Setting up Wayland (Weston or Sway Compositor) on FreeBSD without X11 (Xorg)?

Pete Wright pete at
Tue Jul 21 16:06:16 UTC 2020

On 7/21/20 6:56 AM, Lonnie Cumberland wrote:
> Hi All,
> I hope that everyone is doing well and truly hope that someone can help me
> on this as I have no idea how to proceed.
> I need a super ultra-thin graphic interface that will run a single
> application in fullscreen mode much like a Kiosk.
> The challenge is that Xorg is entirely too big and read that you could run
> Wayland using a compositor without Xorg which may be promising, but I do
> not know yet.
> The truth is that my core FreeBSD is coming in at about 30MB and now I
> would like to put a GUI on it to support the single application while
> hoping to try and also keep the total size absolutely as low as possible.
> If I could keep the whole thing under 100MB then that would be awesome, but
> I do not know if this can be done.
> In any case, the application FreeRDP and is supposed to have a Wayland
> client.  I also tried to look into DirectFB (Direct Framebuffer) and see
> that FreeBSD can load it from the "pkg" system for which is says that it
> also loads
> wayland-1.18.0_3               Wayland composite "server"
> but when I tried to run the freerdp wfreerdp wayland client from the text
> screen, it says:
> failed to connect to Wayland display (null): no such file or directory
> Does anyone have any suggestions or advice on how I might proceed either
> with Wayland or some even some other possible solution?

you probably need to install a Wayland display manager like sway or hikari:

both of these will probably require puling in some Xorg dependencies 
though (for input devices iirc).

anyway taking a look at those as a starting point would probably be a 
good first step, get them working then focus on stripping out what you 
don't deem necessary to minimize your footprint.


Pete Wright
pete at

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