to the old technology called Xorg. It is about choice: most distros use Xorg up to today, but situation is changing now as several distros mentioned below already adopted Wayland by default. In the future, there is a possibility that many distros would adopt Wayland and leaving Xorg. For end-users, this may affects their apps that is whether an app could run properly on Wayland or not. To know Wayland best, simply download and try one of distros mentioned below.


Starting version 21.04 codenamed Hirsute Hippo, Ubuntu is Wayland by default by still retaining Xorg for backward compatibility. Note: as I use it everyday since its release to date, I can report that it works with screen recording (Kazam), screen sharing and video calls (Jitsi Meet via Firefox). Download Ubuntu.


Since version 11 codenamed Buster, Debian is Wayland by default (if you install GNOME version). Download Debian.  


Since version 34 which is monumental with the brand new GNOME 40, Fedora is on Wayland by default. Download Fedora Workstation




Starting version Leap 15, openSUSE GNOME is on Wayland by default. Download openSUSE Leap.


Garuda offers two Wayland editions users may choose, Sway Edition and Wayfire Edition. For your information, Sway and Wayfire are two choices of GUI software ("window managers") which are created for GNU/Linux with Wayland technology. Thanks to Wayfire, Garuda on Wayland can display 3D Cube Desktop and other effects similar to Compiz on Xorg. Download Garuda.

Related Software

Sway Window Manager

This is the GUI software for Wayland that is a drop in replacement to i3 window manager on Xorg. Any distro featuring Sway must be a Wayland distro. Visit website.

Wayfire Compositor

This is a GUI software with 3D desktop effects for Wayland that is similar to Compiz on Xorg. Any distro featuring Wayfire must be a Wayland distro. Visit website.

Related Discussions

On the other hand, distros which did not adopt Wayland released in 2021 are among others:

  • elementary OS 6 (August)
  • Linux Mint 20.2 (July)
  • MX 19.4 (April)
  • Manjaro 21 (March)

Further Readings

What is Wayland? The Frequently Asked Questions

Words from Xorg Release Manager

Ubuntu official news on switching to Wayland

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.