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What is wayland-tracer wayland-tracer is a protocol dumper for Wayland. It can be used to trace what's on the wire between the compositor and client, which can be useful for debugging and is superior to WAYLAND_DEBUG in some aspects. It can dump raw binary data or interpret data to readable format if XML protocol definitions are provided. Building wayland-tracer Building wayland-tracer is quite simple, it doesn't have many dependencies. Only expat is need for parsing protocol. $ git clone https://github.com/dboyan/wayland-tracer.git $ cd wayland-tracer $ ./autogen.sh --prefix=PREFIX $ make $ make install and you have wayland-tracer. Using wayland-tracer To use wayland-tracer, you first need to have a running wayland compositor. The most basic use is: $ wayland-tracer -- PROGRAM [ARGS ...] which launches the program specified and dumps binary data. If you have XML protocol files and want wayland-tracer to interpret wire data to readable format, you can use -d parameter to specifiy XML protocol files (at least wayland core protocol is needed): $ wayland-tracer -d wayland.xml [-d more-protocols] \ > -- PROGRAM [ARGS ...] wayland-tracer will interpret the protocol according to xml definition. For more uses (such as server-mode, output redirecting, etc.), see the output of `wayland-tracer -h` or `man wayland-tracer`.