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Neither Vulkan nor WSI are essential for operation of X11 or Wayland. Vulkan is "just" a new API to talk to GPUs, completely separated from windowing (just as is OpenGL) and the WSI part of Vulkan aims for a standardized method to allow windowing systems to expose the low level graphics device they're working towards to client applications so that implementations of APIs like Vulkan (but also OpenGL) can talk to it. WSI is kind of a generalized API for what GLX or WGL are doing. This neither revolutionary nor a new technology. Just a unified, agreed upon, window system neutral API for something that's quite old.

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