1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Multi-Pointer X Going Mainline

Michael Larabel

Published on 9 May 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - 5 Comments

In our article earlier this week looking at the status of X.Org 7.4, one of the features originally planned for integration in this X Server release was MPX, or Multi-Pointer X. While it's been in development for over two years and has been at an experimental state, it's been featured in popular YouTube videos as this is the technology on Linux that allows multiple keyboards and mice to be attached to a single system and MPX allows these input devices to function independently on the same windowing system. For those of you interested in this desktop technology, it's been announced that MPX will finally be merged into the mainline X.Org tree later this month.

Multi-Pointer X was developed by Peter Hutterer at the University of South Australia as part of his PhD project, with development work starting in 2005. Unlike some other implementations, Multi-Pointer X allows many existing applications to continue to function without any fundamental changes. However, when applications become aware of multiple pointers, they are then able to take advantage of the multiple input support. In a traditional desktop, MPX just means you can have multiple users running different applications all on the same desktop simultaneously. Peter announced it last night on the xorg mailing list that he plans to merge MPX to master in the last week of May.

As pointed out in the mailing list message, Daniel Stone is currently cleaning up XKB (the X Keyboard Extension) which is a prerequisite for merging MPX and creating XKB-MPX. In addition to the XKB changes, also needing changes for Multi-Pointer X support are x11proto, xxtproto, inputproto, libXi, libX11, libXext, xinput, and the xserver. As another change, XI (the X Input Extension) will be bumped to version 2.0 with this merge.

For those using a single keyboard and mouse, running Multi-Pointer X shouldn't yield any differences. One of the current limitations for MPX is that support for tablets has been dropped, but that may reappear soon. On the plus side, one recent change to MPX is that it allows switching between hardware and software rendered cursors. The cursor is hardware accelerated when there is a single cursor, but when multiple cursors are attached, the server will dynamically switch to software acceleration.

For those interested in more information on Multi-Pointer X, it's available from their project website. With MPX being merged to master, it should be an exciting time soon for Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex". Once Multi-Pointer X has been merged to master, we'll be sure to let you know and we'll likely publish our usage experiences on it with a small tutorial.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux News
  1. Godot 1.1 Engine Release Brings New 2D Engine
  2. Intel VA-API Driver 1.6 Is Coming
  3. Canonical Is Reportedly Considering An IPO
  4. GNOME 3.18 - GTK3 Now Supports RandR 1.5
  5. Fedora 22 Risks Being Delayed Beyond Next Week
  6. Systemd 220 Has Finally Been Released
  7. LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released
  8. Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code
  9. ACPI 6 Non-Volatile Memory Device Support / NFIT / LIBND For Linux
  10. Fedora 22 Marches Closer To Release
  11. The Linux 4.0 EXT4 RAID Corruption Bug Has Been Uncovered
  12. Ubuntu 15.10 Release Schedule Firmed Up
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Btrfs RAID 0/1 Benchmarks On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  2. The State Of Various Firefox Features
  3. Intel Iris Graphics Performance With Mesa 10.6
  4. Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Linux 4.0 Kernel Currently Has An EXT4 Corruption Issue
  2. Rust 1.0 Language Officially Released
  3. AMDGPU Open-Source Driver Code Continues Maturing
  4. Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development To Focus On Windows
  5. Wine 1.7.43 Works On Desktop Shell Window Support
  6. Spec Ops: The Line Is The Latest Linux Shooter
  7. RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver To Be Enabled For Android
  8. KDE Applications 15.08 Planned For Release On 19 August