As many of you might know already, Canonical is working hard these days on pushing the Unity 8 user interface and its convergence vision to the Ubuntu desktop.

Unity 8 is the next-generation Unity desktop environment for the popular GNU/Linux operating system, Ubuntu Linux, and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth promised earlier this month that it will be available, installed by default, in the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) release.

Installed by default does not mean enabled by default, as Unity 7 will remain the main desktop environment for Ubuntu 16.10, which should see the light of day later this year, on October 20, 2016. And, of course, the new Unity 8 interface will be ready for use, without the need for users to install any special packages.

Canonical already uses the Unity 8 user interface with great success on its Ubuntu-powered smartphones and tablets, powered by the Mir display server, another innovation from Canonical. And now that these new technologies are being ported to the Ubuntu desktop, new feature requests started are submitted on Launchpad.

Full support to Vulkan for Mir 0.24

The current Mir release is 0.22.1, but a feature request submitted by Emanuele Antonio Faraone at the end of January 2016, for Ubuntu developers to implement full support to the Vulkan libraries in the Mir display server and Ubuntu’s system image, got Canonical’s attention, and it looks like it might just become reality.

“Initial Vulkan (Mesa) integration was done a few weeks ago, but it uses some private headers,” said Cemil Azizoglu, Team lead, Mir Display Server, Canonical. “There were a few new Mir interfaces that have yet to be published. Once they are published in the dev trunk, they will then go out on an official release (0.24).”

At the moment of writing this article, Canonical has set the target milestone for the full Vulkan API implementation to be Mir 0.24, which is currently the focus of development. But, as you can see from the above quote, some work still needs to be done to ensure that Vulkan support works as expected on Mir.

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