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Kernel-Based X11 Server Claims 2x Performance Over X.Org

X.Org

Published on 24 June 2013 06:37 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
45 Comments

MicroXwin is an X.Org Server alternative for an X Windows System implementation for Unix/Linux desktop. The developers behind MicroXwin are claiming that by implementing their X Server in the kernel they are getting a 2x performance advantage while using less memory and being binary compatible with Xlib.

MicroXwin itself isn't brand new, but Vasant Kanchan, a MicroXwin developer, wrote into Phoronix today to remind us about their project. "We make X windows implementation in the kernel. Your readers may be interested in MicroXwin performance against Xorg X-Windows."

Having a full X Server in the kernel may scare some readers, but they claim MicroXwin has 2x times faster graphics, faster event handling, lower latency, and low round-trip delays than a traditional X Server. They also claim MicroXwin's kernel-based X Server uses less than a half MB compared to 29MB used by X.Org's frame-buffer X Server. While being leaner, MicroXwin also claims binary compatibility with standard X11 at the Xlib layer -- meaning all standard Linux desktop applications should work atop this solution.

The last release of MicroXwin was version 2.4 and happened in late October of last year. MicroXwin 2.4 brought support for virtual consoles and the ability to run inside of Google Android. The previous release to 2.4 was version 2.3 and was from mid 2011.

Vasant Kanchan passed along this video comparing MicroXwin to Xorg X11:

Those wishing to learn more about MicroXwin can find additional details at MicroXwin.com. With packages available for Ubuntu 12.04 and Debian 6.0 of MicroXwin, benchmarks are likely to come soon on Phoronix pending sufficient reader interest -- let us know via the forums and Twitter.

While MicroXwin is supposedly much faster, for those wondering about the downsides, this X11 implementation isn't open-source and their kernel modules available for download are for evaluation/non-commercial use while for other uses they need to be licensed.

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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