Just for clarification:
You can run Wayland (more correct: a wayland compositor like
weston) on top of the X-Server and on-demand (manual start whenever you want), so you can keep your system as-is (no need to switch to Wayland on the Host or change your desktop environment).
The reasons I recommend Wayland for your scenario are:
- it seems to be the only “secure” option to run a display server on top of another display server with gpu acceleration (which is what you want, at least for Games and other “demanding” applications).
(The alternative would be to use the X-Server directly, but X-Server does not have real measures for access restriction (so all applications can access the windows of other applications), so I don’t recommend that option.)
- Wayland can run X-Applications through XWayland (which is an X-Server inside Wayland)
Including desktop environments, also Xfce (see here for example: https://github.com/marbetschar/tins/issues/16#issuecomment-629694254).
Though you don't need the desktop environment, because the applications will simply run in the wayland window in a minimal desktop environment.
There are only some things to consider:
- I mention some things in my article about wayland, including:
- necessary patches to avoid tearing in XWayland (already included in master branch of Xserver, will be included in the next release of Xserver)
Note: To avoid confusion: Xwayland is a part of XServer (though it is a seperate package on many distros)
- and some downsides for nvidia gpu users
- You will need “RandR” for custom resolutions in fullscreen scenarios, basically I see two methods:
So basically there are three steps:
- check for nvidia:
- if you use an amd gpu, everything is fine
- if you use an nvidia gpu the situation is difficult:
- proprietary driver: support for gpu acceleration in xwayland is missing, but patches are WIP
- nouveau: you need reclocking for your card (for full performance; only a few cards have it in nouveau, afaik) and vulkan is not implemented yet
- compile Xserver from master branch to solve problems (tearing, randr etc.).
- and then follow the steps of my howto, starting weston with:
weston --xwayland --fullscreen
This will give you a fullscreen window, then follow the rest of the guide and start a game (or application) with xrandr to set the resolution.
Offtopic, Regarding Xfce:
I am a former Debian + Xfce user and I switched to Arch Linux + Cinnamon some weeks ago.
It has far better performance imo (with Xfce I had a lot of graphical artifacts, slow response etc.), but similar customizability and look & feel, so thats just a tip from my side .
Note: Cinnamon also does not support Wayland yet, but as I explained above, this is also not necessary for your usecase.
Also a rolling-release distribution is imo better especially for Gaming, because these distributions have the newest software.