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X.Org Server 1.16 Officially Released With Terrific Features

Michael Larabel

Published on 17 July 2014
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 1 - 20 Comments

After a last minute delay earlier this month, Keith Packard of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center has officially announced the X.Org Server 1.16 release. XWayland and other changes make xorg-server 1.16 a super exciting release!

Among the highlights of X.Org Server 1.16 are:

Initial XWayland Support - This is what's needed for the mainline X.Org Server to now provide fallback X11 support in Wayland setups for legacy applications. This XWayland implementation is different than earlier versions in that it's using GLAMOR for providing generic 2D acceleration over OpenGL rather than being dependent upon minor XWayland changes to the DDX drivers (i.e. xf86-video-intel, Radeon, Nouveau, etc).


X.Org Server Release Manager, Keith Packard

Integrated GLAMOR - GLAMOR was developed as an external library for providing 2D acceleration in a generic manner over OpenGL so it doesn't require hardware-specific code-paths within the DDX drivers, especially with many modern GPUs lacking 2D engines. With X.Org Server 1.16, this support is now integrated into the X.Org Server to allow for new opportunities. Besides XWayland using GLAMOR, the Radeon driver requires GLAMOR for HD 7000 series GPUs and newer, Nouveau needs GLAMOR for Maxwell acceleration, and it's a non-default option that can be manually enabled for other GPUs on the Radeon, Intel, and Nouveau drivers. Besides moving the GLAMOR code into the server, there's also been massive performance optimizations. There's also GLAMOR for DRI3 and Xephyr.

Non-PCI Device Support - This was the change that caused the last minute xorg-server 1.16 delay. For benefiting ARM SoCs, there's now better GPU support for non-PCI devices with adding a new OutputClass configuration section for xorg.conf.d files and other changes to allow auto-loading DDX drivers based upon the loaded DRM kernel driver rather than having to do PCI device matching. This right now benefits the NVIDIA Tegra and Freedreno drivers.

Optional Systemd Support - This allows for running the X.Org Server without root privileges by systemd paired with other changes. The Radeon, Intel, Nouveau, Modesetting, and Freedreno DDX drivers already have the necessary "server managed FDs" changes for supporting the non-root X Server requirements.

Far Less Compiler Warnings - Keith got rid of over one thousand compiler warnings thanks to some code clean-ups.


Cheers to xorg-server 1.16! As a reminder, XDC2014 is in Bordeaux this September as the annual X.Org/Graphics conference. This year also marks 30 years of the X Window System.

The X.Org Server 1.16 release has almost 35,000 lines of new/changed code, per Keith's notes. X.Org Server 1.16 is one of the more exciting releases in recent times and represents about six months of development work. X.Org Server 1.17 is now on the table for late this year or early 2015. X.Org Server 1.16 is codenamed Marionberry Pie.

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 .
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