Maynard: a Wayland desktop shell for the Raspberry Pi


In the last year or so, Collabora has been working with the Raspberry Pi Foundation on a web browser and on Wayland. See Daniel’s and Pekka’s blog posts about their Wayland work.

To make Wayland on the Raspberry Pi actually usable, we needed a shell, but lightweight desktop environments (like LXDE) don’t support Wayland and normal desktops (like Gnome and KDE) are just too heavy.
This meant we ended up writing our own shell based on Tiago Vignatti’s gtk-shell, so Maynard was born!


Maynard running on my laptop (webm video file)


Maynard running on a Pi (mp4 video file)

Maynard is far from complete, but it’s already starting to take shape nicely. Its goals are to be functional, light and pretty, so it will never see some of the features one might expect from Gnome or KDE for instance.

The main current limitations are:

  • No XWayland support, so non-Wayland applications cannot run (issue #1).
  • GTK applications take too long to start (issue #2).
  • Active apps are not shown in the panel (issue #3).
  • No configurability (issue #7). I hope you like the background from kdewallpapers we use as you cannot change it for now ;)

Interested in the project? Follow these links:

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Reader Comments

wow, this is great! thanks for your work and keep it up ;) looking forward

It looks better and seems more usable than the Gnome 3 shell. Good job.

I don’t think the lack of active applications in the panel is a big deal…could be considered clunky if you have them there, even. An option would be nice, though.

Looks really nice as it is, and the overview mode works well enough for switching apps, as long as it’s not too many button-presses away. ;)

Just wanted to say that this is totally tits! Got my raspi out of the drawer again to test this, and a GUI that feels more up to date than LXDE is what i missed.
Kudos to you, good sir.

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I hope we will use on standard GNU/Linux distribs.

It’s a nice desktop shell.
It looks simple but elegant.

I tried maynard on my pi connected via HDMI + adapter to a DVI LCD.

I’m a bit disappointed because i noticed heavy tearing effects. It looks like the adapter is passive and should not cause any problems but i have to test it on a monitor with native hdmi support.

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