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X.Org Server 1.11 Released

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the amazing-stuff-x-amazing dept.

Graphics 145

An anonymous reader writes "Phoronix is reporting that X.Org Server 1.11 has been officially released to users of Linux and other operating systems. This time around their reporting is more detailed than the official release announcement."

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Why are these releases still news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226134)

Is it just me, or are most open source project "official" releases getting rather humdrum?

If I have a bug that needs fixin', I use the beta (or just apply the patch(es) manually). If I don't, I generally don't fix it until a feature it has seems interesting, or my package manager says "omg you need this!".

Re:Why are these releases still news (1)

thePuck77 (1311533) | about 3 years ago | (#37226160)

It's the natural result of the shift to more and more iterative project styles. I am sure it's gotten even worse on the rolling release distros.

Re:Why are these releases still news (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#37226168)

And exactly what earth-shattering new features were you expecting in an X Window Server? 3D? Smell?

Re:Why are these releases still news (4, Interesting)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about 3 years ago | (#37226228)

I would like
  * mouse gestures like Stroke-It
  * support to connect xinerama dynamically to other computers and use them as second display.

Re:Why are these releases still news (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#37226276)

support to connect xinerama dynamically to other computers and use them as second display.

OK... That's an interesting notion. I'm gonna have to think about that, and why/when I'd want to do it in the first place.

Re:Why are these releases still news (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about 3 years ago | (#37226326)

16x16 wall o. screens!

Why? Need you *really* ask?

Re:Why are these releases still news (1)

rec9140 (732463) | about 3 years ago | (#37226620)

Synergy

http://synergy-foss.org/ [synergy-foss.org]

Re:Why are these releases still news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226632)

How useless is that if I can't move windows between computers?

Re:Why are these releases still news (2)

VVelox (819695) | about 3 years ago | (#37226698)

Actually it is incredibly useful.

I've used it at work before for using a single keyboard/mouse between my unix and windows workstations.

Re:Why are these releases still news (2)

priceslasher (2102064) | about 3 years ago | (#37226828)

* support to connect xinerama dynamically to other computers and use them as second display.

There is that xdmx [wikipedia.org] stuff, although I haven't actually tried it yet.

Re:Why are these releases still news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226910)

I would like

  * mouse gestures like Stroke-It

You'd like to cram policy into the server so anyone who doesn't like your policy implementation has to fork the whole server, would you? Well, then, since that's what you would like, let's throw sane architecture under the bus and roll it on in; perhaps while you're liking bad ideas, you'd like us to throw in GNOME, or perhaps KDE? After all, people who use other window managers can just write their own damn windowing system.

Re:Why are these releases still news (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 3 years ago | (#37226414)

And exactly what earth-shattering new features were you expecting in an X Window Server? 3D? Smell?

Feelies?

CC.

Re:Why are these releases still news (1)

VVelox (819695) | about 3 years ago | (#37226570)

Bug fix releases are normal.

This release being reported news worthy is indication of a slow news day etc.

SOUNDS SO XXX (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226150)

Pornlishousssssss ahhhhh oooooo aaahhhahahaha thinking of XXX

Since when .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226154)

do they have binary version release?

Re:Since when .. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37226200)

Version 10.00 is just around the corner.

Stopgap till Wayland (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226190)

It's like we're all standing around the deathbed of the Emperor while the young heir is trying on the crown.

Re:Stopgap till Wayland (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#37226318)

So X is Robert and Wayland is Joffrey? Of so, I really hope Unity is Ned.

Re:Stopgap till Wayland (1)

thePuck77 (1311533) | about 3 years ago | (#37226352)

Unity is Jaime.

Oh fuc*... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226202)

...and once again nvidia drivers won't work anymore.

RTFA. (2)

headkase (533448) | about 3 years ago | (#37226250)

If you had read the article you would have seen that nVidia's binary blob already supports it and Ati's isn't far behind.

Re:RTFA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226270)

Do you live in the real world or what? For people with old cards that will be the usual mess.

Re:RTFA. (4, Informative)

headkase (533448) | about 3 years ago | (#37226448)

I have the opposite situation. My hardware is too new. 6870 Radeon, intel Core i5. Doesn't work right. But, I'm running inside of VirtualBox and it abstracts all that hardware away. It even supports 3D with a guest addition to expose that to OpenGL. My desktop right now in front of me is composited with compiz and plays video, wobbly windows and all just fine.

I know there are barriers when you go to upgrade old hardware: change piece A and you need to change piece B and such, but, really, leave it at a text console as a server or just pick up a cheap $299 laptop that a modern Linux will run just fine with intel video drivers. Intel video drivers over the years surprisingly have given me the fewest issues and they support compiz just fine too.

Re:Oh fuc*... (1)

NotBorg (829820) | about 3 years ago | (#37227612)

Despite having a freedom hating binary only driver, Nvidia's track record for keeping up to date is really good. It certainly keeps ahead of the three most popular distributions without problem. Even Arch Linux, a bleeding edge rolling release distribution, has remarkably little breakage with the binary drivers.

Roll on the FUD, troll.

Why does X let my entire OS crash? (0, Troll)

0olong (876791) | about 3 years ago | (#37226214)

Whether it's the flash player doing something silly or mplayer going or leaving full screen, occasionally the proprietary nvidia driver crashes, and I don't understand why X then lets my entire system crash with it. Nothing responds (except sometimes my mouse movements). That should not be possible. It's 2011, dammit, modular coding practices should be in place by now. [/rant]

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (2)

sitharus (451656) | about 3 years ago | (#37226260)

I'm pretty sure it's just X crashing, have you tried SSHing in?

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226262)

Indeed. With Windows 7 being able to recover from a graphics driver crash and GNU/Linux not being able to I wonder what happened to the Unix philosophy...

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#37226402)

Indeed. With Windows 7 being able to recover from a graphics driver crash and GNU/Linux not being able to I wonder what happened to the Unix philosophy...

Sometimes. I have a corrupt video that'll crash Win7 whenever DXVA (DirectX Video Acceleration) is enabled. It's pretty neat when it works though, because on Linux X crashing is as bad as the kernel crashing for a desktop.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | about 3 years ago | (#37226658)

Not if you have a VT220 on a trolley plugged in to your console port good sir :-)

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1, Interesting)

equex (747231) | about 3 years ago | (#37226814)

I stopped using Linux a year ago. It simply does not even begin to compete with Windows 7 anymore. Sorry guys, the train left and you are still on the station arguing about how to pack the luggage.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

siride (974284) | about 3 years ago | (#37226998)

I agree. Nothing can beat Windows 7 at taking 10 minutes to get to a usable desktop. Stupid Linux doesn't even try and gets me there in a piss-poor minute or so. Doesn't even bother reading the entire harddrive for god knows what reason!

It may also be my drivers, but I've found X on my laptop to be damn snappy, and it at least *feels* snappier than Windows 7 on the same machine.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 years ago | (#37227086)

I'm on the same thoughts. Windows 7 is solid enough for an all-around machine, although it's still nice to have a Linux netbook around for hacking.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (2)

gmack (197796) | about 3 years ago | (#37226272)

The NVidia driver is directly accessing the hardware so when it goes there isn't much X can do about it.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226296)

Well how is Windows 7 doing it then?

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226362)

It's not always doing it, in fact.
If the driver somehow succeeds for instance to lock up the system bus, the game is over.

You can only TRY to recover when kernel-mode drivers do stupid things.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226426)

It's not always doing it, in fact.
If the driver somehow succeeds for instance to lock up the system bus, the game is over.

You can only TRY to recover when kernel-mode drivers do stupid things.

I haven't had such an instance myself. I've been overclocking my graphics cards like mad, doing this and that crazy stuff, and every single time the graphics card has locked up Windows has been able to restart the driver successfully. Not once has my system locked up completely due to graphics card - related issues. It's really handy and it still baffles me why X.org devs don't seem to consider doing the same thing.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 years ago | (#37226370)

Because Windows is 99.2% of the market and nVidia throws engineers at Windows drivers like firemen throw water at an oil refinery fire?
Because the nVidia marketing assholes have to be reminded on a daily basis that Linux (or OSX) even exists?
Because the Linux nVidia staff is three guys in a room who get less respect than a vomiting crack whore in the Sistene Chapel?

Idiot.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226398)

That's the ticket! Blame everyone else but Linux developers. Fuck them and fuck you.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

dissy (172727) | about 3 years ago | (#37226848)

What linux developers? You act like the source code for the driver or the card specs are available to them or something

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

PenisLands (930247) | about 3 years ago | (#37226496)

You have a small PENIS. I just thought you should know that.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 3 years ago | (#37226938)

You forgot one important one:

Because Windows has a driver model and Linux doesn't?

Linux drivers are actually kernel modules, accessing things through constantly changing internal APIs. They are part of the kernel source and thus need said source - or at least the header files - to compile. And because the internal APIs are constantly changing, someone needs to keep maintaining the driver just to track the changes and dealing with them.

I don't think that Linux driver situation is going to change until this does, and I don't think that this is going to change, as it would interfere with kernel development, and kernel developers are in charge here.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about 3 years ago | (#37227090)

Nope. NVidia themselves say that API churn in Linux is not so bad: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=nvidia_qa_linux&num=7 [phoronix.com] In fact, you can check NVidia's compatibility layer (it's distributed in source code). It's tiny, any adjustments are easy to do.

Anyway, closed-source drivers are not going anywhere. OpenSource drivers are slowly (very slowly) catching up with them, and native Linux drivers have huge advantage, they JustWork(tm).

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

ByteSlicer (735276) | about 3 years ago | (#37227468)

like firemen throw water at an oil refinery fire

Firemen know better than to throw water on an oil fire...

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (3, Informative)

high (315481) | about 3 years ago | (#37226378)

Starting from Vista, Windows runs as much as possible of the driver in userspace which means that if it craches it just restarts the driver resulting in a quick blink on the screen and you're back to normal.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (3, Interesting)

gmack (197796) | about 3 years ago | (#37226436)

Well how is Windows 7 doing it then?

Linux has a framework for some sort of recovery on GFX crash but that would require NVidia port their drivers to work with KMS and they havn't bothered.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226806)

Well how is Windows 7 doing it then?

It doesn't. The "latest" nvidia driver for Linux was made before win7 existed almost, and at the time it was the same version for windows it DID cause Vista32 to crash all over the place. They didn't have 64 bit drivers at that point yet.

The problem is they released a metric shitton of updates to the windows drivers between now and then, and only two for linux in the same time.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 3 years ago | (#37226286)

Nvidia is notorious for that. Linux introduced kernel tainting when non-Free modules were loaded specifically so developers wouldn't waste their time when the oops was just yet another case of the Nvidia driver crapping all over everything.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226492)

Why does X crash, you ask... in my case it seems to be an incompatibility between Nvidia Geforce 6200 and my AMD Sempron. It happens only on graphics-intensive games (e.g. Nexuiz/Openarena) and rarely when playing Flash videos (one solution, which seems to work, is disabling Flash h/w acceleration).

I have two other h/w problems: one Via C3 old onboard video (driver: Savage) which has disappointing performance and another old Geforce 4 MX440 -- the legacy Nvidia driver doesn't work with X 1.10 and above.

So, what do we do?

For starters, we have to clean up our ideas: proprietary drivers will always work that way... companies want to make money and they're not on the maintenance business; they sell things. They're anti-ecologic in principle.

Second, fortunately I can get XFree86 and make the old proprietary Via driver work. Is it worth? Maybe not: perhaps it's better to join the development of free drivers and make Savage better (or even improving the Vesa one, if possible).

I'm worried about the incoming Wayland... not much _quality_ communication to the end user -- as happens with KDE and Gnome, for instance-- but I hope things get addressed also on the driver front.

OT:

Congrats everyone for Linux' 20 years. Let's go for another 20 with the same impetus.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (2)

VVelox (819695) | about 3 years ago | (#37226560)

This is not really an X problem.

This is a Nvidia providing crappy drivers problem.

Also it means your system has also most likely been set to not restart the X server, if it did indeed crash.

What most likely is happening is it is stuck in a loop, which is is not exiting, or something along those lines.

Regardless, most likely you just need SSH in and restart X.

The good news is these days it very rarely takes the kernel down with it, at least in regards to FreeBSD.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

siride (974284) | about 3 years ago | (#37226918)

Sometimes the drivers can actually leave the keyboard and screen in a state where you can't do anything. The Magic SysReq key comes in handy here. Very occasionally, the kernel-mode portion of the drivers will actually somehow hardlock the kernel. Then the Magic Powerbutton comes in handy.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

VVelox (819695) | about 3 years ago | (#37227026)

This is what SSH is for. Unless the kernel has actually paniced, I've never seen a unrecoverable error in recent drivers for Intel or Nvidia.

Last I saw was with the S3 ViRGE, which post restart would have corruption issues unfixable except for a reboot.

Re:Why does X let my entire OS crash? (1)

siride (974284) | about 3 years ago | (#37227064)

Sometimes that isn't readily available. Also, chances are, if X has crashed, all the programs that you care about are gone too. You might as well power cycle, or use the Magic SysReq key to do a clean-ish reboot. If you can't use the Magic SysReq key, you probably can't SSH in either.

Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (4, Interesting)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226350)

I mentioned about this a while back on OSNews when I got my new laptop and noticed that it has two graphics cards instead of one: the other one is a higher-powered one able to churn away on games, 3D-modeling and whatnot at acceptable speeds, the other one is a very low-powered one that is barely able to do regular 2D sufficiently. The system switches between those two when I plug/unplug the AC adapter, though it also allows me to switch between them at will.

The thing here is that the low-powered one saves HUGE amounts of battery compared to the high-powered one, even if I go to such drastic measures as downclocking it. Using two separate chips instead of incorporating both in the same chip, or just having more aggressive power-saving capabilities on the more powerful chip is not the same thing for several reasons: being able to buy and use both chips separately means the manufacturer may be able to save money by buying different batches of chips from different places, and it obviously allows the manufacturer to mix-and-match at will. And adding more aggressive power-saving capabilities to a chip always means having to make compromises that could otherwise be omitted. It simply makes some sense to use two chips for saving battery, and I've noticed several manufacturers lately trying that. It remains to be seen whether or not it'll actually become a trend, though, or just a passing fad.

Unfortunately though X.org doesn't support such a scheme. You can't just switch between cards on-the-fly, you must muck around first, then restart whole X, thereby defeating the whole idea. And it doesn't seem like there are any plans for remedying this, or atleast I can't find anything relevant.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

optymizer (1944916) | about 3 years ago | (#37226392)

but have you filed a bug report?

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226462)

No. It would only stir up the hivenest, generate a few angry replies, and nothing would happen.

I'm rather hoping for someone more influential to pick it up and raise some interest in the issue.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

PenisLands (930247) | about 3 years ago | (#37226504)

How do you know that if you haven't even tried? You should at least try first. You might not get the response that you expect.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 3 years ago | (#37227136)

No. It would only stir up the hivenest, generate a few angry replies, and nothing would happen.

I don't think so. It would be good to rise up discussion on the subject.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226566)

This bug has been known since the new Nvidia laptops came out a few months ago. I am still using my 3 years old laptop but even I heard about it, so I doubt the XOrg devs haven't.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226460)

Have you tried google? It's a known issue; at least for ion chipsets bumblebee may work, though afaik it's far from perfect.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226488)

Have you tried google? It's a known issue; at least for ion chipsets bumblebee may work, though afaik it's far from perfect.

Yes, I have Googled around and I know some developers are aware of the issue, but not many enough seem to care and that's the issue. And the solution would have to be one that works for all setups, not just Ion chipsets, so it obviously requires much more work than just a few developers can throw at it.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226898)

Have you tried google? It's a known issue; at least for ion chipsets bumblebee may work, though afaik it's far from perfect.

Yes, I have Googled around and I know some developers are aware of the issue, but not many enough seem to care and that's the issue. And the solution would have to be one that works for all setups, not just Ion chipsets, so it obviously requires much more work than just a few developers can throw at it.

And you are right to whine - those lazy unpaid developers are not reverse engineering the secrets of your graphics cards fast enough.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37227024)

And you are right to whine - those lazy unpaid developers are not reverse engineering the secrets of your graphics cards fast enough.

Where, oh, where did I whine about any feature that'd require reverse-engineering? It's an architechtural design issue, something X.org simply cannot do properly without heavy modifications. Also, I certainly never called the developers lazy or demanded them to do anything about it, so I think you need some more practice on reading comprehension.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227596)

And you are right to whine - those lazy unpaid developers are not reverse engineering the secrets of your graphics cards fast enough.

Where, oh, where did I whine about any feature that'd require reverse-engineering? It's an architechtural design issue, something X.org simply cannot do properly without heavy modifications.

when you said "Yes, I have Googled around " but somehow managed to miss bumblebee, and the fact that you chipset drivers are closed source". I call that a whine. Want some cheese with it?

"and I know some developers are aware of the issue" Yes I am - maybe I'll make your chipset out of plasticine and then reverse engineer it - I should I just go out and buy a chipset that I don't want, so that you can get free support for it?

" but not many enough seem to care" But I do "and that's the issue." Indeed.

"And the solution would have to be one that works for all setups, not just Ion chipsets, so it obviously requires much more work than just a few developers can throw at it." Absolutely - though the core of X was "just a few developers". More importantly - building an abstracted architecture to support the unknow is just fucking impossible, maybe, just maybe, with enough lead time, we could do what you want - but at present it would only be feasible to implement that at a driver level. If it looks like the whole industry will move to the ridiculous dual chipset model - then maybe, but more likely the idea will die right here (a card that uses less parts and only enable features when required is a better approach).

Also, I certainly never called the developers lazy or demanded them to do anything about it, so I think you need some more practice on reading comprehension.

Oh? I don't doubt you believe that, along with all the other things you imagine you're entitled to. "No. It would only stir up the hivenest, generate a few angry replies, and nothing would happen." Such a winning attitude, and you're right - *if you had* mailed to the list you'd probably get ignored. "I've gotten the impression that switching graphics card on-the-fly is STILL not possible under Linux." "that simply is not an acceptable solution". You are right - please accept our apologies - your refund is in the mail and we'll be working through the night to support your card.

gp

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

maxume (22995) | about 3 years ago | (#37226668)

Does it have an intel i3/i5/i7?

In that case, the explanation is that intel built a reasonable GPU into the CPU (but those GPUs have nice drivers and make easy work of 2D, so maybe it isn't one of those).

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226674)

Does it have an intel i3/i5/i7?

No.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227070)

Hi, the work is currently being done.
Check out the bumblebee project - we can always use more beta testers...
  https://launchpad.net/~mj-casalogic/+archive/bumblebee/

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37227182)

Hi, the work is currently being done.
Check out the bumblebee project - we can always use more beta testers...

  https://launchpad.net/~mj-casalogic/+archive/bumblebee/ [launchpad.net]

Was that designed with only NVIDIA chipsets in mind, or was it designed from the ground-up to work with any chipsets? Because to me it looks like it's chipset-dependant and thus does not solve the issue at hand.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227092)

Take a look at Bumblebee[1]. It will turn off and on your discrete GPU at your will. For example, to start quake using your discrete GPU, you would have to call :

$> optirun quake

and that window and only that window would take advantage of your discrete GPU and when the process dies, it turns off your GPU.

[1]: https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (2)

tendays (890391) | about 3 years ago | (#37227526)

Personally I use bumblebee every time I want to clear my /usr [github.com] , it works great! :)

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | about 3 years ago | (#37227110)

Your wanting HotPlug support for graphics devices. That wouldn't be part of X.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37227170)

Your wanting HotPlug support for graphics devices. That wouldn't be part of X.

Oh really? What would it be part of then, pray tell? Because when you change graphics adapters on-the-fly the X environment would still have to adjust its settings appropriately -- the supported features for example could and likely would change when you change the adapter -- , transfer any necessary memory contents from the previous one to the new one and so on without killing off the running apps in the process.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227624)

Your wanting HotPlug support for graphics devices. That wouldn't be part of X.

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Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (4, Informative)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | about 3 years ago | (#37227262)

The two-graphics-card scheme you're talking about was developed by nVidia; it is called "Optimus."

There is an open source project to get this stuff to work with Linux/X11, called bumblebee. See here:

https://github.com/MrMEEE/bumblebee/ [github.com]

If you want a more specific guide for using bumblebee with your specific laptop/distro combination, you may be able to find one if you look around. For example:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1763742 [ubuntuforums.org]

I can't vouche for bumblebee; I've never actually tried it myself. However, it seems to be exactly what you're looking for. Let's hope it's a solid project, as Optimus is becoming more and more popular and nVidia doesn't seem to have any plans to support it on Linux, with a open source driver or otherwise.

Re:Switching of GFX card on-the-fly (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227330)

Nvidia implementation is called optimus [wikipedia.org] , and nvidia has already said "go fuck yourself" in response to "will you support this on linux".

Initial linux support is being carried out in the Bumblebee Project [github.com] , bleeding edge branch is called Ironhide [github.com] . I have no idea about the AMD version because I'm not affected by it.

Ha, captcha is "ashamed", as Nvidia should be for releasing this shit.

Better Graphics (0)

protektor (63514) | about 3 years ago | (#37226360)

Does this mean we are finally going to eliminate some of the layers of X and go with a more sane and modern approach to video display or did we just throw in a few new bells and do some performance tweaks. We really need a better, more responsive/modern display system.

Re:Better Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226424)

throw in a few new bells and do some performance tweaks.

Yes, this is what we did. Look, I've got a life. OK? My garbage disposal is backed up... AGAIN! My girlfriend on Second Life is feeling neglected. I've got a closet full of old shoes that I need to sort through.

go with a more sane and modern approach to video display

Ehh, that sounds like a lot of work. Do we really need it? Linux is the ultimate operating system in the universe. Like God himself, it's all powerful. Fucking troll. Go use Windows or OSX if you want your "modern" approach. Real computer users want to use a system rich in history. Linux is Open Source, or did you forget? You want changes? Make them. Start being a part of the solution rather than just complaining about things you don't like.

- X.org developer

Re:Better Graphics (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226456)

You want changes? Make them. Start being a part of the solution rather than just complaining about things you don't like.

Ugh. That's really, really elitist, you know. Not everyone has the necessary skills and talent to work on the things that they wish improved, like some people are good at programming and others are good at writing fiction, or agility training, or architechtural design. Being great at agility training helps one in no way at all at improving X.org's graphics capabilities, for example.

You only managed to make yourself look like an elitist fool, nothing more.

Re:Better Graphics (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | about 3 years ago | (#37226498)

I think saying "whoosh" is standard Slashdot etiquette.

Re:Better Graphics (1)

VVelox (819695) | about 3 years ago | (#37226686)

Your replying to a troll. If you waste your time like that replying to every troll etc in such a manner, you will have much wasted time.

Re:Better Graphics (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 3 years ago | (#37226738)

Your replying to a troll. If you waste your time like that replying to every troll etc in such a manner, you will have much wasted time.

Well, good thing I have lots of free time on my hands then! :3

Re:Better Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227510)

You're mistaking elitism for basic economics. With Windows and OSX, you pay for the software. You directly fund further development of features you want. You are providing worth. With open source, the product is free, so you are worthless.

Open source is pure, unadulterated communism, with none of those foolish trappings of socialism. If you work, if you contribute, you are king. Everyone else gets to survive as they can off the table scraps. You don't have to contribute through code. You can contribute as a graphic artist, or as someone who does documentation, or technical support, or translation. You can be an HCI person, doing user interface mockups and studies. Maybe you're a server administrator, providing all those others with the hardware to collaborate through. All of those people are part of the community, giving to the community, improving it for everyone in the community. Everyone outside the community is as good as dirt, and the only incentive to provide them anything is as a means of recruiting new talent into their ranks.

Developers are available for contract work. Don't be fooled by the bulk pricing you get with a commercial OS. Bargain basement code starts at around $1/line, and goes up quickly with how complicated something is.

Windows works, so I don't need unix graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227288)

I use Windows for non programming stuff. With Windows, I don't have to dick around with all the video problems of X.org and drivers. Sure, Gnome and KDE could be significantly better, but if Gnome and KDE used a framebuffer instead of X11, I might try to use my coding skills to be part of the solution instead of the problem. For my programming/admin, a console is good enough. I wouldn't be surprised if many Unix users feel the same way.

Re:Better Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226468)

We really need a better, more responsive/modern display system.

Or something not so modern, like what Mac OS X had 10 years ago.

Re:Better Graphics (2, Informative)

VVelox (819695) | about 3 years ago | (#37226666)

The performance issues are not an X issue, but a driver issue.

The major issue when it comes to performance and X is the drivers, which are largely crap. Unfortunately there is very little information on the internals of most cards, which makes writing good drivers complex or damn near impossible. This also requires a nice bit of programming and math knowledge in various areas.

Changing graphics server technology won't fix this issue.

Re:Better Graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226888)

If you are talking GL explicitly then please add the daft patents surrounding extensions like S3TC and friends which means slower GL thanks to not being able to support the GL standards for fear of being sued.

And really who are you to say the drivers are crap?, Did you contribute or just some usual daft user fanboy of the other proprietary OS's?

Re:Better Graphics (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 3 years ago | (#37227202)

> who are you to say the drivers are crap?

I'm the user - the one who actually uses them, and as such is the only person qualified to make the judgement. You don't have to be a whale to write "Moby Dick", and you most certainly do not have to be a contributor or even a developer to notice that your drivers are slow and buggy.

Re:Better Graphics (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 3 years ago | (#37226702)

What layers? Last I looked Xlib calls are all there are for low level graphics. Can you show me a system with fewer layers than X?

Re:Better Graphics (0)

siride (974284) | about 3 years ago | (#37226948)

Wayland, but only because it isn't asked to do what a modern windowing system needs to do. Once it goes "live" and all of the same requirements that X had to deal with and foisted upon it, it'll likely quickly become bloated like every other software project that has to do anything useful. Except, instead of having a good architecture, even if it's large and complex, they went for simple for the sake of simple. We'll see how that works out. Already things like network transparency will have to be bolted on the side, and window decoration policy is causing schisms.

Do we need network transparency? (0)

TheSunborn (68004) | about 3 years ago | (#37227148)

But what is the use case for network transparency in a modern setup?

It was original designed so you could log into a powerful graphics workstation/server and do you work on them, and then send the output to your own computer. But nobody does that today because cheep powerful workstations are everywhere.

I have been running Linux for the last 10 years and I have not used the ability to show remote x sessions/windows on my own desktop for the last 5 years. And I can't make up a reason to ever do it again.

It might be useful for remote troubleshooting of desktop systems if you are an  admin, but there you need a copy of the output on your system, and not the ability of X to forward a single window.

And since network transparency is seldom used, and causes so many design problems for the graphics system, handling it as a separate application is the best solution. (Like skype, where you can share desktop without any support from the operation system*).

*I newer managed to share my linux desktop with others, but I can se their Windows desktop.

Re:Do we need network transparency? (1)

siride (974284) | about 3 years ago | (#37227168)

Which are the design problems you speak of? It's pretty simple.

Maybe RD doesn't have a lot of use for the average desktop user, but it is used in the corporate world and it is used by power users. Just because *you* don't use it doesn't mean nobody does.

Re:Do we need network transparency? (3, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 3 years ago | (#37227440)

Maybe RD doesn't have a lot of use for the average desktop user, but it is used in the corporate world and it is used by power users. Just because *you* don't use it doesn't mean nobody does.

Here are some of the use cases where remote X has been important to me:

  • Compiling and running student projects on the university's Solaris machine
  • Computational fluid dynamics on a supercomputer, situated in another city
  • Just today: running Firefox on my x86-64 machine to access a Flash site, displayed on my Powerbook (no flash for PPC Linux)

You could summarize these in the way that, for power use(r)s, the number of users is very different from the number of computers. For starters, I'm not going to buy extra monitors, keyboards and mice for all my machines, just because some desktop user thinks remote X is obsolete. In the case of supercomputers and similar specialist machines, it is physically impossible for all users to sit by the same computer. Plus it would be expensive (money, time, environment) for everyone to get there.

Many people argue that remote X can be replaced by more platform-independent systems like VNC. In some cases that is true; in fact, there are cases where remote X does not work, for example when the OpenGL/CL code need to run on the same machine as the rest of the program. On the other hand, VNC is often much heavier on the network, as it needs to transfer the entire bitmapped screen. For example, my fluid mechanics work involved relatively simple 3D modelling, and it worked fine over a 1-megabit ADSL and cable, but VNC is often sluggish even on a LAN.

Re:Do we need network transparency? (1)

bgat (123664) | about 3 years ago | (#37227534)

VNC is a screen-scraper, with all the issues that come with that. If that's all you have then it's at best only tolerable. The rest of the time, it's a crappy alternative. Windows Remote Desktop falls into the same category, as far as I'm concerned.

It's far better that X work the way that it does, and we use it that way. X's client-server model contributes very positively to system stability, portability, and maintainability; and when the client and server are on the same machine, as is the case with the OP, the "overhead" really isn't there at all. Any objection to X on this basis is pure and ignorant FUD.

Oh, and by the way, since X is client-server, we can move the two onto different machines. And add more machines into the mix.

I'm just not seeing the problem here...

Re:Do we need network transparency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227220)

The use case is: you have multiple linux computers and you want to use them. You can either walk around from one computer to another, or you can access them all from where you happen to be right now.

Re:Do we need network transparency? (2)

bgat (123664) | about 3 years ago | (#37227504)

You can also think of the "network transparency" part as being a side-effect of the client-server model implemented by X, which fully isolates applications from the graphics hardware. That isolation contributes in a very positive way to system stability and portability.

And, once you have a client-server model, it doesn't really matter how far apart the two are. Hence the "network transparency" part.

Regardless, anyone who argues against X because of its "network transparency" feature is arguing from a point of ignorance.

Re:Do we need network transparency? (1)

rmcd (53236) | about 3 years ago | (#37227592)

I want to do a quick calculation in mathematica. I don't have a mathematica license on my personal machine. I log in to the research server, launch mathematica remotely, do my thing, log off.

Are you really claiming this is use case is no longer important? At my university I see it all the time.

Maybe I'm missing something.

Re:Do we need network transparency? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37227626)

But what is the use case for network transparency in a modern setup?

You are likely talking about Microsoft setups. Even in that case the concept of blade pc is actually used in the real world and the RemoteFX is coming.

Smooth scrolling planned for 1.12 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226444)

One of the targets for the 1.12 release is smooth scrolling support.

What? That has been in Windows since at least 98, if not 95 with the IE shell updates.

Re:Smooth scrolling planned for 1.12 (1)

siride (974284) | about 3 years ago | (#37226960)

That's not what they mean here. They are talking about making input scroll events (mouse wheel, presumably) be less jumpy and more smoothed out. See this article: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=OTUyNw [phoronix.com]

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