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The First Annual Linux Graphics Survey

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  • The First Annual Linux Graphics Survey

    Phoronix: The First Annual Linux Graphics Survey

    While Linux desktop surveys are nothing new, no recent polls have looked specifically at Linux graphics when it comes to X.Org video drivers, hardware, and related video features. We, however, at Phoronix see a need for this information to be profiled and have launched the first-annual Linux graphics survey.

  • #2
    Dumb question, but how do you figure out what version of the X.Org server you're running? Xorg, xdpyinfo, and rpm all show version/release 1.3:
    pika.localdomain:~ 0:14> Xorg -version

    X Window System Version 1.3.0
    Release Date: 19 April 2007
    X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0, Release 1.3
    Build Operating System: Fedora Core 7 Red Hat, Inc.
    Current Operating System: Linux pika.localdomain #1 SMP Thu Sep 27 20:47:39 EDT 2007 x86_64
    Build Date: 11 June 2007
    Build ID: xorg-x11-server
    Before reporting problems, check
    to make sure that you have the latest version.
    Module Loader present

    pika.localdomain:~ 0:16> xdpyinfo | head
    name of display: :0.0
    version number: 11.0
    vendor string: The X.Org Foundation
    vendor release number: 10300000
    X.Org version: 1.3.0
    maximum request size: 16777212 bytes
    motion buffer size: 256
    bitmap unit, bit order, padding: 32, LSBFirst, 32
    image byte order: LSBFirst
    number of supported pixmap formats: 7

    pika.localdomain:~ 0:18> rpm -qi xorg-x11-server-Xorg
    Name : xorg-x11-server-Xorg Relocations: (not relocatable)
    Version : Vendor: Fedora Project
    Release : 9.fc7 Build Date: Mon 11 Jun 2007 04:48:43 PM CDT
    Install Date: Sat 16 Jun 2007 04:52:28 PM CDT Build Host:
    Group : User Interface/X Source RPM: xorg-x11-server-
    Size : 7919635 License: MIT/X11
    Signature : DSA/SHA1, Sat 16 Jun 2007 07:14:59 AM CDT, Key ID b44269d04f2a6fd2
    Packager : Fedora Project
    URL :
    Summary : Xorg X server
    Description : X11 is an open source implementation of the X Window System. It
    provides the basic low level functionality which full fledged
    graphical user interfaces (GUIs) such as GNOME and KDE are designed

    How does the 1.x version relate to the 7.x version scheme? Poking around on the wiki, it seems to show that 7.3 was released on 2007-09-06, and is Xorg server 1.4 ( The page for release 7.2 does not seem to mention a server number (

    One point does not make a line, so my best guess it that version 1.3 == version 7.2. Is this correct?
    Steve Croll


    • #3
      Yeah, you're running X.Org 7.2.
      Michael Larabel


      • #4
        There is a big difference between *what* I do, and *why* I do it - and that is where I have a problem with this survey. It asks about the what and not the why, and I think the answers won't tell you very much that is informative. It would be far more informative if it asked what our *preference* would be for, rather than what we actually do, or at least if it asked *why* we are doing what we do....

        As do most geek enthusiasts, I have many systems - a primary Linux desktop, a backup/testing Linux desktop, a Windows Gaming computer, a dedicated PVR computer, and HTPC in the living room, a server/gateway box... and a Linux desktop box at work too. This means I can check off almost every box on most of these questions. That wouldn't tell you anything though.

        "Which type(s) of video adapters do you use in your Linux system(s)?"

        Although I have boxes with all kinds of stuff I have come across, my *preference* _would_ be for a "Dedicated PCI Express Graphics Card", but because there aren't yet any good Free drivers for any of those, my current preference is for integrated Intel Graphics through sDVO cards for DVI.

        "Which video adapter brand(s) do you use in your Linux system(s)?"

        All of the above except Sis. My current preference is for Intel though, despite my dislike for their lack of standalone card and DVI. I hear thats coming though, and we will see how the Free 3D drivers for ATI cards develop. nVidia is dead to me

        "Which video driver(s) do you use in your Linux system(s)?"

        Again, my preference would be for totally free drivers from the tree as supplied by my distro. That said, often the free drivers don't work (multihead, tv out) and I am forced to use a proprietary driver I hate.

        "How do you acquire your video driver(s) on your Linux system(s)?"

        I would like a free driver with my distro... but Fedora didn't yet ship a driver for my G965, so I had to go searching myself. And Free drivers didn't work with my new ATI card at work, so I tried the Livna ones, and those didn't work either, so I had to go to ATI directly... though I'm gonna drop those ASAP for Livna when I can, and hopefully revert to the free driver when those improve enough to actually work.

        "How do you configure your display(s) on your Linux system(s)?"

        The ATI control panel segfaults on startup on my 64 bit work box. That sucks. I was forced to write that xorg.conf manually.

        This Fedora 8 LiveCD "Just Worked" though. The Fedora sysytem-config-display usually gets me started, with manual tweaks to fix/cleanup the multi-head setup it generates.

        "Do you use a compositing window manager / desktop effects?"

        Of the 8 or so Linux computers I have tried to enable it on, NOT ONE has yet worked. I don't care enough to go through the pain of deciphering why - I suspect multi-head kills half the boxes, and crappy non-3d free drivers kills the other half.

        "What are your key interests or concerns with Linux video drivers?"

        I really don't want to use proprietary drivers! I use Linux so that I'm Free, and not beholden to any companies to give me support for my hardware, so I can do what I want with it, when I want with it. IMO, you might as well just go to Windows or OSX if you don't value your Freedom. I don't want to wait for ATI to get around to supporting the latest kernel or whatever. So, "Licensing / open-source" that's number one (I hate the term open source though, ).

        I want something stable that actually works! Given their involvement in, I'm currently buying Intel for my desktop machines. My gaming box is still Windows.. though, I'm gonna read the reports about Quake Wars on Linux, and probably buy an ATI high end card for my next Windows gaming box (assuming they can eventually produce one which can push 2560x1600 in games on my 30" LCD), with the hopes of dual booting or outright switching to Linux for gaming. That will also depend on DVD playback (I would like HD-DVD support for Linux, but I doubt that will ever happen with Free Software - so maybe I will just never go HD [FU MPAA]).

        "Which of the below tasks do you actively use on your Linux system(s)?"

        - Surfing the Web! Email!
        - Programming/Development.
        - Servers

        (where are these options?)

        Anyhow, I hope these answers are a little more informative.


        • #5
          You should add VIA as another choice for graphics adapters. VIA is still common on AMD systems as an alternative to Intel integrated graphics. Also, the Mini ITX scene uses VIA graphics almost exclusively.


          • #6
            i agree with whats-his-face about the questions being structured in a strange way, and as a result, the findings may be skewed somewhat.

            there is no composite effects(beryl/compiz) option that says, "NO, i CANT use desktop effects, because the GPU drivers chug LOADS of dank."


            • #7
              Originally posted by etymxris View Post
              You should add VIA as another choice for graphics adapters. VIA is still common on AMD systems as an alternative to Intel integrated graphics. Also, the Mini ITX scene uses VIA graphics almost exclusively.
              Indeed. My motherboard has a Unichrome adapter and another computer has an S3 Virge4 (I believe)