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First Experiences with's X11 Server?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the have-you-gotten-it-to-work-yet dept.

X 113

Slashdot Reader CanadianCrackPot decided to be adventurous and went and installed the latest offering from's X-Server project. Below, you'll find "the basics" of his "first attempt to install [their] X Window Server on a system with a 450 MHz PIII, and Diamond Viper V770 (TNT2 chipset) graphics card, running Mandrake 10.0 Official (FTP download of everything but the RPMS.cooker dir)." To make a long story short, while he did have some luck with installing it, running it was...problematic. He asks: "I'm just wondering how other Slashdot readers are doing with the new X11R6 server, and more importantly, how did you install it?""I decided to try installing's X Server today while I had nothing to do here's the results:

  • get a test bed system: check
  • get sources: check
  • ./configure: N/A...I'm worried
  • make World: check
  • make install; make check
  • startx: crash
  • xf86config: check
  • startx, again: check -- now I need a manager
  • startgnome: galeon not found (crash)
  • startkde: crash"
If you've had any luck getting's X-server running on your machine, what hurdles did you have to overcome before it worked?

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obligatory (5, Funny)

dr_steel (692882) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371890)

emerge xorg-x11 startx ... had to do it

Re:obligatory (1)

Hyrcan (316160) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373847)

urpmi -v xorg-x11

on MDK10-cooker

Re:obligatory (5, Funny)

identity0 (77976) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374890)

Obligatory Debian fanatic post!

apt-get install xorg
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
E: Couldn't find package xorg

Shit. Maybe by 2005?

Re:obligatory (3, Funny)

darc (532156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9384448)

2005? You're using unstable, aren't you?

Hell, i'm using stable, still waiting for them to port that new fangled program I keep hearing about, what's it called... gopher?

Re:obligatory (1)

runderwo (609077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9403088)

The xserver-xfree86 in unstable is already the X server.

Re:obligatory (1)

runderwo (609077) | more than 10 years ago | (#9403108)

no, I'm wrong. It's just XFree86 for now with non-DFSG parts removed, but the transition to is in progress.

Re:obligatory (1)

trashme (670522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9404974)

It is? I haven't seen anything about it. Changing X servers would be a bit deal. I would not be surprised if the debian team waits until the next stable release before brining into unstable.

Gentoo (5, Informative)

Gaima (174551) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371893)

emerge x11-base/xorg-x11
emerge unmerge xfree

No crashes, no errors, no odd behaviour at all.

(Dell Dimension, P4 2.66, Matrox G400MAX, Matrox drivers, xinerama)

Re:Gentoo (4, Informative)

crstophr (529410) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371993)

don't you mean:

ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge x11-base/xorg-x11

You see, this is still in "unstable"...

Re:Gentoo (1)

wolf31o2 (778801) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372894)

You mean you don't run with ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=~x86 anyway? (...or ~amd64, for the rest of us... ;p)

Re:Gentoo (1)

ScottGant (642590) | more than 10 years ago | (#9403681)

Laugh it up, but that's exactly what I run in my make.conf file. I built this system from the ground up with those settings and haven't had a lick of problems with it.

Of course, having just said that my computer will burst into forget I said anything.

Re:Gentoo (5, Informative)

superjaded (617714) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373638)

Ew, that's bad.
echo "x11-base/xorg-x11" >>/etc/portage/package.keywords
(you'll have to do the same thing for things like utempter and xterm as well, since those are ~x86)
emerge -C xfree (xfree blocks xorg, so you have to uninstall first)
emerge xorg-x11

And as should be implied, if you already have an installation of xfree, the config file works with it out of the box. In fact, the config file generated from xorgconfig (which, incidentally, looks exactly like the XF86Config util) is pretty much the same as the one generated from the XF86Config util, save for a different header most likely ("This config file was generated" by blah).

But there's really no difference between the current release and Xfree4.3.0 save for some patches that they have may have backported from 4.4. But I've been running's implementation for quite a few months now and while I haven't noticed any significant difference between xfree and at the moment.. that's not to say that will be the same as time goes on.

I think this "release" was mostly just to get the thing out of the door and get its name out there. The REAL cool stuff will be coming during the next releases. They're already trying to get the damage [] and composite [] extensions ported to the tree. Those who've played around with KeithP's kdrive/Xserver [] have seen both of those extensions in action. Just imagining the composite extention in cooperation with something like cairo [] and glitz [] just makes me drool.

Re:Gentoo (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373898)



cdyson37 (584699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9377224)

Does the nvidia driver work without fiddling with XF86Config/reinstallation? I gather that the split between xfree and xorg doesn't affect the nvidia driver, which is supposed to work on both, but any experiences whether this is actually the case on Gentoo? Also, might be worth running "quickpkg xfree" just in case.


garaged (579941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378477)

Works here no problem, gentoo rules, as every experienced linux user knows


cdyson37 (584699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9378594)

Thanks - thought it would. Don't think I'll bother upgrading just yet - there's no material advantage in doing so and I'm not too concerned about the legal stuff.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9384972)

You gnetoo guys lick each other's assholes as well, if I recollect precisely.


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9402386)

It actually appears to be much faster (I'm using nvidia).


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9401066)

Works here no problem, gentoo rules, as every experienced linux user knows

More likely for every experienced acne-faced high school kid. Adults use Slack and Debian, with RedHat and Suse products for the corporation.

Sheesh.. fucking fanboi.

Re:Gentoo (1)

X (1235) | more than 10 years ago | (#9393588)

Hmm... I wonder how hard it is to patch damage and composite extensions in the Gentoo ebuild.

Re:Gentoo (1)

Xardion (215668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9400940)

I've always used this method:

set PORTAGE_OVERLAY to /usr/local/portage in /etc/make.conf

# cd /usr/portage
# cp -pr --parents x11-base/xorg-x11 /usr/local/portage

vi the appropriate ebuilds and whack the ~'s

Re:Gentoo (1)

Crazy Eight (673088) | more than 10 years ago | (#9403723)

I was just looking at cairo and glitz last night. It's very interesting stuff with a lot of potential. We'll all have a drooling good time once everything is autotool'd as well.

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9381992)

Stable on sparc =)

Re:Gentoo (1)

riprjak (158717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9382837)

what about amd64 you insensitive clod??

XFree is officially deprecated on gentoo; so, for us amd64 users at least, all we do is

opengl-update xfree
emerge --unmerge xfree
emerge xorg-x11
emerge nvidia-glx
opengl-update nvidia

and boom, it is all tickety boo. No problems, no hassles, it "just worked"; xorg-x11 needs no ~arch keywords AFAIK


Re:Gentoo (1)

auzy (680819) | more than 10 years ago | (#9384691)

last time I checked xfree is a blocker, so you need to uninstall that first....

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9372036)

Did you compile it with -funroll-loops and if so, did you get a 5% speed increase?

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9372774)

I did, and it's measured at a 7% screen increase. The whole system feels like a well tuned sports car.

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9384082)

Yeah, like a well tuned sports car trying to tow a 65 ft yacht that represents the constant background compiling.

Re:Gentoo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9372742)

I'd like to try Gentoo, but I'm looking for a distro that will let me build the whole system from source like BSD. Does anyone make something like that?

Re:Gentoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9380191)

You can find one of those here [] .

Re:Gentoo (0)

deque_alpha (257777) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372874)

Ditto for me

i'm not sure (5, Insightful)

Siniset (615925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371918)

but isn't it no longer xfree86.conf by rather xorg.conf or something like that? Just a thought, not sure if the submitter wrote xfree86conf by accident...maybe that's the problem? Also, Mandrake now has rpm's of it (didn't that get posted today, btw?), maybe you should try installing the rpms?

Re:i'm not sure (2, Informative)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371989)

That's the only gotcha I encountered. Other than that, I like it more than XFree86. I use a Voodoo3 as a second graphics card, and XFree86 had some problems with it; handles it perfectly.

Re:i'm not sure (3, Informative)

Gaima (174551) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372008)

It's using the exact same XF86Config as xfree was.
As I don't have an xorg.conf it will use the Xfree name.

mahdell root # grep /X11/ /var/log/Xorg.0.log
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/XF86Config"

Re:i'm not sure (1)

Siniset (615925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372096)

Hmm... thanks for pointing that out, right now i'm still running XFree 4.3 (using fedora core 1 because I need a custom kernel for multimedia) so I couldn't check, I was just going off a memory of a review i had read somewhere of a distro that included

Re:i'm not sure (4, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372521)

It will parse XF86Config if xorg.conf isn't there. Just like XFree 4 would parse XF86Config if XF86Config-4 wasn't there.

# grep /X11/ /var/log/Xorg.0.log
(==) Using config file: "/etc/X11/xorg.conf"

No problems here here either. I was really expecting at least some, but nothing so far. Now hopefully Gatos will shift full on into Xorg, (patches exist already for Xorg & XFree 4.4.0) and merge in the TV-Out branch while we're at it. :)

Re:i'm not sure (2, Interesting)

CanadianCrackPot (727998) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372192)

I did this yesterday before the story came out about the Mandrake RPMS. I haven't located them yet, and besides I was bored and had some time to kill on the install.

On the note about the .conf files I find it a little strange that running xf86conf managed to get startx working without a manager. Oh well back to the drawing board (or the ftp site of Mandrake...)

No problems here... (-1, Redundant)

phraktyl (92649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371925)

I'm sure it is probably this easy with other distros as well, but:

# emerge unmerge xfree
# emerge xorg-x11

Worked for me!

Re:No problems here... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374345)

I would think that this would build the fork of XFree86 4.4rc2, but then again I'm no expert on Gentoo.

I'd imagine you could install the experimental cvs X-Server too, portage is huge and extremely well maintained.

Re:No problems here... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374361)

Forget my other post. Complete nonsense :)

I thought the article was talking about xserver and xlib :)

Now those are a real challenge to install on your own.

Slack-current xorg packages worked (5, Informative)

c.r.o.c.o (123083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371956)

I did not try to compile xorg, I just installed the default packages from Slack-current installed without any problems. Once that was done, I just renamed XF86Config to xorg.conf, and it worked without ANY problems. If I didn't know I had xorg instead XFree86, I couldn't tell the difference. This is obviously because for now they are virtually identical (other than a few different names).

If the packages are available for your distribution, give those a try to see if you have any incompatibilities. Compiling xorg is not easy, I remember it took me three tries in Gentoo (can't remember what was the problem, this was XFree86 4.1.0). In your case, something tells me that you wouldn't be able to compile XFree86 4.4.0 on your system either.

Re:Slack-current xorg packages worked (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9372758)

Why are you people compiling from scratch? That's so old fashined. just install the RPM's and get back to work.

Re:Slack-current xorg packages worked (3, Funny)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374262)

What? And settle for UN-OPTIMIZED binaries like some plebe? Forget that!

Besides, I had to grab the CVS from the DRI branch to get S3/SavageDDR (It's a laptop, I didn't have much choice...) direct-rendering support. Why not compile it up with "-O2 -march=athlon-xp -mmmx -m3dnow -msse -mfpmath=sse,387" while I'm at it?...

Yes, I'm also running on bleeding-edge CVS compile of KDE 3.3-post-alpha as well (working fine for me, incidentally...)

Think of it as the civilized nerd equivalent of peeing on the computer to mark it as yours. Except that you don't ruin the computer and/or get painfully shocked in the process (uh, you know, or so I've HEARD....)

Fedora Core 2 (5, Informative)

Joff_NZ (309034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9371988)

I'm running, by way of "upgrading" my FC1 install to FC2... a couple of problems: had to change the "XkbRules" option to "xorg".

Now I can't bind most of the multimedia keys to X keycodes. I expect this is related to the XkbRules thing.

Apart from that, its been running fine.

Re:Fedora Core 2 (3, Interesting)

digitect (217483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373409)

I have the exact same hardware as in the article (450 MHz PIII, and Diamond Viper V770 (TNT2 chipset)) and a fresh install of Fedora Core 2 worked the first time.

Of course we have to wait on Nvidia before we get GL, but I've been able to use this exact hardware on every version of Red Hat since 5.1. (I had to do some manual config tweaking up to about 7.0, but it's been automatically configured since then.)

Re:Fedora Core 2 (4, Informative)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375163)

Or just recompile the kernel with the 4k stacks option removed, or download the binaries that are available.

Re:Fedora Core 2 (2, Informative)

13Echo (209846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376281)

You don't need to wait on nVidia since and XF86 are virtually the same. The nVidia driver set works fine with I'm using it with an FX 5900 XT without any problems.

The only difference is that you'll need to configure an "xorg.conf" file instead of an "XF86Config" file.

Re:Fedora Core 2 (1)

zoward (188110) | more than 10 years ago | (#9383128)

Caveat on running nVidia under FC2:

I was unable to get it working with the default kernel installed by FC2. Apparently a couple of nono-stnadard patches were added by RH to this kernel, and AFAIK the current clsoed-source nVidia GeForce drivers won't work with it.

I downloaded the stock 2.6.6 kernel, and was able to get nVidia's drivers up and running just fine.

Re:Fedora Core 2 (3, Informative)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374686)

Well, I did a clean install of FC2, and I'm running with no problems at all...

I just chose my proper keyboard in the keyboard prefs, and then went into the keyboard shortcut prefs, and pressed the keys and everything worked just fine (eg, bound "mute" to my mute button, and it came up as "XF86AudioMute"). The only key that didn't work was the "Log Off" button, unfortunately... but that's probably a side effect of me using the slightly wrong keyboard layout (for some reason, no program I've ever used has ever heard of the "Microsoft Natural MultiMedia Keyboard", I had to pick "Microsoft Wireless Multimedia Keyboard", which was closest in name (my keyboard isn't wireless).

I should look into writing my own keyboard layout file or something to get that log off key working. I know it works; back on FC1 I had to manually program all the extra keycodes to have the XF86* keysyms so that programs would even recognise them, then I bound commands to them all manually with gconf.

Slackware current... (2, Informative)

cymen (8178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372026)

I used swaret to upgrade my slackware current install to the packages (x11). Everything worked but fonts rendered poorly (I did recompile and symlink all the freetype libraries to my version that has the bytecode rendering enabled) and my Synaptics touchpad (Dell laptop) didn't function properly in regards to the advanced features. I didn't notice the second item as I don't use those features (my brother does) but the first problem, with the fonts, was very annoying. I'm going back to slackware 9.1 when I get a chance.

I just put in a new 40 gb drive so I loaded up Windows XP to get a little experience with it. Not too bad but Cleartype is a little funky even with 32 bit video. I prefer the freetype rendering under X when it is working nicely.

Re:Slackware current... (1)

spitzak (4019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373684)

It's unclear why XP's defaults for the type face are so bad. However if you turn on ClearType for all sizes I think the appearance is much better on LCD's than the latest Freetype (and yes I turned on the RGB rendering there, too) and about equal on CRT's (my favorite output is actually a slightly dated FreeType compiled with the hinting disabled completely on a CRT, the text looks extremely smooth there, unfortunatley I will probably have to give up this version when I update the machine to a modern Linux).

Sounds like its working to me. (2, Insightful)

mcowger (456754) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372052)

From you checklist there soudns like you got the xserver running just fine...gnome & kde are completely separate, and may need to be relinked?

Re:Sounds like its working to me. (2, Insightful)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372765)

Mine were linked against XFree 4.3.0, and work fine with Xorg.

Works fine for me (1)

lizardloop (721368) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372056)

Been running it for some weeks without a problem. The upgrade went smoothly.

Re:Works fine for me (2, Insightful)

13Echo (209846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376530)

Same here. I've used it for about 2 months now with 3 graphics cards; Rage 128 with opensource drivers, Radeon 9500 PRO with ATI's drivers, and an nVidia GeForce FX 5900 XT with nVidia's drivers. All have worked well.

XV overlay support is broken in at the moment (as well as XF86 4.4, to my knowledge). There will be occasional problems with DRI based cards, and nVidia cards will exhibit a blue display when you play your first movie after a reboot.

Cooker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9372116)

I would see if there's a source or binary RPM in Cooker and see if it will install.

slackware (2, Informative)

blindbat (189141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372124)

Installed them off of slackware current.

No problems installing or running.

doing it on debian (5, Interesting)

pondering llama (725583) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372159)

I'm using debian sid on a dell inspiron 1100 -- first off, getting linux alive on this machine isn't the easiest, and Dell seem to be on a mission to break things with every BIOS release. Oddly enough the bios is on revision 29, and the last revision broke my ability to halt the system. But I digress.

After seeing that distros like mandrake were getting in on the action, i also had a look.

I only had 2 issues:

  1. xdm wouldn't compile -- so i removed it from the makefile, since i don't use xdm
  2. make install didn't run ldconfig, which meant that x was horribly broken the first few times i ran it until i figured out from an strace that programs like glxinfo were looking for .so's where they weren't. Running ldconfig sorted out the problem.

My experiences have, so far, been ok with's version. Quake3 framerates seem at least as good, perhaps a little better than xfree86, and glxgears reports higher framerates than I remember under xfree. Startup is a little quicker, and X in general seems a little snappier. I don't know how much to attribute to the fact that the running version of X was compiled from source and the original version was binary installed from a .deb. But, purely on an ethical level, I am happy with's version, and I will try it on my desktop when I get back home -- I know the q3 response on that machine a lot better, and that will give me a more accurate feel for's version.

Re:doing it on debian (2, Insightful)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372798)

That performance is probably just due to you recompiling it, rather than using the 386 optimized binaries from sid.

Fedora (3, Informative)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372275)

Under Fedora, the single biggest problems I had were:

1) Bitchslapping the system into allowing me to install the RPMs - I had to do a few "rpm --erase --justdb --nodeps" on a few things to "resolve" some conflicts.

2) Removing the /usr/X11R6/lib/tls/libGL* files to get the new Mesa renderer to run.

Other than that, I had very little problem.

I would suggest checking your X executable with ldd (ldd `which X`) and seeing if you are picking up a bad library somewhere.

xorg fork (5, Insightful)

OmniVector (569062) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372449)'s x11 server was simply one of the xfree 4.4 release candidates before the license change, with some patches to bring back up to the 4.4 release. it should be almost absolutely identical to installing xfree86. i'm not sure why this even needed to be posted. there is pretty much no difference to install/configure than xfree 4.4

Re:xorg fork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375497)

funny sig.
"Step right up. indeed."

Re:xorg fork (1)

thegent (687253) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376612)

I guess this is something like the placebo -> even though it's only a name change, no code affected, for people it's a big change; no wonder Microshaft and other successfull companies in any domain use codenames.

Re:xorg fork (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 10 years ago | (#9392494)

there is pretty much no difference to install/configure than xfree 4.4

Sure there is: xfree comes installed by default on any distro not released very recently, while many of the above posters are talking about steps they took to build it. Surprise: official packages shipped with a distro are easier to install and configure than hand-rolled packages, since the former have usually been patched to use the same directory layout and other build options as the old xfree packages and the latter have not.

The code should be almost identical, as you say, but an end-user's build process will probably be substantially different from a distro's, and there lies the difference.

Try another distro please (3, Insightful)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372668)

I am afraid Mandrake is not the best distro to experimentally mess with core components. Too many things are tweaked a Mic^H^Handrakesoft's way, the desktops certainly are. It is not easy to rebuild even XFree86 to keep up with those tweaks, so your problems with actually says nothing. And yes, I used to rebuild an XFree86 on Mandrake.

Some other distros, a Slackware for example, use much pure way to build it's own packages which makes them better tool for this kind of experiments.

Well... (0, Redundant)

andrewdk (760436) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372743)

All I know is that Gentoo makes it easy:

(if you already have xfree installed)
emerge unmerge xfree

ACCEPT_KEYWORDS=~x86 emerge xorg-x11

xorgconfig or edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.example

Done. You just need to emerge Gnome or KDE (my fav is Fluxbox)

Fedora Core 2 (1, Insightful)

Etyenne (4915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372854)

Install Fedora Core 2, and be done with it.

Re:Fedora Core 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9384184)

> Install Fedora Core 2, and be done with it.

You mean be done with the install, the Xserver problem, or the bootdisk's MBR?..

emerge, no mayor problems (2, Interesting)

fedux (262863) | more than 10 years ago | (#9372961)

I'm using xorg in gentoo.

I worked fine from the beginnig except for 2 things: - fonts that look kind of ugly
- my monitor blanks about 30 min. from boot, I move the mouse and everything back to normal.

Everything else seems to work OK

Re:emerge, no mayor problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373385)

I have the same thing. Oddly enough, with my custom optimizations, things run about 22% faster with the smooth fonts turned on than turned off. Strange huh?

Re:emerge, no mayor problems (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 10 years ago | (#9385794)

The font problem is something that was fixed in XFree86 after the fork (and which apparently hasn't been merged back into yet).

why is's better? (2, Interesting)

bergeron76 (176351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373120)

I'm new to's release and I'm wondering why it's better than Xfree86. Are there any compelling reasons to switch? In my mind, compelling reasons are existing irritations with X that have been resolved (specificially the issues between switching among text and X consoles)...

Anyone care to post a few reasons why we should switch?

Please note: Slackware has switched, and since slackware is my Distro of Choice (DioCh - [pronounced: deeotch]), I'm going to end up using it in the end anyway. I'm just curious to know whats so great about it...

Re:why is's better? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9373362)

As far as I can tell, its just an XFree86 fork from before they changed the license. Exactly the same as XFree86, except X.Org's license is still considered GPL compatible.

Re:why is's better? (1)

vf123 (244292) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373375)

It will be maintained. And it's got the shiny new license that people aren't grumbly about.

Re:why is's better? (1)

vrwarp (624266) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373822)

its license... thats probably the only reason to use it at this moment.

There is no reason (1)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373892)

Right now, there's no reason to switch.

But, since the developers have reorganized you can expect to add many features that XFree will not add in the future.

Since they're nearly identical I'd wait off on it.

At this point, the license (4, Informative)

Feztaa (633745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374761)

As noted in another post, and XFree86 are basically identical code-wise. The only difference is that has a more palatable license, which is why all the major distros switched over so quickly.

The other reason requires looking into the mysterious future... basically, politics at XFree86 were getting in the way of development, which was part of the reason for the fork; in 1 year's time, you can expect to have a vibrant community of developers, with all funky new features in the X server, while XFree86 just sits and stagnates.

Read up about the server []

My first experience (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9373616)

I have never got it to compile cleanly. Despite it being very similar (if not exactly the same process) as XFree86, for some reason I never got the darn thing configured correctly. However, never had a problem compiling for DRI support with XFree86 from CVS source.

lin XOrg (2, Informative)

sofar (317980) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374733)

using lunar linux [] . It automatically replaced xfree86, no need to specifically install startx as it comes with the XOrg package already. Didn't need to adjust any config files... the old one just works fine on all boxes I upgraded (nvidia setup, ati fglrx 9500, and an old trident based laptop).

Gentoo (3, Informative)

nempo (325296) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374744)

Point your browser to and do a search for xorg. You'll find all the information that you'll ever need.

It didn't cause me any more than one problem (3, Informative)

Yrd (253300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9374774)

I installed from the Gentoo Linux xorg-x11 6.7.0 ebuild (onto a Gentoo box, oddly enough). The ebuild authors did a good job, so it downloaded, compiled and installed happily.

I did have some difficulty with the ATi binary graphics card drivers for my Radeon 9800 Pro... the installed ones wouldn't work with X.Org, and the ebuild insisted on having XFree86 available. I haven't checked to see if the ebuild's been updated to handle X.Org, but I would expect it has. I'm not that bothered anyway, as I don't game under Linux very much, so the open source drivers work very nicely, as I get decent 2D performance, and Xv so I can watch DVDs.

I may revise my opinion on the value of good 3D acceleration for my Linux desktop when there's an OpenGL compositing X server available, but the drivers for that are likely to be completely different anyway.

slackware .tgz's No problem (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375856)

I had no problem making the change on my slackware systems.
1. Pulled slackware_current (actually I rsync it every night)
2. cd /var/log/packages
3. removepkg xfree* (the difference in the names between the old xfree packages and the new x packages caused the upgradepkg utility to fail to recognize this as an upgrade...wish he would fix that kind thing this is not the only time its happened.)
4. cd /slack_current/slackware/x
5. installpkg *.tgz

Done, worked no problems

Re:slackware .tgz's No problem (1)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375903)

Couriously I have not had to do the conf file rename thing on any systems. Everything works so I have not had alot of motivation to look into why...

Re:slackware .tgz's No problem (1)

ThatComputerGuy (123712) | more than 10 years ago | (#9379011)

Xorg's release notes state that it will look for the old XF86Config if the new xorg.conf doesn't exist.

More info about the similarities/differences of X11R6.7 and XF86 4.4 at fdo [] .

Well... (1, Redundant)

DecayCell (778710) | more than 10 years ago | (#9377313)

I was quite amazed, but
emerge sync
emerge -C xfree
ACCEPT_KEYWORDS="~x86" emerge xorg-x11
did it for me...

Portage is an executable wonder! :)

Re:Well... (1)

SnoBall (778388) | more than 10 years ago | (#9387825)

The test bed system is pretty similar to mine, so I may encounter some of the problems they had as well. :|

Don't do that if you don't know what you're doing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9383101)

Why install from source if you don't really know what you're doing? Let your distribution take care of everything for you,

make world (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9384927)

Why make world? It's from the Open group example code for an X-server. There really isn't a huge amount difference between XFree86 and decendants and the example code from the Open group - you certainly do have a right to be worried. It shows the XFree86 group were mostly just writing video card drivers for all of those years, and that we are well free of them. The better implementations of X on linux hit barriers of not enough people buying them (I didn't either) and not getting the info to write drivers for popular cards (like most of the ones I had).

Very Problematic (2, Informative)

untwisted (779622) | more than 10 years ago | (#9385785)

So far, I've had nothing but trouble with the new I've recently installed Fedora Core 2, which was a dumb idea from the start. I have a Nvidia geForce4 ti4400, which doesn't get along nicely with 4k stacks (which is a default kernel setting in FC2). Well, when I tried to run FC2 for the first time, I got all kinds of problems with X (because of the nVidia driver). So being the resourceful person that I am, I used lynx to browse the web and find a solution. The first solution was to download a vanilla kernel from, and compile without 4k stacks. I did this, but for some reason, X still gave me problems. I then tried rolling back to the generic nv driver that comes with FC, and again, X gives me problems. Story short, I went through about 30 different solutions, none of which work. The closest I've gotten is X starts, but it just sits there on a black screen. I can get Xtern to work, but not much else. I'm waiting on the new nVidia drivers, maybe everything will work with a set of good drivers, and the default Fedora settings, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Maybe it's just FC, but as far as I can tell, X is just being bitchy.

RTFM? (1)

colinleroy (592025) | more than 10 years ago | (#9386000)

Well, that doesn't explain your session managers crashes, but you don't seem to have RTFM:

./configure: N/A...I'm worried
X configuration is done via xc/conf/cf/host.def and xc/conf/cf/site.def.

BLFS (2, Informative)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9386006)

Beyond Linux From Scratch [] has step-by-step instructions for installing many packages from source, including the latest Xorg.

Commercial X servers ROCK! (0, Troll)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 10 years ago | (#9395073)

Hmmmm... which X server to use? XFree86, or The answer is...

Accelerated-X [] !!! There's also Metro-X [] , though Metro Link's webpage appears to be down and I can't find them otherwise.

Laugh all you want about paying for commercial software, but when it comes to these quality products, it's worth it.

First time user (3, Informative)

wellard1981 (699843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9395687)

Doing a fresh install of Gentoo 2004.1, I thought I would try out's X11R6. After a short time compiling, the software was installed and ready to run. I found the xorgconfig program and ran it. After that I edited the xorg.conf in /etc/X11 and updated it to include my mouse settings.

Ran startx and there it was! .. Seemed to load a bit quicker than XFree.

I then emerged the nVidia GLX and Kernel drives, updated my xorg.conf and fired up X again, this time it reported "No screens found", due to the kernel module not being loaded, an lsmod later showed that it was there.

I copied the nVidia driver from /usr/portage/distfiles to /root and ran it myself, after doing this, another modprobe nvidia and a startx and up popped X, so this said to me there is something screwy with Gentoo's way of managing nVidia drivers.

Two days later, and it's working perfectly, already started another game of Farcry and Call of Duty! (Yes, they do run on Linux with a little bit of fiddling) :)

Anyway, I can quite happly say that I am impressed with's X11.

xorg has better support for my video card (2, Interesting)

milgr (726027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9397149)

Since upgrading from RH9 to FC2++, I have been able to have a xinerama display between the laptop LCD, and the external monitor, even running the displays at different resolutions.

FWIW, it is a Radeon-7500.

I do have a couple of obscure problems. I reported the most pressing problems...

1. When I startup a vncviewer or an xnest, control keys are not forwarded to windows in VNC or Xnest.

2. Gnome panels are a bit quirky. It insists on having the gnome-panel be entirely on one screen. If I have a gnome-panel on my LCD, and start VNC - then the panel is moved to my LCD screen. This is even worse if I try to have a separate panel on each screen for equivalent screen locations.

3. Usually windows pop up on the same screen as the mouse pointer. If that screen is full of windows, and the other screen has space, it usually pops up there instead.

Re:xorg has better support for my video card (1)

ballwall (629887) | more than 10 years ago | (#9401326)

I've been trying to do this forever.. What's your xorg.conf look like?

my keyboard !!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9398368)

well, i wasnt able to type out all those fancy altgr-whatever (on be-latin1 you need these to get an @, #, |, ...) combinations after emerging xorg,

but other then that i was thrilled !

fedora core 2 & matrox g450 & xinerama (du (3, Informative)

i621148 (728860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398708)

step 1: i did a clean install, letting fedora set up my xorg.conf file.
i am using a matrox g450 with two dell flat panel monitors. right out
of the box, they were both enabled in "clone" mode.

step 2: i just used the advanced tab under preferences: screensaver to
enable display power management. i set power management enabled. standby
after 15 min, suspend after 15 min, and off after 15 minutes. this
automatically enabled the power features. i did not have to add any
lines the x configuration file as in previous versions of redhat.

step 3: become root and edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf after the section entitled
Section "Module"
I inserted these lines:

Section "ServerFlags"
Option "Xinerama"

I saved and pressed control-alt-backspace to restart the xserver. after loggin in again,
i went to system settings: display.

there appeared a tab labeled "dual head" i clicked "use dual head"
then i configured my second monitor and picked spanning desktops.
after hitting ok, i hit ctrl-alt-backspace again and presto!!!!!!
xineraman was enabled with power management. i did not install any of the matrox drivers or use the mgapdesk utility.
i just used the above instructions and that was it right out of the box....

also as to everyone badmouthing fedora core 2 , i am very impressed and
have found a great many features that have been improved and generally
well thought out. i am very glad i upgraded....

if anyone wants to see my xorg.conf file here it is:
# Xorg configuration created by system-config-display Section "ServerLayout" Identifier "Multihead layout" Screen 0 "Screen0" LeftOf "Screen1" Screen 1 "Screen1" 0 0 InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer" InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard" Option "Xinerama" "on" Option "Clone" "off" EndSection Section "Files" # RgbPath is the location of the RGB database. Note, this is the name of the # file minus the extension (like ".txt" or ".db"). There is normally # no need to change the default. # Multiple FontPath entries are allowed (they are concatenated together) # By default, Red Hat 6.0 and later now use a font server independent of # the X server to render fonts. RgbPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb" FontPath "unix/:7100" EndSection Section "Module" Load "dbe" Load "extmod" Load "fbdevhw" Load "glx" Load "record" Load "freetype" Load "type1" Load "dri" EndSection Section "ServerFlags" Option "Xinerama" EndSection Section "InputDevice" # Specify which keyboard LEDs can be user-controlled (eg, with xset(1)) # Option "Xleds" "1 2 3" # To disable the XKEYBOARD extension, uncomment XkbDisable. # Option "XkbDisable" # To customise the XKB settings to suit your keyboard, modify the # lines below (which are the defaults). For example, for a non-U.S. # keyboard, you will probably want to use: # Option "XkbModel" "pc102" # If you have a US Microsoft Natural keyboard, you can use: # Option "XkbModel" "microsoft" # # Then to change the language, change the Layout setting. # For example, a german layout can be obtained with: # Option "XkbLayout" "de" # or: # Option "XkbLayout" "de" # Option "XkbVariant" "nodeadkeys" # # If you'd like to switch the positions of your capslock and # control keys, use: # Option "XkbOptions" "ctrl:swapcaps" # Or if you just want both to be control, use: # Option "XkbOptions" "ctrl:nocaps" # Identifier "Keyboard0" Driver "keyboard" Option "XkbModel" "pc105" Option "XkbLayout" "us" EndSection Section "InputDevice" Identifier "Mouse0" Driver "mouse" Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2" Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice" Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5" Option "Emulate3Buttons" "yes" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor0" VendorName "Monitor Vendor" ModelName "Dell 1702FP (Analog)" DisplaySize 340 270 HorizSync 30.0 - 80.0 VertRefresh 56.0 - 76.0 Option "dpms" EndSection Section "Monitor" Identifier "Monitor1" VendorName "Monitor Vendor" ModelName "Dell 1701FP (Analog)" HorizSync 31.0 - 80.0 VertRefresh 56.0 - 76.0 Option "dpms" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Videocard0" Driver "mga" VendorName "Videocard vendor" BoardName "Matrox Millennium G450" EndSection Section "Device" Identifier "Videocard1" Driver "mga" VendorName "Videocard Vendor" BoardName "Matrox Millennium G450" BusID "PCI:1:0:0" Screen 1 EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen0" Device "Videocard0" Monitor "Monitor0" DefaultDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 24 Modes "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480" EndSubSection EndSection Section "Screen" Identifier "Screen1" Device "Videocard1" Monitor "Monitor1" DefaultDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Viewport 0 0 Depth 24 Modes "1024x768" EndSubSection EndSection Section "DRI" Group 0 Mode 0666 EndSection

Re:fedora core 2 & matrox g450 & xinerama (1)

i621148 (728860) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398732)

sorry, i didn't feel like
insertion after
all the x file entries :)

Fedora core 2 rpms (1)

ManikSurtani (764890) | more than 10 years ago | (#9398721)

I upgraded my FC1 installation (Athlon 2800+, NVidia GeForce4) which had XFree86 to FC2 which had XOrg's server - it upgraded cleanly and I now use XOrg with no issues. Except that I warnings about XKB mappings every time I log in - but this hasn't affected my UK keyboard at all.

Wouldn't compile. (-1, Flamebait)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#9407071)

Useless piece of shit. XFree86, despite its shittalicious new license, compiles just fine "out of the box" (on Debian 3.0 for x86)
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