Pluggable, composable, unopinionated modules for building a
Wayland compositor; or about 40,000 lines of
code you were going to write anyway.
- wlroots provides backends that abstract the underlying display and input
hardware, including KMS/DRM, libinput, Wayland, X11, and headless backends,
plus any custom backends you choose to write, which can all be created or
destroyed at runtime and used in concert with each other.
- wlroots provides unopinionated, mostly standalone implementations of many
Wayland interfaces, both from wayland.xml and various protocol extensions.
We also promote the standardization of portable extensions across
- wlroots provides several powerful, standalone, and optional tools that
implement components common to many compositors, such as the arrangement of
outputs in physical space.
- wlroots provides an Xwayland abstraction that allows you to have excellent
Xwayland support without worrying about writing your own X11 window manager
on top of writing your compositor.
- wlroots provides a renderer abstraction that simple compositors can use to
avoid writing GL code directly, but which steps out of the way when your
needs demand custom rendering code.
wlroots implements a huge variety of Wayland compositor features and implements
them right, so you can focus on the features that make your compositor
unique. By using wlroots, you get high performance, excellent hardware
compatibility, broad support for many wayland interfaces, and comfortable
development tools - or any subset of these features you like, because all of
them work independently of one another and freely compose with anything you want
to implement yourself.
Check out our wiki to
get started with wlroots.
wlroots is developed under the direction of the
sway project. A variety of wrapper libraries
are available for using it with your favorite
- systemd (optional, for logind support)
- elogind (optional, for logind support on systems without systemd)
- libcap (optional, for capability support)
If you choose to enable X11 support:
- xcb-errors (optional, for improved error reporting)
- x11-icccm (optional, for improved Xwayland introspection)
- xcb-xkb (optional, for improved keyboard handling on the X11 backend)
Run these commands:
ninja -C build
Install like so:
sudo ninja -C build install
Running the test compositor
wlroots comes with a test compositor called rootston, which demonstrates the
features of the library and is used as a testbed for the development of the
library. It may also be useful as a reference for understanding how to use
various wlroots features, but it's not considered a production-quality codebase
and is not designed for daily use.
If you followed the build instructions above the rootston executable can be
./build/rootston/rootston. To use it, refer to the example config at
and place a config file of your own at
rootston.ini in the working directory
(or in an arbitrary location via
rootston -C). Other options are available,