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.org

Ubuntu Nearing X Server Not Running As Root

X.Org

Published on 25 June 2010 11:20 AM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in X.Org
2 Comments

Based upon a recent email to the X.Org developers' mailing list, Canonical is nearing the point of one of their goals for Ubuntu 10.10 of a rootless X Server, or being able to run the X.Org Server without root privileges.

All that's left to accomplish within the Ubuntu land according to Canonical's Christopher James Rogers is working out a /dev/backlight device interface that udev would set the appropriate permissions on for the user. The /proc/mtrr may also need to be handled too, but Rogers doesn't believe any of the drivers (at least the main KMS drivers) are using this interface. With all of the necessary prerequisites addressed, when starting the X Server they will have a check to see if kernel mode-setting is being used, if /dev/backlight exists, and if /dev/input/* has appropriate user permissions. If all conditions are true, the X.Org Server would not be run as the root user, which leads to better security. Of course, this feat has already been achieved by other Linux distributions such as Moblin and now MeeGo.

This would largely help out those with the open-source ATI, Intel, and Nouveau drivers that use kernel mode-setting while those using non-KMS drivers, including the binary drivers from ATI and NVIDIA, would still be running their X Server as root.

The mailing list thread discussing this can be found on xorg-devel. There is also the Maverick blueprint discussing this likely feature of Ubuntu 10.10. Other details can also be found on the Ubuntu Wiki.

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. Intel Broadwell: GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5 Compiler Benchmarks
  2. Ubuntu vs. Fedora Linux On Lenovo's X1 Carbon With Core i7 Broadwell
  3. Ubuntu 15.04 Is The Easy Path To Better Performance On Intel Broadwell
  4. NVIDIA's Latest Maxwell Line-Up Against AMD With Catalyst On Linux
  5. Preliminary Tests Of Intel Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge vs. Broadwell
  6. AMD FX-8320E Performance On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?
  2. HAMMER2 File-System Is Still Slowly Coming Together
  3. The Better Looking Window Decorations For GNOME 3.16
  4. Libinput 0.9 Adds Support For Hovering Fingers On Touchpads
  5. Free Software Foundation Endorses Another (Outdated) Laptop
  6. DNF Plugins Extend The Functionality Of Fedora's Yum Successor
  7. LibreOffice 4.4 Released With Better OOXML Support, UI Improvements
  8. Inkscape 0.91 Goes Through C++ Code Conversion, New Cairo Rendering, OpenMP Filters
  9. New Mesa Patch To Improve CPU-Bound Applications
  10. LLVM Adds Options To Do Fuzz Testing
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. PlayStation 4 System Compiler Support Landing In LLVM
  2. LibreOffice 4.4 Is Coming Soon With New Features
  3. Linux "GHOST" Vulnerability Hits Glibc Systems
  4. My Initial Intel Broadwell Linux Experience With The ThinkPad X1 Carbon
  5. Broadwell Linux Ultrabook Running MUCH Cooler Than Haswell
  6. LZHAM 1.0 Lossless Data Compression Codec Released
  7. Linux Users Upset By Chromium's Busted HiDPI Support
  8. Faster VP9 Decoding Is On The Horizon