To address the questions that have been coming up frequently regarding the X.Org Server and the plans to stop using HAL, Sun's Alan Coopersmith has created a new Wiki page called XorgHAL.
Luc Verhaegen, the longtime X.Org developer who was previously employed by Novell to work on their X11 stack and the RadeonHD driver and continues to hack on his VIA driver, has announced that at FOSDEM 2010 there will be an X.Org development room. Luc has been organizing X@FOSDEM annually for the past five years.
Our 2009 Linux Graphics Survey, which annually occurs to help and better inform both developers and end-users of the Linux desktop, ends tonight! Right now we are just shy of 14,000 submissions for this year's survey that has been running for the month of November. Take the survey now if you have not already done so. Results will be published in approximately one week.
For about two years now Red Hat has been working on the Plymouth project to replace RHGB with this graphical boot program that leverages kernel mode-setting and other newer Linux innovations to provide a clean, flicker-free boot experience. Over the course of the past few Fedora releases, Plymouth has continued to pickup new features and is also now being used by Mandriva. While Plymouth already does a great job at mode-setting to the display's native resolution and then showing the selected Plymouth plug-in and then to switch over to GNOME's GDM quite smoothly as the X.Org Server starts up, this process is getting even smoother now.
Just as planned, X Server 1.7.2 was released this morning to encompass all of the bug-fixes that have went into the X Server 1.7 branch over the past five weeks. The X Server 1.7.2 release message can be read on xorg-announce. Peter Hutterer is planning for an X Server 1.7.3 release in five weeks.
Our 2009 Linux Graphics Survey is ending at the end of the month. If you haven't already taken the survey, we would encourage you to do so now. The results from this survey will help both developers and end-users of the Linux desktop. It should only take a few minutes to complete, so why not take it now?
X Server 1.7.2 is scheduled to be released a week from Friday, so in preparations for that, Peter Hutterer has just pushed out the second release candidate for this minor point release. X Server 1.7.2 RC2 is made up of 15 fixes (mostly for XQuartz) since the RC1 release that arrived earlier this month.
At the end of October X Server 1.7.1 was released and at that time Peter Hutterer had said that the 1.7.2 build should arrive in about five weeks. It hasn't been five weeks yet, but it looks like he's still on track to delivering this bug-fix release on time or earlier. Peter has just announced the first pre-1.7.2 development release.
Merely eight hours ago we launched our 2009 Linux Graphics Survey to collect some data about the popular graphics drivers and hardware being used by our Linux readers along with other metrics such as the common ways one goes about installing their driver, what X server is being used, etc. The results of this survey are interesting in their own right, but they also help developers better understand what their users are most interested in with regard to the Linux graphics stack / X.Org and provide other statistics. This is our third time running this survey after successful runs in 2007 and 2008, but for 2009 it's looking like we will have a record number of survey responses.
When running a modern Linux graphics driver stack in a composited environment there is a lot less tearing -- particularly with regard to video playback, but OpenGL applications too -- now than there was in the past, but there is still room for improvement. One of the ways to improve this is by properly controlling the display of buffers with how often the swaps occur and to sync them with the monitor's refresh rate or the rate at which the compositor is running. Unfortunately, the X Server and open-source graphics stack have lacked such functionality even though some OpenGL/GLX extensions for this support have been around for years. Intel's Jesse Barnes though has been working on proper DRI2 support for synchronization and swapping.
In late September there was a call by Peter Hutterer for a new X.Org release process that consisted of a six-month release cycle for the X Server, all development work to be done in feature branches and not Git master, and a three-stage development cycle. The agreed upon version was pretty much the same as Peter's version, but it also called for the X.Org drivers to be pulled back into the X Server (around version 1.10).
X Server 1.7 was released earlier this month thereby paving the way for the release of X.Org 7.5, which is finally out there this afternoon. X.Org 7.5 consists of X Server 1.7.1 and all of the latest drivers, libraries, and other modules.
When it comes to video playback on Linux, the premiere choice for video acceleration is currently using VDPAU with its CPU-efficient, GPU-accelerated capabilities that even has no problems playing 1080p video files with extremely low-end hardware. However, VDPAU is not yet widespread in all Linux video drivers, and other free software developers have been working on improving other areas of the Linux video stack too. One of these developers is GNOME's Benjamin Otte who has been working on using Cairo/Pixman for raw video in GStreamer. Additionally, he has organized a Linux video "hackfest" that will take place next month in Barcelona, Spain to further this Linux video playback work.
Just as planned, X Server 1.7.1 was released this morning by Peter Hutterer. This bug-fix update to X Server 1.7 contains a fair amount of fixes and other minor improvements since the 1.7.0 release that came less than a month ago. Compared to X Server 1.7.1 RC2 from earlier this week, there are some XACE updates.
On the same day of the first X Server 1.8 snapshot being released, Sun's Alan Coopersmith who has been leading the X.Org 7.5 katamari release efforts has shared his thoughts going forward for X.Org 7.6. X Server 1.7.1 should be released by week's end and X.Org 7.5 final should be out shortly thereafter. However, it's not likely that X Server 1.8 will be greeted by X.Org 7.6.
A month ago there were proposed development changes to the X Server to utilize more feature branches in Git, a three-stage development process, and to deliver predictable time-based releases. A version of this proposal has been agreed upon by key X.Org developers and it's already being applied towards the X Server 1.8 work. X Server 1.7 was released less than a month ago and X.Org 7.5 isn't even out yet, but the first development snapshot for X Server 1.8 is now available.
Shipping with X.Org 7.5 when its to be released shortly will be X Server 1.7.1, which is the first point release in the X Server 1.7 series that introduced X Input 2.0, Multi-Pointer X, and other new capabilities. For some last minute testing before going gold, X Server 1.7.1 Release Candidate 2 was made available over the weekend.
Back on the 2nd of October, X Server 1.7.0 was released after several delays with getting this major, MPX-bearing update released. However, the X.Org 7.5 release of all of the updated X packages was not released at the same time as X Server 1.7, in fact, it's still not released. Early this morning though the first release candidate of the X.Org 7.5 packages were made available.
Less than two weeks after X Server 1.7.0 was released, Peter Hutterer has announced the first release candidate for X Server 1.7.1. This release carries a handful of fixes, including addressing some important issues like potential memory corruption and infinite loops, along with build improvements. Peter is asking anyone who still wants to submit patches for X Server 1.7.1 that they be submitted by this Friday. The release announcement for X Server 1.7.1 RC1 can be read here.
X Server 1.7 was released one week ago, but the release schedule for X Server 1.8 has now been decided by its release manager, Keith Packard. According to what was just committed to the X.Org Wiki, X Server 1.8 is planned for release on the 31st of March, 2010. In order to meet this release date, the end of the merge window is 31st of December and the end of the bug-fix window is on the 28th of February.
It's been a while since the last OpenChrome driver release for VIA hardware (14 months), but in order to offer compatibility with X.Org 7.5 / X Server 1.7, the team quickly rushed out a new release.
X Server 1.7 was released yesterday, but the X.Org 7.5 release containing this server package plus other updated X bits was not done at the same time. While it's less important having a new official X.Org release immediately since all of the critical packages can already be downloaded independently, the X.Org 7.5 release is expected soon and Sun's Alan Coopersmith began a thread entitled finishing the X11R7.5 katamari.
It's late, but it's finally here. X Server 1.7 has been released. This major X Server update finally delivers on X Input 2.0 and Multi-Pointer X support along with other input improvements, cleaned up XKB code, VGA Arbitration support, EXA improvements, XDMX support, working XQuartz for Mac OS X, and many other changes.
Last week we talked about a new X.Org release process proposal for improving the consistency and quality of X Server releases through taking a number of relatively simple steps. Well, this week from XDS2009, a revised proposal has been agreed upon now making it policy for X Server 1.8 / X.Org 7.6 and later.
Last year the X.Org developers raided the Edinburgh Zoo for their annual summit and earlier this year there was FOSDEM for the usual X.Org event in Brussels, while this week is the 2009 X Developers' Conference taking place in Portland, Oregon. While we are not providing live coverage (or audio/video recordings) from this event like those in the past (European events are the best and there happens to be a collision with Munich's Oktoberfest), the X.Org Wiki is being updated with (short) notes from the event.
Just in time for the start of the X Developers' Conference this week in Portland, there are two new X Server releases to report. X Server 1.6.4, which is a bug-fix release in the X Server 1.6 series for X.Org 7.4, has been released. Additionally, X Server 1.7 RC3 has been released, which is the final release before X Server 1.7 and X.Org 7.5 are to be released.
While the X.Org developers are responsible for a lot of critical code and much of it is quite old and massive, they are often challenged by hitting a release on time and often face multiple release schedules before coming close to delivering a new X Server / X.Org release. Just take a look at X.Org 7.4 Finally Released, X.Org 7.5 Released. Wait, Nope!, or X Server 1.4.1 Is Released, No Joke as recent examples. With the X Server 1.7 / X.Org 7.5 release cycle that we are finally getting close to ending, it took multiple tries and is coming out over six months later than expected. Granted, there is Multi-Pointer X support and other new improvements, but concerns about the degrading quality of releases have been voiced for years. Fortunately, this situation may finally turn around.
Just about a week after X Server 1.7 RC1 made it out, a second release candidate for this next X.Org Server is available. This second release candidate brings bug fixes and other improvements, but the code is currently within a feature freeze. Expect a third release candidate next week.
David Airlie has just called for the first DRM pull request for the Linux 2.6.32 kernel. To no surprise, R600/700 3D support can be found within the Direct Rendering Manager code as with kernel mode-setting support for these newer ATI Radeon graphics cards.
It's a few months late, but the first release candidate for X Server 1.7 is now available. Peter Hutterer announced the release this morning along with freezing the X Server ABI for the 1.7 series. A X Server 1.7 snapshot was made available earlier this month, but a few more bug-fixes can be found in today's release candidate.
751 X.Org news articles published on Phoronix.