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

X.Org Server 1.16 ABI Breakage Causes Concern

X.Org

Published on 29 April 2014 12:59 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
24 Comments

A late breakage to the X.Org Server 1.16 ABI is resulting in (arguably rightful) concern by the proprietary driver developers at NVIDIA.

On Monday a change was submitted to bump the ABI version number (to 18) for the X.Org video drivers as a result of some cursor changes. This quickly raised concerns by NVIIDA's Aaron Plattner since this breaks the ABI against xorg-server-1.15.99.902, which happened now that the X.Org Server 1.16 merge window closed and the code is into a bug-fixing state and thus should have a frozen API/ABI. The ABI breakage could be trivially fixed, but it wasn't.

The ABI break was attributed to a "temporary mistake of changing the function return type as a bug" so that existing drivers retail API compatibility with the new X.Org Server version, with the most important driver to Keith Packard as the X.Org Server maintainer being that of his employer -- the xf86-video-intel driver. NVIDIA has already been working on X.Org Server 1.16 support for their proprietary driver but this event has thrown an issue into their handling of their new support.

NVIDIA's Aaron Plattner ended his X.Org mailing list statement with, "This last-minute bumping of the ABI in what is supposed to be a code freeze happens rather frequently. Since this seems to be the preferred method of doing things, do you want to go back to the way it used to be, where the ABI is only really officially frozen once the .0 release comes out? I can certainly hold off adding official support for new ABIs until then, but please note that that will delay adoption of the new X server by distributions significantly due to the reasons I listed above."

Keith Packard of Intel responded with "1.16 is scheduled to be released at mid-year, we've still got two months to go. The freeze process for the X server takes half of the development cycle, and we're now one month into that. I'm not willing to ship 1.16 with the API that was released at the feature freeze; it has a bug where existing drivers would build and mostly run, except that cursors would fail in mysterious ways. That's clearly not acceptable for the 1.16 release. We either need an API change that breaks compilation (so that users are forced to fix them), or a cross-version compatible API. A cross-version compatible API is obviously preferred as that will allow people to separately migrate driver packages to the new API as they please."

At the time of writing this article on Monday evening there's no solid answer what will be done for X.Org Server 1.16, but we should see soon enough.

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 Articles & Reviews
  1. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  2. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
  3. Linux 4.0 SSD EXT4 / Btrfs / XFS / F2FS Benchmarks
  4. Linux 4.0 Hard Drive Comparison With Six File-Systems
  5. Lenovo ThinkPad T450s Broadwell Preview
  6. How Open-Source Allowed Valve To Implement VULKAN Much Faster On The Source 2 Engine
Latest Linux News
  1. EXT4 In Linux 4.1 Adds File-System Level Encryption
  2. Open-Source Ardour 4.0 Audio Software Has Big Improvements
  3. Linux-Powered Endless Computer Raises $100k+ In A Few Days
  4. GCC 5.1 RC2 Arrives, GCC 5.1 Planned For Next Week
  5. F2FS For Linux 4.1 Has New Features & Fixes
  6. Phoronix Server Upgrade This Weekend: Dual Haswell Xeons, 96GB DDR4
  7. Google's Experimental QUIC Transport Protocol Is Showing Promise
  8. Red Hat Joins Khronos, The Group Behind OpenGL & Vulkan
  9. NetworkManager Drops WiMAX Support
  10. Wine 1.7.41 Works More On Kernel Job Objects, MSI Patches
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. Nouveau: NVIDIA's New Hardware Is "VERY Open-Source Unfriendly"
  2. Linux 4.0 Kernel Released
  3. Microsoft Announces An LLVM-Based Compiler For .NET
  4. Linux 4.1 Brings Many Potentially Risky x86/ASM Changes
  5. VirtualBox 5.0 Beta 2 Released
  6. KDBUS Is Taking A Lot Of Heat, Might Be Delayed From Mainline Linux Kernel
  7. Mozilla Start Drafting Plans To Deprecate Insecure HTTP
  8. KDBUS To Be Included In The Linux 4.1 Kernel