In the category of ever-more-specific niches for blog posts, here’s some notes today where I switched my main workstation – FreeBSD 13, nVidia GT730, KDE Plasma – over to KDE Plasma Wayland.

I’m going to write this down in the order that you ought to do these things, no the order I actually did them.

  • Log out of the current session. Drop to text mode. Log in as root. Stop service SDDM. Handoff from SDDM to Wayland is untested, let’s go via text login from now on.
    # service sddm stop
    # sysrc sddm_enable=NO
  • Remove the nVidia drivers and kernel-module-loading:
    # pkg remove nvidia-driver nvidia-xconfig
    # sysrc kld_list-=nvidia-modeset
    # sysrc kld_list-=nvidia
  • Install drm-kmod for the AMDGPU driver. Load the module on boot. Force-reinstall mesa-dri and mesa-libs. This is to double-check that the GL libs are not the nVidia ones. Mixing nVidia GL libraries with other things does not a happy desktop experience make.
    # pkg install drm-kmod
    # sysrc kld_list+=amdgpu
    # pkg install -f mesa-dri mesa-libs
  • Add the relevant users to the video group. Make sure Linux /proc is going to be mounted (or you’ll get weird issues like no screenshots).
    # pw groupmod -n video -m myusername
    # echo 'linprocfs /proc linprocfs rw 0 0' >> /etc/fstab
  • Shutdown and swap the hardware. I pulled out my GT730 and moved in a R7 360. That’s total overkill over plain desktop use, but also the only not-ancient AMD card I have.
  • Boot up, log in as myusername, run and enjoy!

The “enjoy” part is only if you have the latest versions of packages: plasma5-plasma-workspace-5.21.4_2 and plasma5-kwin-5.21.4_4 or newer than that. I don’t know if they’re available from regular packages yet.

There’s a bunch of papercuts – some cursor weirdness, focus-follows-mouse – but all those are to-be-ironed-out, and it’s much easier to do when the basics are complete. From there on, building KWin from git’s development branch and testing it or messing around with other current KDE bits is feasible: and ZFS makes rolling back to a working state easy.

So I guess I’m a full-time Wayland user now, on FreeBSD and Linux. Who’d have guessed.